Smells Like Burnt Rubber

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Sonny Cohen

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Jun 29, 2010
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Sonny
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#1
Why is it that a lot of Machine Made and Hand Tufted Wool rugs from India, have a burnt rubber smell to them?

The smell is sometimes very strong and offensive. Often times customers will call back after their rug is delivered and ask about the smell.

I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the materials they use in the backing of the rug. But I would like to know more about this so that I can educate my customers as well.

And as far as I know its very difficult to overcome this odor. Is it possible to get rid of it?
 

Scott W

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#2
The odor is from contaminated latex backing. Just comes with getting low cost rugs from India. Likely the rug was purchased from Pottery Barn. I suspect they got a great deal on thousands of those rugs, so they keep selling them even with the odor. I have advised several folks to return the rug to the place they purchased it and ask for a refund.

I don't know any cure for the odor. Moisture seems to make it worse. Solvent based deodorizers applied to the backing can help, but not completely correct the odor.
 

jaymark

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Feb 8, 2011
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#3
Wow perfect timing. I am running a estimate Friday and the lady said her rug has a funny odor to it and it gets worse when its humid
 

Sonny Cohen

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#4
Yea, its important to identify these rugs before hand b/c a lot of times they will smell worse after they are washed, just like you said...
 

Gnu

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Nov 16, 2009
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#5
One chem is HYDROCIDE works good. and has yet to damage the cheapo rugs.
And that funny smell she was talking about was the big pile of dog poop fluffy did. Then Fluffy turned around and ate it to hide the evidence..
 
Aug 27, 2008
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Lisa Wagner
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#6
The problem is soured latex - and is a particular problem with tufted rugs from India.

Here is a blog post that you can print and share with your client to educate her on this.

CLICK HERE => Rug Chick: My Rug Stinks!

Hope it helps,
Lisa
 

rob allen

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#7
Actually I've cleaned a few like these lately and it smells more like urine than rubber. Nasty smell. Almost like truckmount dump water.
 
Oct 14, 2011
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Mike Hershley
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#8
Try Odorcide Original or Fresh Scent...widely used for carpet and rug odor removal. Safe and effective...go to odorcide.com and request a free sample.
 

SpongoBongo

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Jun 29, 2011
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#9
Hello,
The smells break out into a few common groups.
Sulfur/Rotten Eggs; this is the most common complaint against Pottery Barn and hand tufted rugs. To add ballast to the latex backing they use ground limestone. Ideally that should be fine but much of the Indian limestone has sulfur in it. The smell is the off gassing of the sulfur dioxide. Water only makes it worse and the only permanent solution is to remove the latex and reapply it with good latex. This is expensive and time consuming so it makes it impractical except when the customer will pay more than the rug is worth. I should talk to Paul Lucas, there has to be a latex solvent which would make this easy but none is on the market that I know of.

Barnyard smells; rare in tufted rugs and is common in new low-end Afghans. Urine pretreatment helps and the one from Bridgepoint has a lipid solvent which helps.

Urine: we have dealt with this at length in other threads.

Feces: a good cleaning can fix this.

I don’t recognize the burnt rubber but I suspect it is the sulfur dioxide problem. If someone has another answer I am all ears.
Best wishes,
Barry
www.SpongoBongo.com