Why Do Blackout Curtains Smell?
If you’re on the lookout for a new set of blackout curtains you may have come across reviews or forum posts that talk about a distinct smell coming from the curtains after they’ve been hanging for a few days.
But why do blackout curtains smell?
And is there a way to remove the smell if you’re planning on getting a set for your home?
Let’s take a closer look.
Why Do Blackout Curtains Smell?
The primary cause of the foul smell that seemingly comes with a set of blackout curtains is the manufacturing process.
Older manufacturing processes involved coating a piece of polyester fabric with layers of acrylic foam and adhesives to achieve the blackout properties.
Shortly after the curtains manufactured they’re sealed in plastic packaging to help protect them during transportation and aren’t opened again until the end-user has purchased the product, and brought them home.
There’s usually a very strong chemical smell when opening the packaging of a new set of blackout curtains, but this usually subsides after a few minutes.
However, as the chemicals are still present within the products themselves, the smell can develop over time as the curtains are exposed to the sun, resulting in a stale or musty odour that many people have complained about online.
Do All Blackout Curtains Smell?
Up until fairly recently, blackout curtains were all made in a very similar way, which meant that they all suffered from the same issues when it came to bad smells.
These smells were typically caused by the chemicals used for the acrylic foam and polyester used in the blackout linings, but thanks to modern developments in the manufacturing processes, it is now possible to buy blackout curtains that don’t smell.
In fact, the entire Blackouts Direct range of products are completely odour-free thanks to the latest manufacturing methods that produce a chemical-free, triple-weave blackout fabric that blocks 95% or 100% light.
Are Blackout Curtains Toxic?
Older blackout curtains are manufactured using fabrics that contain a high number of volatile organic compounds or VOCs, some of which can be toxic or harmful to humans.
These VOCs are present in many products found around the house today – including cleaning and DIY products, paints, and even furniture – and are released when these curtains are taken out of the sealed packaging, and in small amounts throughout the lifetime of the curtains.
However, it’s important to note that they are typically in very low quantities that are unlikely to adversely affect your health or wellbeing – unless you’re particularly sensitive to certain types.
The triple-weave fabric used in the Blackouts Direct range means the finished products have much lower levels of VOCs than products made using older manufacturing methods, keeping your room fresh, and helping you sleep soundly each night.
Can You Wash Blackout Curtains?
If you’ve already got a pair of blackout curtains, putting them through a few cycles in the washing machine (provided the manufacturer’s instructions say it’s safe to do so) with some fabric softener will help to remove some of the excess chemicals and improve the smell.
Our blackout curtains are machine washable under 30 degrees on a gentle cycle setting, but always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when washing your curtains.
So, Are Blackout Curtains Worth It?
With all this talk of foul-smelling curtains, you might be wondering if it’s worth getting yourself a set of blackout curtains, but the benefits far outweigh any potential negatives.
The VOCs found in blackout curtains, even manufactured using older techniques, are still typically much less toxic than those found in interior paint, so that shouldn’t be much of a concern.
While sleeping in a dark room helps to achieve a deeper, more restful night’s sleep; blackout curtains also help to reduce noise if you live in a busy street, and can even help to reduce your energy bills by providing some insulation to your windows, so there are plenty of positives to getting yourself a set of blackout curtains.
Most, if not all blackout curtains will smell slightly when they’re fresh out of the packaging, but this smell will usually disappear over time and a quick wash before hanging will help to reduce any lingering smells.
If you are worried about smelly curtains then the Blackouts Direct range of blackout curtains are all odour free.