I just received a sofa and chair from my mom that she purchased at an estate sale. It has an unknown odor to it and stains. I am most concerned with getting out the odors, it's quite bad. My mom said she shampooed it, I also tried using an upholstery cleaner. Can you please give me some more suggestions? I do own a steam cleaner. What kind of cleaner would you suggest?
Shelli from Tacoma, WA
I've recently bought a 'cheap with delivery' 2nd hand sofa and arm chair from ebay (leather with fabric backings). Bought from a company of farmers who collect unwanted things and store them in a barn whilst selling on ebay. For some reason I was so happy with the price and delivery that I didn't think for a second that these things might smell...Well they don't smell, they STINK. Think horse urine and you're getting somewhere!
I want to share what I've done to try to remove this stench because I've read things like, 'Spray vinegar on and the smell will be gone!' etc...I FOUND THAT THIS WASN'T TRUE!
First of all, I'm pretty sure that the vinegar just made the smell worse. The best cure seemed to come from baking soda and newspapers. I've read that alcohol works and think that this could be a good tip - we used mouthwash with alcohol in its ingredients and it seemed to have a better effect than vinegar (couldn't find any cheap vodka in England, hence the mouthwash).
Here's the procedure we went through:
The sofa and all furniture cushions:
First off, my boyfriend spent ages scrubbing the cushions and sofa with detergent (he was actually brought up on a farm himself but the smell that came out of the cushions nearly made him vomit!) The water that came out was brown, but even after the furniture was dry the stench was still there. Next, I used vinegar and water and scrubbed everything again. Whilst drying, the stench seemed to get stronger and now had the added bonus of being mixed with a strong vinegar smell! It was now truly impossible to be in the same room as our sofa!
Convinced vinegar should work as so may people had recommended it, I bought some cider vinegar (recommended somewhere) and sprayed that. After it had dried, the cushions and sofa still STANK like a zoo.
Our living room was unbearable so all the cushions went outside onto the balcony to sit in the sun and bake. Sun and fresh air didn't work either though because once everything had dried, the stench was still strong. I rubbed baking soda into everything and left till the next day. The next day, the vinegar smell had gone but the horse urine/camel's bum stink was still there...so I mixed new baking soda with vinegar/water into a paste and left that on.
The cushions were now painted white with paste, but after an hour some parts came up orange, as though the paste was lifting out some dodgy looking stains!
24 hours later I had to try to scrub the paste off (and consequently do not recommend making a paste for anything you care about - it didn't work on the smell anyway). Stench still there, I tried spraying vinegar and water again. After that had dried and the stink was still there..
I now sprayed everything with mouthwash. Aha! now we're getting somewhere! The cushions that hadn't had stains on were now starting to smell okay. The stinkiest ones still needed help so my boyfriend scrubbed them with dove soap and water. After that, I sprinkled HEAPS of baking soda on again and left them for 5 days before hoovering it off. Finally, I left newspapers all over the top and insides of the cushions for a few days. It took all of this and 2 weeks to get the smell to an almost gone level!
During all of this, the arm chair hadn't smelled as bad as the sofa after my boyfriend's first cleaning, but had smelled worse after the first vinegar session. So all I did with that was sprinkle baking soda on, hoovered it off the next day. It still smelled quite ripe so I sprayed with mouthwash - and this seemed to do quite a lot but the smell was still there so I covered it in newspapers and they seemed to absorb the smell somehow!
By (Guest Post)01/25/2009
Don't know if anyone still reads this or not but we just got a sofa, love seat and recliner from a smoking family and the smell wos horrible once we got it into our home. I tried everything and was at my wits end until one day I came home and everything smelled so nice!! My husband mixed in a small spray bottle 1/4 bottle of downy fabric softener (the kind that has febreeze in it) and the rest with water, sprayed it all over the furniture then wiped it all down with a dry wash cloth. It smells so good and you can't even smell the smoke anymore! WHO KNEW?
By (Guest Post)11/13/2008
Lysol spray. I like Dollar Generals brand. Spray until wet! Let air dry for an hour or so and then cover with a sheet for a few days. Works here. Chell
By teresa (Guest Post)11/04/2008
Febreeze and Oxyclean
By Cajunangel (Guest Post)11/04/2008
We had a freezer that when the power went out the food went bad. The absolutely only thing that would get rid of the odor and we tried EVERYTHING was Irish Spring Soap. You could put opened bars of it in the cushions underneath. You can always use the soap afterwards. I have even put opened bars under my seats in my car to eliminate odors in it. Works too. Good luck.
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My sofa stinks. I went out one afternoon, and when I returned my sofa smelled like death. My husband has no clue. I thought one of our dogs threw up. We checked for a dead mouse and found none. I've used Febreze, upholstery cleaner, etc. to no avail. It is too large to take outside, but I am tempted. Any ideas other than taking an axe to it? There is no stain and it is a regular cloth sofa.
Pat from Coplay, PA
By Yaffa Dreams
By Cindy S.
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