How to Banish Unpleasant Odors from Vintage Furniture

Gain in-depth insights into How To Get Rid Of Smell From Old Furniture, may the information we provide be beneficial for you.

Have you ever stumbled upon a piece of antique furniture with an allure that’s hard to resist, only to be met with an unpleasant odor that seems to cling to it? This is a common issue with vintage furniture, especially if it’s been stored in less-than-ideal conditions. But don’t despair! Restoring the freshness of your beloved furniture is possible with a few simple techniques.

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How To Get Rid Of Smell From Old Furniture

Identifying the Odor Source

Before embarking on odor removal, it’s crucial to identify the source of the smell. Common culprits include:

  • Mold and Mildew: Dampness can create a breeding ground for these organisms, resulting in a musty odor.
  • Tobacco Smoke: If the furniture was exposed to prolonged smoke, the odor may linger in the upholstery or wood.
  • Pet Odors: Pets can leave behind lingering smells, especially if the furniture is made of absorbent materials like fabric.
  • Cooking Odors: Cooking fumes can seep into the furniture, particularly if it’s located in an open-plan space.

Eliminating Odors Effectively

Once you’ve pinpointed the odor source, you can proceed with the following steps:

  1. Ventilation: Start by opening windows and doors to allow for proper ventilation. Air circulation helps remove airborne odors.
  2. Vacuuming: Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove dust and pet hair, which can trap odors.
  3. Deodorizing Spray: Commercial deodorizing sprays can help neutralize odors. Opt for natural sprays like baking soda or white vinegar solutions.
  4. Baking Soda: Place bowls of baking soda inside the furniture or on the upholstery. It absorbs moisture and neutralizes odors.
  5. Activated Charcoal: Activated charcoal is highly effective at absorbing odors. Fill cloth bags with activated charcoal and place them inside the furniture.
  6. Ozone Generator: For severe odors, consider using an ozone generator to oxidize and remove odor molecules.

Expert Tips for Odor Removal

In addition to the methods mentioned above, consider these expert tips:

  • Sun Exposure: If possible, place the furniture in direct sunlight, as UV rays can help kill bacteria and fade odors.
  • Essential Oils: Diffuse essential oils like lemon, eucalyptus, or tea tree oil to create a fresh scent and eliminate odors.
  • Coffee Grounds: Spread used coffee grounds on the upholstery and let them sit for a few hours before vacuuming to absorb odors.
  • Professional Upholstery Cleaning: For stubborn odors, consider hiring a professional upholstery cleaner.

FAQ on Furniture Odor Removal

Q: Can baking soda damage furniture?

A: No, baking soda is generally safe for use on furniture. However, it’s best to test it on an inconspicuous area first.

Q: How long should I leave baking soda in furniture?

A: Leave baking soda in the furniture for several hours or overnight for best results.

Q: Is it safe to use bleach to remove odors?

A: Using bleach on furniture is not recommended, as it can damage the fabric or wood.


With patience and the right techniques, you can effectively eliminate unpleasant odors from vintage furniture and restore its charm. Remember to identify the odor source, choose appropriate methods, and consult experts if necessary. By following these steps, your beloved furniture will regain its freshness and become a cherished addition to your home. Is there anything else you’d like to know about removing odors from furniture?

How To Get Rid Of Smell From Old Furniture

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