Chemical Scent in IKEA Shelving?

honeyhazeOctober 9, 2008

I'm expecting in February and have been furnishing our nursery for the past several months. SOMETHING in there is giving off a terrible chemical scent. I've tried to narrow it down, but I haven't had any luck so far. Here's what we have:

- Babymod crib. This was the first item put into the room and it didn't smell bad at all. I don't think this is the problem.

- Pressboard moldings. I bought these by mistake and we ended up installing them anyway. They had an odor when I first stacked them in the room and they might be the offending party, but I'm not sure.

- IKEA Poang chair. This thing REEKED when I first brought it home and opened the package. It was the cushions. I aired them out in the sun for a couple of weeks and the scent dramatically faded after awhile. When I put my nose up to a cushion now there isn't any detectable scent coming from it.

- IKEA Expedit shelving. These also had a strong odor when I installed them. What's up with IKEA stuff smelling so bad?

I'm not sure what to do. I know I made a mistake by using fiberboard that likely has formaldehyde in it, but there's not a whole lot I can do now. The moldings are nailed up. The shelving is assembled and I wouldn't be able to pick up anything similar if I sold it and tried to buy solid wood. I've tried washing the surfaces with PureAyee, I've put out bowls of baking soda and other odor absorbents, without much effect. I even filled the room with air purifying plants... one of the plants seemed to get kind of sick in there and I had to take it out (the others are fine).

I've had all the windows open and intend to continue airing out the room for as long as I can. It's been months. The chemical scent has faded some, but any time I close the windows I notice the smell again within an hour or two. Something in there is off-gassing likely crazy. I'm worried that this will continue after the baby is born and I'll have to start disassembling the room so that it's usable and doesn't have a chemical odor.

What can I do? I'm pretty sure it's either the crown molding or the shelving. Aside from removing them, I'll try anything. Different plants? A special type of spray? Some kind of surface treatment? I'll give it all a shot...

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I have IKEA shelving in our house (and PLENTY of IKEA case goods), and have had NO problems with outgassing at all.

I think it is your molding, not shelving....

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 8:27AM
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I have a sofa from IKEA that still has a strong outgassy odor to it after several months. It is in a little used guest room where the door is shut most of the time. It's fully upholstered and something in that upholstery is just smelly - not unpleasant -- it just smells like the IKEA store.

I'd try removing the Poang chair to see if the smell goes away - that's easy to do and would allow you to identify or eliminate the chair as the culprit pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 11:02AM
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It's the expedite shelving. I purchase two units and installed in my bedroom. Even after several months I still cannot stand the unpleasant "amine" type chemical odor emanating from on of the shelves (1 wide by 5 high). I've opened windows and aimed a fan on the shelf. It's still there. Color is black/brown. Purchased at new haven, ct ikea in June 2011. The odor seems to be at it's worst during humid weather. I had thought it was the finish but perhaps it is the particle board. I have another expidit shelf (4x4) in the same finish that I bought at the same time w no problem. Final note, I use a cpap machine to sleep. It pulls air in through a filter and through a mask on my face and into my lungs. Originally I had the cpap on this shelf and after a few days I looked at the filter it had black is coloration on it (never been there before until expedit) so I moved the cpap to the other side of the room and no more black on the filter. Hope this helps. Sniff your shelving before you buy, apparently!

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 7:58AM
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