It may seem like a great idea to pick up a free sofa off the side of the road or to snag a perfectly clean looking armchair at a thrift store. However, by doing so, you may just be bringing unwanted germs, allergens, and odors into your home. Does this mean that you have to pass up the good deal? No! You just need to make sure that you follow proper precautions before bringing any used furniture into your house. Here’s what we recommend doing to clean secondhand furniture:
The very first thing that you want to do is disinfect your furniture to kill any bacteria or germs. There are a few ways that you can do this. You can purchase sanitizing wipes, which work especially well on wooden or plastic legs or arms. There are also sanitizing fabric sprays that you can buy to easily disinfect a large amount of upholstery. If you’d rather go a more natural route, you can use a mixture of vinegar and warm water to disinfect the furniture. If you are especially concerned about the sanitation of your new furniture (or just don’t want to do the work yourself), you can also call in a professional upholstery cleaner to do the work for you.
Once you have disinfected your furniture, inspect it for signs of stains. Some stains bac removed with warm water and some scrubbing, but if the furniture is used there is a high probability the stains have set in. Set stains are much harder to remove, but a professional can usually remove them. There are also stain removing products on the market, just make sure that they are safe for your furniture by testing them in an inconspicuous spot, such as the underside of a cushion, first.
Another common problem that used furniture has is odors. Common odors include smoke, pet urine, and a general musty smell. Many odors are caused by moisture that has been trapped within the fabric. While fabric fresheners may mask these smells temporarily, they will not remove them permanently. Instead, you need to treat the odors at the source. Letting baking soda sit on the furniture and then vacuuming it up can help, as can using a mixture of warm water and vinegar. If unwanted odors still persist, a professional cleaner is your best bet.
Once you have taken these necessary steps, you are ready to bring your new old furniture into your home and enjoy it with peace of mind.