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How to Stop Rubber Matting from Smelling

There are many benefits to rubber matting such as strength, durability and versatility; it can support significant weight, it has non-slip qualities and provides protection for your floor.

Rubber matting industries

© nut / Syda Productions / Shutter2U / Shutterstock.com

You may have read posts on community forums where people ask if anyone knows how to stop rubber matting from smelling? Some rubber materials smell stronger than others, so if you have several mats in a small space, such as a home gym or garage, the odour may be particularly strong.

A rubber smell can even give some people a headache and if you're a business owner, it could deter customers from coming in and browsing.


Why does rubber matting smell?

A lot of rubber products are vulcanised to fortify them against heat and cold. As well as the natural odour of rubber, this can create an additional smell. The odour derives from the Volatile Organic Compound, or VOC - the organic chemicals emitted from certain materials.

Some mats manufactured from vulcanised rubber are treated to help minimise the odour. However, other mats intended for use outdoors may smell stronger.


How do you get the smell out of rubber mats?

Experts suggest using a neutral pH cleaner to get rid of the rubber odour. If you clean new rubber mats immediately, this can help minimise smells.

If you have a stack of mats, make sure you clean each mat individually. Pull them out properly and clean each one thoroughly with a neutral pH cleaning product that you can buy at a supermarket or DIY store.

Clean each side of the mat, preferably doing it outdoors before you even bring it into your home or workplace. Before installing the mat, allow it to dry thoroughly after cleaning.


Is the smell of rubber mats toxic?

Rubber mats that meet European safety and quality standards are harmless and also relatively odourless. When you buy rubber matting in the UK, it is often PAH compliant. PAH stands for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons - a substance used to manufacture some rubber products - which may have a harmful effect on people

The Material Safety Data Sheets are official documents regarding the presence of any substances that are potentially harmful to our health or the environment. Rubber matting that is PAH compliant is safe to use even indoors and generally does not have a particularly strong odour.

Unfortunately, if you've been lured into buying rubber matting that may be a little cheaper, only to find it has a strong smell when you get it home, you may find it isn't PAH compliant.


What is REACH compliance?

Rubber that is REACH compliant is also geared up to protecting human health. REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. Aimed at identifying the chemical substances in everyday products; the legislation came into force in the EU on 1st June 2007. It applies not only to rubber but to all chemical products and chemicals.

Even though the UK has now left the EU, the same high safety standards still apply to rubber matting. The European Chemicals Agency is responsible for managing the scientific, technical and administrative side of the REACH system.

When you buy cheaper rubber with a strong smell, there is a likelihood it is neither PAH nor REACH compliant. Although non-compliant rubber matting isn't illegal, some of it can be harmful. It's worth spending a little more money on higher quality PAH and REACH compliant rubber matting to avoid strong smells and also the risk of having a potentially harmful substance in your home or workplace.

Some harmful substances found in strong-smelling rubber matting may increase the risks of cancer, so it's important to know what rubber you're using - purchase from a reputable and trusted seller!


Can you buy rubber matting that doesn't smell?

Coruba's range of odour-free rubber matting products is manufactured in compliance with various safety laws and regulations including PAH, REACH, RoHS and CE. Our products don't contain substances that are known to be harmful to humans and we can provide product certificates on request.

Never be influenced by cheaper rubber matting that has a strong smell, as it really isn't worth the risks!

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