How to Clean Dresser Drawers

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Cleaning dresser drawers periodically helps to prevent mildew and mild in the drawers.  Some of the reason’s dresser drawers get a foul odor may be insects, fungi, transfer of stuff from other clothes, rodents, bacteria, mildew, mold and spills.

Removing these items as soon as they are detected will prevent further damage not only to the clothes but the wood.  If the drawer is not cleaned as soon as possible, it will take longer to clean and there may be stains in the wood.  The most common reason the dresser drawer may have an odor is mildew and mold.

What Type of Material is Best for the Dresser Drawer?

When buying a dresser with drawers look for one that is made of solid wood.  Solid wood resists liquids from staining and saturation and it can tolerate harsher cleaning chemicals if needed.

Drawers that are made from cheap material like particle board can easily absorb spilled liquids and will warp.  Particle board stains easily and absorbs moisture out of the air.

What Steps Should be Taken Before the Drawer is Cleaned?

  1. Take everything out of the drawer.  Inspect the clothes to see if any of them have stains or damage.
  2. Sometimes drawers are lined with paper or liners. Remove the paper or liner then vacuum out any debris that may be in the drawer.  Check to make sure the liner or paper is not what is causing the odor.  Best to use fresh liner or paper once the drawer is cleaned.
  3. Clean the interior and exterior of the drawer with a clean damp cloth. Be sure to let the wood dry before putting items back into the drawer.

What Type of Disinfectant Can be Used?

The top two natural disinfectants are vinegar and borax.  These inexpensive products kill bacteria and germs, remove mold and mildew, and are effective deodorizers.  Both will work equally well; it just depends on what might be available at the time.

Vinegar is known to break down bacteria as it is acidic.  A natural deodorizer, it absorbs the odor and does not leave a residue.  Once the wood dries, the vinegary odor will dissipate.

Best vinegar mixture:

  • In a container of one quart of water, mix in two tablespoons vinegar.
  • Take a clean cloth and lightly dampen it with the vinegar solutions. A saturated cloth leaves too much liquid behind.
  • Cleaning the inside and outside of the drawer thoroughly.
  • Wipe with clean dry towel and let sit overnight to dry.

Borax is a great disinfectant, insect repellent, natural deodorizer and an anti-fungal product.  It can leave a white stain if it is not completely removed because it is considered a mineral.  It is also good for odor control and can stop mildew and mold from returning.  Most supermarkets carry borax in their household cleaning section.

Best borax mixture:

  • Dissolve one quarter cup of borax in one quart of warm water thoroughly.
  • Take a clean cloth and dampen it slightly especially if the drawer is made of particle board.
  • Wipe down the drawer inside and out including the bottom and sides.
  • Take fresh clean water to thoroughly wipe down the drawer then dry with a clean cloth.
  • Let sit overnight to air out and dry completely.

If it is a warm sunny day, the sun is the best disinfectant in the world.  Let the drawers dry in the warm sun for extra deodorizing and sterilizing.

This cleaning tip has been brought to you by Sioux Falls House Cleaning Service.  They have been cleaning homes in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for years.  Their housekeepers are trained and bonded before they can clean homes.