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Removing Wood Preservative Odor

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The chemicals used to treat wood often emit lingering odors which can be irritating if not dangerous. This is a page about removing wood preservative odor.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

May 13, 20120 found this helpful

I painted the basement wall using Copper Green. I don't know if it is toxic, but the smell is awful. I have a little baby who is only 9 months. How can I get rid of the smell? Please help me.

By Jade


May 13, 20120 found this helpful

Use newspapers, layer open newspapers solid on floor. Within 24 -48 hours the smell will be gone. Best part it's non-toxic. Good Luck

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July 19, 20180 found this helpful

did the odor go away by using newspapers on the floor, i have the same problem, problem is under my outside deck, they sprayed the wood beams with copper green, now i cant go outside or put my air conditioner on, please let me know thank you susan

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October 24, 20180 found this helpful

Copper green wood preservative and termite spray left our downstairs uninhabitable. Doors windows fans open for days and odor still lingers. Front of container should read in very large letters TOXIC ODOR. Very angry!

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June 3, 20190 found this helpful

This is absolutely ridiculous, and bordering on voodoo. Magic newspapers will do nothing for naphthenate odor.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 16, 2010

I used Copper Green wood preservative on my deck and my daughter can't stand the smell. She complains bitterly. Is there some way to get rid of the smell?


By keller from Spokane, WA


December 18, 20100 found this helpful

Fill a wash bucket with hot water and add 20 drops of tea tree oil to it. wash your deck with this. Rinse thoroughly. The tea tree oil has a strong smell of its own but once the deck is rinsed and dried and airs out for awhile it should be much improved.

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December 20, 20100 found this helpful

Good luck with getting rid of the smell. While your deck is, technically, outdoors, it still will stink for a long time, (that's why the products are labeled "for exterior use only." The naphthene molecule is what pulls the copper into the wood and releases it slowly, and that is what stinks. If it is still really bad in the spring, you might try sanding down the deck and re-sealing it, or power-washing it. At least in the winter, you won't be outside quite as much, unless you have a jacuzzi out there.

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August 18, 20120 found this helpful

Copper Napthenate/Copper Green is labeled for exterior use only. There is some Vanderbilt University research that indicate that it has carcinogenic properties and others that indicate possible DNA damage to cattle.


This material is considered a pesticide. It has been illegal to apply inside a building footprint (even crawlspaces) since circa 2002. See the EPA for info. I have heard (not verified) that cleaning the surface with a paint thinner or acetone and then sealing with shellac, etc should help.

Sanding it seems like a really bad idea if any of the research is right.

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October 22, 20110 found this helpful

I put some Copper Green wood preservative inside my mobile home wall. I didn't realize it was for outside use only. Even with wall panel on it still smells. Will the smell ever go away? If not is there any outfit that deals with that sort of problem?

By RA from Castro Valley, CA

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