There is nothing worse opening up a kitchen cabinet and being hit with a musty, old odor. Stinky cabinets alone are bad enough, and the smell can quickly take over your kitchen as well. Thankfully, it’s possible to have a fresh-smelling kitchen once again!

Empty Your Cabinets

First, remove your dishes, bowls, and glasses, as well as any shelf liners or paper. These shelf liners may retain odor and moisture and could be the source of the smell coming from your cabinets. Consider replacing the liners entirely if you are trying to rid your kitchen of musty smells.

Inspect Your Cabinets

Once your cabinets are completely empty, you want to thoroughly inspect them for mold or mildew. Moisture trapped in your cabinets creates perfect conditions for these odor-causing substances. Remove the mold by scrubbing with very mild soap and water, making sure to leave the cabinet completely dry when you are done. Leftover moisture will only add to the musty smell. If you notice wet spots in your cabinets, consider calling a plumber, as your kitchen may have a leak.

Black Cabinets with White Tile in Rochester


The first step in removing a dank smell is to air out your cabinets. Leave them wide open and increase air flow in the room by turning on fans and opening windows. Once aired out, place something inside the cabinets to absorb the odor. Vinegar and baking soda are both good options. (Although you won’t want to mix them unless you want a mess on your hands!) Leave a bowl of either in each cabinet overnight to absorb and remove the musty smell from your cabinets. Before re-stocking your cabinets, clean your dishes and other items thoroughly to make sure that you aren’t putting the smell back in the cabinet.

Replace The Odor

After you’ve gotten rid of the old, musty smell, why not replace it with something that you actually want to smell when you are reaching into your cabinets? Lavender oil or other essential oils with the fragrance of your choice can be very refreshing. A bowl of coffee beans can be another great choice. They will give off their relaxing scent and also absorb odors in the process.

While you are cleaning your cabinets, you may notice that it is time to give them a little bit more. Whether you are looking for a touch-up or total transformation, N-Hance FRM is here to help with your kitchen refinishing needs. Give us a call at 608-455-0145 in La Crosse, or 507-291-2928 in Rochester today!