How to remove new carpet smell

Written by corey m. mackenzie
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New carpet emits organic vapours from materials used in manufacturing it for a couple of days after it is installed. New carpet odours range from mild to intolerable, depending on individual sensitivity. Some people, especially those prone to respiratory allergies or those with asthma, can't tolerate the new carpet smell. To be on the safe side, you should always air out any room containing new carpet for a day or so before you spend much time in it. When you can't avoid being in a newly carpeted room, you can take other measures to get rid of new carpet smell.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Two box fans
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Hot water extractor (steam cleaner)

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  1. 1

    Open all windows and doors in the house for ventilation.

  2. 2

    Place one box fan in an exterior doorway. Face the fan towards the outside of the house (this fan will suck some of the malodorous air out of the house). Place another fan in a corner of the room. Turn both fans on. The more air flow you can establish, the faster the smell will dissipate.

  3. 3

    Dry-vacuum the carpet several times. You may do this at the same time the fans are going. If the fans and vacuum have not diminished the smell sufficiently, move on to the next step.

  4. 4

    Rent or purchase a carpet steam cleaner. Turn off the fans and unplug them (to avoid accidental electric shock). Thoroughly steam clean the carpet.

  5. 5

    Plug the fans back in and turn them on to re-establish ventilation. This will help dry the carpet quickly as well as dissipate remaining odour.

Tips and warnings

  • If you cannot steam clean the carpet, ventilating the house for three days should bring the odour to a tolerable level.
  • If your house has an attic fan, keep this going for three days, too.
  • Some birds may become ill from new carpet fumes. The Carpet and Rug Institute suggests removing pet birds from the premises until the carpet smell is gone.

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