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5 Ways To Remove Odor From Your Wood Cabinet - Easy Guide - fancyarnfurniture

5 Ways To Remove Odor From Your Wood Cabinet

House decor looks better if you have wood furniture. You can have stools, tables, couches, sofas, and many options that give a plus to your environment. However, on some occasions, you have to deal with odors. These odors may be due to a multitude of reasons.

Even though there is not only one solution that works to remove foul odors, we will provide you with the best information to eliminate them.

This guide will specifically deal with cabinets, but you can also use some techniques with any other wood furniture.

Why does my cabinet smell?

cabinet furniture

Excess humidity is the most common or usual reason why your cabinet may smell. Humidity can cause mildew or mold growth, leading to unwanted smells.

Warning: If you smell like fish in your cabinet, it might be frayed wires of overload circuits. Seek professional help to avoid a fire.

Another reason that might cause your cabinet to smell could be mothballs and even overly fragrant candles stored inside for too long.

How to get odors out of my cabinet?

Even though wood may seem solid and sturdy, it is porous, absorbing odors and bacteria. There are five easy ways to remove those odors. Follow the tips below to remove them.

Empty and wipe down

cleaning furniture

First, remove all your cutlery or elements you have in your cabinet. Make sure to wash them with your dishwasher, even if they are clean. This is because some cutlery can be porous and contains bacteria as well.

Clean the inside of the cabinet, and all surfaces with a cloth with antifungal detergent. Let it dry and ventilate properly. This will ensure that the smell originates from the cabinet rather than from food or other products left inside. 

Vinegar and water

furniture maintenance

For really funky smells, there is this granny trick. Mix vinegar with water. One part water and one part vinegar in a bucket. A damp cloth or sponge down the furniture. Let it dry, and you can fill a plastic container and place it inside. Close the cabinet and wait a few days. The mixture should absorb the odor.

Odor Absorbents

After cleaning, you need to take the necessary measures to absorb any odors that may remain. You have different options, so you can use anyone that you like the most.

Just remember they are fantastic for lessening the smell for quick fixes. If you are consistent with them, you can have long-term fragrance. 

Baking soda

baking soda treatment wood

This is recommended for moderate smells. You can follow two ways to absorb the odor.

The first one is placing baking soda in a bowl and placing it in the cabinet. The amount of baking soda will depend on the size of your cabinet. You need to put a bowl per drawer if it has many drawers. Same for each cabinet floor.

Baking soda will absorb the odor like magic. We recommend leaving the bowl for at least one week for great results.

Coffee grounds

furniture maintenance

Similar to baking soda. Get some coffee grounds into a bowl. Place it into the cabinet and let it set for a couple of days.

Coffee has a more potent aroma than baking soda. We recommend not to use as much as with baking soda or not to leave for a week.

Drops of essential oil

essential oil for furniture

If you are like me, an incense lover, you will have an essential oil. The best way is to place small drops in different corners. 

You can also get a nice cotton cloth, put three drops in it, and leave it inside. If you see the cloth dry, you can again put more drops, maintaining the pleasant aroma in your cabinet for longer.

Strip and Sand

sand furniture

This option is if the smell in your cabinet is really strong. Massive cleaning and odor absorbent have done their effort with no results. 

This procedure will take you more time and work. You will start sanding off the stain of paint to let the wood breathe out the smell and freshen up.

You can seal the wood, which seals the odor into the wood. You can also use primer, but this is not recommended for fancyarn furniture since primer will cover the original paint and ruin the design. 

Bleach or Vodka

bleach for furniture

Place bleach or cheap vodka into a spray bottle and mist the entire piece. Make sure it is a day with lots of sunshine so it can dry out properly. Bleach or vodka disinfect and eliminate odors. Additionally, it also kills the bacteria that cause the odors.

How to prevent the bad smell from returning?

There are a few proactive measures to stay ahead of the bad smell.

  • Wipe down your wood surfaces with a clean cloth with any mentioned product. 
  • Keep one of the odor absorbers inside and refresh them accordingly.
  • Ventilate from time to time with all the doors open and let the wood breath
  • Sunshine is great for smells. Let your cabinet absorb as much sunlight as possible, killing most of the bacteria in it.
furniture maintenance



As mentioned, humidity is the number one reason your cabinet smells bad. It is essential to consider whether the room or the cabinet's location is in the correct area.

If it is located in a humid area, consider getting a dehumidifier. We recommend Kismile dehumidifiers for better results.

This will help decrease the risk of mold and mildew growing, which is the main causes of bad odors from wood. 

You can also refer to this video for more information in regards to this subject as well

Final Thoughts

There is a wide variety of reasons why your cabinet may smell bad. The most frequent one is humidity. However, you have different options that involve your household products. You can choose between vinegar and water, bleach, or baking soda.

Now you have all the necessary information to take control of your cabinets. If you have tried another hack to remove odors from wood cabinets not covered here, let us know!