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Stinky Footlocker?! No problem!


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So I picked up a footlocker over the weekend and with it came a lovely mildew smell! Clearly, no chance of bringing it in the house so I tried a few things.

 

First, it needed a good wipe down which I did with a cloth and water on the exterior.

 

Did the same on the interior however also used furniture polish in hopes of eliminating the odor....no luck.

 

Next option was fabric softener sheets, in hopes it would soak up the odor. Left them in overnight, but again, no luck.

 

I then let it sit open in the sun for the day to air out....another fail.

 

Finally, I went to the internets and found that others have used coffee grinds. Figured I'd give it a try.

 

Well, after sitting all night, I found the smell was pretty much gone! Going to let them sit a little longer but it's at a point where it can be brought into the house.

 

Just thought I'd share this in the event anyone else has experienced the same issue.

 

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Eric

ASMIC #5492

 

Are you a militaria collector in PA, NJ or DE? If so, please feel free to join my "Delaware Valley Militaria Collectors" page on Facebook:

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Thanks for posting, it should help me with my collection a lot.

 

-Dave

Collecting WWI 26th Division Machine Gun and Infantry related Helmets, Equipment, Groupings, Photos and Dog Tags!


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Good idea! I think almost every footlocker that I have received has had some sort of musty smell.

 

One other option that I have found to work to remove the musty smell of old books is the use of crumpled newspaper. Placing the books in a brown paper bag and filling it with crumpled newspaper has greatly lessened, if not removed, the musty smell. Perhaps filling the trunk with crumpled newspaper might do the same?

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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
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All,

 

I've also been through the stinky treasures before. All above are good ideas and seem to work in different instances. I recommend you not close the lid too soon after you think the odor is gone.I've done that and the odor returned quickly. If possible leave the lid open for the locker to continue to air out. I've also have good luck with wiping lockers, etc down with a damp solution of baking soda and water and then rinsing with plain water damp rags. Also, open containers of baking soda in lieu of the coffee work well.

Good luck.

Ken

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Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less."

GEN Robert E. Lee

 

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Some great ideas, gents!

 

Ken,

Thanks for the info. I was actually worried that once I remove the coffee, the smell would just eventually return. I have the footlocker open now to air out.

 

I wonder if it would make sense to leave a small box of baking soda in the locker permanently to keep the smell at bay?

Eric

ASMIC #5492

 

Are you a militaria collector in PA, NJ or DE? If so, please feel free to join my "Delaware Valley Militaria Collectors" page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MilitariaCollectorsOfDelawareValley#!/groups/DELVALMILITARIA/

 

Check me out on Instagram @philly_militaria_collector

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Eric,

 

I've left a container of baking soda in boxes, etc with odor problems "after" the odor was gone many times and have never had a problem with any type of reaction, etc with the contents. The baking soda needs to be changed out periodically until you're certain you've won the battle.

 

Part of the trick to truly getting rid of the odor is to leave the container open with no contents until you are certain the odor is gone. When I've gotten to that point I close the container for a week or so with noting in it to be certain. At times, I've left the container open and empty for months continuing to periodically wipe it with damp baking soda rags and then wipe it down with just damp fresh water rags.

 

Good luck. If you'll go slowly and not put contents in the locker you'll win eventually.

 

Ken

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Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less."

GEN Robert E. Lee

 

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Thanks, Ken. I'm going to continue to let it air out and will give the wipe down method you've recommended a try. It's a nice locker and I'd really like to display it. Photos of the front in the event you didn't see it yet (I posted it in another thread)

 

I've been checking it periodically and can barely smell anything at this point. Were I to use baking soda, I'd likely put the box in an open ziplock just to be sure none of the contents leak. I'm sure it wouldn't, but better safe than sorry.

 

Again, I appreciate your input!

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Eric

ASMIC #5492

 

Are you a militaria collector in PA, NJ or DE? If so, please feel free to join my "Delaware Valley Militaria Collectors" page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MilitariaCollectorsOfDelawareValley#!/groups/DELVALMILITARIA/

 

Check me out on Instagram @philly_militaria_collector

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I have had good luck removing smells by placing unburned sticks of incense inside or around items that need "de-stinking".

Not only does it remove the smell, it leaves a nearly permanant pleasant smell!

 

if you do set the sticks inside your item.. just make sure to place them on a plate or something so the oils don't soak into your item's interior.

 

I have had the best luck with high quality Indian incense (not the junk sold by the stick at gift stores/gas stations) like Nag Champa.. or others made by that same company.

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it really does work! and it also will keep bugs out of closets/chests etc just as well as moth balls, but doesn't leave your stuff smelling like an attic's armpit.

So what if people think you're a Hippie when you go in and buy a handful of boxes of this incense? it's worth it!

 

-Brian

GOT SEABEE ITEMS? PM ME!

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I have had success removing odors from wooden foot lockers by waxing them both inside and out with minwax past finishing wax.

I dont know if it seals in the smell or takes it out but it seems to work.

Eric, I would do that, at least on the inside of yours.

Then I would leave an opened box of baking soda inside to continue to suck up odors.

 

Does anyone have any ideas on stinky uniforms?

I have one uniform that I had dry cleaned and it still has an odor.

I have another uniform that I have sat out in the sun and in my garage for a week and still smells.

 

With cotton uniforms and wool overseas caps I hand wash them but it is hard to do that with a uniform.

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Eric,

 

That IS a nice looking footlocker. Just imagine where it has been and been through... I'd definitely put the baking soda inside a jar, ziplock, or some other protective container.

 

Good luck. Please let us know how the finished product turns out and the process(es) you used.

 

Ken

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Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less."

GEN Robert E. Lee

 

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The point of the baking soda is to keep the top of the box open.

That way the baking soda can suck up the smell.

If you put it in a sealed container there is no reason to use it at all.

Besides, even if you got baking soda on a uniform, I dont think it would hurt it.

I have sprinkled baking soda on rugs, let it sit for a while, then vacuumed it up with no issue.

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I wasn't suggesting placing the baking soda in a sealed container, but rather placing the box of baking soda or the powder in a container that will prevent making a mess should the baking soda box be bumped, tipped over. etc. We are in violent agreement that the baking soda must be exposed in order for it to absorb the odor.. Sorry I wasn't clear on that point.

 

Ken

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Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less."

GEN Robert E. Lee

 

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No need to put the baking soda in a container or bag. Picked some up today and it comes in a fancy bag inside the box!

 

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Eric

ASMIC #5492

 

Are you a militaria collector in PA, NJ or DE? If so, please feel free to join my "Delaware Valley Militaria Collectors" page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/MilitariaCollectorsOfDelawareValley#!/groups/DELVALMILITARIA/

 

Check me out on Instagram @philly_militaria_collector

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