Good Questions: My Rug Smells!?!

Good Questions: My Rug Smells!?!

Maxwell Ryan
Jul 16, 2007

Dear AT,

I need the help of faithful AT readers to figure out what's going on with my rug. I purchased this rug from in the 5' x 8' size, and received it about 4 1/2 months ago. There was a bit of a "new carpet" smell at first that I expected, which faded. But in the last 2 months, there seems to be an increasingly bad smell emanating from the rug, something like plastic, or similar to what a vacuum can smell like when it's "burning."

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However, the smell isn't coming from the vacuum as far as I can tell as there is no corresponding smell coming from the vacuum, and because it gets better after a vacuuming. As time goes on after a vacuuming, it increases in smell. It also seems to come from one side of the rug more than the other, but it's the less-worn side of the rug, and I know nothing has been spilled on the half of the rug with the stronger smell. The smell is pretty even across

Is it absorbing the smell from the vacuum? Is there a fault with the rug? What can I try before I contact the company that sold the rug to me?

Also, is there a way to encourage the "shedding" that is happening so that the process can be sped along? I know it's natural for the rug, but annoying.


Dear Kate,

This is a problem that has come up before, and the answers may dismay you as there are many mentions of the problem and very few solutions. Here is our best post with 179 comments:

Good Question: Why Does My New Rug Smell?

Here's an excerpt from one person:

We bought beautiful, brightly dyed, wool rugs for our children's nursery five years ago, and decorated their rooms around the rug. Figured the smell would go away, then figured it was the diapers in the room, a plumbing problem somewhere -anything except the rug (loved the rug!). Pottery Barn admitted that the rugs, made in India, are sprayed with a pesticide to kill bugs in the wool. They offered to pick up my neighbor's rug and give her a $100 credit (for a $600 rug).

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