Conquering the New Rug Smell: An Easy Guide to Enjoying Your Fresh Purchase Faster

Welcome to Rug Love, where we understand the joy of finding the perfect rug that ties your space together. Yet, we also know how disheartening it can be to unfurl a beautiful new rug, only to be met with an unexpected, unpleasant odour. The new rug smell isn't present with all our products but isn't unusual either. While the odour will dissipate naturally over time, there are ways to accelerate the process, ensuring you can appreciate your rug and the fresh air simultaneously. Let's explore how to get rid of the new rug smell naturally.

Before proceeding, please keep in mind to always abide by your rug manufacturer’s cleaning instructions.

Understanding the New Rug Smell What Causes the New Rug Smell? New rugs often carry a particular smell due to the chemicals used during manufacturing. These chemicals, referred to as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), release into the air through a process called "off-gassing". This isn't as hazardous as it might sound. Many items in your household, from carpeting and linoleum to paint and hardwood finishes, emit VOCs for a short while after installation. In fact, rugs generally release fewer VOCs compared to other furnishings.

However, the off-gassing process can produce unwanted scents — usually synthetic fibres giving off chemical odours. Natural rugs such as sheepskin or seagrass might also exude a barnyard odour upon first unpacking. While these smells aren't harmful, they can lead to mild headaches or nausea, and may even trigger allergies in certain individuals.

There are several factors that contribute to the new rug smell:

  1. The manufacturing process
  2. The material used
  3. Packaging of the rug
  4. Protective treatments used, such as stain-resistant or flame-retardant

Getting Rid of the New Rug Smell Fortunately, the smell from a new rug usually fades away in a few days or weeks. To speed up this process, consider these tips:

  1. Keep the rug in a well-ventilated area for at least 72 hours
  2. Increase your home's temperature
  3. Keep your doors and windows open for increased ventilation
  4. Vacuum frequently over the first few days

Continue reading to discover more specific strategies for odour removal based on your rug type. When shopping for new rugs, we recommend opting for natural fibres and natural dyes to help reduce VOC presence.

Addressing Chemical Odours in Synthetic Rugs Synthetic rugs, such as those made from polypropylene and polyester, come with many benefits, including fade-resistant colours and robust durability. However, they tend to release more VOCs, especially if they are mixed materials like wool and nylon blends, due to the dye, backing, or protective treatments. One of the biggest culprits of the new rug smell is synthetic latex backing, used to strengthen the rug and prevent slipping. Synthetic latex contains high VOC levels, which can produce a strong smell and irritate those with allergies.

To reduce the chemical smell from synthetic rugs, consider investing in a portable air filter, especially for smaller spaces. A vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter can also help by removing toxins and irritants, thereby lessening the new rug odour and enhancing your indoor air quality. Alternatively, airing out your new synthetic rug outside in a garage or porch can also help the smell to disperse outside, rather than inside your home. For faster results, cross-ventilation works wonders; open the windows, place a fan to blow across the rug, and if you have an extra fan, set it in the window facing outward to push the odours outdoors.

Dealing with Musty Odours in Natural Rugs Natural rugs, such as cotton, have their own unique smells. Despite emitting lower VOCs, these rugs might have a musty scent when new. Wool rugs, made from animal fibres, are particularly known for this scent, which fades over time. Sheepskin and cowhide rugs might also have a strong smell initially. Sisal, jute, and seagrass rugs usually start with a mild, straw-like aroma, making them easier to adapt to your home.

To lessen the musty smell from natural rugs, a few sprays from a carpet deodorizer can make a significant difference. In more intense cases, sheepskin rugs can be machine washed gently. Sheepskin and cowhide rugs also respond well to dry-cleaning. To prevent a musty odour from developing due to humidity, consider using a rug pad to absorb excess moisture and promote ventilation.

Overall Solutions for New Rug Odour Removal While different rugs respond to various cleaning methods, a day outside often works wonders for all types of new rug odours. The outdoor breeze cuts down humidity and allows VOCs to dissipate. You can hang your rug face-down on a clothesline or porch railing to prevent fading and let the sunlight tackle any lingering smells. If you're indoors, try wrapping your rug around a bag of charcoal briquettes, or sprinkle it with baking soda, both of which are excellent odour absorbers. Afterward, a quick vacuuming will leave your rug smelling fresh and ready for display.

Happy rug shopping, and remember, the team at Rug Love is always here to help you find the perfect rug to enhance your home.

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