How Long Does It Take For Polyurethane To Stop Smelling?

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You probably must have heard about “Recycling,” where old/used products are recollected and transformed into a new product. Yes, recycling takes time, and so does polyurethane take time to stop scenting.

It is said that polyurethane scent can trigger certain health issues; thus, it is not really advisable to stay where you would perceive the smell for a longer time. But how long does it take for polyurethane to stop smelling?

According to several sources, it takes approximately one month for polyurethane to stop smelling. Does this mean you should leave your house and stay somewhere else for a whole month? Not really.

How is Polyurethane Harmful to Human Health?

Polyurethane is a wood finish product available in many types (mainly two types). This product is made from several organic units.

It is warned that polyurethane can cause several abnormal health situations such as cancer, miscarriage, asthma, and more.

The composition of polyurethane, regardless of the type, is what makes it harmful to humans. Woodworkers that use this finishing product wear apparels that cover their entire body (PPEs), as well as put on masks to cover their entire face.

More so, health experts warn that polyurethane, in any state, is yet not safe for humans. Thus, it is advisable not to stay in environments where this chemical is being applied – at least for the first few hours.

This now triggers the question, how long does polyurethane scent? When should you get back into your house after polyurethane is applied to your wood furniture or floors?

Let’s talk about that.

How Long Does It Take For Polyurethane To Stop Smelling?

As mentioned earlier, you’d see various sources on the internet pointing at “1 Month.” Well, if you’ve got another home to stay, then you can go on a month-long holiday to save yourself from the toxic nature of polyurethane.

Now that cracked you up, right? Okay, polyurethane is bad, yes, but it doesn’t really stay that long to stop smelling.

Apparently, after application, the woodworker should open up some windows (and doors too) so that the polyurethane scent can go out.

In about 12 – 24 hours, the polyurethane scent won’t be strong any longer, and you can cope with it. But, for health’s sake, and if you’ve got an alternative place to stay, it is advisable to let polyurethane stay at least 48 hours before coming back into the house.

In one week (7 days), the polyurethane applied to your floors or furniture must have stopped smelling.

The reason why some people say one month is because, during the application, some particles of polyurethane may get into hidden corners. Thus, it may take time for the odor to completely evaporate and stop smelling.

What To Do When Polyurethane Is Used In Your Home

First, you should tell the woodworker to open up your windows and door after applying the polyurethane. Well, a professional woodworker should know this already.

But, just in case the woodworker didn’t open up your windows after doing his job, gear up yourself; get a pair of socks, cover your nose, and put on hand gloves; then get inside and open up everywhere so that air can get in/out freely.

Remember, your pets should not be in the house when polyurethane is being applied; just as it’s dangerous to humans, it’s hazardous to pets, too.

These preventive tips are to ensure that you do not develop health issues just because you’re trying to get your home to look better.

Are you applying the polyurethane yourself? You should be aware of the precautionary steps to take before using this wood finish product.

DIY Polyurethane Application Tips

How Long Does It Take For Polyurethane To Stop Smelling

For DIY polyurethane application, you need an overall that covers your entire. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to wear:

  • A strong overall (made with leather preferably).
  • Face wear that covers your entire (there should be space for your nose and eyes); the best gear to use here is a respirator; a tight-fitted fill face-piece air respirator mask.
  • Strong hand gloves
  • Rubber boots for your legs

There are different types of polyurethane; you have to read the instructions on how to prep the one you bought and how it should be applied on various surfaces.

More so, you have to thoroughly clean up the environment where you are applying the coating.

Can You Make Polyurethane Dry Out Faster?

Well, in addition to opening the windows and doors for air to have a free flow, you can turn on the fans to assist in blowing out the strong odor pretty faster. It is not advisable to use artificial hand driers on the surface you applied polyurethane.

As you may guess, water-based polyurethane will dry out faster than oil-based polyurethane. Regardless, both types would stop smelling in about 7 days.

If you’re yet to pack into the house where you applied polyurethane, that’s good – just wait for a week.

But, if it’s a house you already live in, ensure to always protect your hands, legs, and eye for the first 7 days after the polyurethane application.

Actually, health experts insist that polyurethane does not kill; it only triggers different health issues in different humans.

No doubt at all, polyurethane is one of the best finishes to apply to your wooden floors and furniture.

It offers long-lasting protection and several other benefits, including acting as a pest deterrent. It’s good you’re using it for your home – just be careful.


So, how long does it take for polyurethane to stop smelling? It takes approximately 48 hours for the strong scent to tune down and about one week (7 days) for the smell to stop completely.

However, if particles of polyurethane flew into hidden corners during the application, it may take a whole month for your home to be free from polyurethane odor.

You can use air fresheners and other scenting solutions to keep your home smelling nice within that period.

Polyurethane is harsh and harmful; ensure to protect yourself and your family (including pets) from the toxic nature of this product. Hopefully, this article helped.

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