Unpleasant chemical odors are common with new furniture; upholstery may have been treated with flame retardants or other chemicals designed to protect the material, while painted or varnished furniture’s odors stem from its finish. In either case, the odor can be off-putting. Reducing or removing the chemical smell is often a matter of giving the furniture time to air out, but you can take several other measures to hasten the process.
Ventilate the room affected by the smell. Keep fresh air circulating by opening windows on both sides of the room to promote a cross breeze for a few hours every day. The new wood smell will eventually dissipate.
Sprinkle baking soda into the drawers, cabinets and surfaces of your new wood furniture to absorb the smell. Allow the baking soda to sit overnight, and vacuum the powder the following day.
Wash the surfaces, drawers and cabinets of your new wood furniture with a cup of white vinegar combined with a gallon of hot water. Dip your clean cloth into the bucket of solution to squeeze out the excess liquid before starting so you don’t saturate the wood. The vinegar deodorizes and neutralizes odors while leaving a clean scent behind. The white vinegar smell will weaken after a few hours.
Place charcoal briquettes in the drawers and cabinets until the smell from your new wood furniture fades. In addition, place small charcoal-filled bowls throughout the room to further eliminate odors.
Spray a household odor neutralizer throughout the room where the new wood furniture is, as well as in cabinets and drawers of the furniture. Spray the neutralizer onto floors, walls and window treatments as well if they are affected by the smell.