How to Get Rid of a Varnish Smell

Varnish is a clear or tinted paint-like solution applied to wood. Coating wood with varnish produces a beautiful finish that resists water and protects the wood for many years. One side effect of varnish is that the strong smell can linger long after the varnish has dried. Although the varnish smell will eventually go away on its own, there is a way to speed up the process of odor elimination.

Place a slice of bread into the bottom of a bowl. A single slice of white bread works well, but other types of bread can be used as well.

Pour 1 to 2 cups of white vinegar into the bowl, completely saturating the bread.

Place the bowl near the item that is producing the varnish smell. If the item is a cabinet or chest, place the bowl inside it and close the door. If the varnish smell permeates a room, place the bowl in the center of the room and close the door.

Allow the bowl to sit for 24 hours before discarding.


If the varnish smell is especially strong, place several bowls of bread and vinegar in several locations around the house.


Place the bowls of vinegar and bread out of the reach of small children and pets.

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