I have an antique bureau that smells strongly of mildew. Is there anything I can use safely on wood to get rid of the odor? TIA
sunshine works wonders!
If you can take it outside and remove the drawers and allow the sun to shine in for a day....bring in at night and repeat, it should smell fresh again.
If not remove the drawers and place an electric fan in front of it for 24 hours or more.
If its till smells, the last resort is to put a very thin coat of finish....like shellac or lacquer thinned way down and brushed over all inside surfaces....don't forget the underside of the top.
Agree on sunshine, that would be my first move.
I also like Formby's deep wood cleaner (it's got a wintergreen smell to is, but is a good overall cleaner).
I have successfully used the 'magic' odor absorbing gels to get rid of strong, unpleasant odors in old wood furniture. Prefer Natural Magic, but Citrus Magic is the same thing. Other similar lines out there as well. Hardware and paint stores carry it, Lowes too. They are scented but are not a masking fragrance, but pull odors out. Don't ask me how that works, but it does. ;)
The magic gel tubs need some air circulation to work, cover 300-400 sq feet depending on brand, but also work better in smaller spaces. So I'd either move that bureau to a very small room for a few weeks ~or~ I'd try covering the bureau with a sheet if in a larger room. I'd also double up so it does extra work and get 2 gel containers. Put a container on top the bureau and one in a drawer. Rotate the one inside from drawer to drawer every 5 days or so, leaving drawers cracked (again, air flow). Maybe rotate the one on top to sitting on the floor beneath it. After a few weeks it should do the trick! I use these in rental properties between tenants, recently had one vacant that had strong cooking odors, fried foods and heavy spices. It took a little over a week to notice improvement, by the 2 week mark much better, by 3rd week no lingering odors of any kind. With wood I've had it absorb everything from mildew & musty smells to perfume & lingering (and overwhelming) fabric softener smell.