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February 06, 2022 4 min read

If you are dealing with bad odors coming from your wood furniture, this may be due to a multitude of reasons.

Luckily, there is a wide variety of ways that you can help decrease or eliminate these odors, whether it be using household or professionally designed products.

In this guide, we will go through the best ways to get rid of bad odor coming from wood furniture.

There is no one solution that works to remove bad odor from wood furniture.

The technique or techniques that work best for you will depend on the kind of wood you are dealing with, the weather you live in, and where the furniture is located itself. 

a person cleaning a wooden cabinet

Why Does My Wood Smell?

You may be wondering what is causing your wood cabinets to smell. In most cases, the smell will be caused by excess humidity causing mildew or mold growth. 

If the wood smells like fish, it is likely due to frayed wires of overloaded circuits. It is important to quickly resolve these issues with professional help if it smells like fish because it may be an indicator of more severe problems which could instigate a fire.

How to Get Odors Out of Cabinets

a person cleaning a wooden cabinet

Follow these steps to get your cabinet smelling clean.

Empty and Wipe it Down

Before applying any type of product onto the cabinets, it is important to first empty them out, wiping them down fully with a damp cloth, and letting them air dry fully. That way, you can be sure that the smell originates from the cabinets themselves, rather than from food or other products which may have been left for a long period of time.

Vinegar and Water

Vinegar mixed with water is a great way to eliminate bacteria and odor from wooden furniture. To use, just mix one part water and one part vinegar in a bucket or tub, and damp a cloth or sponge down the furniture. You can also use Murphy’s Oil Soap or any Antifungal Detergent to wipe down the wood: just make sure to properly air dry it out once you finish.

Odor Absorbents

You can also use an odor absorbent in your wooden future to decrease or eliminate the smell. To do so, just place an odor absorbent in a bowl, and place it in your cabinet or whatever area the smell is coming from. Odor absorbers include coffee grounds, vinegar, kitty litter or baking soda. Wait a few days to see if it helps, otherwise, you may need to use a different method to help with the smell.

Strip and Sand

You can also try sanding down the wood to help with the smell. This will allow the wood to breathe and freshen it up. To strip and sand the wood, you will need to follow precisely the instructions required for the exact kind of wood you are dealing with.


Another option is mixing bleach or vodka with some water in a spray bottle. You can spray down the wood using the mixture, which may help kill any bacteria which may be causing the smell. After spraying the area down, let it air out fully to see whether it helps with the smell.

Dehumidify Your Home

No matter what you use to help your wood eliminate its odor, it is important to consider whether the room the wood is in is especially humid. If it is, it is a good idea to consider placing a dehumidifier in the space within which the wood is located. This will help decrease the risk of mold and mildew growing which is what causes most of the bad odors from wood.


Recommended Wood Cleaning Products

a person cleaning a wooden cabinet

While these different kinds of cleaning methods may be effective, they may also not be strong enough to get fully rid of smells coming from your wood furniture. If you are still struggling with odor coming from your wooden furniture, you should consider using one of these professionally designed products made to help reduce or eliminate the smells.


Murphy Oil Soap Wood Cleaner

This concentrated wood clean spray is a great and effective way to help get rid of any odor coming from your wooden furniture. This soap is designed for wooden surfaces, meaning it will not only avoid any damage liquid can have on your surface, but it will also help protect and maintain the wooden surface you are dealing with.


Howard Complete Wood Restoration Kit

This Howard Complete Wood Restoration Kit is designed to clear, protect, and restore wood furniture and finishes so that the bad odor will not only go away but the wood itself will be protected as well. The product is easy to use and has a delicious cherry, lemon, and orange scent which is sure to replace any bad odor you may be dealing with.


Natural Activated Bamboo Charcoal Bags

These natural activated bamboo charcoal bags can help eliminate odor in your wooden furniture. These bags are made from environmentally friendly materials and are non-toxic. They are easy to use and can be used for any space which has some bad smells.



a person cleaning a wooden cabinet

No matter what kind of wooden furniture you have and why exactly it smells bad, there are a multitude of options to deal with and eliminate the smell. There are different options involving household products such as white vinegar and bleach, but if these do not do the trick, there are professionally designed products which can remove any odor you may be dealing with.

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