Get rid of smell and smoke

any one come up with a DIY to get rid of smell and smoke build up from laser engraving on wood?

There have been discussions about this, but the main effective solution that cane of it was an ozone-based deodorizer. Not exactly diy, and not always a good plan for local air quality.

That being said, searching the forum for ozone will probably find it.

Here you go:


Do you mean get rid the smell on the individual item, get rid of the smell in the machine, or get rid of the general smell?

Smell on the item, I think something-something alcohol does a really good job. Someone remember what its called. Its not denatured and its not rubbing. Its… Something. If that doesn’t work well enough, I stick it in a zip lock bag with a bunch of baking soda. Fun fact, the latter Also works great for odors on paper and books*. I dont know if either of those things would be damaging to the wood, but meh, I like to live on the edge**.

Smell in the machine is kind of the same thing. I cleaned mine and noticed a huge improvement. When I’m not using it, I also stick a charcoal odor absorber thing inside it (like these, except I bought them for much less monies from Home Goods). I actually got them for moisture reasons before I had the whole venting thing figured out. I have no idea of they do anything really, but the first one ended up smelling like a campfire went to a bar, so I figure thats a good sign.

As for general odor in my office, I do a couple things. First, I tape everything from the machine to the window plus some extra stuff. Anything that might leak smoke smell got taped with evil metal tape. Its like sticky aluminum foil. I cut myself twice. Second, I get stuff out of my glowforge like a stealth ninja because of that puff of smoke thats hiding out under the material. Or, I just move the material and close the lid and wait for the smoke to settle. But mostly I stealth grab it with the door mostly closed and trap the smoke inside as best I can. I pretend I’m very efficient and making a huge difference. Third, scraps, waste, and the protective paper stuff (my brain is dead and cannot words tonight) all go in an airtight plastic tub. That makes a huge difference. Nothing that smells like smoke is just allowed to sit out. This includes things ive cut and haven’t cleaned up or finished yet. If something smells, it goes into quarantine. If I cut something tiny out of a full sheet, the full sheet goes in a container.

Even with all that, I would say my office has a faint smell on any given day. Its not a bad smell and it doesnt smell specifically smokey, but it also doesnt smell like nothing.

I cut acrylic once and only once. Wood smells just a jolly day of sunshine compared to the putrid death smell of acrylic. I’m happily avoiding everything else stinky. When I feel like my hands and clothes smell like wood smoke, I remind myself of acrylic and am thankful.

Overall, its not perfect, but its good enough that I can only smell the wood smoke smell in my office now while I’m working, even if the door is open. Before, I could start smelling it before I was even upstairs.

*this is not fun. Its barely a fact. Mostly its an opinion.

** this is a lie. I’m a rule follower and overly concerned with food safety.


Might try a wipe down with baby wipes. My insurance adjuster told me about using them to clean sooty items after I had a house fire. It worked!


windex wipes (even home made ones, with ammonia) will remove the char from wood.

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I added this 4” inline fan to the vent hose. This way I can keep the external fan on much longer than the Glowforge. I like some of these other ideas though about deodorizing and cleaning which I’m going to start doing too.

iPower 4 Inch 100 CFM Booster Fan…



A little concerned about this detail in the description -

The motor on the iPower booster fan is not enclosed and is not to be used in high humidity environments. Please purchase an iPower inline fan instead if you require this functionality.

The smoke, gunk and general debris coming out of the GF might be a problem, but regular cleaning might cope with that OK.
John :upside_down_face:

Quick solution:
To get rid of the smell on the wood (not the machine) I just tried VIP by air wick.

Then I wiped the wood with lemon scented furniture polish to make sure it didn’t mess up the quality of the wood.
Better that normal air fresheners and worked like a charm.


So I just got my glowforge today, I set up the vent to go out the window. But it still fills my apartment with the smell of burning wood.

Is this normal? I am not sure how to fix this or if its dangerous lol.


How did you seal up the rest of the open window to prevent the fumes from coming back in? It’s not normal if you did seal up the window appropriately.

Was the exhaust fan running while operating? It’s pretty loud, like a vacuum cleaner, but only runs while the machine is operating.

There are a couple of times when you will get a smell from it. Right after you finish a job and open the lid, there can be a whiff of residual smoke that wafts out to you.

The other time is, if you have run a bunch of heavy cuts, the smoke residue will build up on the masking and until you remove that and drop it into a ziploc bag or sealed container, it can stink things up a bit.

If you are smelling strong odors at any other time, for instance while the machine is running a job, then you do not have your exhaust path sealed. If you have just dangled the hose out of a window, then any breeze can blow the smell right back into the house. You need to block the window closed around the hose and vent it outside, and not let the smoke back in. (People will cut a hole in a sheet of cardboard or foam, and put that in the window then run the hose out through the hole to keep most of the smoke outside.)

If you’ve made those minimal preparations already, and you are still getting an odor while cutting, you might need to tape the seams with air-tight tape. (Aluminum tape is air-tight. Other types of tape are not.)

Tape around the seams at the back of the machine, and tape around the exit port. In addition, check the hose for pinhole leaks and stick a piece of tape there too.

Replacing the foil hose with a thicker plastic one is also recommended…they are much better for keeping the smell contained.

Once you make a few preparations, there should be no smell when you run the machine.


Ah. I just used the stock hose running to a vent duct which is connected to a piece of wood in the window. Its like one of those window kits that come with portable AC’s.

Im pretty sure its sealed I used weather strips and duct tape. its quite windy outside so I feel the fumes would blow away quickly.

I thought the smell was from the gaps on the side where the top closes. I am pretty sure the fan is running, it is VERY loud.

I can get a different hose if that really is the issue.

No, you’re doing it right. You don’t need to go crazy with sealing it up, but just throwing the end of the hose out of an open window wouldn’t be ideal.

its connected to a duct thats connected to some wood and weather sealing strips and duct tape
heres a picture

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I have or had the same setup and there was smoke coming back into my room as well and found out it was coming back in between the the movable window and the stationary one where they overlap. added a small amount of foam between them and cut back like 95%. Hope that makes sense.

Yea the little gaps on top right? I Think I understand but do you have a picture?

What’s your actual exhaust run look like? How long? How many twists, turns, and bends? Have you triple-checked where it connects to the Glowforge? That can be a bit tricky to get a solid connection with the supplied clamp.

There are 2 bends/ turn, like 4 feet? Also yea the clamp is weird. I could just duct tape it on or something?

Those dryer vent ports are not always air tight. They’re created to direct warm air outside, but that’s not enough to keep smells out.

Sealing it up with some clear silicone caulk will stop the smells, or again, you’d have to tape it with aluminum tape. Duct tape doesn’t always do it. (We caulked ours…it’s cheap, quick and permanent. Just try caulking the seams on it.)


I was hoping to be able to detatch it when not in use, as it reccomends. But I could go to home depot and get a different exhaust hose and cover it with something?