19 answers

Help! Musty Smelling Couch

I need some help quick. My daughter slept on the couch one night and had an accident. I took the couch cusions apart, washed the covers in the washing machine and had washed the foam cusions. My problem is that my couch no longer smells like pee, but now has this terrible musty smell. I tried Febreze but now it just smells like musty Febreze. Does anyone have any suggestions? Do I have to buy new foam or is there anyway to get the smell out?

What can I do next?

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I agree with Kris, an enzyme is the way to go. Don't put them in the dryer, they would probably shrink, and don't put them in the sun since it "bleaches"/lightens fabrics.

I would just put it outside on a dry, breezy day while the sun is out. The air should circulate thru the foam and hopefully get rid of the musty smell.

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I would just put it outside on a dry, breezy day while the sun is out. The air should circulate thru the foam and hopefully get rid of the musty smell.

What it sounds like is you will have to take it all apart again and re-wash everything with nice hot water and soap as normal, then-this is the important part- you have to make sure that they are dry. totally completely dry. especially the foam, thats the part thats getting that musty smell. you think that its dry, but the core of it may still be a little damp. it may take two to three days to make sure its completely dry-putting it in the dryer if it fits with dryer sheets helps, as well as if you can leave it outside in the sun helps best too. but you have to make sure that its really really dry. hug it and squeeze it against your face, and if you can still smell the dampness of it, do not put the cover back on, just keep drying it. if theres enough dampness, that musty smell can turn into mold and you don't want that to happen!

The vinegar or lemon water spray...on the foam itself (take off the covers prior to spraying or leaving in the sun as it is possible for lemon to have a bleaching effect when combined with the sun.) Then as someone else here suggested put them in the sunlight, preferably outdoor so they get both direct sunlight and plenty of fresh air. This is probably the least expensive approach, so it will only cost you a few cents and some time to try it.

Good luck!

Not totaly sure what kind of foam we are dealing with, but try to take them out again sprinkle with baking soda or a powder for carpets that you can vaccum up! Let it set on foam for a hour or so then if you have a shop vac works best, but vaccum up the powder! Also sprinkle on the couch under the cusions, unless it's a pull out bed you may want to pull that out and do the same! This worked great when my daughter pee on my brand new bed! Good luck!

Don't use your sofa for a day.Take the cusions outside and let them soak up the outside air.Let them have some sun as well.

Try a bleach solution, then dry them in the sun.

My father in law owns a cleaning company and he claims the best way to get out smoke, musty odors, etc. is to set them out in the sun for a day and let that bake it out.

try washing with vinegar. this helps with cat "smell" too.
do 1/2 cup vinegar in the rinse cycle. and scrub the foam with H2O and vinegar. good luck

K.; yah tough problem, im not sure if this work, but it worked well with cats, they sell a urine out spray in the pet aisle, you spray the area till its soaked through and you let it air dry , after you have cleaned the area anyway, im amazed it got the smell out, and worked great, and it was pretty wet, it soaks through a couple layers, and the cat did not pee on it any more, so it might work not sure, but heck if it can get cat urine smell out it surely might be able to get that musty smell out, i dont know, but its about 5 dollars a bottle, worth a try? if you do try it, let me know if it worked, ahaha or let the world know, ahaha enjoy life, D. s

Vinegar is a natural deodorizer. Mix a spray bottle 50/50 water and vinegar, spray the cushions and then let them dry to see if this helps. Inexpensive thing to try anyway:)

Hi K.,

A product called Natures Miracle. You have to soak the area and wait until it dries, but when it's dry the smell will be gone..... or at least way better. May have to do it twice.
You can find that product at pet stores.
Febreeze makes it all worse.

Depending on how bad it is, baking soda sprinkled on the offending area and allowed to sit for a while before vaccuming up can also help.

Good luck to you,

I use Pet Out spray from Wal-mart's pet department on all accidents- human, cat, or dog. It works amazingly well.

We had a similar problem with an old cat. I called around and found a drycleaners that was able to dry clean the cushion which removed the smell. I think it was some where between $20-40 depending on the size of the cushion. Kind of spendy but a lot cheaper than buying a new couch! Good luck!

hi...not toobad of a problem...try drying them again...they must still be damp...which brings on a smell

i had a friend that did that to my couch and what i did was took all the cushions off and washed the coverings in the washer then i bought some borax what you do is get the area wet not too wet sprinkle the borax into the area and let it dry if you can get it outside it is much better then youy let it dry vacuum it up and the smell is gone so remeber borax does the job
mother of 4 and grandmother of 3 married for 28 years

You definitely need an enzyme type cleaner. Either the spray for pet urine that someone mentioned or I use Bac-Out by Biokleen (I buy mine at the food co-op or at Peapods in St.Paul). My son peed on my mattress and I was really worried it would be ruined, but after soaking the area with Bac-Out and then drying it with a fan, all is well. Works much better than vinegar for this type of soiling. The Bac-Out also works well for laundry that gets left in the washer too long or other clothes that get musty or mildewed.

Scrub them with a baking soda/water paste, rinse with hot water, then let them air dry outside.

I agree with Kris, an enzyme is the way to go. Don't put them in the dryer, they would probably shrink, and don't put them in the sun since it "bleaches"/lightens fabrics.

well - if you don't figure anything out you can get new foam for your couch cushions at the fabric store. We got some at Jo-Ann Fabrics after our dog chewed up the cushions to our couch.
Maybe try spraying a vinegar/water solution? Or let them sit out in the sun all day on a warmish sunny day (or two)? Or both?

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