Why Do Blackout Curtains Smell? (And How to Deodorize!)

Blackout curtains save your room from daylight when needed. Since they absorb light, they are made of specific chemicals. Because of the layers of different chemicals, the blackout curtain smells terrible sometimes. Such odor can be awful. 

Before it becomes a long-lasting problem, you should know the reasons behind the smell and prevent it. After all, you can’t fix a problem unless you know its source. So, let’s dive deeper into the reasons.

Why do blackout curtains smell?

Blackout curtains smell because of their drapery fabrics and curtain lining. The foamed back fabric, after remaining closed all day, of the curtain emits an unpleasant smell. The room remains airtight and without light due to the curtain. And a closed room lets the odor bacteria produce odors.

4 reasons why do blackout curtains smell

In many ways, blackout curtains help you. However, they remain in a closed room because of their functions and so smell awful for several reasons. Most of these reasons are related to its dampness. The following are the four causes behind blackout curtains’ smell: 

Drapery fabrics and curtain linings:

Blackout curtains are made of various layers of chemicals. Two of the mention-worthy materials are drapery fabrics and curtain linings. These materials, if not exposed to sunlight, become damp. 

They react with the bacteria inside the room in the absence of light and produce that smell. Drapery fabrics and curtain linings also absorb water from the room, which makes the odor worse.

Foam back fabric:

Blackout curtains have foamed backed fabric so that they can suck up the daylight. Since these foams suck the sunlight, they have high absorption power. Moreover, foams typically absorb water very much. 

As a result, they soak up the sweat that evaporated in the room. This process eventually produces a smell.

Airtight closed room:

If you turn the blackout curtains on all day, the room becomes airtight. This closed room has several problems. Since the air can’t pass, there is a lack of ventilation. Besides, unless you open the room at all, the whole room will stink, and so will the curtains.

Dirty curtains:

Not washing the curtain for several days is one of the major reasons for smells. Dirty curtains remain damp in a closed room. Such curtains not only smell bad but also cause health problems. 

Though it is tricky and clumsy to wash the blackout curtains, you have to wash them to keep the smell away.  

As you can see, the main devils are the elements or layers of the blackout curtains, but there are ways to avoid them.

Do all blackout curtains smell?

All blackout curtains don’t smell. The blackout curtains made of the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) only give off an odor. However, unfortunately, most of the blackout curtains are made of these organic compounds. 

These compounds are released into the air in a gaseous state and mix with the air. These smells hover in the air because the room has zero ventilation. Such suffocation makes the room smell unpleasant. 

Not all curtains have VOCs in them. If the blackout curtains don’t have VOCs, they will not smell. However, any curtain can produce smells if unwashed or not released to light for many days.

Why do my new blackout curtains smell?

Your new blackout curtains smell because of the fault in manufacturing. This fault can be of various types. However, these faults result in a disproportion in chemicals, and that’s why they smell bad.

Your new blackout curtains can’t be damp or dirty because they were bought recently. So, the only reason for the smell is the malfunction while producing the curtains. 

For example, if one chemical of the fabric is wrongly used, that chemical does not fit. Precisely if unscrupulous manufacturers use inferior fabric or linen, that ruins the whole curtain. 

Briefly, you can assure that the foul odors of a brand-new blackout curtain are not your fault. 

How to get the smell out of blackout curtains?

Unless you want to face embarrassment in front of your guests, you should immediately get the smell out of the blackout curtains. Otherwise, it will be too late to get the smell out, and that may become permanent. You should follow the steps below to get the smell out of the curtain:

Arranging ventilation for room:

Air passing of the room is crucial. It paves the way for the odor to go away. Worse or no ventilation is one of the core reasons for our curtains stinking. 

For arranging ventilation, simply move the curtains away and open the windows. If it is not possible all day, you can fix a specific hour when you ventilate the room. Moreover, you should let the room breathe by letting light enter it.

Using baking soda mixture:

You can remove the smell by using a little baking soda. On your drapes or curtains, spread half a spoon of baking soda. Leave it there for half an hour. Then, rinse the baking soda all over the curtain so that it reaches every part. 

After a while, the baking soda will take away the scent from the curtains. If you want your curtain to smell good, add a few drops of essential oil to the soda. Thus, you can make your curtains spray fragrance for you.

Deodorizing the curtains:

More straightforward than other methods, deodorizing your curtains with perfume, spray or room freshener can be a quick solution. Deodorizing will not take the smell away from the curtains. However, it will turn the room habitable by concealing the awful scent.

How do you keep blackout curtains from smelling?

You can keep blackout curtains from smelling by taking some precautions. After all, preventing the smell is better than curing it. For keeping the blackout curtains from smelling, you should follow the steps below:

Cleansing the curtain:

Since the blackout curtains remain in a moist and compact environment, washing them is essential at least once a month. Washing also lets the curtain get dry and removes the odor from it.

Passing of air and touch of sun rays:

Though the blackout curtain’s job is to barricade the light, you should let sun rays and air pass through it. The sunray kills the bacteria and ends the odor processing reactions.

Buying proper blackout curtains:

This is one of the convenient ways of preventing the smell. As we mentioned before, one potential cause of the foul smell is the careless manufacturers. Therefore, you should make trials before actually buying the curtains thoroughly.

With that in mind, if the smell is too strong, this method may not work. Besides, this is a short term solution to the odor problem.

Can blackout curtains be washed?

Blackout curtains can be washed. But you have to go for hand washing, not machine washing. That’s because machine washing can damage the fabric and layers of the curtains. Those layers are susceptible. 

Additionally, a machine wash can make the curtains straggly. So, you should hand wash them gently. Moreover, rinsing the fabrics takes the smell away. After washing them, clean the soapy water so that it leaves the curtain. Otherwise, your curtain may lose its power. 

In a nutshell, washing the blackout curtain is rather significant. You can carefully hand wash it no less than one time a month.

Are blackout curtains toxic?

Blackout curtains are toxic. Most VOC or volatile organic compound curtains contain poisonous chemicals. These chemicals can be of various types depending on the curtain. 

The chemicals can give off toxic air around the room, which can harm you. In addition, these chemicals become more dangerous as days pass by reacting with different atmospheric elements. For that reason, people don’t use the same blackout curtains for long.

On the other hand, since these chemicals are organic compounds, they may produce germs in the curtain or attract insects. Overall, the blackout curtains can be detrimental to you.  

How do you deodorize blackout curtains?

You can deodorize blackout curtains in several ways, either using natural or artificial elements. Keep up with the steps below for deodorizing your blackout curtains: 

Room spray:

Spray perfume or room freshener on your curtain. The freshener or perfume can take off the smell temporarily.

Baking soda:

Use baking soda mixing with drops of essential oil on the curtain. The addition of oil produces fragrance from the blackout curtains. A pinch of baking soda can go a long way!

Washing powder:

While washing the curtains, mix or sprinkle aromatic washing powder in the water. Then, wash the curtain with that water at last so that the smell of washing powder lingers longer.

Can you spray vinegar on blackout curtains?

You can spray vinegar on blackout curtains, preferably white vinegar. White vinegar not only prevents the smell but also adds a charming fragrance to the curtains. Moreover, this is available in markets in plenty. 

Often, direct exposure of vinegar to the curtain can weaken the fabric and spoil the foam. Therefore, you need to spray vinegar following some rules. 

Get a spray bottle and pour a mixture of water and vinegar into it. You can also add some sandal oil to it in case you want more fragrance. Then, spray the mixture all over the curtain. Thus, vinegar works as a deodorizing agent.

Imagine new guests coming to your house. As soon as they enter, they make faces at you because of the awful fragrance inside your room.

If you don’t desire to counter such situations, take necessary steps based on the facts above. Doing so will be easier since you grasped the reasons behind your blackout curtain’s smell.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Blackout Curtains Be Hemmed & Dyed?

Can Blackout Curtains Be Used Outdoors?

Can Blackout Curtains Be White, Gray, Blue, Or Other Colors?

Are Blackout Curtains Good or Bad for Babies?