The only thing that can spoil the excitement of having new furniture in your home is the odor that new furniture emits. Furniture pieces usually undergo multiple chemical treatments during their manufacturing phase. They are painted, varnished, polished – in short a lot of chemicals are involved in furniture manufacturing for achieving that lustrous finish. Use of primers, anti-termite treatment, paints, flame retardant chemicals that have a concentrated amount of VOC, all contribute to the new furniture smell. The nasty odor of furniture is a direct result of off-gassing which not only spoils the ambiance of the room but can also become the cause of multiple health hazards and degradation of overall air quality of the surroundings.
Decoding the Relationship between Furniture and Off-Gassing
Release of VOC’s in the environment is known as off-gassing. This is commonly observed in new furniture as all the chemicals that are used have not dried or cured completely. The release of these toxic compounds is accompanied by a foul smell that takes a few months to get neutralized. Both upholstered and un-upholstered furniture emit this odor. Off-gassing of VOC’s can cause various health problems as well, for instance respiratory, headache, skin diseases, cancer and neurological disorders.
Interesting Fact – Some of the retailers and furniture manufacturers allow you to off-gas newly purchased furniture in their warehouse for a few days so that you are not bothered by the smell of new furniture in your house. We know that the waiting time is inconvenient but to get rid of the troublesome odor it is definitely worth considering.
Chemicals that Causes New Furniture Smell
Increasing use of chemicals in the manufacturing process can make furniture emit and causes it to smell like chemicals for a prolonged period of time. Major contributors of nasty smell of new furniture include flame retardants, VOC’s and formaldehyde.
VOCs are present in varnishes, wax, lacquers and paints. Hexane, Toluene, Benzene are commonly found VOCs in paints. Constant exposure to VOCs can cause nausea, damage to liver, kidney, nervous system, damage to eyes and respiratory disorders.
Tricolosan is used in manufacturing of furniture. Long term exposure to Tricolsan can even lead to hormonal imbalance in body leading to long term health effects.
Formaldehyde is another chemical used by the manufactures in a substantial quantity as a hardener or binder. The chemical can be the cause of several cancers and leukemia and other health issues along with the pungent odor.
Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) used by furniture manufacturers can degrade the quality of air and can affect the health of pregnant women and unborn children. Regular exposure to the chemical can also affect a child’s growth.
The chemical is used in furniture polishes. Long term exposure to the chemical can give rise to liver and kidney disorders, cancer, memory loss and serious health problems.
Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs)
PFCs are used widely in stain resistant’s for furniture. Not only do the PFCs contribute to the new furniture smell but can even lead to birth defects or cancer if an individual is constantly exposed to it.
Discussing Some Effective Ways to Reduce New Furniture Odor
Here are some quick remedies that you might like to consider for removing new furniture smell:
Give your furniture a Long Sun Bath
Expose your furniture to sunlight as it will help the paint and other chemicals to dry and cure quicker. Keeping furniture under sunlight will lead to the removal of the pungent smell to some extent. If you do not have proper space for keeping the furniture in sunlight, then open the windows of the room and turn on the fan and let the air help you. The idea is to dry them as quickly as possible.
Keep the Furniture Away from Humidity
Humid environments does not allow the smell of furniture degas quickly. Moisture locks the smell and does not let it escape easily. Therefore, it is essential to keep the doors open to allow proper ventilation. You can cut down off-gassing with the help of a de-humidifier or air conditioner.
How to Eliminate New Furniture Smell Professionally
We recommend you use professional products made specifically to absorb chemicals and eliminate the smell of furniture. Smelleze® Natural Chemical Smell Deodorizer Granules and Smelleze® Reusable Chemical Smell Deodorizer Pouch are proven products for using on furniture to eliminate the chemical smell that is outgassed. They are safe to use, will not cause any damage, and will effectively eliminate furniture smell.