How To Get Rid Of New Kitchen Cabinet Smell—5 Methods To Try

While you may love the brand new look of your kitchen cabinets, you may be surprised to find that they have a slight odor. What causes this odor? And more importantly, how do you get rid of it? We've done a bit of digging to pin down the main causes of new kitchen cabinet odors and how to neutralize them. Please keep reading to learn more about it.

Here are a few ways that you can get rid of the new kitchen smell and your cabinets:

  • Sprinkle them with baking soda
  • Use soap and water
  • Give them fresh air
  • Try citrus oil
  • Seal the cabinets

Not only do new cabinets brighten up your kitchen, but they can make the entire room look remodeled. There are only a few reasons why new cabinets may have a slight odor to them, and there are both commercial and homemade solutions that will work to neutralize these odors.

Black cabinetry inside a modern kitchen with white kitchen countertops and wooden flooring, How To Get Rid Of New Kitchen Cabinet Smell—5 Methods To Try

5 Ways To Get Rid Of New Kitchen Cabinet Smell

Sprinkle them with baking soda

Baking soda is known for its odor-neutralizing effect, and it can work wonders for your new-smelling kitchen cabinets. To neutralize your kitchen cabinet odor, consider sprinkling baking soda on the interior floor of the cabinet.

Interior of a modern kitchen with blue cabinets and a white kitchen countertop

Allow the baking soda to sit for 24 to 72 hours until the order is gone. You can also take a microfiber cloth and rub it into the cabinet to increase its effectiveness. Once the odor is gone, simply vacuum the baking soda out of the cabinet and wipe it down with a clean damp cloth.

Use soap and water

Sometimes a bit of soap and water will do the trick. Kitchen cabinets often sit in manufacturing plants for weeks or months until they are sold and shipped to your home. It could be that the cabinets are just dirty or have absorbed the smell of their previous location.

Oftentimes, you can remove this manufacturer's smell with a quick washing. For this method, mix a gallon of water with a few tablespoons of dish soap.

Next, lightly dampen a cleaning rag and go over at the cabinets from top to bottom and inside out. Be sure not to soak the rag in water, as you don't want to cause the cabinets to bubble. After rinsing the rag in water, wipe the cabinets down to remove the soap and then dry them thoroughly with a towel to prevent damaging them.

Give them fresh air

Harness the power of fresh air and sunlight to remove the chemical smells that may be stuck on your kitchen cabinets. It's best to do this on a sunny and cool day when the temperature is at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Though you can't obviously remove the cabinets, you can open any windows in your kitchen and nearby rooms to create a bit of air circulation.

Try citrus oil

You may also want to consider using citrus oil to remove the smell from your kitchen cabinets. Orange, lemon, and lemongrass oil are natural air fresheners that have a relatively mild odor profile.

A quick wipe down with a microfiber cloth can leave your kitchen cabinets smelling fresh without overpowering them the way that some commercial air fresheners may. It will also provide them with a light cleaning in the process.

Find citrus oil on Amazon.

Seal the cabinets

If all of the other methods fail, consider using a sealant to lock the odor in the cabinet. It's best to use a low gloss water-based sealant or shellac.

These sealant products are best used on cabinets as they work wonderfully on particleboard, plywood, and MDF. Before applying the sealant to the cabinets, be sure to wipe them down to remove any dirt or dust, as you don't want to seal this onto their surface.

Read more details about this wood sealant on Amazon.

Why does my new cabinet smell?

Pinning down the source of the smell coming from your cabinets is helpful in determining the best way to remove it. The smell is often caused by excess moisture within the cabinet, which is particularly common in regional states near large bodies of water such as Miami or Los Angeles.

One way to help mitigate this is to install a dehumidifier in your home to reduce the humidity levels to about 45% to 55%. Humidity levels higher than this can cause mold to develop in various areas around your home. A musty smell coming from your cabinet can also be a sign of a water leak in your plumbing, so you may want to take a look at the cabinets beneath your kitchen sink.

Grease, food debris, and other smells created during the cooking process can cause kitchen cabinets to harbor odor. If you cook large meals on a daily basis, this may be the cause of your cabinet's lingering odor.

The best way to neutralize the cabinets, in this case, is to use one of the previously listed methods: applying baking soda, performing a deep cleaning, and opening up your windows to let fresh air in. You'll also want to ensure that you're using the vent fan on your oven every time you cook.

How do you get rid of smell in cabinets?

While some cabinet odors may be faint, others can be relatively strong and overpowering, necessitating a more thorough method to remove them. Let's take a look at some options.

Give the cabinets a deep cleaning

You can use regular dish soap or laundry detergent to clean the cabinets. It can also be helpful to take an all-purpose disinfectant to get rid of any lingering germs, food, or debris that may be causing the cabinets to emit the odor. Dry them thoroughly to avoid water damage.

Paint the cabinets

If you don't mind the color change, consider painting the cabinets. If the cabinets are over ten years old, a paint job and might be the perfect way to gett them looking brand new again --which can make your entire kitchen look brand new. You can even use a color-blocking primer if you don't want to go through the whole process of priming and painting.

Read more details about this primer on Amazon.

Place odor absorbers inside a cabinet

If the cabinet odor isn't that strong, consider using an odor absorber. There are tons of odor absorbers on the market today, but you can also use baking soda if you want to save money.

Other natural odor absorbers include charcoal and vinegar. If you use vinegar, be sure to dilute it with three parts of water to avoid damaging the finish on your cabinets.

See this odor absorber 2-pack on Amazon.

What is the best product to clean wood cabinets?

There are too many good products in the marketplace to narrow it down to one particular cabinet product. So instead, we've come up with two of the top wood-cleaning products with excellent customer reviews that have been around for a while. Let's take a look.

Howard Products ORS016 Orange Oil Wood Polish

If you're looking for a wood cleaner that also polishes, here is one worth considering. This beeswax and citrus-based polish is perfect for cabinets, furniture, and dressers.

The oil penetrates below the surface of the wood to replenish any moisture loss through exposure to air conditioners and indoor heat sources. You'll be surprised how long the surface protection and shine will last after using this oil, and the refreshing scent of citrus doesn't hurt either.

Read more details about this product on Amazon.

Black Diamond Stoneworks Wood & Laminate Cleaner

This laminate and wood cleaner by Black Diamond is one of the best wood products that you can use on your cabinets. The cleaner is tough on dirt but gentle enough not to affect the delicate finish of expensive wood furniture.

This formula is hypoallergenic, non-toxic, biodegradable, and safe to use around pets and children. It dries fairly quickly and can be easily applied via the spray bottle. You can use this polish on cabinets, furniture, and wooden floors.

Find this product on Amazon.

Will vinegar harm wood cabinets?

While vinegar typically isn't recommended on wooden cabinets because of its acidic content, it can be useful in a small diluted concentration. If you're going to use vinegar on your cabinets, be sure to dilute it with at least 3-4 parts water.

Wrapping Things Up

We hope that this post has helped provide you with a few ways that you can remove the new smell and any other odors coming from your kitchen cabinets. Remember to always use new ingredients cleaning products with caution to avoid damaging your cabinets.

Be sure to check out our other post before you go:

Where Should Kitchen Cabinet Knobs And Handles Be Placed?

Do Kitchen Cabinets Have To Be Symmetrical?

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