Used mattresses and upholstered furniture are a plain and simple possible serious health hazard, not to mention creepy sounding, so it's best to avoid them. Not only can mattresses secretly be carrying bed bugs and lice but you also really have no idea what bodily fluids might be in or on them or whether or not those fluids came from someone who has a communicable disease.
No matter which upholstered item it might be, such as sofa, chair, or even an ottoman, they too carry the risks mentioned regarding mattresses but also the risk of critters such as cockroaches and fleas or even mice secretly dwelling inside. It's also possible that a temporary remedy to mask the odors of pets, urine or vomit has been used and in a short time you're going to regret the smell that will inevitably show up because those fluids seep down inside and are nearly impossible to remove.
Besides the above mentioned concerns it's more than likely that the mattress is too worn to give your body the sleep support it needs and that the sofa or chair are simply too used to truly be comfortable.
By Deeli from Richland, WA
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Bodily fluids can't live any longer than bedbugs without something to keep them alive. I have purchased used mattresses and furniture from thrift shops that fumigate them both and have never had any trouble. Nothing bit me, contaminated me, or gave me the creeps.
On SSD, I don't know how anyone could afford anything but used, but that's just me I guess.
This is a great alert for some who have the luxury of buying new. As a military wife and a daughter of an upholsterer, I have never had that luxury. I learned from my dad that if you wrapped any stuffed furniture (mattress or couch or chair) place it in the sun for a couple of hours, it will be fine to use.
I use the black plastic so the uv rays don't damage while the sun does it thing. It's nature doing what it does well, disinfecting. Personally, I am thankful for so many who can afford new because then I can afford to buy their used furniture. No offense intended.
I to, buy used and disinfect. In today's economy and on social security, we cannot afford new furniture, we are however frequent customers of upscale consignment shops and Habitat For Humanity.
I gave this a thumbs-up because I have had some unpleasant experiences with used furniture passed on to me by people I would never have dreamed had all those nasties living with them, lol! (Second one to you today, Deeli, love thoe cats:)
Here in the UK most of the charity shops who sell used upholstered furniture and bedding put the items through a cleaning process that renders the item sanitary, but I'm still leery, and put any upholstered furniture through a sun bake AND chemical disinfection (usually vinegar) of my own.
We're on a fixed income and just married a year ago-have to be frugal to furnish our home, but also have to be aware and cautious! LOL, for an old guy, my new husband didn't have a lot of furniture-a couple of vinyl chairs and a futon when we met, so we needed to furnish nearly an entire house.
We splashed out on the mattress, but went used with everything else. Thank-goodness for vacuum cleaners and spray bottles filled with vinegar!
As a retiree I, too, have had to buy used, although we did buy the mattress set new. Before I purchase anything I check it out thoroughly. I turn it upside down, I remove cushions, etc. Stains and odors will make me walk away. If I decided to buy it I put it in the detached garage until I can clean it and disinfect it. I have a little steam cleaner and I clean it top to bottom.
I am sincerely happy for the brave souls who have purchased used and blessedly ended up with no problems. And I truly appreciate all of your comments. You'll understand why I wrote this article after reading the following and why I now look for sales on new furnishings if I need them and purchase them on lay-a-way if don't already have the cash saved. I am also on a limited Social Security income.
The first time I bought used I ended up with an infestation of cockroaches from a thrift store purchase. The egg sacks from cockroaches are laid deep within the crevices incubating for up to eight weeks.
The one and only other time I purchased used I ended up with a flea infestation. Those eggs can also be in the crevices and can hibernate for many months until the conditions (heat, moisture, etc) are ripe for them to hatch.
As for bodily fluids, I cared for a next door neighbor daily who was in the last stages of Aids because he wanted to die at home. If you've ever watched an aids patient die you know there are assorted bodily fluids everywhere. His siblings were considering donating his furniture. I was horrified and asked hospice to convince them otherwise. They made it clear his furniture needed to be treated as bio hazard waste.
Thanks but no thanks in risking that everyone who sells or gives away furniture knows or cares what's really in or on them and that they actually do fumigate them properly.
I was a second hand store owner for years and I really do not like it when people jump to seriously negative conclusions on used furniture. For one thing you can usually tell if a piece of furniture is not in good condition before you buy it.
Two many people can not simply afford to go to the stores and buy it new. Three I was very meticulous in cleaning all of my sell-able furniture with an extractor. And there are many products out there that can do an amazing job of cleaning and not always an expensive cleaner. There are many natural home remedies available.
So before you judge a used piece of furniture get the whole picture first and always remember used does not mean terrible.
javamom77, "please read my post just below yours that I left yesterday". I am not doubting that there are reputable caring second hand dealers like yourself but after my personal experiences I am not willing to risk it and feel my advice is more than warranted.
I am sorry you are upset about my negative review but please understand that a negative review about second hand mattresses or upholstered furniture usually comes from bad experiences.
Another item that shouldn't be purchased second-hand is a child's carseat. If it has been in an accident, it can have structural damage that can cause it to be unsafe even though you cannot see any evidence of damage.
The cost of car seats is coming down - some fire departments offer new car seats free or very cheaply. Don't risk your child's safety just to save some dollars - buy new!
In addition to cockroaches and fleas, bedbug eggs can wait very long periods of time for the right conditions for hatching. One of my sons found that out the hard way.
Let's face it, mattresses in particular are a very personal and intimate item. You want a new one. That isn't an item to scrimp on.
I'd rather have one new but not necessarily expensive chair (there are always sales) in the living room than a whole roomful of used ones. You can't rely on a past owner being responsible. Or buy used wicker and new cushions.
In Texas, it is illegal to resale a mattress. As for other furniture, it is at the discretion of the buyer to determine if that piece of furniture is a viable item for their home. I have bought used furniture without incident. But I also leave it setting out in the good ole Texas sun for a day and let it air really well. Then I vacuum it. But back in the olden days people aired their furniture, mattresses and everything they owned in the sun to refresh them because vacuum cleaners were for the wealthy. So I only half agree with this article and therefore can not cast a vote in either direction.
I think that's being a little odd. I mean we stay in hotels when on holiday, we sit on upholstered seats in many public places, where the number of users is vast! In the economic climate we are in many people have to buy second hand stuff and I think it is highly irresponsible of anyone to make them feel that either they shouldn't or at worst to stop them from purchasing at all!
'Bugs' can be killed by leaving an item in 140 degrees for a couple of hours. We are fortunate to have a sauna, so I've put items in there to take care of the problem. Otherwise, a person can get the large plastic bags that mattresses come in from a mattress/furniture store. Put the item in the bag, seal it and leave it in the sun to bake the bugs , etc. out.
I sell my used furniture and mattresses every couple of years. They are always in excellent condition and have no bugs or body fluid on them. I use mattress covers and have my furniture professionally cleaned twice a year. Any one who buys my used stuff is getting a very good deal! I would advise any one buying used furniture and mattresses to check them out thoroughly, with a flashlight, and look around at the home they are coming from to make sure it looks clean.
I NC it is against the law to sell used mattresses. Also to let you know you can buy new furniture and mattresses that have bugs and the rest on it also. All of these are stored in ware houses where bugs and things live! I know of a well know store that was in the news last year because someone bought new furniture and it had bugs in it and the people did not know until it was in their house! About the only thing you can do is check everything you buy very carefully. This includes under it and under cushions before the guys who deliver it leave. There is nothing wrong with buying used as long as you know where it came from and you check it out. I would not buy something at a yard sale unless I knew that person!
"Bed bugs are parasites that preferentially feed on humans. If people aren't available, they instead will feed on other warm-blooded animals, including birds, rodents, bats, and pets."
"Bed bugs can infest airplanes, ships, trains, and buses. Bed bugs are most frequently found in dwellings with a high rate of occupant turnover, such as hotels, motels, hostels, dormitories, shelters, apartment complexes, tenements, and prisons. Such infestations usually are not a reflection of poor hygiene or bad housekeeping. "
"Female bed bugs lay from one to twelve eggs per day, and the eggs are deposited on rough surfaces or in crack and crevices. The eggs are coated with a sticky substance so they adhere to the substrate. Eggs hatch in 6 to 17 days, and nymphs can immediately begin to feed. They require a blood meal in order to molt. Bed bugs reach maturity after five molts. Developmental time (egg to adult) is affected by temperature and takes about 21 days at 86° F to 120 days at 65° F. The nymphal period is greatly prolonged when food is scarce. Nymphs and adults can live for several months without food. The adult's lifespan may encompass 12-18 months. Three or more generations can occur each year. "
Go to your department of public health or state extension service at your state university for more information.
To each their own on the mattress/box spring. Spraying chairs, etc with a pesticide and wrapping in black plastic, seal and set outdoors in the sun for a week could do wonders.
For head lice, it is 2 weeks in a sealed bag, in an area away from use or in the freezer. As a whole, no stuffed toys come into my house that are not washer and dryer safe. Toss into pillow case, pin shut, and wash away!
If at any point you find little bites or sores unaccounted for, suspect bedbugs. Even your fanciest homes can have them brought home from a business trip!
Just some FYIs.
RE the comment of legally selling a mattress in certain states. It is forbidden in many states, but you can give it away. Sell the bed. Selling ads cannot read mattress for sale, but bed for sale, mattress free.
To the comment about car seats. I feel bad about this as you outgrow them quickly. We have a pick up week each spring, I wrapped my seats in plastic, put a note in it for date bought, 2 children used, etc. Age of car seat is a legal not required by all users. 6 months or newer. Your car insurance can help you with this matter, public health (here) have free carseats to get if income qualifies.
Also, our PD also has clinics set up to help you choose carseats and install correctly. Personal phone calls can get you the same free help any time. For the size of the children changing, they have hints how to buckle them in. At my grandchildren's growth spurts, I always got them approved about every 6 months. I bought the car seats for my car. My son's style of car had seats that fit theirs. Mine were captain chairs and had different requirements. The price to pay? Nothing compared to the safety measure.
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