Removing a powerfully bad smell?
October 18, 2007 9:15 PM   Subscribe

So I got this beautiful antique chest of drawers which is perfect except that it stinks, really badly...please help.

The insides of the drawers are sticky with what I can only assume is really, really awful old perfume. I tried putting the drawers on the fire escape to air out but the chest stinks even more with the drawers out. Now I have the drawers back in with a pile of baking soda in each one. Is there any hope?
posted by beckish to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I would try subbing cedar chips for the baking soda. I don't know if it would work on perfume, though, or if it's just for that good old musty smell. But it won't hurt.
posted by Airhen at 9:19 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

Perhaps some Goo Gone -- it's citrus-oil based, and should remove the residue. It's kind of orange-scented, but fades/evaporates quickly. Could be a good first step.
posted by amtho at 9:35 PM on October 18, 2007

Vinegar to the rescue!

It'll clean up the gunk, and if you leave small dishes full of it in the drawers overnight, it'll get rid of the stink (I do this for my antiques, and it works. Somehow, my things don't absorb the vinegar smell. Don't ask me to explain the science behind this.)
posted by katillathehun at 9:52 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

Try coffee; you can use whole beans or pre-ground. Put it in shallow bowls or boxes and then put them inside the drawers. Coffee absorbs/neutralizes odours.

Of course, this is only good if you like/can tolerate the smell of coffee.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:11 PM on October 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

i'd swab it out with rubbing alcohol to dissolve the perfume, and then put in some plain dry teabags to absorb the rest of the scent, and close it up for a couple days.
posted by twistofrhyme at 10:12 PM on October 18, 2007

I had a very, very evil smelling fridge once. The only thing that took care of the problem was activated charcoal (aka activated carbon). You can get it cheap at the pet supply store, packaged for fish tank filtration.
posted by SampleSize at 6:18 AM on October 19, 2007

I have fragrance sensitivities so I wholly empathize with you. Vinegar is good but not on oily stink. I use Oxyclean for this very chore. I just put a scoop in about a quart of water, stir and use it to clean. It's an amazing degreaser (the brown/20 years of caked on grease hood filter on my stove turned back to new shiny silver after a three minute soak in Oxyclean). It should take care of the stink. If after cleaning with Oxyclean there is a lingering odor I use Nature's Miracle enzyme stuff. If it can kill the smell of cat pee/doggie diarrhea, it can kill the smell of anything. Good luck!
posted by hecho de la basura at 7:09 AM on October 19, 2007

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