12 Ways To Get Rid Of Polyurethane Smell!

Polyurethane gives extra protection to the wooden floor and furniture. However, the smell of polyurethane is intolerable and stays for several days. 

So, how to get rid of the polyurethane smell? The severity of the polyurethane smell decreases if it gets proper ventilation or continues fanning. You can follow the heating method to get rid of this smell quickly. Activated charcoal, lemon, onion, vinegar, and baking soda also work great to remove the smell.

Knowing the proper use of these products can give you better results. You can get a detailed discussion about all these elements in this article. Stay with this article to know more about each of the products and their application methods.

How To Get Rid Of Polyurethane Smell?

Polyurethane emits harmful fumes and is also unpleasant to smell. You can follow some techniques to get rid of this smell.

Get Rid Of Polyurethane Smell

Way 1: By Ensuring Proper Ventilation While Applying And Drying

While applying, you should always ensure ventilation. Fresh air passes through the surface of polyurethane and picks up most of the smell. The more you let the surface remain in fresh air, the more the smell will be removed.

Let the windows and doors open if you are applying on the floor. Never apply polyurethane in a closed place because polyurethane fumes have toxic effects on human health. Likewise, avoid applying polyurethane outside on a gloomy day. It will decrease the drying rate. 

Way 2: By Setting  A Fan Or Source Of Air

An extra source of air can remove the smell quickly. Set a portable fan toward the applied surface. A ceiling fan can also work well. The smell will diffuse out faster Because of rapid fanning. Open the windows and doors to pass out the fume. Follow this process after applying and before drying.

By Setting  A Fan Or Source Of Air

Way 3: By Applying Heating Method

Heating is another way to eliminate the smell fast. In the case of furniture,  directly drying under sunlight can remove the polyurethane smell. But if you apply it on the floors, you must follow other procedures to heat it.

  1. The house or room should be empty and no one should enter while heating.
  2. Apply polyurethane properly.
  3. Now, increase the temperature.
  4. Close all the windows and doors.
  5. Leave until cured.
  6. Open the windows and doors to diffuse out the smell and heat.
  7. Then, you can use charcoal, lemon, or artificial aroma to remove the rest.

Way 4: By Using An Air Purifier Or Air Filter

An air purifier or filter helps to purify the air and absorb the unpurified particles of air. It can also remove the smell of polyurethane. Mainly, it breaks down the chemicals of polyurethane fumes and makes them less toxic. Air purifiers with HEPA filters, charcoal filters or Ozone works great. 

Way 5: By Using Onion Or Lemon

Lemon, onion, or orange are available in almost all households. It is the most practiced one to remove bad odor. In the case of polyurethane smell, it will work to remove and absorb the smell.

In the case of onion:

  1. Cut the onion into two pieces. In case of multiple coatings or a large surface area, use 2 to 3 onions.
  2. Take some water into a bowl and let the onion dip into it.
  3. Place the bowels on the floor. You can place them on the corners or repeat them after a distance.
By Using Onion Or Lemon

In the case of lemon or lime:

  1. Squeeze 5-6 lemons in a bowl.
  2. Distribute the juice in small bowls.
  3. Place the bowls on the floor.

While following this procedure, the doors or windows should be open.

Way 6: By Using Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal works as an anti-odor and filters the air. This is a natural remedy and anyone can follow this technique. But this technique is more effective on the house floor. It is less effective in the case of giant wooden substances or furniture as it takes more time to purify the substances.

This is how you can apply charcoal in this case-

  1. Take a one-time plate.
  2. Put some activated charcoal on it.
  3. Keep the plate near the applying surface.
  4. Change the charcoal if needed after some time.
  5. Let the charcoal remain in place until it properly absorbs all the smell.

Way 7: By Using White Vinegar

White vinegar is similar to lemon or citrus fruits. It can filter the air and degrade the volatile substance of the polyurethane fume. To purify the air, follow these steps.

  • Step 1. Take 4-5 small cans or bowels.
  • Step 2. Pour white vinegar into each can.
  • Step 3. Place the cans on each corner of the room.
  • Step 4. Change the vinegar if needed.
  • Step 5. Keep the can until the smell disappears.
  • Step 6. Sand out the marks of the bowels with sandpaper after removal.

Way 8: By Using Baking Soda

Baking soda also works well to absorb the smell. The procedure of using baking soda is similar to activated charcoal. If you have no activated charcoal present in the house, you can use baking soda. 

By Using Baking Soda

Way 9: By Using Vaporsorb

Vaporsorb will not cost more than $20. You can directly pour the Vaporsorb on the coated polyurethane surface. Let it be there overnight and swipe it up the next day. It can get stuck with the surface if the polyurethane coat is not dried at all. 

You can also pour the Vaporsorb in a one-time plate and keep it near the coating. Remove it the next morning.

Way 10: By Using Lampe Berger

Using Lampe Berger is not a common way to remove the smell. But it works better and faster than the natural remedies. It takes at least 20 minutes to eliminate the whole smell.

  1. Fill 90% of the Lampe with alcohol.
  2. Add some essential oil to it.
  3. Let it burn for at least 20 minutes.
  4. Blow the fire if the air smells pleasant to you and let the smell diffuse out.

Way 11: By Using an Aromatic Oil Diffuser

Masking off the offensive odor is also a good way. You can use aromatic oils like eucalyptus,  peppermint, chamomile, lavender oil, or essential oil. These oils give a pleasant aromatic air, hiding the fume smell. An oil diffuser can diffuse the smell of oil properly.

However, the oil diffuser can not break the toxic chemical substance. It can only emit another smell to hide the unwanted one. Also, this procedure can not properly destroy the smell of polyurethane. Follow this procedure only if you have no other options to follow.

Way 12: By Using Air Freshener

If you have no natural remedy or less ventilation or aromatic oil, you can use your air freshener. Select a good and strong one to hide the smell. The polyurethane smell and air freshener smell can be mixed up. As a result, it can produce a much unpleasant smell. 

So opening the windows or making a way for air passage is good. Fresh air helps to diffuse the bad odor outside.

You can easily get rid of the toxic and bad odor by applying any of these processes.

By Using Air Freshener


These are some commonly asked questions by people about polyurethane smell.

Q1. How long does it take for the Polyurethane smell to go away?

It takes 3 days for oil-based and 1 to 2 days for water-based polyurethane smell to go away.  The smell can still come for three to four weeks. The time will extend if there is less ventilation.

Q2. What polyurethane does not smell?

Some oil-based polyurethane does not smell. They are formed in such a way as to emit less toxic and volatile smells. This type of polyurethane has fewer health hazards.

Q3. What are the effects of smelling polyurethane?

The immediate effects of smelling polythene are irritation in the nose, nausea, vomiting, and headache. Large inhalation at one time can cause faintness or dizziness. Prolonged intake of this smell causes severe lung disease.


Air freshener, aromatic oil only can hide the smell but not properly diminish it. On the other hand, natural remedies like charcoal, lemon, vinegar, and baking soda take a long time to remove. Vaporsorb, air purifier, and lampe work quickly but you have to pay more here.

While following the heating method, you have to avoid the room for at least one day. All the methods will work great and quicker if you combine them with proper ventilation. Or you can only use a fan or directly dry the furniture outside. Fresh air can diffuse out the bad odor rapidly.