7 Tips for Your Furniture to Get the Smell Out of Wood

7 Tips for Your Furniture to Get the Smell Out of Wood

Learning how to get the smell out of wood is crucial for preserving the charm of your furniture. Odors from your wood can diminish its allure, making it essential to address them.

Odors from wood can arise from various sources: moisture, mildew, or food spills. But don’t worry, we have practical tips for removing odors.

We’ll explore how to get smell out of wood effectively, from natural remedies to professional solutions. Get insights on how to remove odors using common household items and other methods.

By following these steps, you can remove odors from wood and restore your furniture’s beauty. Whether it’s a vintage dresser or a modern dining table, these strategies will help. Let’s explore the actionable steps to handle odors from wood. 

Understanding the Source of the Odor

Odors from your wood can stem from several sources,

  • Moisture: Trapped water or humidity can lead to mold or mildew, resulting in unpleasant smells.
  • Food Spills: If food has been spilled and not cleaned properly, it can decay, causing odors.
  • Chemical Treatments: Previous treatments or finishes may give off lingering smells.

Importance of Identifying the Source

To effectively learn how to get smell out of wood, understanding the root cause is essential. This helps in choosing the right method to remove odors from wood.

Addressing the Cause

  • For Moisture: Ensure the wood is dry and in a well-ventilated area. This prevents odors from wood due to mold or mildew.
  • For Food Spills: Clean up spills immediately to avoid decay. Use natural cleaners to remove odors.
  • For Chemical Treatments: Ventilate the furniture or consider refinishing it.

By identifying and addressing these causes, you can learn how to remove odors effectively, restoring your furniture’s beauty and scent. For more tips for removing odors, continue reading our guide.

Understanding Wood Types and Their Susceptibility to Odors

Understanding the susceptibility of different wood types to odors is crucial when learning how to get smell out of wood. Each wood type has unique properties that affect its ability to absorb and retain odors, guiding the appropriate techniques to remove odors from wood.

Softwoods: High Porosity and Odor Retention

Softwoods like pine are notably porous, making them more likely to absorb odors. If your pine furniture smells, it might require more aggressive methods to get the smell out of wood. These woods often need absorbent substances like baking soda to effectively draw out smells, which is a vital tip for removing odors.

Hardwoods: Dense Structure and Less Absorption

Hardwoods such as oak and cherry feature tighter grains, making them generally less permeable than softwoods. Although they can still trap odors, removing these odors from wood is typically easier due to their density. A mild vinegar solution can often neutralize odors without damaging the wood, proving a reliable method on how to remove odors.

Special Cases: Resinous Woods

Woods with high resin content, like cedar, are unique. Cedar naturally resists decay and emits a pleasant scent, which can become overwhelming or mix unpleasantly with other household smells. For these types of wood, understanding how to get smell out of wood involves balancing the natural aromas with the environment to prevent overpowering scents.

Impact of Wood Finishes on Odor Retention

The finish on the wood also plays a critical role in how odors are managed. Varnished or sealed surfaces might lock in odors, requiring surface treatments or more thorough cleaning methods to effectively get smell out of wood. Conversely, unfinished wood, while more susceptible to stains and spills, is often easier to treat because the affected areas are more accessible.

Understanding these differences is crucial for effectively removing odors from wood. Each type of wood requires specific strategies to ensure that not only do you remove odors from wood but also maintain its integrity and appearance. By selecting the right approach based on wood type and finish, you can effectively manage and eliminate odors from your wood furniture.

Tip 1: Ventilate the Furniture

Odors from your wood can often be attributed to poor ventilation. Placing furniture in a well-ventilated area or outdoors can help how to remove odors effectively. Fresh air circulates through the wood, carrying away stale smells and reducing moisture that can contribute to odors from wood.

  • Outdoors: If possible, place furniture outdoors in a covered area to prevent rain damage. This allows natural air to circulate through the wood, helping to remove odors from wood and neutralize any lingering smells.
  • Indoors: Ensure proper airflow around the furniture by opening windows or using a fan. Regularly airing out your furniture helps how to get smell out of wood by preventing the buildup of new odors.

Regular ventilation prevents future odor buildup by keeping air moving through and around the furniture. Stagnant air can trap unpleasant smells, leading to a buildup of odors from wood. Regularly ventilate your furniture, even after addressing existing odors. This ensures continued freshness and prevents the reoccurrence of odors.

Tip 2: Clean with Vinegar

Vinegar is a natural cleaner and deodorizer, making it an effective tool for how to get smell out of wood. The acidic nature of vinegar breaks down odor-causing bacteria and neutralizes smells, making it one of the top tips for removing odors from wood.

Application Guidelines

  • Preparation: Mix equal parts water and vinegar to create a cleaning solution. This diluted mixture is safe for most types of wood.
  • Cleaning: Dip a soft cloth into the solution, wring it out, and gently wipe down the wood. Pay special attention to areas prone to spills or moisture.
  • Rinse: After cleaning, rinse the surface with water and dry thoroughly.


Avoid applying vinegar directly to the wood to prevent damaging the finish. Always dilute it with water and test on a small, inconspicuous area first. Additionally, avoid over-wetting the wood during cleaning to prevent warping.

Tip 3: Baking Soda Application

Baking soda is another natural option for how to get smell out of wood. Its alkaline nature absorbs and neutralizes odors from your wood, making it an effective method to remove odors.

  • Sprinkling: Lightly sprinkle baking soda on the surface of the wood, focusing on areas with noticeable smells.
  • Waiting: Allow the baking soda to sit for at least a few hours, or overnight for stronger odors.
  • Vacuuming: Once the baking soda has absorbed the smells, vacuum it off carefully to avoid scratching the wood.

For persistent odors, reapply baking soda as needed. This is an effective way to continue to remove odors from wood, especially for deeply ingrained smells.

Tip 4: Charcoal or Activated Charcoal

Charcoal is a powerful absorber, making it a great option for how to remove odors. The porous nature of charcoal traps odor molecules, reducing odors from your wood.

  • Bowls: Place small bowls of charcoal near or inside the furniture. This helps to remove odors from wood by absorbing smells directly.
  • Bags: Charcoal bags can also be placed inside drawers or cabinets to absorb odors over time.

Charcoal Alternatives

Activated charcoal is an even more effective odor absorber. Its increased surface area and porous structure make it a stronger option for neutralizing odors from wood. Consider using activated charcoal for stronger, longer-lasting results.

Tip 5: Sanding the Surface

Sanding removes the top layer of wood, eliminating odor-causing agents that may have seeped into the surface. This makes it a direct way of how to get smell out of wood.

  • Preparation: Before sanding, ensure the furniture is clean and free of dust or debris.
  • Technique: Use fine-grit sandpaper and sand along the grain to avoid scratching the wood. Apply even pressure to remove odors from wood effectively.
  • Refinishing: Once sanded, the furniture may need to be refinished to restore its appearance.

After sanding, apply a sealant or varnish to protect the wood. This not only restores its look but also helps prevent future odors from penetrating the surface.

Tip 6: Use of Essential Oils

Essential oils provide a pleasant-smelling alternative to harsh chemicals. They are ideal for how to remove odors from wood while adding a fresh scent.

  • Dilution: Mix a few drops of essential oil with water to create a gentle spray.
  • Spraying: Lightly spray the mixture onto a soft cloth and wipe down the wood.
  • Oils: Oils like lavender, tea tree, and lemon can be effective at neutralizing odors and adding a pleasant aroma.

Avoid overapplying essential oils to prevent residue buildup. If using oils directly, rub them in thoroughly and wipe off any excess.

Tip 7: Professional Cleaning

For persistent or deeply ingrained smells, consider professional cleaning. Experts can assess how to remove odors effectively, even for challenging cases.

  • Credentials: Look for a qualified wood cleaner with experience handling odors from wood.
  • Reputation: Check reviews or ask for recommendations to ensure you choose a reputable professional.

Professional cleaning may have upfront costs, but it can save time and effort. The benefits include thorough cleaning, odor elimination, and the preservation of your furniture’s value and appearance.


Learning how to get smell out of wood is key to maintaining the beauty of your furniture. By following these tips for removing odors, you can effectively remove odors from wood and restore its allure.

Whether you choose to ventilate, clean with vinegar, use baking soda, or consider professional help, these methods show how to remove odors from your wood efficiently. Remember to regularly air out your furniture to prevent future odors from wood, and consider natural deodorizers like essential oils.


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