There are many reasons why your rug smells

We’ve all smelled it. Some people love the smell, while others hate it. No matter what you think, the new rug smell will disappear, and you can enjoy your decorative centerpiece again without being distracted by odors. In a busy home, your rug may be damaged by spills, wear and tear, or accidents over time. It is important to clean your carpet thoroughly to restore it to its original glory. First, you need to determine the reason why your carpet is smelling. This will allow you to decide the best way to remove the smell. This blog explores common causes and how to eliminate unwanted rug odors.

Pet Problems

The smell of urine can linger in the house if our pets use the rugs to relieve themselves. Wool rugs easily absorb odors as liquids penetrate the fibers. This causes a strong smell that is difficult to remove. The smell of urine and sickness can intensify even after cleaning. The smell is caused by bacteria that are activated by the water. It’s important to clean the urine while it is still damp. The urine will stain the rug if it dries. It also increases the growth of bacteria. Place a layer of paper towels on top of the area that is wet and then walk over it to absorb as much urine as you can. Wear shoes! To neutralize the pet odor, simply:

  • Make a cleaning solution with vinegar by mixing one part white wine vinegar with one part water.
  • Pour the solution slowly onto the stained area. Pour enough so that it reaches the fibers of the carpet to neutralize it completely.
  • After 10 minutes of soaking, use paper towels to absorb the liquid. Sprinkle baking soda over the area once the rug has almost dried (this could take hours).
  • Allow the baking soda 15 minutes to absorb into the fibers of the rug, then vacuum it.
  • Try commercial stain removers if this does not work. Some commercial stain removers work better on certain materials than others.

Moisture or Dampness

If a rug is damp, this can cause it to smell musty. This musty rug smell is caused by a variety of factors, such as flooding, potted plants or humidifiers that leak, spills in general, moist shoes, and damp storage areas. Kitchen rugs, bathroom mats, or rugs in damp, colder spaces like the basement are most commonly affected. Before calling in professionals, you can try a few remedies at home depending on how much moisture is in the rug. In some cases (such as when cleaning shaggy carpets), vacuuming and hanging the rug in the sun will stop the smell. Hang the carpet in the sun face-up for about an hour and then turn it around until the rug is dry. If the carpet is damp, do not place it in direct sunlight, as it could shrink. This is especially true if it’s made of wool. Cat litter is another method that’s commonly used to absorb moisture and odors.

  • Move the rug to a place where it can’t be stepped on.
  • Remove dirt and debris from the rug by vacuuming.
  • Sprinkle unscented cat litter liberally over the rug. Please don’t step on cat litter, as this will cause it to be crushed into the carpet fibers, retaining the musty scent.
  • Let it sit on the carpet for a few days.
  • Shake the litter outside or, if that is not possible, place it in a bag of rubbish and vacuum thoroughly.
  • Repeat if necessary.

If you’re short on space, cut off the legs of a pair of tights as close as possible to the crotch.

  • Leave enough space to tie each end. Fill each leg with additive-free charcoal.
  • To prevent the charcoal from spilling, tie the top of the tights securely. Start by rolling the rug tightly after placing the tights near the edge of the carpet. You may need to move the carpet again after adding another pair of socks.
  • Roll the rug up for one or two days. Unroll the carpet and remove the charcoal. Vacuum as normal. Repeat the process with new charcoal pieces if there is a musty odor. Follow our guide on how to flatten a carpet that has been folded if there are creases from rolling up the rug.

It may be necessary to hire professional carpet cleaners if these methods do not remove the musty smell.

Latex backing

Some tufted rugs are sewn with a latex backing to keep them together. It is common to find this in Persian rugs, and cleaning them requires Persian Rug Cleaning Methods. Due to poor quality control, latex can sometimes degrade and emit a foul odor. Some new rugs have a ‘new rug scent,’ which is a milder version. This includes modern carpets. If they have a bad latex backing, the smell will worsen after washing. We recommend that you check the scent of the backing before buying.


Rugs are made of fibers that, over time, break down, causing a musty smell. These rug fibers not only emit a pungent odor but also produce dust, which can cause allergies. This old smell is not easily removed from a rug, and it might be time to replace the item. Browse our collection of beautiful rugs to find the perfect carpet for your home.

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