How to Get Musty Smell Out of Wood Furniture

People often blame old age when they smell musty odors within wood furniture.  In actuality, the science behind how it gets the odor is found within the slow infiltration of mold spores within the wood’s fiber. Mold thrives in locations that are dark and damp, and usually appears within wooden furniture after it has been stored within an attic or basement.  When the wood sits for weeks, months, or even years at a time, this smell intensifies.

Fortunately, there exist several solutions for neutralizing these invisible pungent particles, and making sure they never return.  By following the below tips, you can find ways to kill the mold and neutralize the residual musty odors.


Eliminate Mold

You must kill the existing mold spores before you can begin eliminating the odor.  Failure to eliminate all of the mold spore will result in the odor returning shortly after you have treated it.

1 Bleach

Create a mixture of one part bleach to six parts water within a bowl or bucket.  Take a cloth and dunk it within this mixture and begin scrubbing down the the piece of furniture.  Bleach will work wonders in eating away at any mold and leave a sterilized surface behind.

Be sure to scrub down every square each of the wood to ensure that the mold is completely wiped out.  Additionally, take care not to apply the bleach solution to any cloth material built within the furniture to avoid unwanted bleaching.  As a final step, rinse the bleach off of the wood with fresh water to avoid any unwanted chemical damage on the wood’s surface.

Smell Removal Solutions

These solutions can be used singularly or in combination with one-another.  By using more than just one tip, you can increase your chances of removing any unwanted musty odors.

1 White Vinegar

This household substance is the most commonly used for neutralizing musty odors within wood fiber.  Create a solution of white vinegar and water in equal parts and scrub down the entire wooden furniture.  After wiping down, allow the vinegar to air dry off of the piece of furniture.

2 Baking Soda

Baking soda is known for it’s ability to eliminate a wide range of household odors.  A solution of one part baking soda and ten parts water will absorb nearly all of the musty odors.  Mix thoroughly, and scrub down entire surface of wood furniture.  Let this solution air dry off of the surface, and enjoy freshened furniture.

3 Lemon Oil

This substance works miracles at wiping out smoke and mold related odors within wood.  Simply apply this oil to a cloth, and give the entire wooden surface of furniture a wipe down.  Doing this after cleaning with bleach is usually enough to remove any lingering odors.

4 Hydrogen Peroxide

Similar to baking soda, this household compound can help you in removing musty aromas.  Create mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water in equal parts, and give the entire furniture a wipe down. Let odors air dry off the furniture and receive the added benefit of the darkened stains within the wood being lifted out.

5 Murphy’s Oil Soap

This product does a fantastic job at cleaning and eliminating unwanted aromas within wood.  Applying this product to a cloth, and begin wiping down the entire piece of furniture.  Let it air dry, and enjoy the freshened aroma that the product has left behind.

6 Nature’s Miracle

Unique enzymes within this product eat away at mold and leave freshness behind.  Pour some of this product into a cloth and work the solution into the entire piece of wooden furniture.  Allow product set into the grain of the wood and air dry away.