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Author Topic: How Do I Remove Mildew Smell?  (Read 18439 times)
Lady Toadflinger
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« on: April 24, 2012, 02:45:46 pm »

I have a small antique suitcase that I'd like to do something steamy with. My father had it, and it's in good shape.(lining as well as outside) My problem is that it has a fairly strong mildew odor. Can anyone give me some tips for removing that odor? As I said, the lining is in great shape, so I don't want to remove it. Help, please!
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 03:30:13 pm »

you could try FeBreze....? or a similar product.....

http://www.febreze.com/
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 03:55:38 pm »

fill it with clay kitty litter.  let set for a week.  should help. 
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Mr Peter Harrow, Esq
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 04:20:49 pm »

Fill it full of excrement and water

That way you have a bad case of diarrhoea.

That should mask the mildew smell.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 07:24:35 pm by Mr Peter Harrow, Esq » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 04:23:52 pm »

An alternative to Febreeze is to spray it with a mixture of cheap vodka and water; more cost affective and removes the odour as opposed to replacing it with some kind of 'fresh' scent.
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 05:55:21 pm »

An alternative to Febreeze is to spray it with a mixture of cheap vodka and water; more cost affective and removes the odour as opposed to replacing it with some kind of 'fresh' scent.

Either Fabreeze is very expensive where you are, or the cheap vodka is very, very cheap!

For the case, I'd suggest anything that absorbs moisture; silica crystals (little sachets of them are often stashed in the tissue paper that lines shoe boxes and handbags, but that's not an excuse to go shopping!  Smiley) or clay kitty litter as suggested above. Scrubbing with bicarb of soda should remove any mildew residue.

Remember to post pics of it being "steamy'ed up".
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« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2012, 06:44:33 pm »

Febreeze is pretty expensive for what it is and you don't need a lot of vodka. I did say the cheap stuff, you know the stuff that is only worth cleaning with because it tastes like hairspray...
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2012, 07:19:23 pm »

 Cheesy
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Lady Toadflinger
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« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2012, 10:23:49 pm »

Mr Harrow, For Shame!!!! Shocked I hope I don't have to try your suggestion..
I may try the Vodka trick. I have some cheap stuff that I don't mind using, and I don't care for the Febreze odor too much. (Although I will try it as a last resort) What proportion of Vodka to water do you suggest, Flightless Phoenix?
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 05:31:56 pm »

Half and half? That's always worked for me.

I use vodka for cleaning the windows too lol.
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Prof Marvel
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2012, 05:35:30 am »

Mildew, Like Mold, is an organic plant life that thrives in damp places and can penetrate porous surfaces. They both reproduce via spores which can survive in a dormant state for long periods of time. The goal is to kill the plant and spores without damaging the goods.

Fabreeze is a strange product that neither kills the mold/mildew nor actually removes the airborne particles, but the manufacturer uses pseudoscience to claim that the so-called "odor molecule" is encapsulated and "trapped" by the ring-shaped active ingredient beta-cyclodextrin.

 Many folks who are sensitive to chemicals or corn products are adversely affected by the product.

Since the mildew is not removed, it is only a matter of time before it begins to grow once more.

Mildew and mold can be effectively "killed" by alcohol, bleach, UV light,  or peroxide. Your treasure can be heavily sprayed with Inexpensive rubbing alcohol, washed thouroughly to remove the spores, and when dry, dosed with ordinary baking soda (use lots).

You "may" need to remove the lining for proper cleaning.

Exposure to fresh air and bright sunlight can help as well.
 
Kitty litter can help by absorbing the water and drying out your treasure.

If there are any leather parts, once cleaned they will need to be restored with a good leather conditioning oil.

hope this helps (especially in light of the previous replies)

yhs
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2012, 05:19:46 pm »

Try finding someone who uses a lot of Cedar in woodworking and Scrounge their wood shavings.
Cedar does have a very good ability to eliminate smells, it may not be fully effective against the spores but it should help.
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Lady Toadflinger
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2012, 08:41:19 pm »

Thanks to all of you who responded.  I am currently trying the rubbing alcohol spray.  I sprayed it twice so far, and when dry, it still smells of mold. Since the rain seems to have stopped for a while, I am going to put the suitcase, open, in the sun  for a few days. Hope it works!
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Mr Peter Harrow, Esq
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2012, 10:19:18 pm »

Do not try the cat litter thing if you have cats, a suitcase full of cat letter will be irresistable.
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« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2012, 04:07:20 am »

Ozone, it is your only hope of killing all spores   Anything that sparks will generate ozone, or you can get a professional model to do it.  The best to find would be for a local company who does restorations of fire items from houses.  There are also aerosol cans available if you look long enough.  Do not be tricked by things using the name ozone, make sure it contains actual ozone.  Some home air freshener machines generate ozone.  They will smell like a fresh rain.  Be careful as it is a bleaching agent. And be sure to properly treat the leather after as mentioned.
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« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2012, 11:57:38 pm »

When I operated my auto trim shop I often did up interiors from autos where there had been serious injuries. The only product I found that would kill those odors consistently was Ozium. I think i have seen it in the automotive section of Walmart since.  For general musty smells in luggage I have had good luck with leaving it full of crumpled newspapers for a few days. No idea why it works but is seems to.
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« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2012, 12:52:23 am »

Febreeze is pretty expensive for what it is and you don't need a lot of vodka. I did say the cheap stuff, you know the stuff that is only worth cleaning with because it tastes like hairspray...

Isn't that all vodka ?
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« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2012, 01:54:52 am »

I used the leather cleaning fluid we got with  our 3 piece on a rather mouldy "Gentlemans case" I purchased recently.... It cleaned off the original spores............. only time will tell..........."
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« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2012, 03:26:28 pm »

This attempt is beginning to be a bit of an obsession for me. I have the suitcase outside in the open, and keep spraying it with the alcohol and water mix every time I pass it. So far the smell is a bit more faint, but still there. I 'm ready to move on to other sprays.  I'll look for the Ozium when I am at Walmart again. (Now, if I can just keep the barn cats from sleeping in the suitcase...)
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« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2012, 06:32:36 pm »

Told you about the cats.
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Flightless Phoenix
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2012, 12:53:00 pm »

Febreeze is pretty expensive for what it is and you don't need a lot of vodka. I did say the cheap stuff, you know the stuff that is only worth cleaning with because it tastes like hairspray...

Isn't that all vodka ?

What vodka have you been drinking? I rather think that some of the good ones taste good and burn the throat in a pleasant manner. I recommend Russian Standard vodka, it's a bit pricy but not ridiculously so (at least here in the UK) and very palatable.

Maybe the cat fur will absorb the smell of the mildew? =P
I'm sad to hear you aren't having much luck. I hope the Ozone works better.
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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2012, 11:49:16 pm »

An alternative to Febreeze is to spray it with a mixture of cheap vodka and water; more cost affective and removes the odour as opposed to replacing it with some kind of 'fresh' scent.

Either Fabreeze is very expensive where you are, or the cheap vodka is very, very cheap!

For the case, I'd suggest anything that absorbs moisture; silica crystals (little sachets of them are often stashed in the tissue paper that lines shoe boxes and handbags, but that's not an excuse to go shopping!  Smiley) or clay kitty litter as suggested above. Scrubbing with bicarb of soda should remove any mildew residue.

Remember to post pics of it being "steamy'ed up".

Hahahahahahahahahahaha.........the high price of Fabreeze....hahahahah.
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D.Oakes
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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2012, 08:39:01 am »

Does your suitcase smell like it belongs to an alcoholic or college frat boy yet?   Grin

I am always reluctant to use booze for cleaning for that particular reason, although when my town got hit by a flood and lost power I found myself using absinthe to disinfect things including myself.  It worked rather well actually.  I wouldn't recommend a nice bottle of absinthe exclusively for cleaning, but if you have any, a little bit goes a long way and leaves a nice anise smell. 
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2012, 09:59:15 am »

Half and half? That's always worked for me.

I use vodka for cleaning the windows too lol.

Half and half? Doesn't that start to smell like spoiled milk after a while?  Grin

I had a (modern, plastic) suitcase with mildew a couple of years ago. I used a little bit of chlorine and hot water. The smell was almost gone, but stil lingers. The smell disapeared after a couple of days in the sun on the lawn. Grass seemed to reduce the smell.
Basically, what you have to do is get rid of the remaining mildew and air the suitcase with dry air. Many posters before me have different ways to do this, but it all comes down to removing mildew and dry air.
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« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2012, 10:20:38 am »

Some time ago I had some boxes with mildew which I finally got rid of them because the smell was unbearable. Next time I'll know what to do, many thanks to all of you! Smiley
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