Get rid of a musty odor in dresser drawers by leaving the drawers in a room with low humidity to dry out, sanding and refinishing the drawers, using wood soap on the drawers, spraying the drawers with an odor-killing solution or leaving them in the sun for several hours. You can easily make odor-killing solutions at home with no chemicals or purchase them.
The most common cause of a musty or mildewy odor is moisture. Due to its porous nature, wood absorbs moisture in the air, which leads to odor-causing bacterial or fungus growth. The sun is a natural way to warm up and release moisture from the wood, helping it to dry and lose any smells that have developed. During colder months, precipitation or cloudy days, leaving the wooden drawers in a closed-off room or closet with a dehumidifier can help to achieve the same goal.
Charcoal or coffee grounds left inside a stinky drawer for a few days at a time helps combat and absorb musty odors. Try a vinegar solution as a spray and wipe down the inside of each drawer or leave a glass container open with vinegar inside in each drawer. Lemon juice is another acidic substance that is effective at destroying wood odors, leaving behind a lemon-fresh scent. Severe cases require stripping and sanding to remove bad odors.