How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Wood Furniture

Whether you’ve had smokers as guests, got a new beautiful piece of retro furniture from the thrift shop that smells of smoke, or experienced a fire incident recently, you’re likely pondering how to get the smoke smell out of your wood furniture.

Odor molecules tend to penetrate deeply into wooden furniture, making the process of eliminating them quite challenging and time-consuming.

This is why many people become discouraged and decide to throw away the furniture altogether because eliminating the smoke smell entirely can be too much work. However, this often happens because they haven’t approached it correctly.

We encourage you to try the methods suggested here. By following our instructions diligently, you should eliminate the smoke smell once and for all.

How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell on Wood Furniture?

Given the persistent nature of smoke smell, it’s very important to try different approaches and be patient. Since different materials respond better to specific methods, it’s essential to explore various techniques to find the most effective solution for your situation.

Here are some of the methods that we consider the most efficient.

A Scrub a Day Makes the Smoke Odors Go Away

Well, maybe not a day, but a good scrub works wonders in removing the trapped smoke smell residues from wooden furniture.

Cigarette smell molecules, for example, specifically nicotine, have a sticky residue that adheres to the surface of the furniture and can even settle within the cracks if the wood is not smooth. Therefore, the first step in eliminating any type of smell from wooden furniture is to tackle these stubborn residues. Any other step will make no sense if this sticky layer remains.

Begin by identifying visible areas where the residue is present. Then, dissolve some mild soap in water and soak a soft cloth in the mixture. A good option is to use a trisodium phosphate solution, but any other alternative should be fine.

If you fear damaging the surface of the wood, use a very mild solution. On the other hand, f you plan to refinish the wood after the cleaning, you can also use solutions with a higher concentration of chemicals.

Once you’ve scrubbed the sticky layer off the wooden surfaces, it’s time to take further measures.

Use Vinegar to Absorb the Smoke Odors

Acetic acid, also known as vinegar, removes odors from all surfaces. One option is to wipe the furniture with a cloth damped in vinegar several times and leave it to dry. This option works just fine, but you may need to repeat the process several times (as we said, this is tedious work).

If you decide to wipe the furniture, use a 1:1 solution of water and vinegar mixture. Be careful not to miss any spots.

Another solution is to put bowls filled with vinegar inside or around your furniture piece and close the room. Let the vinegar sit for at least 48 hours. The vinegar acid is very good at absorbing smoke odors. The upside is that it’s a rather low-effort solution, but it still works quite well in many cases, especially when dealing with non-cigarette smoke smell.

Coffee Grounds and Newsprint

Has anyone ever told you that low-quality printing paper, typically used for newspapers, has excellent absorbtion properties? When combined with coffee grounds, it becomes a surprisingly effective method for removing unwanted smells from wooden furniture.

We were stunned to observe the efficiency of this method since it requires almost no effort or costly resources. The only “pitfall” is that it takes 48 hours, but that’s not really a problem unless you’re in a rush.

So, line up the newsprints on the floor below your wooden item and place some on top. If the piece has drawers or shelves, place some newsprints inside them. Then, pour the grounds of coffee on top of the newsprints.

Let it sit for 48 hours, and voila, the smell will be absorbed.

Baking Soda as Smoke Smell Absorbents

It’s highly likely that almost every household has a package of baking soda tucked away somewhere, as it’s good for almost everything – from removing tough stains and eliminating foul odors to whitening teeth and improving health. So, why not use it to remove the smell of smoke from your wood furniture?

Sprinkle the baking soda powder over your furniture piece, and be generous in your application. Leave it for 48 hours, then vacuum the residual powder.

Shellac Blocks

Lastly, you can use shellac-based blocks for blocking but not eliminating smells from wooden furniture. For instance, the Zinsser BIN primer base has shown to be quite effective on all surfaces when it comes to blocking smells. However, you need to apply it on literally every surface of the wooden furniture piece to have it block odors effectively.

The negative side of this product is that it’s expensive, whereas the positive side is that it’ll last a long time.

Final Word

Let’s be honest: removing smoke from wooden furniture is indeed a tedious and boring project. However, if you approach the task with determination and follow our instructions, you can effectively remove the smoke smell once and for all.

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