How to remove musty smell from wood furniture?

How to remove musty smell from wood furniture?


Wood furniture can develop a musty smell over time, especially if it has been stored in a damp or humid environment. This unpleasant odor can be off-putting and make the furniture less enjoyable to use. However, there are several effective methods to remove the musty smell from wood furniture and restore its freshness. In this article, we will explore these methods and provide step-by-step instructions for tackling this issue.

Cleaning and Deodorizing

Materials needed: Mild dish soap, warm water, white vinegar, clean cloth, baking soda, activated charcoal.

1. Start by cleaning the wood furniture thoroughly. Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with warm water and dampen a clean cloth in the solution. Gently wipe down the entire surface of the furniture, removing any dirt or grime that may contribute to the musty smell.

2. After cleaning, mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the furniture with the vinegar solution, focusing on the areas with the strongest odor. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer and can help eliminate musty smells.

3. Allow the vinegar solution to sit on the furniture for a few minutes, then wipe it off with a clean cloth. This will help remove any lingering odors and prevent the vinegar from damaging the wood.

4. For stubborn musty smells, sprinkle baking soda directly onto the furniture’s surface. Baking soda is known for its odor-absorbing properties. Leave the baking soda on the furniture for a few hours or overnight, then vacuum it off or wipe it away with a clean cloth.

5. Another effective method is to use activated charcoal. Place a few pieces of activated charcoal in a container and put it inside the furniture. Close the furniture and leave it for a few days. The charcoal will absorb the musty smell, leaving the furniture fresh and odor-free.

Air Circulation and Sunlight

Materials needed: Fans, sunlight.

1. Improve air circulation around the furniture by placing fans nearby. The movement of air will help dissipate the musty smell and promote drying.

2. If possible, move the furniture to an area with direct sunlight. Sunlight has natural disinfecting and deodorizing properties. Leave the furniture in the sun for a few hours, rotating it occasionally to ensure all sides are exposed.

3. Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate in the room. This will help remove any lingering odors and freshen up the space.

Prevention Tips

Materials needed: Silica gel packets, dehumidifier.

1. To prevent future musty smells, store wood furniture in a dry and well-ventilated area. Avoid placing it in damp basements or areas prone to high humidity.

2. Consider using silica gel packets inside drawers or cabinets to absorb moisture. These packets can be found in packaging or purchased separately.

3. If the room where the furniture is located tends to be humid, use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture levels. This will help prevent the growth of mold and mildew, which can cause musty smells.


Removing a musty smell from wood furniture is achievable with the right techniques and materials. By cleaning, deodorizing, improving air circulation, and taking preventive measures, you can restore your wood furniture’s freshness and enjoy it without any unpleasant odors. Remember to regularly clean and maintain your furniture to prevent musty smells from returning.


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