How to clean/remove smell from unfinished wood without damaging it

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Old 10-01-12, 06:08 PM
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How to clean/remove smell from unfinished wood without damaging it

I collect and buy a lot of old military boxes/trunks/chests. The biggest problem I have is they always have that old barn or attic smell...it's nasty...and I have tried everything under the sun to get rid of smells from coffee, to baking soda, to cat litter, to leaving them in the sun for days.

My routine usually consists of cleaning the insides with hand/dish soap and water multiple times (letting it dry between each clean) then letting it sit outside for as long as possible...but I can never get rid of that smell.

The problem is that a lot of them have unfinished wood in the interiors so I can't use murphys soap or anything.

Does anyone have any input on this? I would really really appreciate it!
Thanks!
 
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Old 10-01-12, 07:10 PM
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Have you tried this? Stain & Odor Remover - Nature's Miracle
 
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Old 10-01-12, 07:13 PM
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Does not say it can be used on wood, and I am guessing it would most likely stain unfinished wood
 
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Old 10-01-12, 07:58 PM
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Can a stain remover cause a stain? That is an interesting question.
 
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Old 10-01-12, 08:00 PM
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I guess stain is the wrong word...I'm working with old boxes that have a patina that add to them..if I use hard cleaners it strips the wood down and the patina is gone...so it looks like a stain. Learned this the hard way by accidentally using a cleaner that had some oxy/bleach in it that I didn't know about
 
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Old 10-02-12, 05:57 AM
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We use Odo Ban a lot in our units with pretty good success at removing odors from a lot of different sources. I would put a small open container of Odo Ban inside the box and then close it up for a couple days. Might not do much for the outside, you'd have to rig up some kind of bigger box into which you could put the Odo Ban and the box needing to be treated.

FWIW, my boss did this trick on a used car he bought from a smoker - put two small open dishes on the floor of the car and left it sealed up for a weekend. We never smelled smoke in there again.
 
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Old 10-02-12, 07:51 AM
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Great! thanks. I will try that.
The outside never smells since it has been exposed to air all those years...just the trapped insides
 
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Old 10-02-12, 08:48 AM
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Not sure if either of these would work, but I have placed a scented dryer sheet or a bag of potpourri (or similar stuff) inside drawers or other things to make them smell nice. Always worked for me.
 
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