How to Get Rid of Wood Stain Smell? (8 Methods)

Wood stain is beautiful and all but let’s face it. No one likes that strong offensive smell that comes from fresh stains. So how do you get rid of wood stain smell?

You can get rid of wood stain smell by using a product that releases a stronger and more favorable scent than wood stain. One of such products is distilled vinegar.

After applying the wood stain, put distilled vinegar in open containers and place the containers in different corners in the room. The strong scent of the vinegar will mask the smell of the wood stain.

You can also get rid of wood stain by improving ventilation in the room. You can do this by opening all doors, windows, vents, and by turning on the fans. We have listed 6 more methods for you.

Is Wood Stain Odor Bad?

Smelling wood stain doesn’t pose any harm to you but if you inhale the wood stain in high amounts, it can make you sick. This is because there are chemicals and additives in the stain that are hazardous.

Oil-based wood stains especially are formulated with chemical compounds like formaldehyde, glycol, and sodium hydroxide. All of these compounds can cause different problems to you.

Water-based stains are more gentle so you aren’t at as much risk if you inhale water-based stains as when you inhale oil-based stains.

This is because water-based stains have a simpler paint formula. Water-based stains mainly contain water, colorants, and a binder. None of these compounds will harm you but to be on the safer side, don’t smell or inhale any stain.

Oil-based sealants like lacquer and varnish especially shouldn’t be inhaled. So always use breathing protection before applying wood stain.

Now, let’s check out how to get rid of wood stain smell.

How To Get Rid Of Wood Stain Smell (Made Easy)?

There are a few methods to get rid of wood stain smell. Let’s check them out. The first on the list is:

1. Ventilate The Room

The only reason you catch a strong whiff of wood stain smell is that the smell builds up in the room. This is very common when you apply wood stain in a poorly ventilated room.

Since the stain’s fumes can’t escape, it becomes trapped in the room causing a build-up of offensive odor.

To ventilate the room, start by opening all doors, windows, and vents. Next, you should turn on the fans in the room to properly ventilate the room. This helps to reduce the intensity of the wood stain smell.

2. Use Air Purifiers

Air purifiers are products that are used to absorb odor from the air. These products are commonly used to get rid of cigar fumes and fireplace smoke odor. But it can also help to get rid of that nasty wood stain smell.

To use this method, purchase and turn on an air purifier. You can also turn on fans to improve air circulation.

3. Use Distilled Vinegar

Vinegar is one product that most of us have at home. Vinegar can help you to get rid of the wood stain smell. Ensure to use white distilled vinegar for this process.

Pour white distilled vinegar into different open containers. Glass jars work fine. After pouring the vinegar into the jars, place each jar in a corner of the room. White distilled vinegar has a sharp scent that will quickly cover the odor of the wood stain.

4. Use Air Fresheners

Air fresheners can help you reduce the odor of wood stain in the room. Though air fresheners might not eliminate the wood stain smell completely, they would reduce the toxicity and strong odor.

5. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda can also help to absorb the wood stain smell. Just pour baking soda into a clean bowl and leave it in areas where the wood stain smell is strong.

6. Use Lemons

Lemons have a very strong smell too. You can slice the lemons, blend them, or just cut them into tiny pieces and leave them around the room. You can also squeeze lemons into a container and add water. Then sprinkle the lemon around the room. The wood stain smell will be covered in no time.

7. Use Scented Candles

Another method you can use to get rid of wood stain smell is to use scented candles. However, this method should be used with extreme caution.

This is because scented candles are a source of open flame and some wood stains can be very flammable.

8. Remove The Wood Stain

If you can’t seem to get rid of the wood stain odor through any of the methods above, your best bet is to remove the entire wood stain from the wood surface. Then clean the wood with rubbing alcohol or distilled vinegar to get rid of any leftover or traces of the wood stain.

Related Read: Does Wood Stain Go Bad?

How Long Does It Take For Wood Stain To Stop Smelling?

It takes between 12 and 72 hours for wood stain to stop smelling. On average, wood stain will stop smelling 24 hours after the stain was applied. Even if the stain doesn’t stop smelling completely after 24 hours, the smell would have reduced drastically.

Wood stain only produces an odor when the stain coating is still fresh or wet. In this stage, the chemicals and additives in the stain are still present in large amounts. As the chemicals react with the atmosphere, strong fumes are produced which causes that offensive odor that you smell.

But when the stain dries, the chemicals become tightly packed and no longer wet. This stops the smell of the wood stain. So in simple terms, wood stain will no longer smell when the stain has dried. The time it takes the stain to dry depends on the type of stain, the number of coats applied, and the weather temperature around the stain.

Will Vinegar Get Rid Of Wood Stain Smell?

In most cases, vinegar will not get rid of wood stain smell completely but it helps to cover the smell of the wood stain for a while. Vinegar can help mask the wood stain smell for a few hours till the wood stain smell reduces.

The reason vinegar doesn’t eliminate wood stain completely is that the smell of vinegar doesn’t last for long. Vinegar has a very sharp scent but this scent disappears after a few minutes or hours.

So in most cases, the smell of the wood stain will outlast the smell of vinegar but the vinegar smell can make the room more conducive and it can mask the wood stain smell long enough for the wood stain to get dry and stop smelling.

Related Read: How To Fix Sticky Wood Stain?

How To Avoid Toxic Wood Stain Smell?

Here are a few ways to avoid the toxic smell of wood stain:

  • Always wear breathing protection before, during, and after staining wood.
  • Always open all doors and windows before you start staining wood so there can be proper ventilation.
  • Never use wood stain in enclosed areas
  • If you can, you should use wood stain outdoors where the smell can be dispersed quickly.
  • Always thin wood stain before using it. Thinning wood stain will reduce the toxicity and smell of the wood stain.
  • Use water-based wood stain as it produces less odor than oil-based wood stain.
  • Always put on a pair of gloves before handling wood stain.

FAQs About Wood Stain Smell

Here are some frequently asked questions by DIYers like yourself about wood stain smell.

Do Water-Based Wood Stains Smell?

Water-based wood stains do smell but the odor is not as offensive as oil-based wood stains. Also, the smell of water-based wood stains doesn’t last long since the stain coating dries within an hour.

Why Does Wood Stain Smell?

Wood stain smells because of the chemicals and additives in the stain’s formula. As these chemicals react with the atmosphere and each other, strong fumes and odor are released.

How Long To Wait Before Moving Stained Wood Indoors?

You should wait until the stain coating is fully dry before you move it indoors. Depending on the stain that you used, this can take a few hours or a few days. If you move stained wood indoors too soon, the stain smell will pollute the air in the room.

Final Words

Overall, wood stain smell is not appealing but you can quickly get rid of the wood stain smell by using any of the methods above. Also, you should always ensure proper ventilation before using wood stain to prevent a build-up of stain fumes and odor.

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