New carpet scent is caused by VOCs in the carpet that begins to rise out once it has been unrolled. It can create an unpleasant scent in your home until off-gassing is complete. This can occur within 24 hours or over the course of five days after installation. You’re more likely to get your home back to the way you like within 24 hours by actively working to diminish new carpet smell using the eight tips below.
7 Steps for a Better Smelling Carpet
Use one or a combination of the suggestions below to eliminate new carpet odor quickly and efficiently.
1. Ventilate the Room
Perhaps the best strategy, ventilating your home after carpet installation is an easy fix for new carpet smell. Simply keep all windows and doors open for 72 hours following carpet installation, even if you notice the smell stops before then.
Time and airflow are key agents to warding off a lingering scent. To speed up this process, turn on fans and your HVAC system to increase airflow through the rooms with new carpet.
2. Vacuum to Reduce Smell
Vacuum right after your new carpet is installed to grab leftover debris. Follow this up with daily cleaning for best results in limiting new carpet smell. While you should be vacuuming your carpet frequently for maintenance purposes, it’s especially important to vacuum freshly installed carpet when trying to get rid of nasty new carpet smells.
3. Steam Carpets with Vinegar
Try steaming your carpets with a vinegar solution for particularly tough odors. The vinegar is a strong odor-killer and can help with lingering scents. You can either perform the steam cleaning yourself or bring in a professional.
4. Sprinkle Baking Soda on Carpets
Baking soda can be used to absorb any scents your new carpet gives off. Simply sprinkle a layer of the baking soda on the new carpet and leave it for 24 to 48 hours. Repeat for the desired effect.
5. Place Potted Plants in Room
Potted plants go hand-in-hand with ventilation. Move a few large potted plants into the new room. This will help to generate new air and force the smell out through opened windows and doors.
Try these plants for best results:
6. Use Submerged Onions, Celery, or Apples
Place onion, celery or apple halves into a bowl, using water for celery and onions only, and place in the newly-carpeted room. This will help to absorb the odors in the air. Leave this to soak overnight for the best results.
7. Cover the Scent with Aromas
Admittedly, covering the scent is only masking the problem. But if the smell of a new carpet is too intense you can use potpourri or air fresheners to help diminish the unpleasant scents.
You should only use this strategy alongside others for eliminating new carpet smell, not as a standalone solution.
Next Time, Try This: Using Nails Over Glue for Installation
Part of the problem can be related to the installation itself. Using glue for carpet installation can cause more off-gassing and more irritating smells in your home. Opt for nails over carpet glue to cut down on the intensity of new carpet scent.
Can You Prevent New Carpet Smell Altogether?
What is Carpet Off-Gassing?
New carpet smell is also referred to as carpet off-gassing. It is the release of VOCs once the carpet has been removed from its warehouse and unrolled. By following the previous suggestion, exposure to carpet off-gassing can be significantly reduced. The Carpet and Rug Institute has created a Green Label certification to mark rugs and carpets that are lower in chemical compounds and produce less off-gassing.
To prevent the brunt of the off-gassing, many contractors will try to unroll new carpet in the warehouse or your garage before installation.
How Long Does Off-Gassing Take?
Off-gassing can last up to five days in some cases. But more commonly will only occur for the two days following installation. This is when the carpet has been unrolled and is at room temperature triggering the off-gassing to begin.
Other home renovation processes will contribute to off-gassing in your home. This includes:
- Wood furniture
- Other flooring types
By providing proper ventilation and actively trying techniques to rid your carpet of that ‘new’ scent, you can significantly reduce the duration of off-gassing.