How to Sanitize Used Furniture

There are many reasons you might have used furniture. Maybe you spotted a great couch on the side of the road or found a great armchair at a thrift store. No matter where you got your furniture from, it has one thing in common: you have no idea where it’s been or what is on it. Unless you want to risk bringing bacteria, allergens, odors, and more into your home, you’ve got to sanitize your used furniture! Luckily, it’s pretty easy to clean your furniture. Just follow these steps:

How to Sanitize Used Furniture

1. Find a place to store your furniture while you clean it.

You don’t want to bring it into your home just yet. Place it outside if its sunny (as a bonus, the sun can kill germs) or inside your garage if the weather isn’t as pleasant. Don’t let your furniture get rained or snowed on, as that will only make the problem worse. Don’t plan on bringing your furniture in your home until after you know that it’s been well cleaned.

2. Disinfect your furniture.

The very first thing you want to do is kill any germs or bacteria that may be living on your furniture so that you don’t come in contact with them while doing the rest of your cleaning. There are a number of ways you do this. There are special sanitizing furniture cleaning products for upholstery that you can buy, or you can make your own mixture of vinegar and warm water and scrub your furniture with that. If you’re really worried about the germs or someone in your family has a lowered immune system (such as an infant or the elderly) you will want to have a professional clean your furniture with a professional strength sanitizer to be sure to get the job done correctly.

3. Tackle any stains.

Examine your furniture for any obvious stains that made it through the disinfectant stage. A good place to start with stains is to blot them with a mixture of water and soap or try a mixture of vinegar and water. For tougher stains, there are stain removal products available. Be sure to test these on an inconspicuous spot on the furniture first to make sure they won’t damage it before attacking stains. If you can’t get the stains out yourself, you can call a professional upholstery stain remover.

4. Remove any odors.

If any odors remain in your furniture, now is the time to tackle them. The most common odors in furniture are musty smells caused by moisture in the fabric. A fabric freshener will cover these odors for a day or two, but it won’t remove them. Instead, cover the area in baking soda, let it sit, and then vacuum it up. Trickier odors, such as pet urine, will need to be handled by a professional.


We’re big fans of used furniture. After all, our cleaning methods can make even old furniture look as good as new. If you’d like professional cleaning for your used furniture in the Sioux Falls area, we’d love to help! Just give us a call at (605) 332-1551.