How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell in Furniture

Are you struggling to get rid of the smoke smell in your furniture? It can be a real challenge, but there are some very effective ways to make it happen. So, here’s how to get rid of smoke smell in furniture.

Get more tips and ideas for painting furniture here.

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These same methods work to get rid of the smoke smell and to get rid of cat pee odor too!

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We’ve picked up a few pieces of furniture from the thrift store or Facebook marketplace… just to find out that they wreak of smoke or pee.

It was so frustrating, and I struggled to get rid of the smell even when I tried all of the usual tricks that came up online. Until I found this one trick.

Let the Furniture Air Out

The first step is to let your furniture air out. Exposure to fresh air is an effective way to start to get rid of smoke smells in furniture.

Take your furniture outside, remove the drawers and open any cabinets so the furniture can air out completely.

dresser and drawers outside to air out and get rid of smoke smell

If you can’t take your furniture outside, try opening the windows and doors of the room where your furniture is located, and let any breeze that comes through carry away the smoke smell.

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Seal in the Smell with Clear Shellac

But, the most effective method for getting rid of the smoke smell in furniture is to seal it in with clear shellac.

This will trap the smoke smell inside your furniture and prevent it from stinking up your house.

First, move your furniture outside. Clear shellac has a really strong smell, so it’s best to do this outside.

Then apply a coat of clear shellac over the surface of your furniture, inside and out, making sure that you get into all the nooks and crannies.

I like the spray can version because it’s easy to spray everywhere. But you can brush it on instead.

spraying inside of dresser with clear shellac to seal the smoke smell

Let the shellac dry completely, then repeat as needed until the smoke smell has been completely removed. Usually, after 2 coats and a day or 2, the smoke smell is gone.

But I’ll be honest. Spraying your furniture with clear shellac, inside and out is only a great option if you plan to refinish or paint your furniture though. Or if your furniture has a wood finish.

Clear shellac dries into an ambered, clear finish, so it can change the color of your furniture… hence why clear shellac isn’t a great option if you aren’t refinishing or painting your furniture.

So, if spraying clear shellac isn’t for you, here are some more ways to get rid of smoke smell in furniture. Just beware, these methods take more time and aren’t as effective at getting rid of strong smoke smell.

Spray the Furniture with Vinegar

Another option is to spray your furniture with vinegar, which may get rid of some of the smoke smell in your furniture.

Start by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.

Then, lightly mist the surface of your furniture, inside and out, and let it sit for 1-2 hours before wiping it down with a clean cloth.

Sprinkle Baking Soda in the Drawers and Cabinets

Alternatively, you can also sprinkle some baking soda in the drawers and cabinets, and let it sit for a few days.

Then vacuum up the baking soda and repeat as needed until the smoke smell has been completely removed from your furniture.

You’ll probably need to do a few rounds of this and use it in combination with airing out the furniture for it to be more effective.

Place Activated Charcoal in the Furniture

Alternatively, you can use activated charcoal to get rid of smoke smell in furniture. Just place some activated charcoal inside the drawers and cabinets of your furniture.

Leave the charcoal in place for a few days, then vacuum it up and repeat as needed until the smoke smell is gone. These bags of activated charcoal are handy and less messy.

And that’s it! With these simple steps, you can get rid of smoke smell in furniture and keep your home smelling fresh and clean. Good luck!

How to Make Old Dresser Drawers Smell Better

If your wood drawers only smell a little, or have an old smell, you can make them smell so much better with a couple of simple steps.

First, vacuum and wipe them out to get them clean. Then, brush or wipe some furniture salve onto the wood. A few minutes later, wipe the excess salve back off. Then let it dry completely.

The furniture salve is a scented oil that will soak into the wood and then dry hard after a few days. I personally prefer the lemon verbena scent, but they have multiple scents to choose from.

Since it’s scented, it will leave your drawers smelling nice. But the oil will also help rejuvenate the wood.

Usually, the salve soaks into the wood so well that there isn’t much excess sitting on top of the wood.

But if you’re worried about the salve getting on your belongings, you can lay something down in the drawer first to protect your things while the salve dries completely.

How to Get Rid of Smoke Smell in Furniture

woman with a disgusted facial expression

Are you struggling to get rid of the smoke smell in your furniture? It can be a real challenge, but here's how to effectively get rid of smoke smell in furniture.

Materials

Instructions

  1. The first step is to let your furniture air out. Take your furniture outside, remove the drawers and open any cabinets so the furniture can air out completely.
  2. With your furniture still outside, seal it with clear shellac. Apply clear shellac over the surface of your furniture, inside and out, making sure that you get into all the nooks and crannies. Let the shellac dry completely, then repeat as needed until the smoke smell has been completely removed.
  3. You can also spray your furniture with vinegar. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then, lightly mist the surface of your furniture, inside and out, and let it sit for 1-2 hours before wiping it down with a clean cloth.
  4. Alternatively, you can also sprinkle some baking soda in the drawers and cabinets, and let it sit for a few days. Then vacuum up the baking soda and repeat as needed until the smoke smell has been completely removed from your furniture.
  5. Another option is to place some activated charcoal inside the drawers and cabinets of your furniture. Leave the charcoal in place for a few days, then vacuum it up and repeat as needed until the smoke smell is gone.
  6. For wood drawers that only smell a little, or have an old smell, use furniture salve. First, vacuum and wipe the drawers to get them clean. Then, brush or wipe some furniture salve onto the wood. A few minutes later, wipe the excess salve back off. Then let it dry completely.

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3 Comments

  1. Dianne Adams says:

    Will the shellac also rid old antique furniture smells or just specifically smoke smells?

    1. yes, shellac seals in alll the smells.

  2. I have been having the worst time getting smoke smells out of a buffet I bought at our local thriftshop… I did varnish the whole thing and sprayed white paint inside the cabinet itself. I didn’t think about doing a clear. It’s sitting in our garage until I have time to fiddle with it more. 😉

    Thank you for the ideas,
    Barb 🙂

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