How Do I Get Rid of the New Stain Smell From a Cabinet?

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A wood stain smell permeates upholstery and draperies.
A wood stain smell permeates upholstery and draperies. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Staining your cabinets restores their beauty and preserves the finish, but wood stains contain strong substances that can emit dangerous fumes. Also, many chemicals in wood stains are hazardous to people and pets, making it important that they be removed from your home or office as soon as possible. Keep yourself, your family and pets safe from noxious wood stain smells by using some inexpensive household items and a few simple techniques.

Things You'll Need

  • Charcoal
  • Bowls
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Air purifier
  • Clean cloth

Open the windows, and turn on the exhaust fan in the room where the new stain smell is strongest. By opening windows on both sides of the room, you'll be bringing in cross-breezes that speed up the ventilation process. If your home is equipped with a whole-house fan, turn it on, as well.

Fill bowls with charcoal briquettes, and place them close to the newly stained cabinet and in other locations in the room. Charcoal absorbs odors without chemicals and will leave the air fresh and odor-free. Change the charcoal every day until the odor is gone.

Pour baking soda in shallow bowls, and place them near and inside your cabinet. Like charcoal, baking soda absorbs odors and is safe to use in the kitchen and food prep areas. Replace the baking soda every few days until the odor is gone.

Add full-strength white vinegar to bowls, and distribute them around the room. The vinegar smell will fade after a few hours, as will the new stain smell. If the wood stain smell lingers, change out the vinegar, and keep repeating the process until the smell is gone completely.

Use an electronic air purifier that neutralizes strong smells and freshens the air. The air purifier will get rid of the new stain smell -- unless the replacement filter is old or dirty.

Saturate a cloth with white vinegar, and squeeze out the excess vinegar. In circular motions, wipe the cabinet's surface and interior. The vinegar scent will eventually evaporate, and the wood stain smell will dissipate, as well.

Tips & Warnings

  • If possible, take your newly stained cabinet outside to sit in the fresh air until the strong smell dissipates.
  • If you feel sick from wood stain fumes, go outside for fresh air, and then call your health care provider. Wood stain fumes can cause headaches, dizziness and breathing problems.

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