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What Causes That New Carpet Smell?


Mother watching kids play on the carpet

Like a new car or a freshly-painted room, newly installed carpeting has a distinct smell. It can be an unpleasant smell that some can find irritating. So what exactly causes this smell? Is there anything you can do to make it go away faster? Here’s everything you need to know about the odors from your new carpet.

What causes it?

The odor you’re smelling is caused by the off-gassing of chemicals called Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs. VOCs are chemicals often found in manufactured household materials including flooring, carpets, padding, and paint. “Volatile” simply means they dissipate at room temperature.

The latex adhesive that is used to bond the primary and secondary backing to the face fibers is found in almost all types.  From synthetic materials like polyester or nylon, to natural fibers like wool, most of the newly installed carpet smell will be the same.

Is off-gassing harmful to people or pets?

The off-gassing of VOCs from carpet has not been found to have adverse health effects for the average person and pet. VOCs are common in many household materials — and carpet actually has a very low amount of them compared to other types.

Anyone with a pre-existing medical condition like allergies or asthma might experience discomfort due to VOCs, with symptoms like a sore throat, headaches, and dizziness. The good news is there are low-VOC and even non-VOC carpeting options available.

How can I get rid of this smell?

The VOCs that cause this smell will disappear on their own in one to two weeks. There are also some tactics you can employ to get rid of the smell even sooner.

  • Ventilate: open windows and run fans in the room where the new carpet is installed for a minimum of 72 hours.
  • Install the carpet using tacking strip instead of using glue (there will be fewer chemicals this way).
  • Vacuum: run a vacuum, then wait 24 hours and vacuum again.
  • Purify the air: use an air purifier and/or bring air-purifying plants like ferns and spider plants into the room.
  • Steam clean: if the smell persists or remains overwhelming, you can steam clean the carpet to remove the chemicals even faster.

At Ayoub N&H, we have options for carpet with low VOCs as well as a special steam cleaning process to help encourage the newly installed carpet smell to go away much sooner.

Contact us today or use our shop at home feature to buy carpet from the comfort of your home.

Here are more facts about new carpet smell.

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They cleaned some rugs that were in my basement that had been damaged from flooding… I thought that Ayoub N&H Carpet and Rugs did a fantastic job. They even smelled fresh and clean when they were done. I would definitely recommend their services to others. They are also very reasonable on their charges.

Silver Spring, MD

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On Friday, December 22nd our stores will be closing at 3:00 pm for our annual employee holiday party. We're sorry for any inconvenience.