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Antique furniture and keepsakes that got mildewed and musty in storage. Now what?

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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 09:17 PM
Original message
Antique furniture and keepsakes that got mildewed and musty in storage. Now what?
Edited on Mon Nov-21-11 09:18 PM by GreenPartyVoter
I hate to toss them, but I also don't want to bring these bad odors into the new house. I am so bummed that this happened to my stuff. :cry:

Hubby says it's not a big deal and that I am obsessing over nothing.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
1. Solid wood or upholstered?
For wooden furniture, you probably just need to set it out in the sunshine for a day or two. Or, wipe it down with a 50-50 vinegar and water mixture. I think the upholstered furniture would also benefit from some sunshine. Febreze might work, too.
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. You can fix this.
Obviously, the exact approach will depend on the particular item.

For hard surfaces, wash/wipe them down with a solution of Lysol or a similar disinfectant solution.

Anything washable like clothing, curtains, etc -- into the wash with a detergent specifically made to deodorize and destain.

For things like cushions that can't be fully washed, wipe them down with a damp cloth with a mild cleaner, and then Febreeze the heck out of them.

Fresh air and sunshine will help, too, if that's an option -- just be sure not to fade things in the sun (not too much of a problem in November in the northern hemisphere).

If you have persistent odors, look for a product like Odormute at the pet store -- I discovered this stuff when one of my dogs was skunked, and its great for removing all kinds of odors, and also colorsafe on almost all surfaces (always test first in a hidden spot, of course).



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Chan790 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. What are the specific items?
Edited on Mon Nov-21-11 10:36 PM by Chan790
Lysol, Pledge, Windex, Febreeze. One of the four of them works on just about everything. For the most part, Lysol will work on everything except glass, including fabric.

For harder nonporous surfaces like glass and tile (especially ones with nooks and crannies), I've yet to find anything that can survive Dow Scrubbing Bubbles though it's a bit overkill like disinfecting your kitchen with a chemical weapon...my love of the Bubbles was instilled in me by an ex-gf of my father, a chief sanitarian at a hospital...claimed it would clean anything that couldn't be fit in the autoclave. I think the fumes were getting to her though, she was crazier than a shithouse rat. Ventilation is key.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 10:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. keepsakes? what kind?
books? papers? quilts? what?

And....until you get things smelling better can they sit in a neutral spot? The garage? Or you could rent one of those portable storage containers for a month? Uhaul has them.
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BrendaBrick Donating Member (859 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. Hmmm.
Edited on Mon Nov-21-11 11:14 PM by BrendaBrick
If it means so much for you (which it obviously does) to post on here in soliciting ideas in ways to save your antique furniture and keepsakes...then by all means research it and accept nothing less!

Don't move or do anything until you have this figured out.

Keepsakes, heirlooms, precious things of this nature which are passed down from generation to generation are NOT something to be cavalier about.

Do NOT toss these things.

I don't know who you would call...but it seems to me that some kind of antique furniture restorer ought to be even somewhat nearby and if not - so what? I would suspect that you would be able to attain at least some kind of basic information even by telephone in an attempt to save your heirlooms with these experts.

I'm not real big on antique furniture myself, but I do have an antique cherry bedroom suite. From what I can gather - Old English might be the way to go for cleaning and preserving, but here again - I'm no expert.

If it is badly mildewed, there is always Murphy's Oil Soap...but I only use that on my car and not my furniture.

Chill. Step back. Take a breath. You'll figure it out...

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
6. Scrub them down and repaint them with shellack. I did that after I had a fire in my apartment.
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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
7. Just do the clean up somewhere else. Might have to reupholster the furniture.
Are the keepsakes heirlooms with fabric or paper? They might not make it through cleaning.
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csziggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 04:24 AM
Response to Original message
8. You might want to talk to a disaster recovery company
Like the ones that advertise on TV - Service Pro comes to mind. While the handle real disasters like fires and floods, they can also be helpful for mildew alleviation.

I'd ask if they could give you a free consultation and estimate. That would let you figure out the next steps.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
9. THANKS EVERYONE. We're corralling things down in the basement and
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 09:56 PM by GreenPartyVoter
giving them a good looking over. Washing what I can. Disinfecting everything else with Lysol. I have some old furniture that might be something that could be restored. Going to have to ask a professional about that.

I haven't seen the box with the old family photos or the quilts. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they are ok. (Ditto for my wedding dress!)
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Demoiselle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-22-11 10:19 PM
Response to Original message
10. I sprayed the inside of a wooden cupboard (and inside the drawers as well)
Edited on Tue Nov-22-11 10:22 PM by Demoiselle
with an anti mildew spray. Wiped it out. It had gotten damp sitting in our garage. I moved it to our basement. which is dry, opened all the cupboard's doors and drawers and trained a fan on it. Let it sit that way for several days. It worked, it doesn't smell anymore. It was, admittedly, a pretty small scale problem.
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