Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Home 12: The Linen Closet of Doom

When last we left my linen closet, things were grim.    "August 4, 2014 · Anyone have good suggestions on how to clean out a linen closet that reeks of something that is not a dead animal in the attic, mold, or mildew? The plumber suggested painting it. My sister suggested gallons of bleach, pounds of baking soda, a young priest, an old priest, a crucifix, and some holy water. Your suggestion?"

Many good suggestions poured in when I turned to Facebook for help with what my visiting sister had dubbed the stankwood (TM) closet.  I tried the bleach and baking soda to no real effect until I realized the wood of the shelves themselves had absorbed the stench and were a total loss.  I got help to move them to the garage, which then stank abominably and confirmed our suspicions.  There was more baking soda and bleach and then a lot of Killz possibly followed by more white paint.  (Extra thanks to the friend who ended up wearing the white paint.)

The finishing touch was some unfinished cedar shelves (finding them and getting them cut correctly was an adventure in itself that I won't bore you with).  I reasoned that I would rather shell out more than I could afford and get the occasional splinter and have my clothing, towels, and sheets smell of the gerbils / guinea pigs of my hazy, best friend's pet container's cedar-shaving memories than risk the return of stankwood (TM).

So far, so good.

As an additional bonus, cedar planking either doesn't smell as strongly as cedar shavings, or my sense of smell is worse from my allergies and the 7 times I've broken my nose since that time in my childhood.  (Translation: apologies to anyone if it smells more cedar-y than I am leading you to believe.)

Some of my favorite suggested remedies from when I consulted Facebook are below.

  • Is the offending odor stuck in the floor, wall, etc? I've seen hazmat clean up on TV & they have rip things up to get rid of the stank.
  • There is a product called Kilz that helps with smell. I will ask a painter friend of mine, and try to get more info. Good luck, and if all else fails, you could become the quirky lady who cures meats in her closet. Charcuterie couldn't smell worse than what you've described! smile emoticon
  • your sister - wise beyond her yrs.: D
  • Save thousands on cedar lined cabinets and closets by storing some cedar shavings (pet or hardware store) to a cloth bag. Repels moths. Gel desiccant, the same packets found with new leather garments, keeps ambient moisture down to kill mold habitat. Activated charcoal works like baking soda because it is the most porous substance known, and traps odors (and all visible light). In a pinch, can be used to absorb toxins from some accidental poisonings. Just thought I'd share all that!

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