Carpet feels great on your bare feet, keeps them warm and adds a lot of character in your home. But what about the odd aroma that tends to come with it? Have you ever wondered what causes that distinct new carpet smell? Is it a bunch of toxic chemicals that you should be breathing in? What's the best way to eliminate your new carpet's odor? And here's where we step in to answer all these questions!
Why Does My New Carpet Smell?
The odor of the new carpeting is caused by chemicals known as Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs. This vast group of chemicals include many that are frequently used in the manufacturing of household products like paint, vinyl flooring, wall coverings, floor finishes, etc. Volatile in this case means that they evaporate at room temperature. So, as the new carpet gradually releases, or "off-gasses" the chemicals, they enter the air where we can smell them.
Getting Rid of That New Carpet Smell
First, go with a carpet that has a Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label and Green Label Plus tags on it. These are highly recommended as they "off-gas" low emission chemicals.
Then, before the carpet is installed, unroll it in a dry, well ventilated room for about 3 days so that it can "off-gas" most of its chemical fumes.
Also, make it a point to have the carpet stapled or tacked down instead of glued down. Gluing it down will increase the number of chemicals, which is not advisable and the smell of glue is irritating.
Ventilation is the Best Way to Eliminate New Carpet Odor
Airing out the room is the single most effective way to get rid of any unwanted smells in your carpet. So, during and after installation, open your windows, turn on several fans on the high-speed setting, and point some at the windows to help push the fumes outside. Keep this going for about 72 hours or until the odor goes away enough for you. Another thing you could do is consider running your air conditioner or heater as it will increase air ventilation, but it will run up your electrical bill fast.
Home Remedies for New Carpet Smell
To continue to help the removal of the new carpet's odor, try these simple tricks, too:
- Sprinkle some baking soda on the carpet, leave it overnight and vacuum it up in the morning. The baking soda will definitely help absorb the odor.
- Place small bowls of vinegar around the room when the carpet chemicals smell the strongest.
- Slice a couple of large onions in half and place the halves in small bowls with a small amount of water. Then place these bowls around the room and leave them overnight. Of course, make sure they are out of the reach of children or pets. The onions will help dissipate the scent and speed up the reduction of the odor.
- Slice several apples into halves and place them on saucers or in small bowls with a small amount of water. Place the bowls around the room and leave overnight. The properties of the apples will help remove some of the scent and give the room a cleaner scent.
- Get house plants as they can help filter chemicals from the air
Cleaning Your New Carpet
For really stubborn odor, steam cleaning your carpet can help by rinsing away any chemical residue that might be left in the carpet fibers. Doing it yourself with a basic steam cleaner is a good start, but having a professional carpet cleaning is better. To learn more about why professional carpet cleaning is better, check out our other blog here.
You should always frequently vacuum your carpet, even if it's not new. However, vacuuming often when you get a new carpet can help reduce the smell. Try to do this every day or every other day to see if it actually does eliminate the odor.
Also, make sure you vacuum the carpet right after it's installed since there may be debris and loose fuzz on the floor.
What Not to Do
While there are many ways to help get rid of the new carpet smell, there are also ways you should avoid that can make the odor worse.
- Avoid masking the odor with food. Cooking smells are easily absorbed by the carpet fibers and it's hard to get that scent out. And while it might mask the smell, it most likely will be a whole new unpleasant odor that you're stuck with for a long time.
- Do not use detergents to remove scents. They tend to leave behind residue that can damage the carpeting.
So, after all this helpful information, we think it's safe to say that if your new carpet is giving off a weird smell, you don't have anything to worry about. The small amount of chemicals in the odor are not likely to make you ill and it should go away within a week or two if you follow these tips!
At Avalon Flooring, we want to make sure you're happy from your first step in our showroom to your first step on your new flooring—and as your partner in home design, we'll be there every step along the way. Consider us your "One-Stop Shopping" destination for all things flooring…(and window treatments)!
Our design consultants are equipped with the knowledge to guide you through the wide selection of products we offer, and our expert installation team is professionally trained to make sure everything gets installed the way you envision. We know your home is an expression of your sense of style, and we're here to make sure you'll be proud of it for years to come.
If you have any questions, please email us.