My Rug Smells…But Why??

Our carpets and rugs change the atmosphere in a house turning it into a home. They create a warm, comfortable feeling in a room that makes us want to curl up and read a book, unless of course the game is on. The colours, smelly rugtextures and style of our rug ties our furniture, pictures, and accessories together to make a classic, contemporary or even an eclectic result.

However, what can make a room less desirable, even though it looks beautiful and cozy is when there is an unknown odour coming from somewhere but not sure where. You say, “ I don’t have a dog, never had a cat, and I’m careful about my rug, but seems to smell. Weird! It must be the rug! The rug is starting to smell like burning rubber.”

This phenomena does not happen to all rugs, in fact in most rugs this will NEVER happen. However, certain tufted Indian rugs will start to smell, and that odour will in fact get worse with age. And it seems to only happen to carpets made in India. Why? This smell comes from the latex that binds the primary backing to the cloth back that you can see when you turn the rug over. We are not really sure what they put into their latex, and they won’t really tell us either. The latex is basically the glue that holds the carpet together. There is always a clay filler put into tufted rugs and carpet that creates a flexibility to it, which is great, but in India, they add other ingredients to the filler in SOME rugs that will start to really smell with age.

Why do they do this? That’s the age old question. The second question is, “ Can the odour be removed? The answer is…not really. If this is the cause of the odour, there is nothing that we can do in our rug wash plant to remove it. We can get your rug clean as a whistle, (where did that expression come from anyways??) but the odour will still linger like nicotine filled clothing.

So what does an tufted Indian rug look like? Pottery Barn sell truckloads of theses. They have recently been pressured to change their supplier. These rugs are very thick and meaty. Wool is on the course side, and the backing has a cloth cover with a 2-3 inch binding on the edges. The colour of the back is most commonly beige, but blue, green and pink are used as well.

I hope this help you, but if you have any questions regarding this, please feel free to call us at 613-232-5110