At first glance, it seems like there’s an obvious answer to the question of whether or not to clean a brand new carpet. After all, it’s… Brand New! How can it be dirty?
The truth of the matter is, that although it isn’t dirty in the usual mud, dust and grime sense of the word, a brand new carpet is in fact loaded with many other contaminants that you wouldn’t want in your home and these unwanted molecules can actually cause allergic reactions, headaches and other symptoms in some people.
During the manufacturing process of new carpets, the factory uses a multitude of different glues, chemicals and substances to dye the material, to clean the fibres, to bond carpet fibres to the backing material and so on. These substances give off gasses as they dry and cure, most of which happens before the carpet arrives in stores, but they are still ‘off gassing’ slightly for some months after installation.
This is the “New Smell” that carpets and furnishings have. Yes, to some people the “New Carpet Smell” (or the more widely known “New Car Smell”) is a wonderful aroma, but unfortunately those smells are just chemicals in the air and some people can have a less wonderful reaction to them.
To add to the issue, almost all carpet is rolled up for storage and distribution. This means that as it is rolled, the backing material is in contact with the top carpet fibres, so if the backing of the carpet is a Latex, then the carpet fibre is actually full of tiny Latex particles when installed.
The Picture above shows the waste water after cleaning freshly laid carpets at a house in Feering, Essex for a young lady who was having allergy symptoms and nausea from the off gassing. Usually I get brown, grey or black water when I clean dirty carpets, but as you can see, the water in the bucket is a milky white – this is from all the latex that has adhered to the fibres when being rolled up.
The usual method of wet extraction carpet cleaning and plain water rinse, followed by a strong fan blast dry with the windows open is usually enough to reduce unwanted particles and smell to a much more manageable level until the carpets age a little and the chemicals are fully stable.
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