Bad smell - Foam Mat

I have purchased a Foam Floor Alphabet and Number Puzzle Mat similar as next one:
https://www.amazon.com/Floor-Alphabet-Number-Puzzle-96-Piece/dp/B00E4H17PC
and it has a very strong bad/chemical smell.
I put it outside on balcony at sun and wind for couple of days.
Do you have any other suggestions how to get rid of that smell, maybe a spray, a solution something to clean it?
LVL 21
viki2000Asked:
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Martin MillerCTOCommented:
In addition to airing this outside, try this product, PureAyre, sold on Amazon, link below:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KT2ATWS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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viki2000Author Commented:
That sounds interesting, but there is only one problem.
I am in Europe, more exactly Germany and the price on amazon.de or ebay.de is 30-50€ minimum compared with 11$ in USA.
So, either I need to find a cheaper price in Germany or I must find an alternative product that I can buy at an acceptable price here in Germany. That foam mat was not more than 25€, so I do not expect to pay  another 25€ for a spray that eliminates the bad odors.
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Martin MillerCTOCommented:
@viki2000,

Yes, that makes sense, if you can find an alternative product for less that will be good. This one is a natural product, so no toxic chemicals. You might consider mixing up something with these ingredients: [ Lemon Fruit, Orange Fruit,  Mint leaves and water].

Martin
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nobusCommented:
are you sure it's not a counterfeit - cheap one ??
good products should not smell like that
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BillDLCommented:
You tend to get this nasty smell from cheap plastic shower curtains, foam bathroom sponges, and other "plasticky" products that come in sealed packaging.  Sometimes it is strong enough to make your eyes burn.  The smell does fade over time, but I agree with nobus.  A product that is designed to be for use by babies and young children should not emit such a bad smell.

Among the low ratings in the reviews I only found one that mentioned "bad smell for baby" but did not describe it in any detail.  The main complaints was that the pieces popped out when placed on a carpet (justified) and that their babies lost the pieces (unjustified) and chewed on them (worrying).  One person expressed concern that the pieces were thin enough to cause a choking hazard if a baby chewed off a corner.  My concern would be about what chemicals are released if a baby chews on the foam given that it has such a stink.  I would also worry that if the foam is stinky because it is releasing chemicals, they might damage the varnish on a wooden or wood laminate floor.

My guess is that the smell will fade naturally.  If the item is advertised as having "washable" foam pieces, then ceck if they can be washed in a washing machine or if they are "hand wash only".  If they are OK in a washing machine, put them in on a cold rinse cycle only and see if the small is gone after the pieces are dry.  If you follow washing instructions and the colours fade or the pieces become misshapen, just send it back.

Personally I would complain to the Amazon seller and probably also to the manufacturer if a manufacturer can be ascertained.

I remember when flippers, goggles, and snorkels used to stink like brand new car tyres until they had been in the sea for a while.  The manufacturers started adding something to the compound that gave off a nice vanilla smell to disguise the rubber smell until it faded.  In my opinion a mat like this that is made from synthetic foam (extruded polyethylene or whatever the compound is) should be impregnating it with something that disguises the smell.
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viki2000Author Commented:
I bought it from eBay.de, I do not know if it is a counterfeit.
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nobusCommented:
go into a shop that sells tehm - and compare prices
(for such product - i like buying in shops - if anything is wrong - you return it - and they take care of the rest)
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viki2000Author Commented:
I think for the moment would be very nice to find an alternative to PureAyre in Europe, Germany.
Any suggestions?
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BillDLCommented:
Pure Ayre is marketed as a "pet odour eliminator".  It has enzymes that kill off the elements in animal urine and spray that cause pet pee to stink, and it will kill the bacteria that feeds on the urine and makes it smell worse.  This kind of odour neutraliser is great for places like the floor and wall tiles around urinals in gents' toilets where urine gets into the grout and even bleach won't get rid of the smell.

Febreze is an international brand by Proctor & Gamble, and should be available in Germany (although it might be sold under another name).  Although their sprays do not use enzymes, they have sprays to get rid of trapped smells in fabric like couches and curtains.  It needs to wet the surface though, and it leaves a bitter taste if you touch the fabric and then your lips even when the spray has dried.  Wetting the foam with Febreze could damage it because it contains citrus extracts.

In the case of the foam mat the smell is probably being caused by escaping solvents used in the manufacture, and it should fade away in time.  Spraying with a deodorant will only mask the odour, not eliminate it.  Ventilating the foam is what will get rid of the smell.  If it still smells as strongly in a week after the peieces have been left out I would send it back.
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nobusCommented:
some people claim putting it in the freezer for a day or 2 also helps - but i can't vouch for it
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viki2000Author Commented:
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viki2000Author Commented:
What is your opinion if I wash it with water, eventually soap/shampoo?
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BillDLCommented:
You would really have to check the instructions that came with the item, or instructions written on the packaging.  I would guess that the pieces should be washable (probably by hand or washing machine), and I saw at least one review that said "easy to wash", but it would be a good idea to check.
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nobusCommented:
wash it with solvent - then your problem vanishes ! lol
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viki2000Author Commented:
That is a nice one nobus :) , but I need my problem :)

This is the link from where I have bought it:https://www.ebay.de/itm/Homfa-32x32cm-Bodenmatte-Puzzlematte-Spielmatte-Kinderteppich-Lernteppich-86tlg/391968848133?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

And at description it says:
"Hochwertige Verarbeitung und elegantes Design, EVA Material mit hoher Qualität, als Schaumstoff Matten , machen Sie keine Sorge für chemische Gerüche, leicht zu transportieren und reinig."
and Google Translate:
"High quality workmanship and elegant design, EVA material with high quality, as foam mats, do not worry about chemical odors, easy to carry and clean."
I was almost ready to say liar, liar liar...
but at the end it says:
"Hinweiss: Bevor Sie die Matte Verwenden, bitte abzuwaschen, und lassen Sie es an der Luft trocknen mindestens 24 Stunden."
Google Translate:
"Note: Before using the mat, please wash off, and let it air dry for at least 24 hours."
Conclusion: my mistake, I did not read all the recommendations.
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nobusCommented:
it seems you got a quality one - a shame they did not remove the smell themselves!
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BillDLCommented:
"do not worry about chemical odors".  Ha, ha.  I'm glad that the instructions suggest washing first.  If the colours fade or the pieces warp and deform after washing, at least you can say that you followed the instructions.

For more about Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) and Polyethylene-vinyl acetate (PEVA) read here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethylene-vinyl_acetate

It is probably the most common physical pollutant of oceans and rivers in its various forms.
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viki2000Author Commented:
The problem was solved.
More than 1 week in the air, then washed with clean water, dried in the sun and the smell was gone.
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BillDLCommented:
Thank you viki2000.
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