How to Clean a Used Couch

This article comes from The Spruce.

How to Clean a Used Couch

If you are a fan of thrift shops and garage sales, any upholstered furniture—such as used couches— you buy should be sanitized and cleaned before you bring it inside. Clean sofas and other used furniture are a must, otherwise, you could inadvertently bring unwanted germs, smells, and pests into your home.

These are simple steps to clean a used couch, making it sanitary and odor-free again.

1. Vacuum the Couch

The first step is to vacuum up all the loose crumbs, dirt, and fur from the upholstery. Keep an eye out for bug droppings or other signs of pests. You’ll want to get the vacuum into every cranny possible and might need to go over the couch multiple times.

2. Disinfect and Wipe Down

You may want to make a natural upholstery cleaner for spot removal. You can also use a store-bought cleaner. Just make sure to test a small patch of fabric first.

Next, wipe down any non-upholstery sections with a reliable disinfectant. Make sure the wipes or spray you choose don’t have bleach as an ingredient because this can damage the wood or other non-fabric parts of your sofa. Test a small spot first if you’re unsure. Don’t worry about disinfecting the fabric at this point. The cleaning process will do that.

3. Bug Spray (Optional)

If you got the couch second-hand, you might consider spraying the surface down with bug spray before you bring the piece into your home. Bugs and unwanted pests can make a home in old couches and furniture without being seen by the naked eye.

Spray the nooks and crannies with an all-purpose bug spray that will work to repel and kill pests such as bed bugs, fleas, ticks, and mites. Leave the couch in a well-ventilated area outside your home for 24 hours.

4. Remove Odors

Many odors in couches are caused by bacteria and excessive moisture. Baking soda will work to combat both issues. First, however, make sure you test a small piece of upholstery to make sure the baking soda won’t lighten the fabric.

Next, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on all sections of a couch. Use a bristle brush to spread out the baking soda in an even layer on every upholstered surface. Let the baking soda sit for a few hours without being disturbed, then vacuum it up.

5. Remove Stains

If your couch still smells after the baking soda bath, spray down the surface with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Once the solution dries, the vinegar smell will dissipate and so should any other scent.

Before you attempt any stain removal on your couch, figure out the type of fabric it is. Some sofas are made with upholstery that is so fragile that it shouldn’t get wet. Others, such as leather or synthetic upholstery, may need special consideration as well—find the tag for more insight.

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