How to get rid of Plastic Smell from Office Chair: (In 4 Easy Steps)

Have you ever experienced an irritating plastic smell from your office chair?  Many people experience strong plastic or chemical-like smell when they buy new chairs. This smell is very annoying, and it can cause allergic responses in some people. However, there is a solution to just this sort of thing happening, and I am here to teach you how to get rid of that plastic smell from your office chair really simply.

To get rid of the plastic smell in four easy steps that won’t fail, leave your chair out in the sun, sprinkle baking soda and let it sit for the entire night, vacuum the baking soda, then spray vinegar solution and leave the chair under the sun all day. You can follow these simple steps easily, without using any chemicals.

To find out more about these steps and how they won’t ever fail you, read on for more!

Plastic or Chemical Smells In Office Chairs:

Forms response chart. Question title: Have you ever experienced Irritating strong Plastic/Chemical smell emitting from office chairs?. Number of responses: 27 responses.

It is not uncommon to notice a strong chemical or plastic-like smell after buying a new office chair. I have done a survey on the experience of people with these sorts of smells and found that. Almost 70% of people experienced irritating plastic-like smells from office chairs. Among them, nearly 26% of people faced some allergic issues due to that smell. So, we can understand that this can be a severe issue.

Previously, I thought this smell was due to plastic packaging, but I was not sure. So, I did some research and found that this isn’t just due to packaging. There are other factors that promote these plastic and chemical-like smells.

First of all, These chairs spend days lingering in the warehouse. Then, most importantly, there are some harmful volatile organic compounds that are used to treat furniture like office chairs. These chemical compounds can cause respiratory irritations. That’s why many people can not tolerate these plastic or chemical-like smells and suffer from allergic reactions.

As I mentioned earlier, you can follow some easy steps to get rid of this problem. I will explain these steps below:

Step One – Leave your Chair Out in the Sun:

In this step, you have to take your office chair outside and keep it under the sunlight and fresh air for at least 24 hours. Keeping your chair under the sun will reduce or weaken the plastic or chemical smells.

This might seem like a silly step. But trust me, the sunlight and outdoor air will reduce the chemical smells and make your chair more usable. After keeping your office chair outside for a day, move to the next step.

Step Two – Sprinkle Baking Soda:

After keeping your chair for a day under sunlight, you will notice that the plastic smell has reduced, but it still persists to some extent. Then you will have to move to this step.

This step is pretty simple. All you have to do is just sprinkle baking soda on your office chair and let it sit overnight.

Baking soda actually has the capability to absorb odors, and it will also deodorize your chair. You have to leave the baking soda sprinkles overnight and then get the chair vacuum cleaned the next morning.

Step Three – Spray Vinegar Solution:

Make a solution of white vinegar. You can use equal parts of water and equal parts of white vinegar to make a vinegar solution. Then pour this solution into a spray bottle. Then spray this on your chair correctly. You might be worried about the smell of vinegar staying on your chair. But don’t worry, your chair will not smell like vinegar solution for long. The smell of vinegar fades away very quickly.

Step Four – Vacuum cleans the chair again & keep it under the sunlight:

You will notice the smell of plastic or chemical has been significantly reduced after you have completed the above steps successfully. You are not required to follow this step if you think you see that the smell is gone.

However, if you still feel like the smell persists to some extent, then you have to follow this final step. Start with vacuuming your office chair. After you are done with the vacuum cleaning, leave it again under the direct sunlight for another day. Keeping the chair will also kill bacteria and other microorganisms as well.

I believe after completing this step, your chair will no longer contain any sort of irritating plastic or chemical like smell. These steps will make your office chair perfectly usable for indoor use.

If the smell still remains, try consulting a professional cleaning service, or you might wanna look into buying a replacement piece.

Extra Tips:

Even after removing the plastic smell using the following steps, your office chair might smell like for vinegar for a day or two. I have heard some people don’t like the subtle smell of vinegar on their chair.

So, if you want to remove the smell instantly from your chair or just want it to smell better and fresh, try the All in One Fabric refresher and odor eliminator (Amazon Link).

It works like a charm and it costs less than 20 bucks. I recommend you to use it today. You will definitely like the new smell of your office chair.

Related Questions:

Why does my Office Chair smell bad?

People who have desk jobs spend almost 40 hours weekly on their chairs. So it is evident that an office chair will require regular cleaning. But for most of the people out there, it is not always possible to do that. Even some office chairs are tough to clean as well. Also, some people tend to sweat a lot as well while working at a desk. Thus, you can assume there might be bacterial growth as well, which can cause the smell. Maybe this is the reason for which you are experiencing smell issues with your office chair.

Cleaning the chair regularly might aid this problem. But some office chairs are not easy to clean. I would suggest following the steps that I have shown in this post. These steps will definitely solve the problem.

How to remove an unpleasant or bad smell from an office chair?

If you want to remove unpleasant or bad smells from your office chair, I would suggest using the baking Soda and vacuum trick to remove bad smells from your office chair. Apply baking soda sprinkles on the chair and leave it overnight. Baking soda works really well in absorbing unpleasant odors. 

Then use vacuum cleaning, and this will remove the bad smell from your chair. If the smell still persists, try leaving your chair under the sunlight and outdoor air for a day. I am sure this will help.

Final Thoughts:

A few years back, I had to buy a new comfy office chair for my workspace. I faced a similar problem. The chair had a strong plastic smell emitting from it. This chemical-like smell caused serious problems as I have allergies. At that time, I did not know about these steps, so I had to suffer for several days until I did my research and found a suitable solution for the problem.

As I mentioned, I did a small survey on people suffering from allergic reactions due to the plastic smell emitting from office chairs. The results were a bit unexpected for me.

Forms response chart. Question title: Did you ever suffered from allergenic problem due to irritating plastic or chemical smells from office chairs or any other furniture?. Number of responses: 27 responses.

As you can see in the above illustration, 25.9% of people have experienced some sort of allergenic issues due to chemical or plastic-like smell emitting from office chairs. However, 55.6% or the majority of people did not suffer from any allergies from chemical smells. Since the majority of people did not suffer from the problem, we cannot ignore the issue. 25.9% is still a significant number.

Finally, I would like to say, the survey might have some limitations since it was done on a small size. But I think this still gives a general idea about the gravity of this issue. I suffered from this issue in the past. So, I wrote this article to help people who might suffer from the same issues as I did. I hope you find this article helpful.

Thanks for reading!! Before you go, please take a minute to check out my article, Best Ergonomic Office Chair For Back Pain: A Detailed Guide with Pricing

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Asif Iqbal

Hi, I’m one of the creators of I spent hundreds of hours researching on Office Chairs. This is the site where I share everything I learned about office chairs.