It’s a great money saver to inherit furniture when you’re furnishing a home. However, sometimes that furniture comes with an inherited musty smell that will stink up the whole house. Can musty smells, stale tobacco smoke smell and/or long term storage odors be removed from couch and upholstered chairs? Sure, with these tips.
Remove Couch and Chair Cushions
Start removing the musty smell by removing cushions and slip covers if possible. If slip covers are washable, wash them in warm water on delicate cycle and air dry. If the couch and chair have no removable cushions or slip covers, start with the following step.
Apply Baking Soda To Upholstery Fabric
Sprinkle baking soda generously over all fabric surfaces. Don’t be stingy with the baking soda, make sure every inch of fabric is covered and pat on and rub in the baking soda into the sides and backs of couch and upholstered chair. Rub the baking soda into all the upholstery and allow to sit overnight. Baking soda absorbs odors and will not stain fabric.
Couch or Chairs Upholstered with Leather or Silk
Do not use baking soda on leather upholstery or delicate silk upholstery. Wipe leather with a clean cloth dampened with white vinegar, when leather is dry, apply a leather moisturizer and conditioner to couch and chair. If silk couch and chair upholstery fabric is removable, it can be dry cleaned, if not, silk fabric with a musty smell is often a lost cause.
Vacuum Couch and Upholstered Chair
Put upholstery cleaner nozzle on vacuum cleaner and thoroughly vacuum every inch of the couch and chair. If slip covers were removed, exposing couch or chair foam, vacuum it too (baking soda should be sprinkled on exposed foam). Vacuum underside of couch and chair if the fabric lining is still intact. If the fabric lining of the couch or chair is missing or tattered (remove if tattered), vacuum the couch and chair springs and wipe clean with a cloth dampened with white vinegar.
Use White Vinegar on Hard Surfaces of Couch and Chair
If couch and chair have hard surfaces, such as wood arm rests or other decorative wood embellishments, vinegar will clean and remove musty smells from the wood. Dampen a clean cloth with white vinegar and wipe off all hard surfaces.
Lingering Musty and Stale Tobacco Smoke Smells
If musty smell or stale tobacco smoke odors are still lingering in the couch and chair, use an unscented fabric refresher spray on all upholstery fabric. If none of these tips remove musty smell from couch and chair, the odor is deep within the padding where it can’t be reached and it will have to be lived with or the inherited furniture pieces recycled.