The Best Way to Get Rid of Glue Odor

A lingering odor of curing glue is both unpleasant and unhealthy, potentially causing headaches, difficulty breathing and sinus irritation. The best way to remove these odors is proper ventilation and repeated cleaning of the area to get rid of any residue. Time is usually the only way to completely get rid of glue odors, as it can take up to a month for glue to completely cure.

pooring special glue for carpet
credit: titi matei/iStock/Getty Images
Glue being poured to help secure a carpet.

Proper Ventilation

It is recommended that you work in a well-ventilated area because most glues put off noxious fumes. Without ventilation, these fumes can build up in the room and permeate fabric, clothing and carpeting. Even after the work is finished, it is best to leave the room ventilated to allow fumes to dissipate for up to 24 hours. Some released gases are heavier than air and will linger close to the floor, making them less likely to dissipate. Keep the odor from penetrating the rest of the house by closing the doors to that room. Open the room windows instead to create a crosscurrent. If necessary, put a fan in the window to force air through the room.

Cleaning the Area

Repeated and thorough cleaning of a new floor, carpeting or other remodeled area can help to remove glue odors too. Cleaning removes both residues from solvents and glues used in projects. Spread baking soda on a new floor or carpet. Allow it to sit overnight, and the baking soda will absorb some of the fumes. Vacuum up the baking soda the next day. Another option is to steam clean a new carpet using two cups of white vinegar in a tank of clean water. Vinegar has odor-removing properties, and the steam clean will remove leftover residue. It is a good idea to keep any children away from the area while baking soda or vinegar are in use.

Odors Caused by Curing Solvents

A glue odor that lasts for days after a completed project is most likely caused by a product that has not completely cured yet. Some products dry on the surface, but are still "wet" underneath. The odor will occur periodically as those fumes from the curing glue are gradually released through the surface of the carpet or floor. For some products, curing time can be as long as a month. Combat the fumes as they are released by opening windows and vacuuming the floors every few days.

Rooms with Poor Ventilation

Some areas, such as basements, lack windows and doors for proper ventilation. It is still possible to lessen the glue odors in these areas. Set up a series of fans pointing up the stairs or out a basement window to help circulate air in the right direction. Sprinkle baking soda and vacuum or sweep it up on a regular basis to help absorb odors. Also, a variety of chemicals are adsorbed by activated carbon. Consider placing an air filter that contains activated carbon in the room.