new cabinet chemical smell

yabberNovember 24, 2010

Hello there,

Just wondering if anyone knows what to do about smelly cabinets. We got some new cheap cabinets for the bedroom and they smell terrible! Haha it's a real bummer, they look nice, but when I close the door it's just terrible when you go back in later.

I'm concerned that this is possibly toxic and I want to either replace them, or get the smell out of them.

Any tips on how to get rid of the smell? I've tried putting an airfreshener in the drawers but that doesn't even disguise it. (Also I don't really want to disguise it, I want to get rid of it!)

Thanks guys :-)

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Open the windows and open the cabinet wide. Leave it for a day or two. If you can haul it outdoors on a sunny dry day , that will help. Remember what my teacher, Mrs. Hall taught us. Sunshine and fresh air are the best deodorizers. Burning a candle or spraying air freshener will not help.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 8:36AM
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Most likely you are smelling the chemical/VOC (volatile organic compounds) "off gassing" from something used in them (ie. mdf, particle board, glue). The worst for outgassing formaldehyde is particle board.

Cabinet boxes are most commonly made of plywood, MDF (medium-density fiberboard), particle-board or other pressed composite products. The adhesives used in the manufacturing of these sheet-goods often contain urea formaldehyde (UF), which is the VOC most people are concerned about when it comes to off-gassing into your indoor environment.

If you Google off gassing cabinets you'll find plenty of information.

Here is a link that might be useful: non-toxic/non off gassing vanities

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 12:34PM
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I feel for you! I bought 2 inexpensive cabinets to stack in a hall niche outside a tiny bathroom. The idea was to provide storage for towels, TP, soap, cleaning supplies, etc. Although they looked great when assembled, the cabinets absolutely reeked of formaldehyde and/or glue, to the extent that I worried about keeping them in the house.

Fortunately, they arrived in the summer, and I put them out on the deck in the sun (lying flat w/ doors open) when there was no chance of rain. Quite the PITA. After about 3 weeks of off-gassing in the heat (first time I've ever been thankful for temperatures in the 90s), the odor had decreased considerably, but was still slightly detectable.

The cabinets are now installed in the hall and loaded with everything I wanted to store, except towels. Wouldn't want to put anything in them that might pick up the odor. It likely will take a year or 2 before the cabinets have off-gassed to the point where the odor is no longer detectable. These cabinets were no bargain!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 3:40PM
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Thank you very much for all the info. I've learned a lot about VOC and urea-formaldehyde :-)

We've decided to put the cupbds outside in the sun for awhile (it's 33 degrees celsius here, hot!) and we'll put some plants in the rooms (aloe vera and peace lily).

If that doesn't fix cabs it is!

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 7:43PM
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