disinfect used furniture blog yellow couch

There you are. Feet in the grass and eyes on the prize. You stopped by a local yard sale because it’s a Saturday and it’s nice out. There, not twenty feet away, in the middle of the green lawn, is the piece of furniture you didn’t know your living room needed. It’s perfect. Except it needs a little care, a little cleaning. No big deal. You know what you can do. You know who to call.

It can be a lot of fun hunting for used furniture at garage sales, consignment stores, and antique stores.  Maybe your perfect couch is sitting at an estate sale.  Heck, maybe you even inherit a chair from a friend or relative.  Not only do you find some incredible pieces of furniture, but you can get some killer deals as well.  The thing is – no matter where the furniture comes from – you just won’t know what it’s been through. You can easily tell if there is a spring loose or a tear in the fabric, but you can’t tell how much bacteria, how much sweat, and how many allergy particles reside within.

Clean and Disinfect

This is our pro-tip. Please, please, PLEASE clean and disinfect used furniture before bringing it into your home.  This is important so that you do not bring germs, pests – like bed bugs, or bacteria (and heaven knows what else) inside your domain.  Get rid of the unknown particles (as well as the very well known odors).


First thing, you will want to be sure that your furniture is properly disinfected.  If you find unidentified stains, odors, or any kind of sticky residue, be sure to use an extra strength disinfectant cleanser.  Just be sure that that cleanser is safe to use on furniture.  There are a number of ways to disinfect your furniture.  

If you go the DIY route, you can use:

  • sanitizing wipes
  • disinfectant aerosol sprays
  • a mixture of vinegar and warm water

Also check out Chem-Dry’s professional strength sanitizer that all but eliminates unhealthy bacteria.

Remove Odors

After you have sanitized and disinfected your furniture, you can begin removing any unwanted odors.  Since many of these odors can be caused by moisture that has been trapped in the fabric or pet odors, fabric fresheners and deodorizers won’t get rid of the musty smell.  

DON’T go out and buy fabric deodorizers or air fresheners (products like Fabreze). These can help temporarily but won’t get rid of the underlying problem. You need to get rid of that moisture and mildew.

Again you can attempt a Do-It-Yourself method.  The solution of vinegar and water mentioned above is safe for nearly all furnitures and is a great idea. The mixture can help eliminate odors and hopefully remove excess moisture and mildew in the fabrics.  If that doesn’t seem to work, or you just can’t find the time, call us at Chem-Dry.  We specialize in eliminating unwanted odors, not just masking them.  

Remove Stains

Removing stains from furniture can be pretty tough – especially when they’re old stains. However, with some hardwork and some familiar household items, you can remove the following:

  • Crayon – If your item has any crayon stains on it, you can take a rag and rub a bit of WD40 into the area to remove the stain.
  • Ink – For ink stains, try using rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and gently rub on the area. This works well for certain types of leather furniture as well.
  • Rust – A solution of lemon juice and salt, mild dish soap, and ammonia or a store-bought rust removal product can help you remove rust stains from furniture.

Of course, if those methods don’t work, you know who to call.  Chem-Dry of Lafayette has been incredibly successful in removing stains and odors from carpet and upholstery.

Beautiful New (To You) Furniture

And there you are. Toes in the carpet and eyes on the prize. You stand there in your living room on a Sunday because it looks so nice. There, not twenty feet away, in the middle of the room, is the piece of furniture you didn’t know your living room needed. It’s perfect. It needed a little care, a little cleaning, but it was no big deal. You called Chem-Dry.

Enjoy your new treasure!