Why Does My Gun Safe Smell? – Preservation Tips You Need To Know

If you ever find yourself wondering: “Why does my gun safe smell?”, then you are not the only one. This is a common question for those who own a new gun safe, and it can be frustrating when the smell remains for days. We have compiled some of the most common reasons why this could happen, so let’s get started!

Related Buyer’s Guide:

Why Does My Gun Safe Smell?

Your gun safe at home releasing an unpleasant smell is due to one of the following listed causes:

Paint/Glue smell

After the gun safe gets painted, the paint or glue smell will last for a few weeks. If your safe was painted right before its shipment, you might still smell the paint odor. Also, when your safe was in storage units for several months, the smell is most likely not from the paint.


1 A common gun safe interior

A common gun safe interior

You may be surprised that the most common cause of safe smells is its inside environment. Fabric can become stinky sometimes, but the adhesive is indeed the main problem. This smell is similar to that in a new-bought car, but cars get much more air circulation than safes do.

It Is Always Kept Close

When your safe is closed all the time, the air inside can not circulate. As a result, anything in there will become even more “concentrated.”

Low-quality Safe

The quality of the safe may also contribute to its unpleasant smell. FYI, some imported safes sometimes smell a little more than domestic safes. For instance, some safes made in China might smell really bad, and the smell will never go away.

Died Insects

If you store your gun safely in the basement and feel secure that they are safe, let’s give it a second thought. Small animals might accidentally go and get stuck inside. These animals might die in your safe, resulting in a bad smell inside your safe.

What Can You Use To Get Rid Of Gun Safe Smell?

Baking Soda

Baking soda might be one of the most effective chemicals when dealing with smell. Some people even store baking soda in the fridge before putting it in the safe to make the most use of it.

Here are some useful methods that you can do with baking soda to get rid of the smell in your gun safe:

Method #1: Put some crumpled newspapers on the safe’s floor. Then place some baking soda boxes in the safe and keep them inside for a period of time.

Method #2: Get some baking sheets and some baking soda, then lay the baking soda on the sheets. Next, close up the box and put it inside the safe. If you try this at night, by morning, the unpleasant smell is gone!

Using baking soda to make unpleasant smells disappear.

Using baking soda to make unpleasant smells disappear.

Note: Keep in mind that when you put baking soda in your gun safe, make sure none of it ever spills or touches your weapons. If this happens, it will ruin your guns and make them become rusty and turn bright red.

Dryer Sheet

A very simple method you can try is to put a dryer sheet in your safe, then remember to change the sheet every month or so. These sheets will make the smell fade away for a few days.


One more simple yet effective method is using candles since they can create a pleasant and comfortable smell for your safe.

Before you get started, make sure that your safe is empty. Place a small candle (it should be a tea light size, smaller than the votive) in a flame-resistant container and on a flame-resistant surface.

Next, leave the safe door open and let the candle burn for a while. You should stay at home to keep an eye on it so no animals or insects can get in your safe.

We would recommend buying Yankee Candle Car Jars, which come in many different scents. These candles are also not very expensive and will last for several weeks. We used to hang up some in our kitchen to get rid of food’s smells.

FYI, those Yankee Candle scents might be strong when you first use them but not annoy you. Therefore, you will not have to worry about being overwhelmed by the scents. The car jar scent will become lesser after two days, but it still smells good after three days have passed.

Other stick-ups or car type units might work too, but the Yankee Candle type has many more choices that are quite affordable and also do not create overwhelming scents.

Some Yankee candle jars

Some Yankee candle jars


Ventilating is also one of the simple methods to make your safe less smelly. We know that moving the safe can be difficult, but you can give it a try. It would be best to have some heat near the safe with forced air to push the smelly gas out. However, adhesives might release unpleasant gases for a long period of time.


Charcoal is also effective in deodorizing.

Charcoal is also effective in deodorizing.

Charcoal is one of the environmental methods that you can apply. Simply set a pan of charcoal used for BBQ inside your gun safe. The charcoal is not only inexpensive but also perfect for eliminating odors.


You can also try using some kind of dehumidifiers such as Damp Rid or Golden Rods container for your safe. The inside air will be brought back to the same humidity level as inside the room. If using baking soda doesn’t work, try these dehumidifier kinds of stuff.

Coffee Grounds

Use coffee grounds to remove a bad smell

Use coffee grounds to remove a bad smell

Finally, coffee is always the number one choice when you want to remove a bad smell. To do this, try to put some ground coffee in a cup and place it at the bottom of your safe; the smell will definitely be gone in no time.

What Tips To Keep Guns Safe Smell Good?

Some people complain that their home fire safe smells, and it makes everything inside it smell bad, too. It’s because they have left the safe closed for a long time, especially if the inside environment is moist. So what can we do to prevent the smelly situation from the beginning?

1) You should open the safe once every two weeks to let the air get out. It is important because the insulation might not dry all the way after being poured in. You can open the door of your safe for a few weeks to get rid of any smell that may have developed.

2) If you still have a hard time getting rid of a smell, clean the safe’s interior with soap or bleach. Then, put one or two dryer sheets in there if you have any of them to absorb all the horrible smell. We recommend using Bounce/Febreze because these two are really effective.

3) What if you still have a problem after all those solutions? Well, you’d better have a new safe and start to preserve it correctly.

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, if you’ve been wondering, “why does my gun safe smell?”, there are a few things that may be going on. Try to figure out the core cause and then sort the problem out completely. It’s not hard to make those unpleasant smells go away.

We hope you found this article informative and helpful. If you have any other questions, reach out to us in the comments below. Stay tuned for more interesting and helpful preservation tips from us soon!


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