Get The Funk Out Of Here!

Funky Smells

If you are a collector of old things, chances are you are also an accumulator of weird smells. As an antique collector, that peculiar funk just comes with the territory. While you might revel in the smell of “vintage”, those around you might not. In fact, it might be time for an odor intervention, especially if someone has told you “I cannot put my finger on it, but there is something about you that just plain stinks.” As painful as those words can be, do not let your hearts be troubled. Here are 5 DIY natural remedies to get that funk out of your life!

Musty Furniture

Must FurnitureIngredients:

  1. Distilled White Vinegar
  2. Newspaper
  3. Scented Dryer Sheets
  4. Silica Gel Packs

Your drawers stink! Before you move that old furniture or cabinetry into your home, you first need to eliminate the odors trapped inside. To do so, grab some newspaper, crinkle it up, douse it with distilled white vinegar, and stuff it inside each drawer or compartment. Let the vinegar-soaked newspaper do its thing (absorbing the funk) for two-to-three days.

RELATED ARTICLE: Caring for Antique Wooden Furniture

Once the smell has been vanquished, replace the newspaper with scented dryer sheets and silica gel packs. The silica gel will soak up moisture, while the scented dryer sheets will keep things smelling fresh. It is important to replace the silica gel packs every 90 days.

Smelly Rugs & Upholstery

Smelly RugIngredients:

  1. 16oz Plastic Spray Bottle
  2. Baking Soda
  3. Hydrogen Peroxide
  4. Liquid Dish Soap

Most smells can be extricated from rugs and upholstery with baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda onto the fabric and let it sit for several hours, then vacuum it up. If the fabric still stinks and/or has been soiled, you will need to ratchet up your attack with an old-timer’s favorite cleaning recipe.

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Using an empty plastic spray bottle, mix a quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, a teaspoon of liquid dish soap, and a quarter-cup of baking soda.

Tip: Only mix when you are ready to clean and do not store for future use.

Liberally spray the mixture onto the fabric and let it rest for 24 hours before blotting it dry. This mixture works especially well for removing stubborn odors such as pet urine.

Smell of Death

Smell of DeathIngredients:

  1. Distilled White Vinegar
  2. Plastic Container with Lid

It is not uncommon for a pesky rodent or other small critter to crawl into an object and die, especially when the object is in storage. And if not found, the putrid odor of decomposition can last for weeks, if not months. To combat and eliminate the stench, we suggest turning to distilled white vinegar once again.

Pour distilled white vinegar into an inexpensive (throw-away) plastic container and cover with a snug lid. Once covered, punch several holes into the lid and place the container in the room where the odor is strongest. The vinegar will naturally absorb the funk until it completely dissipates.

Smelly Air

Smelly AirIngredients:

  1. Fresh Coffee Grounds
  2. Plastic Container with Lid
  3. Vanilla Extract
  4. Lemon

If you have a space dedicated to all things old, it might have a general odor to it. To freshen up the air naturally, use fresh coffee grounds. Place the grounds into a throw-away plastic container and cover with a hole-punched lid. Place the container in an inconspicuous area of the room. The coffee grounds will absorb unpleasant odors while sweetening the air.

RELATED ARTICLE: Removing Dried Glue from Antiques

To add natural fragrance to the air, just reach to cupboard for vanilla extract and a lemon.

With the lights off, dab vanilla extract onto your finger and gently smear the liquid onto a light bulb. The warmth of the bulb will scent the air every time you flip the lights on.

If you prefer a citrus scent, cut a lemon in half, and place the halves in opposite sides of the room.

Homemade Air Freshener


  1. 8oz Spray Bottle
  2. Cheap Vodka (or Rubbing Alcohol)
  3. Water
  4. Essential Oil

If coffee grounds, vanilla extract, or lemons are not enough, try making your own air freshener.

Fill an 8oz spray bottle with two tablespoons of cheap vodka (or rubbing alcohol), three-quarters cup of water, and 20 drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender, orange, or clove. Vigorously shake and spray! Updates

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