I recently purchased a piece of furniture that is covered in zebra fur. Is there any way to treat it so as to reduce the smell?
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This is only a guess at what might be causing this odor - but the most likely culprit may be that whoever did the original tanning used a cheap Tanning oil and its beginning to oxidize and go rancid. The only other thing would be simply some form of cheap tanning method was used to do the tan itself and the skin is beginning to break down. As a remedy - I would first try going to a rug center and asking for the pet product powders that they sell for sprinkling where pets may have urinated. Sprinkle on the powder, let it work in for awhile, or rub it by hand, and then vacuum it up. It should eliminate a lot of the obvious smell. These products are scented too. However, if it is either of the 2 problems I mentioned above - then you may be facing having to put up with some slight smell even after treating it, since it is impossible to remove all the oil and/or retan the skin at this point. Another alternative is to purchase an odor "neutralizer" product similiar to our Rittels Kilz-Odor (#KO-614). It will neutralize the odor by simply spraying it on, but if the problem is still imbedded - it will slowly return over time, and you may have to treat it again.
I use an ozone producing machine in my shop to keep it smelling fresh and I tried it on some sheep horns once that had been rotted off and had a bad odor even after cleaning. I put them in a large box with my machine and left them overnight and upon opening the box all odor was gone. The machines are a little expensive but they work great and have many uses on elimanating odors. Good Luck