Chairs are designed to be sat on so, naturally, over time they are going to get dirty and possibly start to smell.
But, don’t panic, you don’t need to throw it away, there are ways to deodorize a chair and get it back to looking and smelling as good as new.
Whether it’s smelling due to years of use or because you had a little accident with some food or drink, there are ways to fix the stink!
So, let’s get straight to it.
The first thing you need to do is vacuum away any crumbs and dirt and wipe away dust with a damp cloth. Make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies to fully remove any possible culprits for the chair’s odor.
If you’ve just spilled a liquid or something sticky, remember not to rub as you clean as this will likely rub the dirt into the material rather than remove it.
For liquids, blot the spill with a damp rag. If you catch it quick enough, act straight away before it has the chance to soak into the fabric.
If you need to treat older stains, check the tags on the chair to see what cleaning method is recommended. Depending on what the manufacturer recommends, you can either use a solvent-based solution, a water-based solution, or requires a dry cleaning method.
- Rubbing alcohol - dab a cotton pad with a small amount of rubbing alcohol and blot the stain away. This may take a few goes
- Vinegar - mix one part vinegar with one part water to make your solution. Add it to a spray bottle and spray onto the stain. You only need to spray a little, you don’t want to soak the chair. Let the solution dry out and the odor should disappear
- Water-based - For a water-based solution, mix some mild dish soap with water and use it to dampen a clean cloth. Blot the stain, but do not rub
- Baking soda - sprinkle a small amount of baking soda all over the affected area and lightly rub it into the material. Leave it to work overnight and vacuum away the next day
Before committing to one cleaning method, test them out on a small piece of the fabric, preferably a section that is out of sight or can be easily concealed.
If your chair doesn’t have any visible stains, it’s a good idea to give it a little clean all over. If the material warrants it, use a mild dish soap and warm water to light wipe away any dust and freshen up the top layer of the fabric. Then, if it’s a dry day, leave it to dry naturally in the fresh air.
Plus, the sun’s rays can kill off any bacteria that may be causing some of the bad smell.
That being said, check to see if the material is likely to fade or be damaged by direct sunlight, if this is the case, try placing the chair in a shaded area or keep it indoors next to an open window to allow it to air out that way.
To ensure no bad smells can return, keep up a regular cleaning routine and treat stains as soon as they happen.
Try stopping any pets from sleeping on them too often and if you have small children, consider covering the chair with a blanket or a sheet if they will be eating or drinking on it.
You could also air it out every couple of months to keep it fresh and use a fabric spray that smells nice once or twice a week to keep the fabric smelling good.
Why does my chair smell so bad?
The obvious reasons why your chair might be smelling bad is if you have dropped any smelly food or drink on it without properly cleaning it away.
If any food or drink has been absorbed by the material it will start to smell over time. Additionally, if you have a pet that likes to sleep on the chair, this will also produce a smell over time. The build-up of saliva and hair will definitely add to the bad smell.
Apart from years of use or food and drink spills and smelly pets, there are other reasons why your chair might smell bad.
It may have a musty smell or maybe an acidic one? The main reasons it may smell like this are either the growth or bacteria or fungi, or maybe the chair is coated in preserving chemicals which may be giving off a foul smell.
Sitting in a chair day after day, it’s going to absorb any moisture and dirt you may transfer to it. For example, if you sit in it while sweating, the bacteria is going to be absorbed by the chair.
Over time, these bacteria will build up and produce an odor. Even if you don’t think you sweat very much, over time it’s going to start to smell.
Alternatively, if the chair is in an area that gets a lot of moisture from damp or condensation, it becomes the perfect environment for mold and mildew to grow. This will likely be the reason the chair has a musty smell.
It doesn’t have to be due to a damp room, it could be getting moisture from your sweat too, as well as humidity and other liquids so if you spill water on the chair and fail to soak it up properly this could create a breeding ground for fungi.
Sometimes a chair can already smell bad when you purchase it. This is likely due to the use of preserving chemicals by the manufacturers. Fortunately, this smell will fade away with time. In the meantime, try using a fabric spray to mask the smell.
All furniture will develop an odor over time, but this doesn’t mean you should avoid using it! Just make sure you keep on top of stains and keep the material dry and clean.