Why Is There A Burning Rubber Smell In My House?

It’s not uncommon to catch some weird or pungent smells at home.

One, in particular, is the strange burning rubber smell in the house that lingers for a while before subsiding.

Usually, such odors are a sign that something somewhere may not be right and that proper action is warranted.

Let’s dive into the details and point out issues that may be leading to an unpleasant rubber smell in your home.

Why is there a strange burning rubber smell in the house?

Burnt rubber smell in the house

There are several possible reasons why your house smells like rubber. Here are a few common ones:

Malfunctioning belt-driven appliances

Sometimes the short-lived smell of burning rubber in your home could be originating from any belt-driven appliance you own.

Two huge suspects are either the dryer or washer. If the bearings are worn out, the belts drag along with too much friction which generates a temporary burning rubber smell.

Another suspect worth thinking of is the heating system’s blower unit.

If it’s malfunctioning, the plastic components start to heat up and the resulting smell is distributed in your house through the HVAC channels. 

Therefore, you need to carry out regular maintenance of your home’s belt-driven systems and blowers to improve safety.

Electrical equipment

Both old and new electrical equipment can be the source of your odor problems.

New electrical gadgets like water heaters are likely to produce a pungent rubber smell. That’s a sign that the unit is either faulty or was poorly designed and its components are overheating.

Older electrical appliances like televisions, computers, lamps, freezers, and dishwashers too will overheat with time as their structural integrity deteriorates.

As such, having them serviced or replaced regularly could minimize instances of strange burning rubber smell in your house.

Faulty electrical wiring

Faulty and improper electrical connections, overloaded circuits, and exposed wires can be leading causes of the burning rubber smell in the house. 

If you suspect the wiring system in your house to be the problem, vacate the premises temporarily for your own safety and then call in an electrician to address the issue. 

New installations

New equipment (like the heating system) sometimes have paint and dust particles on them.

Upon turning them on, the dust pellets will give off a weird smell. Fortunately, the odor stops after a short while.

New furniture

Did you just acquire a new leather sofa or new carpet?

These items, when mint, spot volatile organic compounds that emit a burning rubber smell and other unpleasant odors.

Worth pointing out, these smells could be harmful to your health if ingested for long.

To deal with smells from new items, you may have to leave them outside overnight.

If that’s not an option, then you’ll have to keep your windows and doors open or run an air conditioning system to pump in fresh air.

Fresh paint

Did your recent upgrades in your home include new flooring or any other job that necessitated new paint?

That too could be the reason your house smells of burning rubber.

When the burning rubber smell comes from outside

Does the rubber smell originate from the outside?

In such a case, it could be the intense car traffic outside or possibly someone burning something. Unfortunately, these circumstances are beyond your control.

How to get rid of the strange burning rubber smell in the house

How to get rid of the strange burning rubber smell in the house

Besides feeling a little discomfort, inhaling rubber fumes for prolonged durations can irritate the lungs. Pungent odors also contain health-endangering chemicals such as cyanide and carbon monoxide. 

To keep yourself (and your family) safe, here are a few ways to get rid of the burning rubber smell:

1. Adequate ventilation

Keep the doors and windows open for adequate air circulation. You can speed up the process by turning on ceiling fans.

2. Baking soda

Baking soda is a powerful fume absorbent. Just mix it with water and put it in strategic places overnight and your odor situation will be taken care of.

3. Boiled lemons

Boiled lemons are ideal for absorbing lingering smells in the kitchen as well as other areas of your house.

4. Vinegar

A bowl of vinegar should be helpful for those who want the perfect solution for dealing with strong odors.

5. Masking the smell

If you are expecting visitors, a bowl of vinegar or lemon peels may take longer to clear the air of rubber fumes.

Thankfully, you can resort to deodorizers, incense, air fresheners, and candles to hide unpleasant odors.

Remember, masking odor doesn’t make it go away. It just makes it undetectable.

Final Thoughts

Typically, a strange burning rubber smell in house could be an indication of a faulty electrical wiring system, or some equipment in your house needs urgent service or replacement.

In case you just obtained a new item, that could be the culprit as well.

Burning rubber smells are mostly associated with something overheating. As such, you need to act fast at identifying and fixing the problem before it cascades into a big issue.