Dealing With Persistent Upholstery Odors
Face it: upholstered furniture inevitably starts to smell. Like carpeting, upholstery tends to absorb and trap odors. While pets and teenagers are the smelliest culprits, they are not solely to blame. Oils and smoke from cooking, odors from clothing and hair, bits of food, and hordes of bacteria and microscopic life forms all get trapped in our upholstered furniture and contribute to the way it smells. While the only sure way to remove foul odors from furniture is to have it professionally cleaned and disinfected by local carpet care Irvine CA professionals, there are a number of ways that you can treat strong odors and protect your furniture between cleanings.
The most important thing to consider when dealing with a smelly couch or chair is whether the smell is on the surface of deeply embedded. More porous or loosely woven materials are likely to have smells penetrate deeper into the fabric while tighter or less porous materials will have smells stay near the surface. These near surface smells are fairly easy to treat. Odor neutralizing sprays are usually effective, at least in the short run. A more persistent surface odor can be treated by sprinkling baking soda liberally over the affected area and allowed to sit for a half hour to an hour and then vacuumed up.
Deep penetrating odors can be more difficult to handle. If you happen to own a wet-vac, filling it with cold water and running it over the affected area can sometimes be sufficient. For those without access to a wet-vac using a solution of vinegar and water that is allowed to set for a few hours before rinsing can do the trick. Unfortunately, some upholstery materials do not hold up well to being soaked in vinegar or even deep cleaned with water. In these cases, only professional intervention will do.
The best way to beat smelly furniture and carpeting is, of course, prevention. Here are a couple of simple tips for preventing the build-up of foul odors in your upholstered furniture:
- Vacuum furniture regularly with a handheld attachment.
- Use regular baking soda or vinegar / water spray treatments to prevent surface odors from sinking in.
- Open windows whenever possible to prevent stale air from sinking into upholstery.
- Keep pets off or train them to sit on blankets or pillows specially laid out for them.