Tips for Sanitizing Used Furniture

Lots of people enjoy shopping for used furniture at estate sales and flea markets. After all, there are some great deals to be had. However, before you enjoy your latest find, you’ll want to sanitize it so that it’s free of any odors, bacteria, or allergens which could harm you or your family.

Clean First – Then Bring Inside

One of the most overlooked upholstery cleaning tips pertaining to used furniture is, “clean first – then bring inside”. We understand the excitement that comes from finding the perfect used couch or easy chair that finally ties your den together. However, temper your excitement long enough to keep the new furniture outside of your house until it’s cleaned. If you move it in too soon, you risk exposing your home environment to whatever might be lurking in the cushions, armrests, etc.

If it’s nice outside, the experienced team at A Personal Touch Carpet Cleaning in Littleton recommends cleaning used furniture outdoors. After all, sunlight is good for killing certain germs. If the weather isn’t great, do your clean-up in the garage or a shed. You definitely want to avoid having the used furniture get wet before you clean it, since moisture exacerbates many bacteria and potential allergen issues.


Before addressing stains and odors, the first step when sanitizing used furniture is to disinfect the item. Addressing other issues before disinfecting leaves you open to the possibility that something harmful may be lingering while you’re preoccupied with a spot or a smell. The level at which you should disinfect your used furniture depends on the age of the item and whether anyone in your home has a lowered immune system, i.e. a baby or an elderly person. In this latter instance, you should consider contacting our upholstery cleaners serving Denver to ensure that your used furniture is 100% germ-free.

If everyone in your household is healthy, there are specific used furniture cleaning products that we can recommend. Or, if the item is small and easy to clean, you could create your own blend of warm water and vinegar, and use it as a disinfectant.


Once your used furniture is thoroughly disinfected, you can move on odor removal. Not surprisingly, a musty or moldy scent is the most common odor associated with used furniture. These smells originate from moisture in wood or fabric. Sometimes the moisture is trapped in cracks and pockets, and other times it’s leftover from a time when the furniture accidentally got wet. Either way, for these types of smells we recommend covering the affected area with baking soda, letting it sit for an hour or two, and then cleaning it up.

Where odor removal gets pricklier, and where you’ll want to enlist the services of A Personal Touch Carpet Cleaning, are when the odor is due to pet urine, spilled paint, and other more noxious substances.

Stain Removal

Minor stains can be removed with a combination of soap and water, or vinegar and water. Difficult stains may require stain removal products used by A Personal Touch Carpet Cleaning. In all cases, be sure to test the mixture/product in an out-of-the-way spot to ensure it doesn’t damage the furniture. Should you find yourself struggling to remove especially entrenched stains, don’t hesitate to contact our cleaning experts.

Trust a Professional Cleaner

In addition to providing furniture sanitization, our local cleaning company offers solutions for carpet repair, bed bug eradication, and tile/grout cleaning. Visit our cleaning services page to learn more about our expertise.

Call us today at 720.344.2870 or use our online contact form to request your free estimate. Remember at A Personal Touch, “We don’t cut corners, we clean them.”


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