Stinky Sofa

lkplatowOctober 11, 2004

Hello everyone. I was recently given a sofa that the previous owners had stored in their basement for a while. It is a beautiful couch, but it has a musty smell to it. I had Stanley Steemer come out to clean it and they put some kind of sanitizer/deodorizer on it - it smelled perfumey for about a week but is now back to smelling musty. Is there any way to get the smell out? Would febreze work? Is there something else I could buy that might deodorize it better? Does it just need to air out over time? Help! It perfectly matches my other furniture so I really don't want to get rid of it!!! Thanks mucho!

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I am not sure if this will help, but if I leave towels in the washer overnight and they develop that "musty" smell I rinse them with 1/2 cup white vinegar added to the rinse cycle. Maybe you could take the cushion covers off and wash on gentle and spritz the foam with a vinegar and water solution?


    Bookmark   October 11, 2004 at 4:51PM
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Service Master seems to have some sort of product that really removes musty as well as smokey odors.
I would call them.
Linda C

Here is a link that might be useful: Service Master

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 3:16PM
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I have very bad allergies to musty smells. I find spraying with lysol helps me better than anything else I've tried.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2004 at 2:37PM
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Try sprinkling Borax under the cushions and letting it set.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2004 at 10:11AM
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Try taking the cushions off, put them in a strong plastic bag, wrap the bag around the nozzle of the vacuum and turn it on. The idea is to take out all the air from the cushions, and it should help with removing the smell. When you see the bag flatten out, turn the vacuum off, take the nozzle out, and let bag refill with air. You can also try tucking a few unused dryer sheets into the cushions, and around the arms. Also, try vacuuming the arms and back with the crevice tool. It creates the most suction and should help to remove more of the odor. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 8:38PM
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Eliminating a strong musty odor from upholstery may be a health issue-- if it really is an odor caused by mildew presence. May advice would be to eliminate the source of the odor rather that trying to mask it. Mildew spores are resilient but can be eliminated by professionally cleaning with a special class of chemical not readily available to the public (bleaches may work, but with obvious problems; some people try using a peroxide product like Oxi Clean -- but issues include fabric weakening). Try speaking with a Janitorial Supply store in your area that sells a proper chemical and they might recommend a professional upholstery cleaning company to do the job right for you.
-- Be persistent and very specific that you are not looking for just an "encapsulating" chemical, but one that will actually kill mildew spores AND be safe for the fabric.

Additional note: because you had mildew odor before the cleaning, and the smell returned after cleaning, mildew growth may have spread to inside the cushions. It may be time for a new sofa if the smell is really bad and/or you have asthma.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sofa Cleaning

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 10:43PM
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If mold or mildew is growing inside the sofa, it's time to part company with it.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2007 at 3:09PM
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