New upholstered furniture may smell strongly of chemicals used to protect or treat the fabric; wood furniture may smell of varnish or paint, releasing even more chemical-laden odors. These odors do fade on their own over time but there's no need to wait it out.
Bringing New Furniture Into Your Home
Before you try any of the strategies to remove the odor, you first need to remove any plastic wrappings or protective coverings on the furniture as soon as it is safely in the house. Remove pillows and cushions from upholstered furniture and open drawers or lids on furniture such as dressers, trunks and storage ottomans.
Set the furniture in a room with plenty of ventilation or in an outdoor area such as a covered or screened-in porch. Open all the windows and place a box fan or window fan in one window, drawing air out of the room if you are keeping the furniture inside. Place a second fan in a window on the opposite side of the room, blowing air into the room. Allow the furniture to air out all day or longer, if possible.
Air out the room containing the new furniture as frequently as possible. Time is the best odor-removal method and fresh air hastens the process.
Use Baking Soda to Get the Smell Out
Sprinkle baking soda over upholstered furniture to help remove odors from the fabric. Allow the baking soda to sit for an hour or longer, then vacuum it away. Baking soda may help reduce odor on leather and vinyl furniture; leather furniture will continue to smell like leather for some time since the odor is natural, but chemical odors dissipate.
Try Coffee Ground to Get the Smell Out
Place dry coffee grounds -- fresh or used -- in a shallow bowl inside every drawer on dressers and desks or within the storage compartments of trunks or chests. Close the drawers and let the coffee grounds absorb odors for a day or longer. The grounds may be placed on sheets of newspaper instead of bowls; newspaper also helps absorb odors. Avoid leaving coffee grounds out where children or pets can get to them. Coffee grounds can be hazardous to a pet's health as they contain caffeine.
How Vinegar can Get the Smell Out
Remove latent furniture odors from rooms by placing bowls of vinegar around the room and allowing them to sit overnight. During the day, open a window or two to help air out the space. Avoid leaving vinegar out where children or pets can get to them.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, SFGate, Landlordology and others.