How to get cologne smell out of wooden furniture?
July 16, 2016 8:57 AM   Subscribe

We had a house guest who loved cologne and left his bedroom smelling of it. Even with the bedding, mattress, and dresser drawers removed from the room, the smell persists, and it's strongest around the dresser, which is made of wood, as is the floor. I've tried regular wood cleaner and a vinegar-water solution on these, and have set a dish of coffee grounds on the dresser. Any other ideas?
posted by lakeroon to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Big bowl of activated charcoal on the dresser. Sprinkle some in the dresser drawers. Let it sit for a few days and vacuum it out.
posted by jferg at 9:09 AM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

When I had this problem febreze helped some, but time helped the most. Keep things aired and it will fade.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:10 AM on July 16, 2016

Baking soda, Arm&Hammer makes boxes with spill proof vents.
posted by brujita at 9:48 AM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh, I have had that. Person kind of splashed the stuff over said person and surroundings.

Agreeing with others that it will fade. Takes a while though. Keep wiping down surfaces with a damp cloth. Vinegar does seem like the way to go, at least where it doesn't attack smooth surfaces. A water solution with a little dish soap perhaps, and wiping dry afterwards... I also floor-soaped the room multiple times.
posted by Namlit at 9:58 AM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I bet the Bad Air Sponge and/or Zeolite would help absorb the smell. Also keep the windows and doors open.
posted by radioamy at 11:03 AM on July 16, 2016

Sunshine and open air or an ozone machine
posted by hortense at 11:21 AM on July 16, 2016

I use a product called Zero Odor and I think it works really well. It has no scent other than a slight "clean" smell. It is difficult to describe because it is so fleeting. You can spray this stuff directly on wood and fabric as well as into the air.

I haaaaaate stinky stuff like incense, candles, air "fresheners" etc and this stuff works.
posted by futz at 11:24 AM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

A bowl of lemons will eliminate (not just cover) evil smells in the house.
posted by artdrectr at 2:56 PM on July 16, 2016

Take the drawers out and set the drawers and the dresser all out in the sunshine. Bring it in that night and spray with Febreze, then put it out again the next day (providing it's sunny out). I'm guessing that will do it.
posted by summerstorm at 9:28 PM on July 16, 2016

Wiping it down with rubbing alcohol will help as alcohol dissolves perfume. Alcohol also dissolves shellac (a kind of varnish used on older furniture) so test a hidden area first (like the back of the dresser's leg) to make sure the finish can withstand it. Alcohol is good for a new dresser (like Ikea) but not for antique wood.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:42 AM on July 17, 2016

Contrary to most people's beliefs Febreze actually does work to eliminate odors not just cover them. They had to add the scent to convince people that it was doing something, since we obviously get used to odors over time.
posted by peacheater at 11:11 AM on July 17, 2016

Chop up a white onion and leave it out on a plate in the room. It works with killing wall paint odors, so worth a try?
posted by The Noble Goofy Elk at 6:53 PM on July 17, 2016

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