Tagged: removing odor from metal

A cool, funky cabinet

When we stumbled on this locker at an antique mall, we were instantly smitten. (I’m sure no one is surprised because we will buy ALL THE LOCKERS)

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It had a bunch of sweet features (those feet) and seemed liked a good temporary solution for covered storage in the awesome bathroom.

It had a bit of an odor issue, but we brushed that concern away, reasoning that it could be fixed with a good cleaning. Months later we’ve finally wrestled this into place and the odor is much more pronounced. My theory is that prior to sitting at the antique mall it was left open. At our house, it was left closed and the odors built up.

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It’s a lovely aroma of motor oil, chemicals and rust. Be glad this isn’t smell-o-vision.

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I hit up the interwebs for some suggestions on eliminating cleaning odors from metal cabinets. (File that under things I never thought I would research.) Most sites suggested a baking soda bath.

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You make a thick paste using baking soda and water, smear it on the surface and let it dry.  I decided to test the method on the shelves. Most of the stains were concentrated in this area and if the method seemed to work, then I could treat the rest of the surfaces (sides, back, door).

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The mixture dried fairly quickly, but I let it set for a week. Then I gave it a good wipe down with water.

The result? Despite the fact that it literally stripped the paint off the shelves, it still smells really bad. Womp, womp.

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I’m not sure where to go from here. I could spray paint the inside, but I’m not sure that will totally mask the stench, which is critical if I’m going to store linens in here. It also seems like a lot of effort for a temporary arrangement. Ultimately, Aaron wants to build some custom storage in here.

He’s currently working on the layout for his workshop. If I give up on this piece, I’m sure it will find a happy home in the basement.

So, what do you think blog readers? Does anyone have any tips on removing these smells or should I give up the fight?