Cleaning Guides

How To Get Rid of New Carpet Smell

A distinctive smell is often associated with new carpeting, as many homeowners have discovered. Good news: you don’t have to put up with bad carpet smells and wait for them to disappear. These tips will help you remove new carpet odours and prevent them from recurring.

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So, if you are:

  • Getting a new carpet fitted;
  • Wondering why your new carpet smells;
  • Looking for ways to remove the bad carpet odour;

Then read on!

Here you will learn how to get rid of the new carpet smell (or reduce it as much as possible) and why your carpet stink in the first place.

Why does my brand-new carpet smell?

“This way, you know it’s new”, they say. But… if the carpet is new, then why does it smell like feet?

As an industrially processed product, the carpet is manufactured using multiple chemical ingredients. That new carpet odour is caused by volatile organic compounds (VOC), and the process of these compounds being released into the air is called carpet off-gassing.

  • More often than not, the carpet is glued to the floor using adhesives that release VOCs.
  • The foam under the carpeting is another violator of your sense of smell. It can also contribute to the overall bad smell right after the carpet has been installed.

If your rug is not brand new and started to smell bad right after you’ve cleaned it, check our post on what to do if you are experiencing a smelly carpet after cleaning.

Before learning how to eliminate the chemical smell in your new carpet, let’s dive deeper into what off-gassing is and how long the process takes.

What is off-gassing and how long does it take?

Almost any brand-new carpet does give off some VOC fumes that leave a musty carpet scent, especially the ones made from synthetic fibres.

New woollen carpets will also come with a weak wool smell which can get stronger if the material is wet or damp.

Offgassing is at its peak in the first 24-48 hours after the carpet has been installed. Depending on the room temperature, the process could take from 4 or 5 days to up to a few weeks. The higher the temperature, the quicker the off-gassing will fade.

Keep in mind that off-gassing occurs through the entire life of a carpet, but you shouldn’t worry because you won’t be able to tell the difference after the initial “peak” period is over.

How do you make a carpet offgas faster?

You can achieve this using heat. To speed up the off-gassing, turn the heat up in the room where the new carpet is installed and just leave the area. Come back later only to open and close all doors and windows and air out the space for a few minutes. Doing the above 2-3 times per day should be sufficient to speed up the off-gassing process.

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Natural ways to get rid of new carpet smell

As previously discussed in the blog post, the unpleasant odour will gradually fade away with time, but for the most impatient of you, here are some tips on how to get rid of new carpet fumes (almost) naturally and freshen the room:

  • Use nails rather than glue to secure the rug in place. Often adhesives release off-gas fumes (VOCs) in the air, too.
  • Pour baking soda onto the carpet and leave it overnight. Vacuum the carpet using a cleaner with HEPA filters the next day.
  • Vacuum the carpet frequently. Vacuuming often when the item is new may reduce the smell. Do this every day or every other day.
  • Add vinegar to the water when cleaning carpets with a DIY steam cleaner to eliminate the odour.
  • Cut onion or apples in half and place the halves in small bowls. They will absorb the new carpet odour. If you are using onions, pour some water into the bowls.
  • Place large potted plants inside the newly carpeted room. Consider plants like Golden Pothos, Spider Plant, Aloe Vera, etc. Crack a window to get more fresh air.
  • Ensure proper air circulation by airing out the room. Ventilate the space by opening all windows and doors.
  • Use fans to speed up the odour-removal process. Alternatively, turn on the air conditioning or heating system.
  • Hot water extraction is an effective solution against bad odours and may resolve your issue. If the smell persists, arrange a carpet cleaning service on-site.

Are you looking to get rid of that unpleasant cat urine odour from your carpet? Check our guide out and remove the nasty smell for good!

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More carpet odour removal tips

Do not use detergents

The usage of detergents on new carpets is not advisable. Detergents tend to leave a soapy residue which can damage the fibres of your freshly bought item.

Avoid using ionizers

An ionizer produces ozone as a byproduct, and studies show that ozone reacts with VOCs released by the carpet. In other words, using an ionizer will make things worse.

If you’re passionate about DIY and you want to clean your rug by yourself, read our helpful post on the topic. It’ll walk you through how to clean a carpet without a machine and prolong the life of the fibres.

What can you do before carpet installation?

Eliminating new carpet odour can be a bit time-consuming. Planning your actions beforehand, however, will help you resolve the issue in a timely manner.

If the carpet is yet to be installed, consider the following:

  1. Buy certified goods. Consider buying a carpet that has Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label and Green Label Plus tags on it. CRI-approved carpets have been tested for off-gassing and should be a safe choice.
  2. Air the carpet beforehand. While this one is tricky, it is achievable. If you are working with a contractor, simply ask him to air out the carpet for at least 2-3 days before installing it.
  3. Springtime is the best time to replace your carpet. This way, it will be easier for you to ventilate the house.

Hire a professional carpet cleaning company

In case you are still being bothered by some nasty odour coming from your new carpet, why don’t you let the professional carpet cleaners from Fantastic Services eliminate it for you? The skilled and reliable specialists will clean your carpet on-site and leave your home with a fresh scent and a sparkling floor.

Book professional carpet cleaning service!

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  • New carpet odours are natural due to the chemicals used in manufacturing and installation.
  • Carpet off-gassing is at its peak in the first 24-48 hours.
  • Airing out can take 4-5 days, up to a few weeks.
  • Higher temperatures speed up the process.
  • Baking soda and vinegar help get rid of new carpet odour.
  • To aid the process, new carpets can be aired out 2-3 days before installation.


Did you find this information useful? Did you tackle the new carpet smell? Share with us in the comments below!

Header image source: depositphotos / by syda_productions

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