Conventional carpeting harbors many chemicals that can be hazardous to your health. Most standard floor carpet is loaded with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as stain retardant chemicals and latex backing that emit toxins such such as toluene, 4-phenyl cyclohexene (4-PC), and styrene.
There are many health problems associated with exposure to these VOCs. Eye and respiratory tract irritation, dizziness, and headaches. Even worse, some people develop permanent health conditions such as MCS, EI and Sick Building Syndrome as a result of exposure. Some of these chemicals are also suspected or known carcinogens which can cause cancer.
Why Should You Get Rid of New Carpet Odor?
The most telling sign that carpeting is full of chemicals is the pungent odor often noticed by homeowner, especially when it is first installed. Generally, the new carpet odor is the off gassing of 4-PC which is found in the latex backing of 95% of commercial carpeting. Of course, this isn’t the only culprit.
Nylon, polyester and other synthetic fibers, dyes, and adhesives used to glue carpeting down is loaded with chemicals. The carpet padding under carpeting is also produced with plenty of VOCs to add to the new carpet smell.
It’s true that eventually new carpet odor will dissipate to a certain extent. However, VOCs and small particulates will continue to off gas in your living space throughout the life of the carpet.
Even though it’s not the most advisable floor covering, especially for those who have asthma, allergies, or chemical sensitivities, many people still prefer to have carpet in their homes.
Short of removing toxic carpeting and replacing it with a healthier alternative, there is a way to significantly minimize the toxic off gassing of new carpet with minimal investment.
3 Steps to Remove New Carpet Odor
This effective, 3 step process really works to seal out toxins and lessen exposure to harmful chemicals in carpeting.
What you will need to get started:
- Safe Choice Carpet Shampoo
- Safe Choice Carpet Seal
- Safe Choice Lock Out
- Extraction Steam Cleaner (local rental)
- Carpet rake
- Garden sprayer (use a new sprayer to avoid contaminants) or Hand sprayer
A Word about AFM Products…
The AFM Safecoat company specializes in nontoxic, biodegradable, odorless, dye-free, no VOC products that are great for anyone, especially those who suffer from asthma, allergies or chemical sensitivities. AFM is a recognized leader in nontoxic, chemical free, green building products. They offer the best non-toxic carpet cleaning products on the market.
You can easily order and have it shipped to you as quickly as you need it. Just estimate the square footage to be cleaned and order accordingly.
Now, let’s get started!
Extraction steam cleaning with Safe Choice Carpet Shampoo is the first very important step in dealing with VOCs and toxins that are in the fibers of new carpet. (Before proceeding with steam cleaning, be sure to vacuum the dry carpet well for best results.)
Steam cleaning the carpet first does two things:
1. Removes some chemicals from the new fibers.
2. Makes the fibers damp so that they will accept the second step product for sealing.
However, you can also rent an extraction cleaner and do a good job if you are careful. (We have successfully used a rental extractor many times for this project.)
Manufacturer’s info: One gallon of Safe ChoiceCarpet Shampoo will clean from 2000 – 4500 square feet of carpet depending upon dilution rate. Light cleaning – 3 fluid ounces. Medium cleaning – 5 fluid ounces. Heavy cleaning – 8 fluid ounces. One gallon of diluted solution will clean approximately 300 square feet.
For most jobs, you will want to use enough shampoo for medium to heavy cleaning to remove toxic odors and chemical residue.
Be aware that sometimes carpeting is so toxic that after shampooing, it may even smell worse because it is damp when first cleaned. (If there isn’t a significant difference in toxic odor after first shampooing, you may want to let dry and repeat shampooing a second time for maximum effect before proceeding to step 2.)
Move to next step while carpet is still damp from final shampooing.
Use: Safe Choice Carpet shampoo; Extraction steam cleaner; Follow directions on product.
After completely covering the carpet fibers, use a towel or carpet rake to work the Carpet Seal down into the fibers.
Allow to completely dry for 24 hours before proceeding to next step. Don’t make the mistake that some users have by short-cutting the wait time for drying. If you want to hurry the process, you can place a dehumidifier in the room and the carpet will dry much faster.
Not only does the carpet need to dry, but also any padding or underlayment, which takes longer.
Use: Safe Choice Carpet Seal; Hand held sprayer or garden sprayer; Towel or carpet rake.
Lock Out is the nontoxic alternative for “Scotch Guard” type stain repellents and enhances the sealing effect created by the Carpet Seal. Let dry again for 24 hours before occupying the room. One gallon will cover 300 sq. ft.
Use: Safe Choice Lock Out; Hand held sprayer; Towel or carpet rake.If you have any questions about this method, feel free to contact us or post a question below in the comment section. We have experience in using this method for many different applications and will be happy to help!