How To Remove Dimethyl Fumarate From Sofa

If you don’t know how to remove dimethyl fumarate from sofa, the answer is sofa removal itself. However, it’s worth noting that this chemical was only present in couches shipped from China between 2001 to 2010. The EU even banned DMF-containing products. 

However, do not confuse dimethyl fumarate with dimethylformamide. Do not worry because you don’t need a chemistry class to ensure that you’ll get the safest sofa. Continue reading below to know more about these chemicals the easiest way. 

How To Remove Dimethyl Fumarate From Sofa


How To Remove Dimethyl Fumarate From Sofa Safely

If you notice itching and rashes, the sofa might not immediately be the culprit. Try washing or using other covers and check if irritation still occurs. It would also be best to immediately consult a doctor to determine the source of dermatitis correctly. 

Additionally, clean and deodorize the leather sofa regularly as it may have irritants that build up over time. 


Option 1: Dispose of the sofa

There is no best way to remove dimethyl fumarate or DMF in the sofa because the ideal solution is to use a different couch. The treatment for sofa dermatitis where DMF is the culprit is removing the offending item and proper medication for the skin irritation as advised by the doctor. Remember that imported sofas made of leather can absorb DMF, and there’s no remedy once this happens. 

However, DMF is no longer an issue these days as long as your couch is not bought between 2001 and 2010. Furthermore, it will give you peace of mind getting the furniture in the US and not those shipped from Asia. And if you’re in the EU, the European Commission has banned DMF in the imports since 2009. 


Option 2: Use US-made furniture

But what about in the US? There is no ban on dimethyl fumarate in the US because it is used in Tecfidera, a medication for multiple sclerosis patients. Nonetheless, there is nothing to worry about because it’s not present in the silica gel packets in furniture nowadays. The American Contact Dermatitis Society did select DMF as the 2011 Allergen of the Year, so it’s hard to know if it’s still applied to some imported leather furniture like sofas. 

The good news is US manufacturers refrain from using DMF in their products. Now, let us discuss why DMF was needed in sofas in the first place. 


What is Dimethyl Fumarate from the sofa?

DMF or dimethyl fumarate was used when shipping upholstery from overseas. Manufacturers use this to protect their furniture, like leather sofas, from developing mold due to moisture exposure during travel. They pack the couch with the antifungal chemical that comes in little sachets with white crystalline powder. 

The drawback of this practice is that the powder will evaporate over time. Leather is porous, and it eventually absorbs dimethyl fumarate. By contacting sofas with DMF, you risk dermatitis due to your body’s reaction to this chemical


DMF vs Dimethyl Fumarate

It’s worth mentioning that DMF does not only mean dimethyl fumarate. DMF is also the abbreviation for dimethylformamide, which has restrictions regarding exposure. The DMF in exported sofas is a biocide released by a paper sachet, while dimethyl formamide is a solvent that can be harmful inhaled. 


Why Does My Leather Couch Make Me Itch?

DMF can cause itchiness in people who have used a leather couch that has absorbed such chemicals. The reaction varies from the skin getting red and tender. These rashes are known as contact dermatitis, and you might experience dryness, peeling, or even a burning sensation on the skin. 

After being diagnosed by an allergist, they will offer you a treatment plan. The condition should improve and be more manageable, so getting tested by a doctor is essential. Once you notice rashes after owning a leather sofa, do not hesitate to consult a healthcare professional. 


What Does Sofa Dermatitis Look Like?

Severe eczema can occur on the back, thighs, calves, buttocks, legs, and arms. The areas of the body directly in contact with the sofa will show the most reactions. The patches may range from red rashes to even itchy and scaly skin. 

Some people have even experienced severe symptoms that they need to be hospitalized. A dermatologist will confirm if you are experiencing sofa dermatitis by doing a patch test. This will determine if you are allergic to DMF. 


How Do You Treat Couch Dermatitis?

The treatment for couch dermatitis will vary for every patient. It can mean using topical corticosteroids to alleviate the symptoms such as inflammation. You may also use emollients to reduce scaling and make the condition more manageable. 


Are Leather Couches Better For Allergies?

A DMF-free leather sofa can be helpful for people with sensitive skin. This is because leather does not harbor allergens like dander and dust mites as easily. However, it’s still crucial that you know how to clean and repair the leather sofa to ensure its safety for a long time. 



If you notice rashes on your skin after getting a leather sofa, DMF might be to blame. In this article, you have learned how to remove dimethyl fumarate from sofa. It’s best to eliminate the couch because the chemical has already seeped through the porous leather. 

However, DMF is not something you should worry about nowadays. You can always consult your doctor once irritation occurs, even if the chemical is not as apparent on US-made furniture.


3 thoughts on “How To Remove Dimethyl Fumarate From Sofa”

  1. I purchased 2 sofas about over 20 years ago these were manufactured in Chiba with the di methyl furmarate. I was not advised that I should have got rid if it even though I complained to the store thsy I was having burning skin. Later on other stores that sold it to the public were being affected abd complained. They were compensated but I was not and the store never told me to get rid of ut even when I complained.
    You are correct it has built up in ythecleather sofas over the years and spilled out into my hone affecting everything including my skin clothes furniture’s and surfaces.

    I ca t get rid of it and mo one seen able to help.
    Maybe you could contact me on my email address [email protected] to give advice.

  2. I bought 2 La-Z-y Boy recliners a couple of years ago through Amazon. The model was called Sand, but there were labels that said Mahogany. So, they had been recovered. I fought this bad allergy (apparently from dimethyl fumarate) for 1 year, then I discovered the problem, and destroyed the recliners. However, the dimethyl fumarate got into my carpet from the recliners. I have periodically fought this allergy, when I track the dimethyl fumarate into my bed, or if I vacuum the carpet, it becomes airborne. You say to buy American. But La-Z-y bought a Chinese company, so they would not have to label the furniture made in China. I now see that dimethyl fumarate is hydrophilic. I should be able to remove it from the carpet with water.

  3. Just received two Lazy boy furniture pieces a sofa and love seat a month ago, in the Sand, leather like fabric – and started itching and developed a rash immediately. It’s getting worse each time – to the point of large welts on my back. Waiting to hear back from Customer Service, but everything I have read indicates to get the items out of the house. I also have asthma and really worried about it affecting my breathing.

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