I Tried This $3 Drawer Hack & My Clothes Have Never Smelled Fresher

published 3 days ago
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A bed flanked by a dresser and night with a picture on a dresser.
Credit: Leela Cyd

Of all the furniture in my apartment, my dresser tops the list of MVPs (most valuable pieces). It’s a vintage six-drawer waterfall style that I bought from a local store via Instagram about two years ago, without seeing it IRL. Risky, I know, but it’s in pristine condition and has served me well ever since. 

There’s one downside, though. I’m not sure the exact age of my dresser (possibly 1980s?), but it clearly wasn’t made yesterday because the drawers all give off a certain, well, musty scent. I didn’t notice the smell at first, but the longer I’ve owned the piece, the more I can faintly pick it up on my t-shirts and PJs. I’m admittedly overly paranoid about odors (*reapplies perfume for the third time today*), so the mere act of getting dressed in the morning has since turned into an anxiety-inducing ritual.

Luckily, an Instagram hack came to my rescue that uses a cheap living room staple you may already have — felt furniture pads. Beatriz Santos (@makelifesimpler_) shared a video that shows her spraying perfume on a small adhesive felt pad, and then sticking it inside one of her dresser drawers to help give the clothes inside a little fragrance boost. So simple!

Obviously, I had to try this out in my own dresser ASAP, so I ordered a 32-pack of felt pads from Amazon for just $2.79. Santos’ Instagram caption notes that essential oils work well here, too, so I poured about five drops of Vitruvi’s lavender blend (highly recommend with their diffuser) onto a few individual pads. I then stuck one in a high-up corner toward the front of all my dresser drawers. 

Within the first couple of hours, I could smell the essential oil whenever I opened a drawer, but it hadn’t made much of an impact on my clothes yet. Before going to bed that night, I also tried adding a second scented pad to some, in case that might make a difference.

Sure enough, the next day, it really worked. My clothing closest to the felt pads retained the essential oil scent the most (aka make sure you pick a fragrance you won’t get sick of), but even shirts on the opposite side of the drawer smelled noticeably less … old. And don’t worry, it’s not at all overpowering when you’re actually wearing the pieces. I will say that anything tucked in the very back of the drawers could still use a little help, so I may go in with a few more essential oil-infused pads or rearrange my clothes altogether. 

Santos also mentioned in the comments that these typically last two to three weeks, adding that “once you feel there is no more scent, you don’t need to remove the felt pads, just spray them again.” I’m beyond thrilled that the clothes in my dresser no longer smell straight out of my grandmother’s attic, but note that you could also try this hack on a closet shelf, under a shoe rack, or even at the bottom of your trash can. It’ll only set you back a few dollars to buy the felt pads in bulk and pair them with your signature scent(s), anywhere in your home.