Removing musty odor

Old 12-07-2016, 08:18 PM
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Default Removing musty odor

I bought some machines at auction several months ago. I brought one home from the storage unit last week that interests me. However, when I removed the cover, the musty smell was overwhelming. It had 2 old manuals inside the case that seem to be the worst offender. I'm sure part of the problem is that I left the case setting on the concrete floor.

I've read about featherweight cases smelling bad, but can't seem to find the posts or remember the solution (if there is one). Is there any hope of removing the odor? It's one of those older cases that I assume is wood covered with vinyl.

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Old 12-07-2016, 08:27 PM
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I remember my mother in law always using baking soda. She opened and air ,sun , and a cup of baking soda.takes some time.Several days. She had a porch closed in with Windows open. Careful of rain. I do that too! I also use drying sheets that smell good. After baking soda days.
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Old 12-07-2016, 10:29 PM
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I find crumpled up newspaper to be very good at removing odors. Also sitting out in the sun helps a lot.
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Old 12-08-2016, 04:25 AM
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Try some vanilla extract on cotton balls - works in an antique dresser I store linens in, but I do have to resoak the cotton balls every few years. Also, try some clay kitty litter (non-scented) if you think you can vacuum it out of the case again. Otherwise, fill a large plastic bag with kitty litter and set the case on top. Close the bag tightly and leave for two weeks. This always worked for me when I was a librarian and people brought back skunky books!
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:30 AM
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I use the little packets that come in vitamins or dog treats to keep the moisture out. I put a couple inside the case and close it. It takes a while, but so far, it has worked.
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Old 12-08-2016, 06:13 AM
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Cardboard boxes can be wiped off with a slighly damp cloth, some take the trouble to immerse them in baking soda (it works). Much the same for manuals, I carefully place them on a shelf (in a heated, clean room) leaving the pages half open and the worst airs off quickly. I once bought an old book on how to grow roses, it took several years before the mustly smell was completely gone (must have been laying around in a cellar for years). Oily manuals can be sprinkled with flour or potato starch and let work for a day or two, then brushed off, repeat the procedure if needed.

For dirty boxes straight out of storage; I clean them with microfiber cloths, well wringed up in soapy water. I use a mild natural soap. Lacquered wood I clean with furniture polish (spray can stuff), it's rather expensive, I go over several times using a few cloths, but it lifts up dirt, grime, smell and shines up. Any strong smell should be improved upon immediately, and air out within a couple of days. In stubborn cases it takes a while, but the trick is to leave the box open in a heated clean room. This time of year I can't leave things outside even for a short while (snow, rain, wind and very little sun anyway), in nice dry summer weather it can be done (not overnight).

Last edited by Mickey2; 12-08-2016 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 12-08-2016, 04:34 PM
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Dry coffee grounds absorb odor.
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Old 12-08-2016, 04:42 PM
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I had heard that charcoal will remove the odors.
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:06 PM
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i sprayed fabreeze in one the other day and set it in the sun for awhile ...worked ok so far
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:44 PM
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I unwrapped a bar of Irish Spring soap, and left it in the closed box for about a month. Seemed to work.
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