How to Get the Odor Out of a New Office Chair

A new office chair can generate strong odors caused by the off-gassing of chemicals in its materials, such as formaldehyde.
Concentrating on your work is difficult when your chair smells.
Off-gassing is the release of noxious fumes from synthetic materials used in the construction of consumer products, including office furniture. Being exposed to these odors is not only unpleasant, it can cause health problems too. Fortunately, you can take steps to get the odor out of a new office chair quickly and inexpensively. .

Step 1

Take your office chair outside to absorb the sunshine and fresh air. Keep the chair outside for 24 hours if weather permits to further allow odors to weaken and dissipate. The sun and outdoor air will deodorize your chair, making it less offensive for indoor use.

Step 2

Place pieces of charcoal into bowls and position them on the upholstered sections of the chair. Charcoal absorbs odors and deodorizes fabric. To further remove odors and freshen the air, place pieces of charcoal in bowls around the room with your chair is. Replace the charcoal every day until the odor is gone.

Step 3

Sprinkle baking soda on your office chair and let stand overnight; then vacuum. The baking soda will absorb the odor and freshen the upholstery. If the odor persists, repeat the process the next day.

Step 4

Pour white vinegar into small bowls and place them on and near the office chair. White vinegar absorbs odors and is safe to use around upholstered furniture. Replace the vinegar every two days until the odor is gone. The white vinegar smell will dissipate soon after you discard it.

Step 5

Spritz a household odor neutralizing spray on your chair to get the odor out. These sprays are commonly used on upholstery and other soft materials, and are available at grocery, hardware and drug stores. They are considered safe to use around children and pets, so repeat the process as often as necessary.

Things You Will Need

  • Charcoal
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum
  • White vinegar
  • Bowls
  • Household odor elimination spray


  • Burn scented candles in the room where your chair is to eliminate odors.
  • Wipe down the hard surfaces of the chair with the juice of one lemon and hot water. Lemon juice neutralizes odors without damaging finishes. Rinse with clean water to avoid stickiness.


  • Do not spray your office chair with household air freshener because this will only contribute to the problem. Air fresheners mask odors, but do not eliminate them.

About the Author

Meadow Milano has been a registered nurse for over 20 years, with extensive experience in emergency nursing, labor and delivery and general medicine. She has written numerous articles for nursing publications pertaining to health and medicine, and enjoys teaching in the clinical setting.