Elaine
Elaine
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Asked on Oct 11, 2017

How to get rid of chemical smell?

PJ WiseCarolyn BraggCatherine Anspaugh
+8

Answered

I’m reorganizing under-cabinet space and bought two cube-shaped storage boxes from the dollar store. They are made of some type of material and were packaged collapsed with a cardboard band around each one stating size, etc. I felt the size was fine, purchased them, removed the cardboard/paper sleeve and opened them up to form their cubic shape ready to use them. As soon as I popped them into shape, the smell was so awful I put them in a spare room to air out for a night. No luck! They’ve now been airing for 4 days and the overpowering chemical odor is still just as strong!

My question is: does Febreze really remove super-strong odors such as this and if “yes”, does the odor stay blocked? I can’t return the storage cubes because the cardboard sleeve had to be torn off each one to open them. I can’t wash them because there’s a cardboard sandwiched between the material (sides and bottom) thus, giving them their cube shape and making them “stand up”.

I’ve had smelly (made in China) items before but NOTHING like this!
q chemicl smell
PS: I brought one of the cubes in to photograph it but am tossing it outside again due to the smell!
8 answers
  • Natalie
    on Oct 11, 2017

    I have the exact ones in my closet and I did let it air outside and sprayed Lysol generously inside and out. I no longer notice a smell

    • Elaine
      on Oct 11, 2017

      Thanks, Natalie. I neglected to say the containers have now been airing OUTSIDE for four days (and nights) and it’s really, really bad. I wish I could wash them but there’s cardboard inside each side and bottom. I think I’ll just have to write off the $5.00 plus 13% (Ontario taxes).
  • Catherine Anspaugh
    on Oct 11, 2017

    I would absolutely take these back regardless of the fact that the packaging is missing. The store has an obligation to sell a satisfactory product. My worry with the chemical smell is that you don't really know what you are breathing, or what you have brought into the home. Yes Febreeze does work for a limited time, but I don't think that is the solution to this problem. Demand the store take them back. Get those things out of your house.
    • Elaine
      on Oct 11, 2017

      Thanks, Catherine! I meant to say in my original question that they have now been airing OUTSIDE for four solid days! The smell is unbelievable! (I see I missed an “A” in the heading!). I know you are right; I may just take them back and tell them the problem ... even though I know I’ll have to write off the $5.00 (plus 13% Ontario taxes). The dollar store will not refund.
  • Patricia Burney
    on Oct 11, 2017

    As much as I hate things like febreeze, they DO have their place. They can, and do, eliminate odors. Then, if you like, throw in your favorite incense cone (can still be in the box or wrapper)and load her up.
    • Elaine
      on Oct 11, 2017

      Thank you, Patricia! I may try and return them but I’m sure I won’t get a refund. The smell is unbelievable, as I said above. They have now aired outside for four days and still smell terrible! I just can’t imagine the poor workers inhaling this smell as they stitch up these containers every day!
  • Robyn Garner
    on Oct 11, 2017

    Try using OdoBan from Homey Depot. It removed the stench of cat urine on my couch. You may want to begin by washing it thoroughly with water, Dawn liquid dish soap, and vinegar. (I would do it!)

    Febreeze will NOT work for this issue! It really is only a spray perfume.
  • Put in lawn and leaf bags and place a bowl of charcoal in with it and set in the sun for a couple days.
  • Catherine Anspaugh
    on Oct 11, 2017

    Wow, they don't refund...ever? You pay high sales tax like the mother country I guess? LOL. Yeah, I would have to write them off. I bought mine at Home Depot and I love them. I use them all over the house. I have also bought them from Amazon and Wayfair and never had a problem. I'm not sure which of these would be an option for you. Good luck.

  • Carolyn Bragg
    on Oct 15, 2017

    Activated charcoal is an excellent deodorizer. Baking soda comes in second. Sprinkle it generously all over inside and outside, while in a large garbage bag. Seal it up and set in a warm but not hot place for at least 48 hours. Shake up the bag to redistribute the baking soda when you think about it. Check and repeat as needed.

    If this doesn’t work, I would try wiping them with white vinegar then air outside (NOT in the sun), in hopes of neutralizing the acidic compounds. I’m not a chemist, but vinegar is also a cleaner so it shouldn’t hurt to try (test it in an inconspicuous spot first).
    Good luck!
  • PJ Wise
    on Oct 15, 2017

    I agree with Naomie about charcoal; just don't use instant start! I usually use charcoal briquettes with newspaper for an almost perfect end result. In addition to the bowl of charcoal, fill the storage cubes full of crumpled up black/white newsprint (not the shiny ads), seal both in a large garbage bag and leave for 7-10 days. All smell should be gone when you open the bag.
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