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Whether you’ve just moved into a freshly carpeted apartment, or whether you’ve bought a new bathroom rug for the family house, it doesn’t really matter. Why? Because in both cases you weren’t ready for it.
You weren’t prepared for that unpleasant smell coming from your new carpet. And, now, many questions arise, questions like “Is it harmful?”, or “How long will it be like this?”, and “What should I do?”, and so on.
So, if you are:
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 does your carpet stink in the first place.
“This way you know it’s new”, they say. But… if the carpet is new, then why does it smell like a farmyard, or like a sheep, or maybe even like a fish?
People can get insanely creative when they describe the odour of their new carpet.
Anyway, here is what is going on.
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.
For people with sensitivities, these “off-gas” fumes can worsen their symptoms but the majority of rug lovers are describing the scent of a new carpet as nothing more than an unpleasant odour. In the meantime, others tend to enjoy the smell of their investment. After all, carpets don’t come cheap, right?
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.
Almost any brand new carpet does give off some VOC’s fumes that leave a musty 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.
So, there is no definitive answer to the question how long does it take to get rid of new carpet smell. However, remember the following – the higher the temperature, the quicker will the off-gassing 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.
Before you freak out…
According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, the carpet is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs compared to other household items present in the home. So, no need to rip your wall-to-wall carpet off the floor just yet.
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.
However, there are certain drawbacks. You will probably receive a juicy electricity bill at the end of the month and you will need a lot of free time to maintain the air circulation during the course of a couple of days.
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:
The hot water extraction cleaning method, also known as steam cleaning, is great for removing stains of almost any origin, including sweat, coffee, wine, fruit, chocolate, and more.
It also does a great job of eliminating unpleasant smells from carpets and upholsteries. This highly efficient method can be applied to almost any type of carpet or rug on the market, including:
For quite some time natural latex has been linked with the allergic reactions caused by the proteins found in it. To solve this issue, carpet manufacturers have turned to synthetic latex and implemented it in their production process.
Wool, nylon, polypropylene and polyester make up the majority of materials found in carpet. There is no evidence that these components can be harmful to health and they can be often found in furniture, bedding and clothing.
4-phenylcyclohexene (4-PCH) is a by-product of the synthetic latex binders used to hold the carpet backing together. Its volatile organic compound nature surely poses an important question: can 4-pch cause irritation or headaches? Actually, there is a research done on this matter, prompted by a situation at the Washington DC headquarters, where a few employees complained about the carpet odour. After some laboratory testing, the scientists concluded that there is no connection between 4-PCH and any kind of adverse effects on human health.
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.
An ionizer produces ozone as a byproduct and studies (1, 2 ) show that ozone reacts with VOCs released by the carpet. In other words, using an ionizer will make things worse. Stay away from it, at least until the peak off-gassing period is over.
There is no magic trick which will absolutely remove the new carpet odour immediately. As with cleaning stains from spilt milk, patience is key. Just give it a little time. If the smell is something you can’t stand, if possible, simply stay out of the freshly carpeted room until the smell fades away.
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. As for the cleaning frequency, see our post on how often to clean carpets.
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:
There you have it, your guide to removing new carpet odour at home! 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.
No matter of the cleaning method, remember to always do a small spot test on hidden part of your carpet. Depending on the size, nature, and age of the stain, some of them might be impossible to remove. We cannot take responsibility if any of the above-mentioned methods do not work on your carpets. Read our full disclaimer here.
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