How To Remove Urine Smells From Your Upholstery


Removing the smell of urine from armchairs, sofas, and couches can prove to be difficult for even the most determined of cleaners. The absorbent nature of such furnishings is what makes the complete removal of urine odour tricky as the offending liquid often penetrates far deeper than one might imagine.

Attempting to clean a urine soaked piece of upholstery is a tricky business, especially for the layperson. Calling on the services of professional upholstery cleaning company like Clean Direct may well prove to be the only way to thoroughly clean the area affected.

cleaning urine stains carpet cleaners

One of the biggest problems associated with cleaning up after an accident involving urine is the biological makeup of the fluid itself. Urine contains certain salts within it, which act as a desiccant. This means that greater moisture content can be found in the salt, even when dried over a period of months, than in the surrounding areas.

This ability to hold onto moisture also allows the salt to hold onto the smell too. You may notice that the smell becomes more pungent during periods of high humidity, as the salts draw in the external moisture and consequently release the odour held within. As the salts draw in the moisture and hold it there, so the risk of viral, bacterial, and mould growths increases, therefore it is vital to remove the offending salts as quickly as possible before the micro-organisms held within it have a chance to colonise.

However, as we have already touched upon, full removal is no easy task, but there are a few methods that you can try in order to remove the offending odour. These will vary depending on the type of upholstery you will be dealing with. Let’s take a look at them now:

Non-absorbent cover materials

If you are especially speedy with your response to the accident, and your upholstery is covered with a non-absorbent fabric, you may be able to get away with a general household cleaner designed for use on upholstery. However, be sure to inspect around and underneath the offending area, as non-absorbent materials will generally only redirect the urine elsewhere until it finds a place to settle.

Absorbent cover with non-absorbent barrier

Should your sofa, couch, or armchair have a non-absorbent barrier between the outer cover and the internal foam, you may be able to simply wash the cover at a low temperature in the washing machine (providing the material is suitable, of course – check your labels first).

Non-washable materials may need to be treated by a professional who has access to a plethora of cleaning accessories or you may even be able to treat the area yourself if you have access to a steam cleaner.

Upholstery without any barrier between fabric and foam

This is where things become especially tricky. Having no barrier between the outer fabric and the inner foam invariably means that the foam will have become saturated in urine too. This causes a great deal of problems; not least of which is the ability to sufficiently clean the depths of the foam as well as the surface area where the urine initially made contact.

First, and most obviously, you will need to clean the outer fabric. This can be down by following the methods shown above in order to completely rid the outer part of the upholstery of any lingering urine salts. Then it is time to tackle the foam inside.

Carpet cleaning machinery can be used to varying degrees of effect on urine sodden foam. The machine will pump water and detergent deeper into the foam than is possible to achieve by hand and then draw the dirty liquid up and away from the cushion itself.

You may need to repeat this step a number of times before adequate removal is achieved, if at all. It is also important to remember not to attempt this type of cleaning indoors. Doing so could lead to the urine salts being transferred from the cushion to the carpet underneath as you try to clean it, thus creating another job rather than improving the situation at hand.

Attempting to clean a urine soaked piece of upholstery is a tricky business, especially for the layperson. Calling on the services of professional cleaning company may well prove to be the only way to thoroughly clean the area affected.

Failing that, the only other alternative you have available to you is to replace the damaged interior and put the outer fabric over the new foam cushion. Whichever route you decide to take urine smells must be gotten rid of, as the odour can often be a sign of more underlying unpleasantness than meets the eye.

Need cleaning help? Call Clean Direct today on 01908 373928

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