How to Remove Smells From Cabinets

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Things You'll Need

  • Soap

  • Bowl

  • Clean sponge or rag

  • 1 box baking soda for each cabinet

  • White vinegar

  • Small bowls

  • Ground coffee

  • Dryer sheets

Wash cabinets well to remove unpleasant odors.

Humidity in bathrooms and grease and foods in the kitchen can lead to unpleasant odors in your cabinets. You can try to kill the odor-causing bacteria or cover up the odor. If nothing else works, you may be forced to refinish or replace your cabinets, which can be timely and expensive. The good news is that you can remove most odors in bathroom and kitchen cabinets with simple products you likely have on hand.

Baking Soda

Step 1

Wash the cabinets well with soapy water.

Step 2

Place a box of baking soda in each cabinet and leave it in for several days.

Step 3

Remove the baking soda and smell the cabinets to see if the odor remains.

Vinegar and Water

Step 1

Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.

Step 2

Use a rag to wipe down the doors and walls of each cabinet with the vinegar solution.

Step 3

Smell the cabinets once the vinegar solution dries to determine if the odor remains.

Dryer Sheets

Step 1

Place a dryer sheet on each shelf of the offending cabinet. The dryer sheet will absorb the unpleasant odors and replace them with the fresh scent of the dryer sheet.

Step 2

Remove the dryer sheets once they lose their fresh scent.

Step 3

Replace the dryer sheets with new ones if the odor persists.


Step 1

Fill small bowls with ground coffee.

Step 2

Place one bowl in each cabinet.

Step 3

Replace the coffee with more once its smell dissipates. The coffee won't remove the unpleasant odor, but it will cover it.


Note that you will smell vinegar as you apply it to the cabinets, but once the vinegar dries, the smell will disappear.