For some reason, an unpleasant scent wafted into my room on Sunday, and coincidentally, it was a rainy day that day. As a result, the scent is now stuck to my table, and anything that I put on the wooden table 'carries'/gains the same unpleasant scent.

I've tried using water and rubbed it on the wooden table to no avail.

Can I use alcohol (From alcohol hand rub) for getting rid of this smell on the table? Is it safe to do this, and should I just let the alcohol dry or should I wipe it with water immediately and dry it with paper towels?

  • What kind of finish is on the table? Have you tried soapy water? – Steven Mar 22 '12 at 20:42
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    The right type of alcohol will make all of your problems go away :) – Dutchie432 Mar 22 '12 at 21:01
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    @Dutchie432 You mean like how wood alcohol makes all those unfinished home improvement projects disappear from one's sight, right? :) – Doresoom Mar 22 '12 at 21:05
  • Sounds like a plot to a Stephen King Novel..."The Stink" – DA01 Apr 4 '12 at 23:50

I presume you mean rubbing alcohol AKA Isopropyl Alcohol should be fine.

Also consider Hydrogen Peroxide - H2O2 the extra oxygen molecule wants to break off to stabilise and leave H2O (water) behind. That stray oxygen will attack organic matter, the stuff likely causing the smell by oxidizing it. When applied it will fiz and bubble, this is normal. It should remove any discolouration or stain caused by the mould too if present. Delicate wood could be bleached a bit though so I'd test under the table 1st.

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I have ten years of insurance restoration experience and this is, by far, one of the hardest questions to answer directly. It is really a trial and error answer. Always start with a small amount of whatever you choose in an inconspicuous place to be sure it doesn't stain the table.

We typically used an industrial grade cleaner for smoke damages but this may be a little overboard for your purposes. To be perfectly honest, when the industrial strength stuff was too much, I would use a ton of 409 and it worked just fine.

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Be sure to check it in an inconspicuous area first... alcohol can remove some (rather uncommon) finishes.

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