How Do I Dispel House Painting Fumes?

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Modern paints used for interiors are largely free of toxic chemicals, or at least they release very minimal chemicals into the air. Interior Paints from a few decades ago released significant amounts of VOCs (Volatile Organic Chemicals) into the air for a few days after a room was painted. This was the ‘fresh paint’ or ‘new car’ smell that many of us remember. These airbourne chemicals, mostly formaldehyde, are unhealthy, causing breathing problems and headaches in many people. They were especially bad for children. It is best to avoid exposure to these substances.
When rooms were painted they were often left to air out for a few days before being occupied. This was to let the fumes dissipate. A few tricks were sometimes used to speed up this process, getting rid of the chemical fumes more effectively.

Get rid of Painting Fumes:
– Open windows and curtains to let the room air out.
– Fans in the room will help blow fumes out windows.
– Buckets of water with slices of lemon will soak up fumes. Leave these in the room for a day or two.
– Water mixed with equal parts white vinegar will soak up fumes. Leave this inthe room for a day or too.
– Burning Candles will absorb odours. Special odour eliminating candles will be more effective but any sizable candle will work. Let these burn for a few hours.
– Baking soda absorbs odours. This is often used to soak up chemicals from carpets. Lightly cover the floor with baking soda, and leave for a day or two. Then vacuum the room and dispose of the baking soda.
– Onions will soak up chemicals in the air. Buy some cheap onion, cut them in quarters and leave them around the room for a few hours. Dispose of the onion afterwards.
Modern paint is often low VOC or VOC free, to avoid or minimize chemical fumes. Look for an indication of this on the label.

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