How To Get The Wood Smell Out Of A Dresser

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How to Get the Wood Smell Out of a Dresser

Opening the doors of your newly acquired dresser to be greeted by a pungent wood smell can be off-putting. This odor, commonly referred to as “off-gassing,” is caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by the wood and other materials used in the dresser’s construction. While VOCs are generally not harmful, their strong odor can be unpleasant and, in some cases, trigger allergic reactions or respiratory issues.

Fortunately, there are several effective methods to eliminate the wood smell from your dresser and create a more pleasant and healthy environment. In this article, we will delve into the causes of wood smell, explore different techniques to remove it, and provide expert tips to keep your dresser smelling fresh and inviting.

Understanding Wood Smell

The wood smell you experience is a result of VOCs escaping from the wood and other materials used in the dresser. VOCs are chemicals that evaporate easily at room temperature, and their release is often amplified by heat and humidity. Some common VOCs emitted by wood include terpenes, aldehydes, and ketones, which can contribute to the characteristic wood odor.

Factors Affecting Wood Smell

  • Type of wood: Different types of wood emit varying levels of VOCs. Exotic woods tend to have a stronger odor than domestic woods.
  • Age of the wood: Newer wood releases more VOCs than aged wood, as the VOCs gradually evaporate over time.
  • Treatment and finishes: Chemical treatments, stains, and finishes applied to the wood can also contribute to the odor.
  • Environmental conditions: Heat and humidity can increase the release of VOCs, making the odor more pronounced.

Techniques to Remove Wood Smell from a Dresser

1. Airing Out the Dresser

The simplest and most effective method to remove wood smell is to air out the dresser. Open the doors and drawers to allow fresh air to circulate. If possible, place the dresser in a well-ventilated area or near an open window to facilitate air exchange. This process may take several days or even weeks, depending on the severity of the odor.

2. Using Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent material that can help trap and remove VOCs from the air. Place bowls or sachets of activated charcoal inside the dresser and drawers. Replace the charcoal regularly to ensure optimal absorption. Activated charcoal can also be used to neutralize other odors, such as smoke or pet smells.

3. Baking Soda

Baking soda is another effective odor absorber. Place open containers of baking soda inside the dresser and drawers. Baking soda will absorb the VOCs and help neutralize the odor. It is recommended to change the baking soda every few days for best results.

4. White Vinegar

White vinegar is a natural odor eliminator. Fill shallow bowls or saucers with white vinegar and place them inside the dresser. The vinegar will absorb and neutralize the VOCs, leaving behind a fresh scent. Replace the vinegar every few days as needed.

5. Ozone Generator

An ozone generator can be used to remove wood smell from a dresser. Ozone is a powerful oxidant that can break down VOCs and other odor-causing compounds. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using an ozone generator, as excessive exposure to ozone can be harmful to health.

Tips and Expert Advice

  • Choose low-VOC products: When selecting a dresser, opt for one made from low-VOC materials, such as solid wood or bamboo. Low-VOC finishes and paints can also help reduce odor.

  • Maintain proper ventilation: Keep the dresser in a well-ventilated room and avoid placing it in enclosed spaces. Regularly open the doors and drawers to allow fresh air to circulate.

  • Avoid direct sunlight: Exposure to direct sunlight can increase the release of VOCs from the wood. Keep the dresser away from windows or other sources of direct sunlight.

  • Professional cleaning: If the wood smell persists despite trying the above methods, consider hiring a professional cleaner who specializes in odor removal.


Q: Is it safe to sleep in a room with a dresser that has a wood smell?
A: While VOCs are generally not harmful, excessive exposure can trigger allergic reactions or respiratory issues in some individuals. It is recommended to air out the dresser thoroughly before sleeping in the room.

Q: How long will it take to get rid of the wood smell?
A: The time it takes to remove the wood smell will vary depending on the severity of the odor and the method used. Airing out the dresser can take several days or weeks, while using activated charcoal or baking soda may yield results within a few days.

Q: Can I use bleach to remove the wood smell?
A: No, bleach should not be used to remove wood smell. Bleach can damage the wood and release harmful fumes.


Eliminating the wood smell from a dresser requires patience and the right techniques. By airing out the dresser, using effective odor absorbers, and following the tips and expert advice provided in this article, you can create a fresh and inviting environment in your home. If the odor persists, consider seeking professional cleaning services to ensure a thorough and effective solution.

Thank you for reading. If you found this article helpful, please share it with others who may be struggling with the same issue. Your feedback and comments are highly appreciated.

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