Have you ever noticed how "new car smell" and "new furniture smell" don't necessarily give us the same feeling? "New car" might make us feel a sense of accomplishment, like we've started a new chapter or achieved a goal. It smells like money and is sought after enough to be bottled and sold as an air freshener in the automotive department. "New furniture," though may smell like chemicals, or might make us worry about carcinogens. The curious part is that both are caused by off-gassing, the emission of the formaldehyde used during manufacturing.
Not all furniture has a smell. In fact, by the time an item reaches your doorstep, it is several months removed from the assembly line and most odors have already had the chance to dissipate. There are several factors that can contribute to the varying levels of off-gassing found in our products:
- Length of time that a panel sits in the warehouse prior to being cut.
- Length of time it takes a panel to go through the manufacturing process before being packaged.
- The number of edges that are covered with laminate or edge banding, as this can help seal in any odors.
Additionally, not everyone reacts to smell in the same way. Some individuals are more sensitive to the effects than others, and when it comes to otolaryngological prowess, not everyone has the same level of strength in their sniffer.
Be it new car or new furniture, both have levels that are below Federal and State recommendations for protecting public health. Scientific studies show that the relationship between cancer and formaldehyde fumes is due only to frequent, significant, and prolonged exposure, but regardless, if the smell is unpleasant, the following steps can help to get your house smelling like "home" again. By nature, formaldehyde breaks down when exposed to air, moisture and sunlight, and regardless of method, smell should dissipate within a few days. If it does not, please contact us so that we can work with you toward a resolution; your satisfaction is important to us!
- Ventilate: Turn on your HVAC system or open some windows. Placing the item in front of or beneath a fan can also be effective. If you have one, plug in an air purifier.
- Temperature: Heat and humidity can intensify the odor, but also quicken the process, so please take that into consideration when deciding how to ventilate. A cool, dry, slow and steady method might be more appropriate if you are affected by scents.
- Allow the panels to air out for a few days: If space doesn't allow for this, you might also consider opening doors or drawers.
- Place a bowl of baking soda nearby: As an alkaline substance, baking soda is a tried-and-true method for absorbing odors. Activated charcoal and coffee grounds are also said to be effective at neutralizing smells.
As a final note, some Ameriwood products are painted, and it is also possible that a strong odor within the box stems from this.