How to Remove Varnish Smell From New Furniture?

You must not like the smell of your new varnished furniture and that is why you are here looking for answers to your question about how to remove varnish smell from new furniture.

Surely, varnishing furniture provides a classic and glossy finish to the piece. It also works as a great protector. But at the same time, it is also true that some people cannot take the smell as the varnish creates a strong smell and the chemicals can be harmful to the health as well. However, there are a number of reasons for your new contemporary pieces to create odor.

But it is also possible to remove the smell by adopting some methods. You can use some household ingredients like baking soda or go for other ways like using a fan to remove the smell. Keeping the furniture in a well-ventilated place will also help with the process.

So, let’s get to the proper steps and ideas for removing the varnish smell from new furniture.

VentilationOpen windows and doors to increase airflow and facilitate odor dispersal.
Activated CharcoalPlace activated charcoal near the furniture to absorb the varnish odor.
Baking SodaSprinkle baking soda on the furniture’s surface and let it sit overnight before vacuuming.
Coffee GroundsFill bowls with coffee grounds and place them near the furniture to help neutralize the smell.
Vinegar SolutionWipe the furniture with a mixture of water and vinegar to reduce the varnish odor.
Citrus PeelPlace citrus peels near the furniture to emit a refreshing scent and mask the varnish odor.
Essential OilsAdd a few drops of essential oils, such as lemon or lavender, to a spray bottle and mist the furniture.
Onion SolutionCut an onion in half and place it near the furniture to absorb the varnish smell.
SunlightMove the furniture to a sunny area, as sunlight can help dissipate odors over time.
PatienceAllow time for the varnish smell to naturally fade away as the furniture continues to air out.

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How to Remove Varnish Smell From New Furniture

How to Remove Varnish Smell From New Furniture

Reasons Why New Furniture Does Smell

As we mentioned earlier, it is the chemical of the varnish on new furniture that creates such a peculiar smell. The organic compounds that are most likely volatile together produce the odor. One such compound is formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is a very common component we find in almost any household products, especially in paints, sealants, or resins. The compound is also used in several adhesives or glues as it serves the purpose very well.

However, the smell is also known as off-gassing.Inhaling the smell of such components may cause severe respiratory problems at times. It can also cause dizziness, headaches, and breathing problem. Sometimes they even cause cancer.

Ways to Get Bad Varnish Smell Out of New Wood & Furniture

There are several ways to make the smell out of new wood and furniture. Let’s have a look at them.

  1. Ventilate Your Room
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This is the very first step you should take to make remove the varnish smell. You have to make sure that your newly bought furniture is placed in a well-ventilated room. Ensuring good airflow inside the room is very important.

The odor is very strong, especially the first three or four days. So, keep the windows open all time for about 2 or 3 days so that the clean air can come and dry the furniture as soon as possible. After that, you can limit the ventilation when you desire.

Again, ensure that you have closed the door of the room where you have kept your furniture. Otherwise, there are possibilities the volatile component will spread to other rooms as well creating such a strong odor.

  • Try a Fan

You can also try using a fan if your room does not support enough ventilation system. It is necessary when you keep some of your furniture in your basement. Also, there could be a room in your home that does not have any windows.

Also, this idea is helpful when it is winter time of the year and you do not want the cold air enters your room. Thus, you better go for a fan. You can use both a ceiling fan and a stand fan. Just make sure the air is flowing towards the furniture.

The movement of air also helps in the quick drying of furniture after newly varnishing. However, if you manage to apply this method combined with other methods like ventilation, the smell will leave even faster. So, if you have such an opportunity then give it a try.

  • Using Baking Soda

Baking soda is surely versatile and one of the most common household products. You can use it for both cooking and cleaning. Baking soda is also famous for removing the bad smell of almost anything. Thus, some people use baking soda for removing the varnish smell from their furniture.

Baking soda has the amazing power of absorbing the smell through pores. Just place some soda near the smell source and observe the magic. Only a thin layer will do a lot. Spread a thin layer near your new furniture until the smell of varnish vanishes.

However, you have to be a bit careful while using baking soda. You may have to change the soda every day until the smell completely removes. Again, you should not be using the same soda that you have used for smell absorbent in cooking as well. Therefore, you better throw away the used baking soda in a dustbin without reusing it.

  • Fetch An Air Purifier

Using an air purifier is also a great idea for the purpose of removing the varnish smell. The device is engineered with several features that make it highly efficient and versatile. It comes with a built-in feature known as a HEPA filter which is High-Efficiency Particulate Air. Many purifiers have multiple such filters.

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The filter can collect particles of every diameter. Even it can collect particles that have a diameter of 0.3 microns. The purifier can also absorb several smells, dust, pollen, or fumes. So, an air purifier is capable of absorbing the smell of varnished furniture as well. Just keep it near the furniture and wait for the smell to go away.

However, there are some factors that might affect the amount of time an air purifier takes to remove the smell completely. Such factors include the components or varnish types, room conditions, the dimensions of the project, and others.

  • Use Activated Charcoal

If you do not want to use baking soda then you may choose activated charcoal. It works like soda absorbing the smell. Activated charcoal is also a multi-purpose material. You can use it for skincare, tooth whitening, and even for cooking.

It also uses its pores to absorb the smell of chemicals. However, you can use it following the same method as applying baking soda. Spread a thin layer of activated charcoal near the source. Gradually, it will take up the smell.

However, the process of absorbing smell may seem a bit slow. Nonetheless, to get a fast result, professionals suggest using it in powdery form. So, use a hundred percent activated organic charcoal. After using it, make sure to dispose of.

  • Use Vinegar or Lemon Juice

You can also adopt some natural methods to remove such smell by using lemon juice or vinegar. These are natural alternatives and old tricks yet they are effective. Both these elements are largely used for cleaning purposes and for removing odors.

If you are using vinegar then pour some in a cup or bowl and keep it near the furniture. After two days, you will see the result.

again, in the case of using lemon, then take a bowl of warm water and put some slices in it. Then leave the bowl close to the varnished furniture. You can keep several bowls to speed up the removal process.

How to Get Rid of Varnish Smell from Floors

Well, many homes are decorated with hardwood floors. They give a luxurious look to a home. However, these hardwood floors are often varnished with polyurethane. The finishing includes isocyanates and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds). That is why the formula creates a bad odor that needs to be removed.

The off-gassing takes about weeks to finally be removed. However, oil-based polyurethane takes more time to remove the odor compared to water-based polyurethane. Moreover, isocyanates are very toxic. They are also known as carcinogens. So, if you take longer to remove the smell, then the toxicity might spread and cause severe problems.

Nonetheless, there are some methods to get rid of the varnish smell from floors. The methods are almost similar to the methods we have mentioned before.

  • Using a fan or keeping the house well-ventilated will remove the smell faster.
  • Try to keep your rooms warm as it will help drying of the polyurethane sooner. For that, you can use heat. Do not forget to shut off the windows before applying the method.
  • You can also use onion slices to mitigate the varnish smell. Lemon slices help in the same way. So, you can use it.
  • Also, you can use powder of activated charcoal once the polyurethane dries. It not only removes the odor but also discards the impurities from the atmosphere. Just take a flat layer of charcoal on a paper plate and place them on the floor surface. You can take several plates to get faster results.
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How to Remove Varnish Odor from a Room or House?

Well, the methods are all the same. You can take up any natural remedies we have mentioned above. However, air flow and well-ventilation is the most natural process of removing varnish odor from a room or house. However, using baking soda, vinegar, charcoal, or lemon can also be effective.

Again, to get an artificial aid, you can use an air purifier or heater. The devices will speed up the drying process while removing the varnish odor.

Is Varnish Smell Harmful or Toxic to Breathe?

Well, the elements that are used in varnishing are surely toxic. The inhaling of such chemicals can cause several breathing problems to many people. However, the intensity of such problems varies from person to person. But some people avoid staining or varnishing their furniture at all as they believe it would be harmful to them.

Inhaling the fumes before the varnish dries can cause severe respiratory distress, pulmonary edema, and even unconsciousness. Again, it can affect mildly as well like creating headaches, drowsiness or dizziness, and all.


How long does varnish smell last in wooden furniture?

Since the smell is very strong, it can last for months even when dries. You will sense the odor from wooden cabinets or chests or inside the drawers. So, try to enter the air into such places to remove the smell.

How long does the varnish smell typically last on new furniture?

The varnish smell on new furniture typically lasts for a few days to a few weeks.

What are some natural remedies to eliminate varnish odor from furniture?

Natural remedies like vinegar, baking soda, or activated charcoal can help eliminate varnish odor.

Are there any specific cleaning products recommended for removing varnish smell?

Mild dish soap or a mixture of water and vinegar are recommended cleaning products for removing varnish smell.

Can airing out the furniture help in getting rid of the varnish smell?

Yes, airing out the furniture by opening windows or using fans can help in getting rid of the varnish smell.

Is it safe to use air fresheners or deodorizers to mask the varnish odor?

While air fresheners or deodorizers can temporarily mask the varnish odor, it’s best to eliminate the smell rather than cover it up.

Are there any DIY methods to speed up the process of removing varnish smell?

Placing coffee grounds, citrus peels, or bowls of vinegar near the furniture can help speed up the process of removing varnish smell.

How often should I repeat the odor removal process for effective results?

It’s advisable to repeat the odor removal process every few days until the varnish smell is completely gone.

Can professional furniture cleaning services assist in eliminating varnish smell?

Yes, professional furniture cleaning services can assist in effectively eliminating varnish smell from new furniture.

Are there any precautions or safety measures to consider when using odor-removal techniques?

Ensure proper ventilation when using odor-removal techniques and avoid direct contact with strong chemicals.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying to remove varnish smell?

Avoid using excessive moisture, harsh chemicals, or abrasive materials, as they can damage the furniture while trying to remove varnish smell.