Four Steps To Get Nasty Odors Out Of Old Upholstery

Posted on: 2 August 2017

Does your upholstered furniture smell more like an old shoe than a rose garden? It's not uncommon for odors to build up over the years as your upholstery is exposed to food spills, oils from your skin, and contaminants from pets. Thankfully, the smell does not need to be permanent. If you follow these four steps, you can get those nasty odors out of your chair, sofa, or other upholstered item.

Step 1: Vacuum

This step removes any skin cells, pet dander, and other debris that may be contributing to the odors. Use the wand attachment of your vacuum, and place it firmly against the upholstery so that it forms a tight seal. Then, move it back and forth, without lifting it up, to suck any debris out of the material. 

Step 2: Clean with Vinegar and Dish Soap

These two ingredients are perfect for cleaning upholstery. The dish soap breaks apart any greasy molecules, which usually play a role in holding onto odors within the upholstery. The vinegar then neutralizes odors, including those from the now broken-down grease. 

Prepare your mixture by combining 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and a tablespoon of dish soap in a spray bottle. Shake to combine, and then spray this mixture liberally onto the upholstered surface. Let it set for five minutes, and then use a clean towel to blot up as much of the liquids as possible. Switch to a new towel, and repeat this process until you are no longer absorbing any more liquid.

Step 3: Sprinkle with Baking Soda

Let the upholstery air dry until it feels dry to the touch. Then, sprinkle some baking soda liberally over the area. If you want to add a more potent scent to the upholstery, you can also sprinkle on the contents of two or three lavender tea bags. Let the baking soda and tea sit for a day. They will absorb any lingering liquid in the upholstery so you do not get new, moldy odors. They'll also help draw any other lingering odors out.

Step 4: Vacuum Again

Once a day has passed, use the wand attachment of your vacuum to suck of the baking soda. Make sure you get into all of the creases. Go over the upholstery twice to ensure you get all of the baking soda, as it is now harboring the nasty odors you want to get rid of.

Contact an upholstery cleaning service if you need a professional touch.