Reclaimed wood can often take on a scent – and that scent is often unwelcome. Furniture made from reclaimed or old wood usually has some sort of odor. Many times, this odor is somewhat musty and can even prevent you from enjoying the piece of furniture. How can you remove odors from wood you want to use for a woodworking project, or wooden furniture? Luckily there are methods for making wood smell more pleasant.
The method you use for getting rid of odors from wood depends on how the wood is finished and where the odor is from. You also need to consider how the wood will be used in the future. Take a look at these ideas for getting wonderfully smelling wood every time.
1) Use a Commercial Wood Cleaner to Remove Odors from Wood
The most obvious answer to the question of odors in wood is a commercially available wood cleaner. There are many on the market today. These cleaners are probably the best you can get for removing pet odors, which are very difficult to get rid of.
2) Try Ammonia for Cleaning Wood
You could also try using a simple solution of ammonia to clean wood. Dampen a cloth with ammonia. Apply it to the wood and then wipe it off with another cloth which you have dampened with water. This technique is good for cleaning smoke odors from wood. Make sure you work in a well-ventilated area.
3) Use a Solution of Olive Oil and Vinegar
Use household store cupboard ingredients if you do not want to use harsh chemicals on wood. A solution of one part olive oil into 24 parts vinegar (use white vinegar) helps to clear odors. Spray the solution onto the wood and wipe down thoroughly.
4) Try Newspaper and Charcoal
Use wadded up newspaper and charcoal briquettes in a drawer or a piece of furniture you cannot easily access. These help to kill bad odors in wood. It is a really cheap way, too, to get better smelling furniture. You need to leave them in the furniture for around a week and then replace them with new newspaper and charcoal.
5) Or Try Other Odor Absorbers
You can also try coffee grounds, baking soda, or even kitty litter. A paste of baking soda in water works well for drawing out odors from wood.
6) Seal the Odor into the Wood
An alternative tactic is to seal the smell into the wood by painting a solution over the top. Use shellac to seal the wood after briefly sanding it. But remember this will not keep water out so use a waterproof covering if the wood will be exposed to moisture.
7) Use Hydrogen Peroxide
Try using a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution in a spray bottle. Spray it onto the wooden surface and then wipe it off with a damp cloth. Make sure you dry the area well with a clean dry cloth.
8) Air the Wood
Make sure that you leave the wood open to the air as much as possible whether or not you are trying these other cleaning tips. Leave cupboard doors and drawers open and keep a piece of furniture outside on a sunny day to air it out.
9) Keep Coffee Grounds in the Furniture
Try using an odor absorber of coffee grounds in the furniture to draw the odor away. But bear in mind that you will probably be left with an odor of coffee even when the grounds have been removed, so it is a good idea to try some other options to remove odors from wood first – unless you really like the smell of coffee on your furniture.