Cedar chests have a lingering scent of cedar wood. If you do not care for the chests properly, a musty smell may develop because of mold and mildew. The original cedar chest smell disappears as it ages. The musty lingering smell can make objects inside the chest have a faint odor as well. Restoring the cedar chest's scent and cleaning it to remove the mold and mildew will give the chest a fresh and pleasant scent.
Remove all the items from inside of the cedar chest.
Sand the interior of the cedar chest with coarse sandpaper lightly. Rub the sandpaper with the grain of the wood to restore the cedar chest smell. Vacuum the inside of the chest to remove the dust.
Clean the cedar chest with a diluted bleach solution to kill any mold or mildew. The musty smell may stem from the mold inside of the chest. Combine one part cool water with nine parts bleach in a container. Wipe the chest down with the solution but avoid soaking the wood.
Place an open box of baking soda in the chest. Close the lid and allow the baking soda to absorb any lingering odors.
Place three drops of cedar oil extract on a washcloth. Rub the oil over the inside and outside of the chest.
Sit three or four cedar blocks inside the chest to help eliminate any lingering odors. Close the chest so that the cedar blocks can return the fresh scent.