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How to remove a musty smell from a couch?

Baking soda helps absorb musty odors from old upholstery.

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If you enjoy the look of antique furniture, there's no substitute for the real thing. Finding an antique sofa in good shape may be somewhat difficult -- and finding one in good shape that smells good, even more so. Upholstered furniture that has been kept in damp or humid conditions for an extended time may develop a musty smell, which could indicate mildew or mold. A thorough drying out, followed by deodorizing with a few household products, de-funks those antique finds.

Place the sofa outside on a dry, sunny and warm day, if possible. Remove the cushions, if they come off, and lean them at an angle against the sofa or a wall to maximize airflow on both sides of each cushion. Allow the sofa to sit in the sun all day, or for as long as possible.

Carry the sofa back indoors. Remove the cushions, if removable, again. Sprinkle baking soda liberally over all upholstered areas, including the cushions. Allow to set for 30 minutes for a mild odor or several hours for a strong odor.

Vacuum the baking soda and all upholstered areas of the sofa.

Flip the cushions over, if possible, and sprinkle baking soda on the reverse sides, allowing it to set for up to several hours. Vacuum the entire cushion surfaces.

Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol onto a sponge. Wipe any spots that look like they may be mold or mildew on both the upholstered areas and the wood. Rinse the sponge frequently, adding more alcohol to the sponge and repeating the process until all spots are removed.


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