Getting rid of new furniture smell

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JewelRA, Jun 9, 2008.

  1. JewelRA

    JewelRA New Member

    We bought my dd a new bed last week for her 5th birthday, because she had finally outgrown (and broken) her toddler bed. I really hate getting new furniture because I have MCS and have been through this before. We bought a whole new furniture set for my ds a couple of years ago and had to send it back it was so strong.

    Well, dd did HAVE to have a bed, and I hoped getting only one piece of furniture as opposed to a whole suite wouldn't be that bad.

    Boy was I wrong! It was delivered on Friday, and by Friday night I was so sick! My dh took apart as much of it as he could without tearing it up and put it out on the deck to air out. We also opened the windows and ran fans, but this has been hard to do as it has been pushing 100 degrees here in Alabama!!!

    I also bought a couple of Boston ferns (supposed to be good for absorbing these toxins and chemicals from the air) and an air purifier.

    It seems much better, but I can still feel the effects of it. My eyes are burning so bad, and I think the smell is launched in my head, because I am smelling it even when I don't smell it, know what I mean? I think the wood has actually aired out pretty good, now I am mostly smelling the mattress!! Why does everything have to be so toxic and smelly these days??? Has it always been this way and I just didn't know it? Or have things gotten worse??

    Anyway, can you think of anything else I can do? I'd love to return the darn thing, but it's non-returnable, and like I said, my daughter does have to have something to sleep on. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to be affecting her or anyone else, just me.

    [This Message was Edited on 06/09/2008]
  2. willas

    willas New Member

    AFM has a number of products directed specifically toward those of us with mcs. You might consider their sealer for wood furniture & they also have a sealer called SafeChoice Lock Out for upholstered furniture. You can find all their products at if you're interested.
    Good luck
  3. victoria

    victoria New Member

    is to seal it with 'no odor' polyurethane or low voc paint (Sherwin Williams sells it), then air it out... as I'm assuming it's the glues in the composite woods that you're reacting to?

    My daughter's BF is highly sensitive to latex paint fumes, she painted their kitchen while he was out of town with the low voc paint; 4 days later when he returned, he had no problems with it. Otherwise he has to wear a respirator if around any kind of fresh latex paint... just as an example.

    Hope that helps.
    all the best,

  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    we were posting at the same time! Thanks for giving that info, I hadn't heard about that product!

  5. willas

    willas New Member

    Debra Lynn Dadd's site is another good resource. She wrote books on the subject long before mcs was commonly recognized.
  6. CanBrit

    CanBrit Member

    We bought a room air purifier a couple of months ago. I can't believe how effective it is in getting rid of smells. My husband has asthma and it's making a huge difference.

    We're going to get one for the bedroom too. They have some small ones that are relatively reasonable. It should take care of the smell and also give your daughter better air for sleeping.

    All the best,

  7. JenniferAnn539

    JenniferAnn539 New Member


    I can relate, as I am super sensitive as well.

    Putting items out in the sun is the fastest way to get items to off or out gas. The sun helps break down the chemicals. You mentioned that you put the furniture out on the deck, does that get sun or is it in the shade? If it's shaded, perhaps getting it in the sun will help.

    Something that I use religiously with anything new, especially mattresses is a mixture of white vinegar in water. I believe it is 1 part white vinegar to 3 (or 4) parts water. I have used this on a number of things, but I find it helpful for new mattresses. I spray the mattress down, then wipe it, let it dry, then do it again. Flip it and do the other side. I would also give it a try on the furniture.

    On the furniture you can also use some club soda with about an 1/8 of a tsp. of sea salt in it. That is supposed to breakdown the vibration of the chemicals used, and help it off gas quicker.

    Good luck. Let us know how you do with the furniture.

  8. Leaknits

    Leaknits New Member


    Hoo boy, I'm printing out all the suggestions about toxic furniture and thank everyone very much for the ideas.
    The thing is I'm likely to be moving soon, into Sr/Disabled housing and I flat KNOW the smell of new paint, carpet, lino would knock me flat. ROFL, I've put in my "I'd like a top floor apartment" request...maybe if the building tries to make me sick no one will notice I'm sleeping on my balcony??
    Wish I'd had some of those suggestions when a new waterbed bag was needed; I got the thing all set up and then couldn't sleep on it for a week, lol.

  9. JewelRA

    JewelRA New Member

    Thank you all so much for your replies!!! I knew I could count on the people at this board to understand AND have great ideas. I am printing this out so I can re-read it and check out all these ideas.

    We left the furniture out on the deck for about 3 days straight, but had to bring it in last night because we are starting to get rain all this week. It did get some really good sunlight while it was out there at least. I thought about having dh put it in the garage, BUT our garage is directly under my bedroom, and I often smell things down there. That would probably be just as bad or worse.

    I will have to look into that sealant mentioned. I wonder if you can use that if it is already painted with a shiny gloss paint?

    It seems to be alright as long as the windows are open, but if I shut things up, it builds up again pretty quick. :( Aaaarghhh! Why couldn't my daughter's birthday be in the Fall instead of Summer? :)
  10. willas

    willas New Member

    Yes, you can use the sealant over existing finish. You will probably need to go over it with steel wool before apply though.
    I can totally relate. I have to be very careful of products used & usually refinish or steam clean everything before I bring it into my house.
    Best of luck.
  11. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    Boy can I relate to this! I am staying in a temporary furnished apartment, and the bedroom furniture has that kind of cheap varnish on it that smells terrible and bothers me a LOT. I wake up with a sore throat, headache, and stomach ache unless I keep the window open all night.

    One thing that helped me when I bought a new foam mattress (regular foam -- supportive but smelly) was I bought a waterproof mattress cover that went all the way around the mattress and sealed with a zipper. That reduced the smell to nothing and I could stand to be in the same room with it.

    I have appreciated reading everyone's replies to this problem!

  12. LC64

    LC64 New Member

    Hey JewelRA,
    I am from Alabama also.!!!!! What are the rules here, can we exchange email addresses?
    I understand about the furniture odors, horrid!
  13. UsedtobePerkyTina

    UsedtobePerkyTina New Member

    I am in Alabama too. Still looking for a good doctor.

    Y'all got one?