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A aargh, our decs smell

(15 Posts)
HaleAndHeartyYuletideAges Sat 15-Dec-12 16:07:44

Help oh wise mumsnetters! We're just putting up our decs and they stink of damp! Really reek. The issue is that in our last flat there was a damp problem and although the decorations are in good nick (no mould etc) they smell really grim, and it's making our flat smell. We can't afford to replace them and about 80% of them have huge sentimental value. I remember now that we had this problem last year and after a few days the smell cleared up a bit but obviously a year sealed in a box has made them all stink again.

After Christmas (too late to do anything now) we're going to junk the tinsel and anything that has no sentimental value, wash anything fabric and baubles etc, but there's a fair bit that don't fall into a washable category. Problem is if we don't sort out every single piece I think we'll just have this problem every year and might get to the stage where we have to chuck everything, which would be heartbreaking and too expensive.

Does anyone have any tips/strategies re how to make it better in the short term and how to solve it in the long term? I'm a few feet away from the decs now and can really smell them.

DoubleMum Sat 15-Dec-12 16:48:50

When you put them away I'd put one of those dehumidifying packs in there. The decorations that are cleanable I'd also give a rub with vinegar too.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Sat 15-Dec-12 16:49:45

they will do.

it's not damp, it's musty.

just put them up and don't worry about it.

Christmas decs are supposed to smell musty grin

DoubleMum Sat 15-Dec-12 16:50:11

Sorry I just realised I ignored the short term part of the question. I think coffee grounds eliminate odour so you could put a bowl of them out near the tree. I'm sure there are lots of other solutions too.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Sat 15-Dec-12 16:50:35

even if you wrap them in paper like we do, you can't do anything.

what about just spraying them with febreeze?

ChristmasSpiritEndorphins Sat 15-Dec-12 17:36:12

If you have any charcoal, put some in open containers around the room.

ChristmasSpiritEndorphins Sat 15-Dec-12 17:40:14

Bowl of vinegar helps clear away the smell of paint, maybe it would help? Or a sprinkling of baking soda?

SantasNaughtySack Sat 15-Dec-12 17:42:01

Get a Christmassy scented air freshener and go wild grin
The spiced apple one is lovely, as is the mulled wine one.

oldraver Sat 15-Dec-12 20:48:57

I've noticed the last couple of years our decs have had a musty smell and the tape on the boxes has come off so think there is some damp there. It does seem to go in a few days or so

BertieBotts Sat 15-Dec-12 20:51:52

They'll probably smell in the box but once put up they smell fine after a day or so.

HaleAndHeartyYuletideAges Sat 15-Dec-12 21:52:23

Thanks so much everyone, some great tips here! Have the windows open and we have some christmas febreze! Smells so good. Have had to be ruthless and junk some of the older ones there's no saving, the smell is sooooo strong. Sad stuff, some are as old as me sad they're uncleanable and if we don't sort it they'll just pass the smell back to everything else.

It's more than a bit musty sadly. The whole front room smells of bad damp - we used to keep them in a room with such bad damp they've absorbed the smell, and it's impregnating the newer stuff.

ChristmasSpiritEndorphins Sun 16-Dec-12 08:27:56

If you store them in cardboard boxes, consider buying plastic/Rubbermaid tote boxes instead. I noticed cardboard boxes having a musty smell after being stored in an unheated cubby all year, and switched to Rubbermaid totes, it worked.

headfairy Sun 16-Dec-12 08:36:34

It won't help you now but when you put them back in to storage, put an open bowl of cat litter in with them, it absorbs smells.

RubbishCrackerPuller Sun 16-Dec-12 08:38:34

Watch out for those little packets of damp absorbing crystals you get in boxes with new shoes and other stuff. Chuck them in with your decs next time. And I agree with using a lidded plastic container.

Using a smelly Xmas candle for now until the must lifts sound like a good idea.

LRDtheFeministDude Sun 16-Dec-12 17:13:40

Sprinkle them with eucalyptus or rosemary oil - they are gently anti-fungal so not a bad idea, and the smell will get rid of the mould. Then the oils will evaporate so after a day or so they shouldn't smell strongly of those things (which are quite christmassy anyhow). You can get little bottles of essential oils from Boots, they're with alternative medicine in the Aromatherapy range.

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