how to tell if this smell is mold
November 21, 2021 5:16 PM   Subscribe

Yesterday I jbought a new rug from a discount house (all wool), laid it out in my bedroom, and it's starting to emit an odd smell. At first I thought it could just be something inevitable in the manufacture, kind of chemical-ish - but now I'm worried that it might be related to mold? or something similarly in need of action. How can I figure out whether this is harmless and will dissipate, or whether it needs to be nuked?
posted by mmiddle to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
Best answer: If it's mold a day outdoors in the sun will kill it. You might have to have a day on each side of the rug. Then vacuum.
posted by shadygrove at 5:24 PM on November 21, 2021 [3 favorites]

New rugs can “off-gas” for a few days — basically they just smell a bit odd or chemically. Depending on which link you click after googling that, it’s either harmless or full of toxic VOCs. But, probably not mold, and it should go away with time.
posted by TurnKey at 6:07 PM on November 21, 2021 [3 favorites]

Lots of fresher real wool also has a distinct aroma that will fade over time and may not be familiar.

Seems unlikely that this is mold, especially without any mention of visible evidence.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:23 PM on November 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

Wool can have a strong smell itself. You might know this already... but in case you don't, might it be worth having a friend over to do a smell check, to see if it's a chemical smell or mold or just newish wool?
posted by bluedaisy at 10:26 AM on November 22, 2021

Wool carpets and blankets often still have residual lanolin, which can give off a strong smell at first. If you shop for a wool blanket on amazon almost half the reviews are people complaining about it.
posted by srboisvert at 12:07 PM on November 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

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