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Unpleasant smell of new carpet

Unpleasant smell of new carpet

When you buy a new carpet, especially synthetic composition, can be very unpleasant to smell, to plastics and that bothers you, and in some cases to cause an allergic reaction.


Unpleasant smell of new carpet

My friend Marty just had carpet laid, and now she has those familiar "new carpet smells" in her house. Carpet itself emits stinky chemical odors, not to mention the smells from the adhesive if its glued down. The last time I had carpet laid, I complained about the smells to the installer. He remarked that he had been laying carpet so long that he doesnt even notice any odors anymore. For the rest of us who dont like- or are even allergic to- the smells, the sooner we can eliminate them, the better. Read this informative article and learn how to get rid of new carpet smells in your home!

1 Isolate the New Carpet Smells and Ventilate the Room 
When I got new bedroom carpet a few years ago, I shut off that room from the rest of the house. I 
slept in another bedroom for a few nights until I could rid of the new carpet smells. I opened up the windows to help ventilate the area. If you can set-up fans in opposite windows and get cross-ventilation going, thats even better. One fan should be pulling air in while the second fan blows air out the window. Ive heard that putting plants in the room helps rid of new carpet smells.

According to The Carpet and Rug Institute, ventilating the room for one to three days is all you need to do. I think it depends on how sensitive you are to the chemical smells, especially if have allergic reactions or respiratory problems.

2 Vacuum the New Carpet Over and Over Again 
Sweeping the new floor covering also helps get rid of new carpet smells in your home. This works well if your vacuum has a HEPA filter.

An extra odor fighter you can use in addition to sweeping the new carpet is baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda on it and let it sit overnight. Vacuum the soda up in the morning to get rid of new carpet smells in your home.

3 Use Febreze or What Odor? to Get Rid of New Carpet Smells 
Marty considered spraying her new carpet with Febreze Carpet Odor Eliminator. I thought it would work, but I hesitated about spraying the floor covering with more chemicals. I suggested a natural, non-toxic product called "What Odor?" if she was going to go that route. The late Billy Mays pitches it on the web site video. Yes, hes still selling products. You can see the "What Odor?" video here to find out all about this product.

4 Use a Steam Carpet Cleaner With Vinegar and Water 
To get rid of new carpet smells in your house, you can do what I did. I poured two cups of white vinegar into the tank on my carpet cleaner. I then filled the tank up the rest of the way with hot water. Vinegar is well-known for its odor-killing properties. Clean the carpet as you normally would, but without using shampoo. If you dont want to do it yourself, call a professional to do a hot water extraction to get rid of new carpet smells in your home.

Afterward, I turned the fans back on in front of the open windows to continue ventilating the room. The air movement helped dry the carpet too.

5 Use AFMs SafeChoice Carpet Seal 
If you can still cant get rid of new carpet smells enough to satisfy your nose, you can use a carpet sealer. AFM makes a "unique sealer designed to prevent the outgassing of harmful chemicals used in carpet backing." SafeChoice Carpet Seal is non-toxic 

Six Ways to Sidestep New Carpet Smell  "and Toxins"

Many people give me a guilty look when they tell me they have wall-to-wall carpet in their homes. I always feel badly that they are embarassed, especially because there is so much misinformation about how toxic carpets are and why — and because I know that carpeting can be a lot cheaper than other types of flooring. I myself would have enjoyed wall-to-wall carpet in a few rooms when my daughter was younger, as I think that soft surface would have been cozy for her.
Im not going to recommend wall-to-wall carpet in this blog. They can be a sinkhole of allergens, as well as for toxins tracked in from outside. And some carpets can be toxic, with ingredients ranging from glues used to attach the carpet to the floor to antimicrobial/fungicidal pesticides, 4-phenylcyclohexene 4-PC from latex binders, or a general chemical soup.
One of the great mysteries about rolls of carpet, according to Rosalind Anderson, Ph.D., is that one part of it might be toxic while another isnt. And some rolls have enough toxicity to make people sick, while other rolls dont — even if they have been manufactured in the same way.

If you choose carpet, the healthiest choices are to:

1. Nail, dont glue, the carpet down.

2. Choose natural fiber carpet when you can afford it (specify that you want organic wool carpet).

3. Buy low-VOC brands. Volatile organic compounds are toxic, and they commonly off-gas from furnishings including carpet.

4. Avoid styrene-butadiene-rubber latex combinations and polyurethane carpet backing.

5. Look for a Carpet and Rug Institute label.

6. Try a nontoxic carpet sealant. If you recently got new carpet and it still smells even if the glue has dried or it was nailed down, you may not know if it is toxic  — but you probably want the smell to go away. When a colleague of mine moved into an apartment that had new carpet, the smell gave him headaches and flulike symptoms. He used a nontoxic carpet-sealing product from AFM Safecoat that substantially reduced the smell. The sealant itself had no detectable odor. He needed an extra coat in the closets, but other than that the sealant really did the trick.

How to Remove New Carpet Odor

That new carpet smell is not just annoying, it is actually hazardous chemicals that you are breathing into your body.  Here are some options for removing new carpet smell from your home or office.

Fresh Air
You can open windows to let fresh air inside to reduce new carpet smell. Just opening one window will not create the cross ventilation necessary to remove the odor - you must open two opposing windows to create a breeze and let the fresh air come in one window and let the new carpet smell out the other window.  Box fans can intensify the breeze to aid in airing out the room faster.  Make sure to keep the doors to other rooms in your home or office closed so the new carpet smell does not go throughout the house.
If you have not yet installed your new carpet, you can ask your installer to air out the carpet a few days before installing to help the smell dissipate a bit.

Air Conditioner
Consider running your air conditioner or whole house fan to remove the stinky new carpet odor. Depending on your air conditioner, this may distribute the smell to other rooms in your home or office thus making the problem worse.

Clean the Carpet
You can try steam cleaning or vacuuming the new carpet according to the manufacturers recommendations in order to reduce the new carpet odor.

Potted Plants
Potted plants are a natural air cleaner and may reduce the new carpet odor.  Some of the best house plants for cleaning the air are Golden Pothos, Peace Lily, Rubber Plant, Aloe Vera, and Spider Plant.

Cover the Smell
You can cover the new carpet smell by adding potpourri to the room, adding a cut up onion to the room, or spraying air freshener in the room, but that only covers up the bad air smell and does nothing to remove the air pollutants.

Low VOC Carpet, Carpet Pad, and Glue
The best option is to use low VOC carpet, low VOC carpet padding, and non toxic carpet glue (or tacks instead of glue). VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compounds. Low VOC carpet does not contain as many pollutants thus the smell is greatly reduced and does not contaminate the air inside your home or office nearly as much.  Keep in mind that the carpet fibers may be low VOC, but you also need the carpet backing, the carpet pad, and the carpet installation method to be low VOC to reduce contaminants.  Most carpets with VOCs will stop smelling bad after a few days, but they still release harmful toxins in the air for up to a year after installing.