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A Simple, 3-Step Process to De-Musting Old Furniture

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Kara
02.11.15

Maybe it’s a vintage desk you picked up at that chic furniture store. Maybe it’s a family heirloom that’s been passed down for generations. Either way, if you have a piece of wood furniture that smells like a 95 year old man when you open the drawers, it kinda ruins the allure.

Don’t fret. There are three super-simple things you can try today if you have an old, musty piece of wood furniture:

Step 1: Soak It In the Sun

The first thing that you should do to treat musty smells is place your furniture outside, in the sun (check the weather, first!). Wood is porous, so the breeze will literally help air out your piece.

Also, direct sunlight can help get rid of mold and mildew, the number one culprit of musty smells. The heat from the sun's rays will absorb any moisture. Just make sure you bring your furniture back in at night to avoid the morning dew!

Step 2: Spray Disinfectant

If you tried giving your antique a few rays of sunshine but still smell a bit-o-must, try a mild disinfectant spray (this is a good option if you don't have one handy). This tactic works best for unfinished surfaces.

Lightly spray the disinfectant inside the drawers (important: do not soak!). For a little extra oomph, lightly dampen a paper towel with the disinfectant and gently “pat" the exterior wood. This will kill any lingering bacteria on the surface. Tip: It’s always a good idea to test the spray on a small, out-of-sight area before spraying it everywhere.

Step 3: Polish with Coconut Oil

There are tons of options out there, but when it comes to wood polish, we'd rather be safe than sorry. That's why we like coconut lemon-lavender polish. Coconut oil is anti-fungal and antibacterial, so it can actually fight must and mildew trapped inside the wood grain.

To make a wood polish from coconut oil, combine a teaspoon of coconut oil with 5 drops lemon oil and 5 drops lavender oil. Then, using a soft towel, buff the mixture onto the surface of your furniture. The essential oils are totally optional but do give off a great scent without damaging your furniture. Tip: Again, It’s always a good idea to test the spray on a small, out-of-sight area, especially if your furniture is already finished.

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