September 10, 2016 by quiqcleanpro
What do I do if a dirty person slept on my couch? I recently had a smelly person sleep on my couch for 3 straight days (I was helping the guy out while he picked his life up) and now my couch smells, uh pretty bad. What’s my best option here?
It’s difficult, because of the lack of tone in an email, to say so for sure—but this guy sounds kind of annoyed with the situation in which he finds himself. Which is totally fair, but I think also it is fair to say that he did the right thing in letting his pal crash on his couch. That was really decent of him, and if the small price he has to pay is a few bucks spent on an odor-neutralizing product and a few minutes of cleaning time, I would say that’s worth it to have done someone a solid.
There are a lot of reasons one might want to deodorise his couch. Perhaps you have a dog, cat, or some other fragrant animal that likes to lounge on your sofa. Maybe the source of the smell is a “dirty person” who used the couch as a bed. Or, possibly—if we’re all being very honest with one another and with ourselves—the smell is the result of many years of farting into the cushions while binge-watching House of Cards.
To begin, you can, and should, straight up vacuum your furniture, which will remove all manner of stuff that can lend your couch a funky scent. Vacuuming won’t completely eliminate odours, but it’s the first step in the process because it will remove dander, hair, dust, and so on, all of which contribute to their development. After vacuuming, the easiest way to perform a stench exorcism is to use an odor-eliminating spray. There are LOTS of options out this in this great wide world of ours, but here are four that I think are the best for you to pick from.
Good old Lysol doesn’t get as much love as it should, which is too bad because it’s an effective product that can be used to keep your trashcan from stinking, freshen the air in a bathroom, and kill a stench that’s developed in your couch.
Oh man, people love this Ozium stuff so much. And by “people” I mean stoners—so you know it’s serious about nuking smells. The thing is, it also has a fairly strong smell of its own, which will dissipate, but which you should know about before using since some people find it to be way too much. For that reason, you should use it sparingly and at a distance from furniture so you don’t wind up overwhelming your entire home with the smell of the thing you’re using to eliminate some other smell.
This is the cheapest of all the options, which is just one of the reasons it’s such a good choice. White vinegar also has antibacterial properties, and it works really well to kill smells. To use it, put straight white vinegar—not white wine vinegar—in a spray bottle and mist the couch with it. As the vinegar dries, the smell will dissipate, but you should also spritz from about a foot away and try not to overdo it. Aim for a light misting, not total saturation.
Remember way back at the beginning of our relationship when I told you that you could use vodka to deodorise vintage items that retained that vintage store-smell? It’s okay if you don’t remember, you can just nod at me and pretend you do, I’ll act like I don’t see you opening that link to catch up. (This is how I get you, by the way. Toss in a few links for you to follow and then sit back while you spend the next three hours in a rabbit hole of old columns until you’re like, “How is it four o’clock already and did I really just spend the afternoon reading about cleaning?”) Just like with stale-smelling vintage clothing, vodka can be spritzed on a couch to eliminate lingering odours. Use the cheap stuff, decant it into a plastic spray bottle and spritz away. Then make yourself a cocktail. Use the good stuff for that, though.
While sprays are going to be easier to use, there’s another category of products that bears mentioning. Deodorising powders like baking soda or scented options like Arm & Hammer Carpet Odor Eliminator or Bissell’s Carpet Powder—which are almost always billed for use on carpet but can absolutely be used on upholstered furniture as well—require a little more labour than sprays, but only a little more. To use them, sprinkle a liberal amount onto your couch (or carpet, or both!), allow the product to sit for 10-15 minutes, and then vacuum thoroughly. If the smell is very strong, you may want to allow the product to sit a bit longer. (But be aware that, if you’re using one of the scented options, that smell in and of itself can become overwhelming.) Of course, if it does, you can always use one of those sprays we already talked about to kill the overly perfumey smell.