Good Question: Why Does My New Rug Smell?

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I bought a lovely blue wool rug for my kids' room from Ikea. It's bright, the wool is soft and warm and, importantly, quiets the stompity-stomp of little feet-- however, there's a problem: it stinks.

It took a while for us to nail down what the smell was but then realized, it's the jute or hemp or whatever on the underside. It smells like wet musty hay in their room on nights when we close the window. Any hints on getting rid of the smell that doesn't require dosing it with some other smell? thanks, Ann

Dear Ann, most Ikea wool rugs have their foibles. The smelling probably has to do with humidity, as that is what makes jute or grass fibres smell, so getting it off the floor a bit might help (a rug pad here). You could also try simply letting it really bake in the sun one day (upside down) or sprinkle a light layer of baking soda underneath. Anyone else? MGR

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.