Removing Odors From Upholstery
Odors inevitably accumulate in people’s homes. They come from many sources ranging from cooking to smoking to pets to illness. To make your home livable, removing odors from your upholstery and other areas is essential.
Begin by opening windows and doors to let in fresh air. You can also place a fan in the room where it can blow new air in and place a second fan to draw the odors out.
For removing daily odors, sprinkle baking soda on your upholstery. Wait 15 minutes or more for tough odors to fade, then vacuum up. Not only will your furniture smell sweet, but it will also eliminate odors in your vacuum cleaner.
You can also use vinegar for removing odors. Mix a solution of one part vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle. For severe odors, use two parts vinegar and one part water. This stronger solution will eliminate more of the smell, but it will also take longer for the vinegar scent to fade. Be sure to first test a small, inconspicuous area of the furniture for staining or color fading.
Spray the solution on the furniture piece to dampen the surface. Then open the windows to let the piece to dry and the vinegar scent to dissipate. Repeat as needed until the odor is gone.
Alternatively, you can use both baking soda and vinegar. Mix a solution with one part vinegar and two parts water in a spray bottle. Test for color fastness and staining, then spray the furniture piece liberally. While the upholstery is moist, sprinkle baking soda on the surface and gently scrub with a scrub brush.
Allow the upholstery to dry partially. When almost dry, vacuum excess baking soda away. When completely dry, vacuum again to remove any residual baking soda.
The sun is a natural way for eliminating odor-causing bacteria and freshening up furniture. You would first vacuum the entire surface of the furniture piece, then move it outdoors into direct sunlight. Have a friend help you if it is heavy. Allow the piece sit in the sunlight all day to let the ultraviolet rays kill the odor-causing bacteria and freshen up the furniture’s smell.
For deeply embedded odors in your upholstery, use a steam extractor. A home steam extractor can be rented from a home center or equipment rental store. Hiring a professional truck mounted steam extractor is also an option. Even though it is more expensive, it is more powerful than a home steam extractor and worth the expense. It is almost impossible to eliminate odors from mattresses and foam pillows, though, so they will need to be disposed of and replaced.
Lastly, you can place small dishes of baking soda, potpourri, sliced lemons, or vanilla extract around your house for removing odors and replacing them with pleasanter scents.
Some methods for removing odors from upholstery may be more labor intensive than others, but they are worth the effort of making your home smelling fresh.