Tips and Tricks

How to Remove Smells From Furniture

You just picked up your flea market find of the year! It’s beautiful and you have the perfect spot for it. You can’t wait for it to be that perfect conversation piece. Except every time you go near it, it stinks! You clean it front and back but it still just smells. Some furniture can get a musty smell or even cigarette smell to it. We have some tips on how to rid that beautiful piece of the stench.

musty furniture

I worked in disaster restoration for 15 years. We took furniture from homes covered in smoke and sut we cleaned them right up in almost every case we where able to remove the smoke smell from the furniture.

The Process
  1. First start by cleaning with a denatured alcohol and water. Clean the front back underneath inside outside. It is always best to check the finish by first rubbing your cleaning solution on a small area before going forward.
  2. If you have access to a small ozone machine like this one I got from amazon. Put the ozone air purifier in a very small room with the furniture leave in there for a few days.
  3. Then I have used febreeze but I personally like the norwex odorizing spray. Spray the deodorizing spray on all the RAW wood sides. You don’t want to spray this on anything with a finish it could damage it.
Final Step (If the above doesn’t work)

So if all of that fails consider shellac now depending on where the smell is coming from you can seal the RAW areas with shellac. It comes in an aerosol and its easy to spray on. Pull out drawers spray the drawers inside and outside same with inside the cabinet and underneath. If the smell is coming from the top or outside you may want to consult a professional on restoring the finish.


NOTE: An antique piece you will want to make sure that the  finish that is put on it will be the same as the existing. Or contact your local upcycler and have them paint it to perfection!

Thanks again for reading this week! What do you have that you love that just stinks? Let us know if you try any of these tips and tricks.

Happy Junking!


For everyday cleaning and maintenance read up on our blog Choose the right cleaning products for furniture.

* This blog contains affiliate links. Affiliate link purchases do not effect your shopping experience or price. However they will kick back small amounts back to me for sharing this information on my blog. We only recommend products that we believe in and use ourselves. 

Tara Lou
<p>19 years ago, I started my path in furniture by preserving antique furniture, and restoring furniture after home disasters. More recently I have started working with clients to revive their furniture to todays fashions. When I’m not chipping my nails flipping furniture I am out with my kids hunting, fishing, foraging, gardening or hiking.</p>

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