When you first get your brand-new carpet, you’ll notice the beautiful color or the soft, plushy texture right away. You may also realize that the room has an unpleasant odor from the carpet fibers, adhesive and padding. Use this guide to learn how to get new carpet smell out of your bedroom, living room or family room to enjoy this newly renovated part of your house.
Why Does New Carpet Smell?
Manufacturers create a carpet with several chemical ingredients that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Even though the smell may bother some people with medical conditions — such as those with asthma and respiratory illnesses — most people only consider it annoying. If you have asthma or other medical conditions, VOCs can sometimes make you nauseous or dizzy, and they can irritate your throat, eyes and nose.
The following components of your carpeting have VOCs in them:
- The carpet fibers: The carpet’s releasing of VOCs is called carpet off-gassing. Even though these compounds can be dangerous, your flooring doesn’t produce enough to harm you. The Carpet and Rug Institute says that carpeting is one of the lowest emitters of VOCs in your house. If you haven’t had it installed yet, ask your flooring specialist about low-VOC or VOC-free carpet materials.
- The glue under your carpet: Besides the carpet fibers, the adhesives that glue the carpet to the floor also contain VOCs, further contributing to the smell. This glue that specialists use to install carpeting has higher VOC levels than the carpet itself. Ask your floor installer about using a different method, like nailing it to the subfloors.
- The foam padding: The foam under the carpeting also can produce a smell, especially right after the specialist installs it. If you haven’t installed your carpet yet, you can ask your flooring specialist if they offer padding with low-VOC or VOC-free materials.
- The other parts of a new construction house: Carpeting fibers tend to absorb the odors and allergens in the air, including in a new construction home. If you’re building your new house or taking on a full-home renovation, try to lay down the carpet last. As you’re using paint and other materials with VOCs, the carpeting can absorb all these materials and produce an even more potent smell.
The off-gassing process could take anywhere from a day up to a few weeks after the flooring specialist installed your carpet, depending on the room’s temperature and ventilation. Warmer temperatures and adequate airflow could get rid of the smell quicker.
10 Ways to Get Rid of New Carpet Smell
If you’ve just installed your carpeting, the odor might be strong and irritating, but it won’t last forever. The following tips can help you to get the new carpet smell out of your living space quickly:
- Ventilate the carpet: Open the windows and put on a fan or air conditioner to get rid of the smell after you first get your carpet. The manufacturer can advise how long you should keep the room ventilated, but most recommend having a proper airflow for at least a few days.
- Vacuum every other day: If there are any odors left hanging around the room, you could try running the vacuum over your carpet. Besides getting rid of the smell, vacuuming can also loosen up fuzz and dust particles. Try vacuuming your carpet every other day to eliminate the odors in your carpet, even if it doesn’t look dirty.
- Sprinkle baking soda: Try putting a little baking soda in your carpet if the smell still lingers after vacuuming. Let the powder sit for a full day, and then rerun the vacuum. It should absorb most of the fumes from your carpet fibers, but you can repeat the process several times if you still notice the smell.
- Use a steam cleaner: For exceptionally stubborn odors, steam clean the carpet to rinse away the chemical residue stuck in the fibers. You could either rent a basic steam cleaner from a local home improvement store or have your flooring professionally cleaned.
- Clean the air with a portable filter: To get rid of the new carpet smell in the air, invest in a portable air purifier. Choose a product with an activated carbon filter that can trap gaseous air contaminants, such as VOCs. You could also install a filter attachment in your central air conditioning system.
- Have a plant in the room: Plants are eco-friendly, cost-effective decorations you could use to get rid of new carpet smell. Particular vegetation, such as the bamboo palm and peace lily, can eliminate VOCs in the room. These houseplants can also produce oxygen that enhances the air quality of your living space.
- Absorb the odor with vinegar: If you’re looking for an all-natural method, you could place vinegar in various small bowls around the room on sturdy furniture pieces. It’s best if you can leave them in the room overnight so the vinegar can absorb the odors from your carpeting. Be careful not to spill the acidic vinegar on the carpet fibers, because they could hold onto the substance’s smell.
- Place onions around the room: Cut a few large onions in half and place them in small bowls around the room. Leave them out overnight if you can so the onions can absorb the smell and speed up the off-gassing process. Make sure these food items are not within reach of children or pets.
- Use apples to freshen up the air: If you don’t have vinegar or onions in the house, you might have a couple of apples you could use. Cut them in half and put them in small bowls around the room. The apples will help remove the odors from the carpet and give the room a better aroma. This method is a more natural technique than using detergent.
- Avoid using detergents: You may want to cover up the smell with a fresh detergent, but doing so could worsen the odor. Soap can deposit unwanted residue onto the carpet, producing a new, unpleasant smell. If you decide to use detergents as a last resort, you should always consult your product warranties to make sure you’re using the right and safest substances.
Contact 50 Floor for Advice About Taking Care of Your Carpet
At 50 Floor, we offer a wide selection of carpeting to enhance the visual appeal of your bedroom, living room or family room. Our specialists can provide you with a floor care guide to help you maintain your carpet for all the years you have it. You can schedule an appointment with us or call us at 1-877-50-FLOOR.