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Question DetailsAsked on 12/17/2017

how to remove rancid oil smell from kitchen drawers

have 2 kitchen drawers wher oil was allowed to seep into drawer bottoms and now smell of rancid oil , how to remove smell . will paint halp

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1 Answer


Being careful not to saturate the wood so it does not swell or split or have the joint glue loosen up (so might take a couple of cleanings with airing/drying out in between) - you want to wipe it clean, not soak the drawer, and don't leave sitting wet - dry it out quickly after the wetting.

Will work WAY better if the drawer is out - if drawer does not pull right out, check for a tab on the glides that you have to depress to release it from the fixed portion of the track. If oil got in under the glide rails, should be easy to unscrew and remove and wash in sink (may not be dishwasher safe if not metal) - be sure not to lose the screws. If you wash a part with wheels use a bit of sewing machine or gun oil to oil the bearings and spin it around right after washing and blowing dry.

1) clean thoroughly with a degreasing detergent - Dawn is probably the best, Mr Clean (lemon scented) is one I use when I want to add a nice smell, Formula 409 is also a good degreaser but risks removing some finishes so try a small obscure place first. Will take several washings with very little water - use a wetted and squeezed out sponge, put some detergent on it, wring or squeeze out again several times to distribute the soap in the sponge, then scrub the drawer well, rinsing the sponge frequently to remove the oil. Repeat rinsing and soaping of the sponge as needed - after the drawer is clean and has dried out and does not smell any more, then wipe out with damp clean water sponge several times to remove the residual soap.

2) white vinegar (not brown - can stain) can also work well to kill odor like that - mix into a paste with baking soda (baking SODA like Arm and Hammer, NOT baking powder) as a scrubbing powder after detergent has removed the worst of the oil.

3) when done and dry, the cleaning will have removed any wax so if your cabients are waxed use Pledge or similar to rewax the finish

Paint over oil will just peel and bleed oil and not solve it - though after throughly cleaning the drawers, if you have oil staining on the finish then touch sanding with about 200-400 grit sandpaper to provide "tooth" for the paint, then priming with water-based Kilz and then after that is dry (may take to coats to cover) finish coating with paint would be the way to cover it. But the oil has to be totally off the drawer before painting.

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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