Can You Banish that Unpleasant Drawer Smell? Discover Foolproof Solutions!

Learn how to eliminate unpleasant odors from your dresser with these practical methods. Say goodbye to unwanted smells and enjoy fresh clothes again.

Having an older, inexpensive dresser often means dealing with unpleasant odors that transfer onto our clothes. If you’ve noticed that any garments sitting in your dresser for a month or longer tend to develop a wood-like smell, you’re not alone. This article aims to go beyond outdated suggestions and offers practical and effective methods to eliminate drawer odors. With these tried and true techniques, you can say goodbye to unwanted smells and enjoy fresh and clean clothes once again.

1. Identify the Cause

Before diving into the solutions, it’s crucial to understand the root cause of the drawer smell. More often than not, the odor stems from the wood used in crafting the dresser. Over time, the wood’s natural oils and resins can emit a distinctive smell that lingers in the drawers. Additionally, trapped moisture and mildew may contribute to the unpleasant scent. Knowing the cause will help you select the most appropriate methods for eliminating the odor.

2. Air It Out

The simplest and most accessible way to combat drawer smell is by allowing the dresser to air out. Remove any clothing or items from the drawers and open them wide. Place the dresser in a well-ventilated area, preferably near an open window or patio. This allows fresh air to circulate and assists in removing any trapped odors naturally. If possible, leave the dresser in the open air for a few hours or even overnight.

3. Deep Cleaning Experiments

If airing out the drawers isn’t enough, it’s time to consider a deep cleaning approach. Begin by removing all items from the dresser and vacuuming the interior thoroughly. This process eliminates any dust, dead insects, or debris that could be contributing to the smell. Once vacuumed, follow these tried and true methods:

3.1. Vinegar Solution: Create a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar. Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with this solution, and wipe down the entire inner surface of the dresser. Vinegar’s natural properties help neutralize odors and eradicate bacteria.

3.2. Baking Soda Power: Fill small bowls or containers with baking soda and place them inside the drawer. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that effectively absorbs and eliminates unwanted smells. Leave the baking soda in the drawer for several days to allow sufficient time for odor absorption.

3.3. Coffee Grounds: Spread fresh coffee grounds on a baking sheet and place them inside the drawer. Coffee acts as an effective odor absorber and leaves a pleasant aroma in its wake. Allow the coffee grounds to sit in the drawer for at least a day before removing.

4. Preventive Measures

Once you’ve successfully removed the unwanted smell, it’s important to prevent it from returning. Implementing preventive measures will help keep your dresser fresh and your clothes odor-free.

4.1. Drawer Liners: Consider using scented or unscented drawer liners to provide an additional barrier between your clothes and the wood. These liners help absorb any residual odor and protect your attire.

4.2. Natural Fragrance Sachets: Fill small fabric sachets with dried lavender, cedar chips, or potpourri. These natural fragrances act as ongoing odor neutralizers, adding a pleasant aroma to your drawers.


Q1. Can I use essential oils to eliminate the drawer smell?
A1. Yes, adding a few drops of essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water can be an effective way to freshen up your dresser. Spray the solution sparingly onto a cloth and wipe the interior surfaces.

Q2. How often should I deep clean my dresser?
A2. It is advisable to deep clean your dresser at least twice a year, even if no odor is present. Regular cleaning helps maintain a fresh environment for your clothes.

Q3. Are there any commercial products that can help with drawer smell?
A3. Several commercial products, such as odor-absorbing pouches or sprays, are available in the market. Ensure to read product reviews and follow the instructions carefully.

Q4. Can I use scented drawer liners to mask the odor?
A4. While scented liners can temporarily mask the odor, it’s important to address the underlying cause. Combining the liners with proper cleaning techniques will yield better and longer-lasting results.

Q5. Is it possible to restore the wood’s natural scent?
A5. Yes, you can restore the wood’s natural scent by lightly sanding the interior of the drawers. Follow this with a thin layer of natural wood oil or varnish to enhance the fragrance.

A lingering drawer smell can be frustrating, but with the tips provided in this article, you can successfully bid farewell to unpleasant odors. By identifying the cause, implementing effective cleaning methods, and adopting preventive measures, you can transform your inexpensive dresser into a fresh and welcoming storage space for your clothes. Don’t let a wood-like smell sabotage your garments any longer; take action today and enjoy the invigorating scent of cleanliness.

Share this article: