How To Get Rid of New Carpet Smell

May 8, 2024

You've been looking forward to your new carpet for months. You carefully selected the color, thickness, and pattern and are ready to enjoy your home's updated feel. After your new carpet was installed, however, you noticed a strong smell coming from the floor. 

This is due to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the carpet fibers. VOCs are released into the air as the carpet off-gases. They are generally harmless in small quantities, but limiting exposure to them is still best. Fortunately, you can do a few things to eliminate the new carpet smell, including airing out the room and regular vacuuming. 

Hydro Clean offers commercial and residential carpet cleaning in Colorado Springs and is dedicated to getting the job done right. If you aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll come back and make sure everything is up to our standards. If new carpet smells are affecting your quality of life, keep reading to see what you can do about it and how carpet cleaning services can help.

Is New Carpet Smell Harmful?

The VOCs that cause new carpet smells can be harmful in large quantities or with extended exposure. However, they are not unique to carpets and can be found in everyday household items, such as paint, furniture, and cleaning chemicals. Some of these VOCs are worse for you than others, and limiting exposure to them is a good practice to avoid long-term health issues.

The American Lung Association recommends choosing carpets and adhesives that are low-VOC and non-toxic. They also recommend ventilating the area and waiting 72 hours before moving back into the space. Some people may be more sensitive to new carpet smells than others. If you experience headaches, nausea, or dizziness after installation, it's best to move to fresher air and consult a doctor.

How Long Does New Carpet Smell Last?

New carpet smell typically lasts for around two weeks, but this can vary depending on the type of carpet and the room's ventilation. The VOCs are released into the air as the carpet off-gases, eventually dissipating. Airing out the room and opening windows will help to speed up this process.

Tips for New Carpet Smell Removal

If you're looking for ways to get rid of the new carpet smell, there are a few things you can do:

Have your New Carpet Cleaned

Some people recommend waiting as long as possible before cleaning your new carpets, but professional cleaning will help remove VOCs and installation debris. In addition, many carpet cleaners use a gentle shampoo to decrease off-gassing.

New carpets also shed after installation. Cleaning them prevents annoying carpet fibers from getting stuck to your clothes and furniture and being tracked around your house. Schedule cleanings every 12-18 months after your initial cleaning to keep your carpets looking and feeling new.

Vacuum Regularly

Vacuuming helps remove VOCs, dust mites, and other allergens from your new carpet. It's important to vacuum regularly, especially in the first few weeks after installation. Be sure to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to trap as many particles as possible.

Steam cleaning vacuum on new carpet.

Don’t Use Baking Soda

Many sites recommend sprinkling baking soda on your new carpets to absorb the new carpet smells. Since baking soda has such tiny particles, however, it can sift through your carpet and into the padding. Once this happens, it is challenging to remove. We suggest using one of these other solutions instead.

Ventilate the Area

As the new carpet off-gases, the VOCs will dissipate into the air. Ventilating the area by opening windows or using a fan will help to speed up this process. You'll want to keep the room ventilated for at least 72 hours. Fans directed toward open windows will help keep the fumes out of your living spaces. If you can take a weekend trip or stay with friends during the first few days, that's also a great way to limit your exposure to carpet fumes.

Buy Low VOC Carpet

If you're reading this before installing new carpet, consider low VOC options, which are better for your health and emit fewer fumes.  You can also look for carpets with natural fibers, such as wool. These carpets are less likely to off-gas and don't require toxic adhesives. You may pay more upfront, but you'll be glad you did when your new carpet doesn't give you a headache!

Contact Hydro Clean for New Carpet Cleaning Services

If you haven’t been able to enjoy your new carpet because the odor is too strong, book a HydroClean appointment today. We’ll steam clean your new carpets with non-toxic cleaning solutions, so you don’t have to worry about your children and pets inhaling VOCs or cleaning chemicals. Replace that new carpet smell with a clean carpet smell. For more tips on preventing smelly carpets, check out this blog.