What does a new carpet smell like? Well, it can range from animal or fishy odours to musty or weak wool scents. It may be quite unpleasant, to begin with, but there are ways to eliminate a new carpet smell effectively without too much effort. See how to get rid of a new carpet smell here…
Frequently Asked Questions
What makes new carpet smell?
Carpet is manufactured using a range of chemical ingredients. The new carpet smell is due to volatile organic compounds – known as VOC – which have a high vapour pressure at room temperature. As these compounds are released into the air a process of carpet off-gassing begins.
Carpet-backing materials and adhesives and pads used to secure the carpet may also contain these volatile chemicals that turn into fumes when exposed to the air.
How long does a new carpet smell last?
The majority of new carpets will give off these fumes that leave a smell. This off-gassing process normally peaks during the first 48 hours following the carpet installation. Depending on the temperature of the room where the carpet has been fitted, the smell may remain for up to a few weeks.
The higher the temperature of the room the faster the off-gassing process finishes, although with many carpets the process is continual – you’re just unable to notice it.
Will the smell affect my health?
According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, the new carpet is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs when compared to other household items. For those with sensitivities, off-gas fumes may temporarily heighten symptoms. Headaches, coughs, and shortness of breath may be related to new carpet installation, so it’s advisable to stay away from the property for a few days if at all possible.
How can I remove the smell from carpet?
You can reduce the odour quickly by opening windows and doors to provide adequate ventilation
- Turn on a heater or air-conditioner to increase air ventilation, or use fans to promote air circulation
- Use air fresheners or burn incense to cover the smell short-term
- Place fabric softener refills under the furniture to let a pleasant smell filter through
Can I remove new carpet smell naturally?
- Yes, you can – try sprinkling baking powder onto the carpet and leave it overnight. The following day vacuum the carpet thoroughly. Bear in mind that actually vacuuming the carpet on a regular basis will help reduce the smell.
- Cut onions or apples in half and place them in small bowls and let them absorb the carpet odour – onions work better if water is added to the container. Vinegar added to water will also help get rid of the smell
- Large potted plants such as Aloe Vera or Spider Plants absorb the odour of new carpets, so try putting some inside the room and let them do the work for you!
What shouldn’t I do?
- You should avoid using any kind of detergent on your new carpet as this can leave behind a residue that can damage the carpet fibres.
- Don’t mask the smell with food as this can cause long-term issues with cooking smells that the carpet easily absorbs.
- Using an ioniser will actually make the smell worse as the by-product of ozone can react with the VOCs released, so stay clear of them.
Is there anything I can do before the carpet is fitted?
- Check out CRI approved carpets – these are carpets that have been approved by the Carpet and Rug Institute and have been tested for off-gassing and lower emissions
- Ask for your new carpets to be aired for two to three days before installation
- Choose the time of year to have your carpets fitted when you can leave the windows and doors open for maximum ventilation
- Have the name of a trusted carpet cleaning company handy so that you can make a call
Get a Free Quote for Professional Carpet Cleaning
Having your brand-new carpet cleaned by specialists
just twice a year will remove trapped pollutants, prevent mould growth, as well as optimising your health! You’ll get trained technicians providing quick and effective cleaning solutions – using eco-friendly products. Maintaining your carpet with the help of carpet cleaning experts will ensure it looks pristine and smells fresh for many years to come.