Remove Varnish Smell from New Furniture: Expert Advice & Tricks

how to remove varnish smell from new furniture

Are you tired of that robust and overwhelming scent on your newly purchased furniture?

It’s not just an annoyance; the smell can cause headaches, nausea, and other health concerns. But don’t worry; we have a solution!

To remove the varnish smell from new furniture, use natural adsorbents like baking soda or charcoal and cleaning agents like vinegar or rubbing alcohol. You can eliminate the smell and enjoy your new furniture without discomfort in just a few simple steps.

This article will dive deeper into the different methods and tips for removing the varnish smell from new furniture.

You’ll learn about the benefits of natural adsorbents, how to properly use cleaning agents, and other helpful tips for maintaining your furniture’s scent. Say goodbye to that unpleasant odor and hello to a fresh and clean home with these easy solutions.

Understanding the Causes of Varnish Smell in New Furniture

The varnish smell in new furniture is caused by the release of fumes from the chemicals used in the finishing process. These fumes are often a result of the use of solvent-based or oil-based varnishes.

I recently purchased a new dresser and noticed a strong odor that lingered for days. It was pretty bothersome, so I set out to find the cause and solutions for this problem.

Causes of Varnish Smell in New Furniture

  • Use of Solvent-Based and Oil-Based Varnishes
  • Lack of Ventilation during the Finishing Process
  • Humidity in the Environment can Prolong the Drying Process
  • Chemical Reactions between Different Finishing Products Used
  • Poor Quality Materials used in the Furniture

Using Natural Adsorbents to Remove Varnish Smell From New Furniture

Aside from the standard methods of removing the varnish smell in new furniture, natural adsorbents can effectively eliminate the odor. Natural adsorbents are materials that can capture and hold gases, liquids, and solids.

Activated Charcoal

One of the most common natural adsorbents is activated charcoal. It is highly porous and has a large surface area that can quickly absorb odors. Simply place the activated charcoal near the furniture, absorbing the smell within a few days.

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds can also work as a natural adsorbent. The grounds can absorb odors due to their strong scent. Simply place a dish of coffee grounds near the furniture, and it will help absorb the varnish smell in a few days.

Cedarwood Chips

Another natural adsorbent is cedarwood chips. Aside from its pleasant scent, cedarwood is known for its natural insect-repellent properties.

Place a few cedarwood chips inside a cloth bag, and hang it near the furniture. Not only will it absorb the varnish smell, but it can also repel moths and other insects that may harm the furniture!

With these natural adsorbents, you can eliminate the varnish smell in your new furniture without resorting to harsh chemicals. They are safe and very effective, and you can reuse them several times. Enjoy the fresh feel and scent of your newly-purchased furniture!

Using Cleaning Agents to Remove Varnish Smell From New Furniture

Along with natural adsorbents, there are several cleaning agents that you can use to remove the varnish smell from your newly-bought furniture. These agents will help to break down any remaining chemicals from the varnish that may be causing the unpleasant odor.


One effective agent is vinegar. It is known for its natural cleaning properties and can quickly eliminate the varnish smell. You can mix equal parts vinegar and water to wipe down the furniture. Allow it to dry; the odor should disappear within a few hours.

Baking Soda

Another cleaning agent that you can use is baking soda. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of water and use it to wipe down the furniture. This will help to absorb the odor and remove any remaining chemicals from the varnish.

You can also use commercial cleaning agents if these methods don’t work. Look for cleaners specifically formulated for furniture or the type of varnish used. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure you don’t damage the furniture.

Other Tips for Removing Varnish Smell From New Furniture

If you’re still struggling to get rid of the varnish smell from your new furniture, here are a few additional tips:

  • Place bowls of activated charcoal around the room where the furniture is located. This will help to absorb any remaining odors.
  • Use an air purifier to filter out any chemical pollutants from the air. This can be particularly helpful if you or someone in your household has allergies or respiratory issues.
  • If the smell is powerful, try placing the furniture outdoors in a well-ventilated area for a few days. This will allow the odor to dissipate naturally.
  • Consider applying a natural deodorizer such as lemon juice or essential oils to the furniture’s surface. These can help to mask the odor and leave behind a fresh scent.

Maintaining Furniture Scent and Preventing Varnish Smell

Once you’ve successfully removed the varnish smell from your new furniture, you’ll want to maintain a fresh scent and prevent any future odors from developing.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Avoid placing the furniture near sources of heat or humidity, as this can promote the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Use natural materials such as cotton or linen for upholstery, as these are less likely to trap odors and are easier to clean.
  • Apply a protective coating of wax or polyurethane to the furniture’s surface, as this will help seal in the natural scent of the wood and prevent any chemical odors from seeping through.
  • Use natural air fresheners such as beeswax candles, potpourri or essential oil diffusers to add a pleasant fragrance.

After purchasing a new wooden table, I noticed a strong varnish odor that lingered for weeks. Sitting at the table for long periods was challenging due to the overwhelming smell. However, by utilizing the tips mentioned above, I was able to eliminate the odor and keep the table smelling fresh.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your furniture has smelled fresh and clean for years!


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