How to fix a smelly linen cupboard

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10 years 9 months ago #28726 by Nora
I have one of these, and it smells really horrible and musty. I took a blanket out today and realised I need to do something before everything smells awful and gets ruined. I was thinking of using scented paper to line it but it's really big, and the paper is expensive. I have some rose-scented oil and was wondering if I could make my own paper somehow? Or does anyone have any other solution?

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10 years 9 months ago #392030 by Andrea1
Can you get some cedar strips with which to line the whole thing? Cedar's a lovely thing to help absorb odours, and it smells really nice, too.

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10 years 9 months ago #392031 by Ruth
Has something died in it? A dead mouse can make a cupboard smell like that.

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10 years 9 months ago #392035 by Lindeggs
I also think you should try to find the source of the problem rather than masking the smell. Dead animal is one option. Dampness is another.

Can you describe the smell? Is there any sign of damage to the linen and/or the inside of the cupboard?



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10 years 9 months ago #392045 by WillEyre
It's not made of mdf is it?
Ed

I liked Occam's Razor so much, I bought the company.

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10 years 9 months ago #392054 by igor
Good point Ed. Another contributing factor might be a modern, over-insulated, hot water cylinder that is not emitting enough heat to keep one's spare linen dry in the cupboard. Nora, is this even relevant? Is your hot water cylinder in the linen cupboard?

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10 years 9 months ago #392123 by kaybe
I also would be wondering about dampness. There used to be a product called Closet Camel in Aus, it was a plastic container that contained an absorbent material, you would take the lid off and put it in the wardrobe/cupboard etc. and it would gradually fill up with liquid absorbed from the air. They must have something similar here.

If you are sure it's not damp, vanilla is really good for masking unpleasant odours. There is a fridge spray that contains vanilla essence.

Maybe it needs better ventilation? Is there an air gap at the bottom of the door or is the carpet blocking it?

Tomorrow is the day I will stop procrastinating.

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10 years 9 months ago #392125 by igor
There used to be a product called "Damp Rid" which was like kaybe's "Closet Camel". Don't know if it's still available though.

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10 years 9 months ago #392126 by Farmer53
I THINK ITS CALL DAMPRID HERE,

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10 years 9 months ago #392129 by Lindeggs
You can definitely get Damp Rid here but I've never found it particularly effective.

We live in a very damp, cold (uninsulated) house and we have managed to avoid problems in wardrobes and linen cupboards by blasting them with the dehumidifier on a regular basis throughout winter.

We just have one dehumidifier so I put it on an extension cord and rotate it around the different rooms. When I do the bedrooms I open the wardrobe doors, point the dehumidifier into it, turn it up to full blast and leave it on overnight (for the spare room) or for a whole day (for the bedroom we sleep in).

Nora, whatever the cause of your smell I would suggest that you:
a) Remove all your linen from the cupboard and either wash and thoroughly dry it, or at least hang it out on a sunny day (?!) for a good airing.
b) Invest in some of those plastic vacuum storage bags, and once you are sure the linen is clean and dry, store it in there. (I do this with my blankets, duvets, winter coats etc during the summer.)
c) Clean out the cupboard however you can - vacuum, wipe down surfaces, whatever is needed. Maybe blast overnight with a dehumidifier while the cupboard is empty, to thoroughly dry the walls, shelving & floor.
d) When you come to put everything back in, put in a jar with baking soda (for neutralising odours) and/or essential oil (for masking odours) and a bit of muslin over the top to stop it spilling.

In my linen cupboard I have a wide-mouth jar with a piece of muslin held over the mouth with a rubber band. When I get down to the stumpy bit of a bar of soap, I pop it in the jar. The perfume from the soap smells lovely in the cupboard and when the jar is full I use all the bits to make a new bar of soap!

I also store yet-to-be-used soap in a basket in the cupboard for the same reason (and because the linen cupboard is just outside the bathroom door).



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10 years 9 months ago #392134 by stephclark
just a wee note.. Nora is in sth australia.. so the brand mentioned above for the absortion of moisture will be available..

i live in the old villa that has damp musty areas.. i use one of those container with the silca granuals.. brilliant.. especially in the old wardrobes ( stand alone kauri numbers ).. just pop in the bottom and the clothes dont get musty..i would like to be able to leave the door open, but then the clothes would get hairy! :) ( blimen cats )

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10 years 9 months ago #392138 by Nora
Wow, thanks for all the great suggestions!

It is not a hot-water cupboard, it only has the inlet for the airconditioning unit in it, which is a big silver tube that sucks air out of the hall and sends it up into the ceiling for heating and is ducted back into the rooms. We have gas hot water.

I didn't notice anything dead in it, but will take everything out and have another good look and clean it properly. I believe that it's got solid timber shelves and doors, not MDF. I don't think there's any damage in it.

It smells damp and deeply musty. I have a dehumidifier so will put that in there over the weekend. Will look for the products you all recommend.

I think it's probably quite well sealed when the doors are shut which may be part of the problem, but we also have 2 white cats. Can probably rig up something to keep the doors slightly ajar but not big enough for their heads and shoulders.

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10 years 9 months ago #392437 by 3 girls farming
you also used to be able to buy electrical cupboard heaters.. they were like a thin bar that you'd put in the bottom and turn it on.. don't think they used a lot of power.. that might help.. but I also think the damprid things are great so perhaps one of those first.

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10 years 9 months ago #392788 by jeannielea
If there is a power point in the cupboard you don't need a heater as a low wattage light bulb will do. But this cupboard appears to be dry so I'm not sure it would work anyway.

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10 years 9 months ago #392793 by kai

WillEyre;386358 wrote: It's not made of mdf is it?
Ed

he he, I got the joke if no one else did :D

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