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I need to clean my couch
June 4, 2005 10:28 AM   Subscribe

One of our couches was peed on at a party last night. A lot.

What is the best way to get the urine out of a couch or sofa? Most results on Google just bring up pet products and no actual help. Anyway, this sofa has a fabric cover, and the part that got peed on is actually a sectional recliner. Oh, and we're not talking about just a little bit of urine here. Yeah. What are good products and methods to use? Thanks!
posted by tweak to Home & Garden (31 answers total)
 
Wow. If it were me, I would look into replacing the foam insert/cushions in addition to cleaning the fabric cover. If the covers are not zip-off, look for a seam in an inconspicuous place where you could open the cover, replace the insert and reclose with Velcro. Otherwise you'll have to rent a steam cleaner that will penetrate the fabric and the cushion to the same depth as the urine. Test the fabric first to be sure steam cleaning won't ruin it.

As for cleaning the fabric, check out medical/hospital supply outlets. They have special cleansers designed to eliminate the odor from urine stains.

You don't explain the circumstances, but if this situation could occur again, you might want to look into plastic covers - like mattress pads - to put inside the fabric covers to save soaking the cushions in future.

Good luck!
posted by garbo at 10:45 AM on June 4, 2005


Go with the pet products. You can get good ones at the pet store or a veterinarian's office. They use enzymes to break down the urine. Nothing else works as well, except perhaps a thorough washing which is fine for a garment, but not really possible for the batting inside your couch. [That must have been some party.]
posted by caddis at 10:48 AM on June 4, 2005


I don't know if, when you say the piece of couch in question is a sectional recliner, you mean the cushions aren't removable. That will make it more difficult. But go to the pet store and get some Nature's Miracle and soak the affected area - get as much in there as there is pee.

Put the cushions in the sun if you can, for a couple of days. When the enzymes start working, it can smell pretty bad (and the perfume in Nature's Miracle is also a little cloying). Get as much air circulation on it as you can to help the process along.

If the cushion surface lends itself to it, you could also rent or borrow a steam cleaner with an upholstery attachment. For similar animal-related incidents I've used Nature's Miracle for a couple of rounds of steam cleaning and extracting, then a last dose of Nature's Miracle and large amounts of sunlight.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:31 AM on June 4, 2005


Not quite on topic, but if it were me, I'd certainly expect the pee-er to be the payer, and cover all the costs of reparation, or replacement, if the various recommendations don't pan out (assuming you know the pissmiscreant's identity.)
posted by birdsquared at 11:37 AM on June 4, 2005


I've had a lot of success using Bi-O-Kleen's Bac-Out Stain & Odor Eliminator to get rid of cat urine smells.

Also, please do share the story of this party.
posted by cmonkey at 11:42 AM on June 4, 2005


the pet products/bac-out/enzyme cleaner is the the way to go. i used a similar product when someone pissed all over my matress.
posted by puke & cry at 12:00 PM on June 4, 2005


I never had luck with Nature's Miracle. YMMV. What I sued for pet urine stains (then human vomit stains) was Anti-Icky-Poo, which is pricey, but works. I asked my vet for a large-gauge syringe, and injected the solution deep into the cushions. My seat cushions were removable, but the back ones were not, and it worked fantastically on those.
It will take some time to dry, and perhaps a few applications, but this produced the best result, according to my experience.
posted by oflinkey at 12:14 PM on June 4, 2005


What I used. Not sued.
posted by oflinkey at 12:16 PM on June 4, 2005


(Nature's Miracle has worked pretty well for me for cat pee --- mileage obviously varies.)
posted by hattifattener at 12:19 PM on June 4, 2005


Here's how I would get the pee off the couch. 1) Find out who pee'ed on the couch. 2) Drop pee'ed on couch off on offender's porch. 3) Grab offender by the throat say "Here is your new couch, I'll expect my now couch within the week." Pee now gone.

Seriously, I would never be able to relax on a couch that someone had pee'ed on. WTF are you guys doing up there in Canada.
posted by trbrts at 12:21 PM on June 4, 2005


WTF are you guys doing up there in Canada.

Having some awesome parties, obviously.
posted by cmonkey at 12:42 PM on June 4, 2005


XO Odor Neutralizer is something I used for pet odors. Found it at a local industrial chemical supply place. That, and Febreeze. I also recommend trying Right Guard or other deodorant spray (this worked very well to get vomit smell out of a car for a 6 hour drive the day after it was barfed in).
posted by Doohickie at 12:44 PM on June 4, 2005


Sounds like a good party though. Sometimes that can be priceless.
posted by jon_kill at 12:59 PM on June 4, 2005


Here's a thread on how to get urine and the smell out of a mattress. Some of those ideas will help here too.
posted by fionab at 1:37 PM on June 4, 2005


Yes, the cushion is removable.

WTF are you guys doing up there in Canada.

Yeah, well, see, the thing is, and this is second hand information, I passed out on the couch and then an hour later, woke up, started peeing on the opposite corner (someone was sleeping there until about 2 seconds after i started) and then I just kept going. I remember nothing. I have never played the same drinking games for so long though. It started out innocently enough as a cookout but I really don't remember what happened after midnight, but we emptied a half-barrel keg with 15 people. There was also PBR in cans and white russians as well. It was sort of cosmic justice, because the person I peed on had just happened to throw up all over the carpet, unbeknownst to me at the time.

So, as you can see, I can't ask the offender for money. I'll try some of these suggestions and report on my findings.
posted by tweak at 1:52 PM on June 4, 2005 [1 favorite]


You can always call a professional cleaner (i.e. Chem-dry or Stanley Steemer or the like). For a typical stain they charge about $50. For yours, I am guessing it will be more, and, depending on how thorough you were, it might be cheaper to get a new couch. If you decide to use a professional cleaner or resotration service, their chances of successfully removing the stain are better if you have not attempted to treat the stain yourself. Also, the sooner you call, the better.
posted by samuelad at 2:15 PM on June 4, 2005


Depending on if the couch can take it, we've used OxyClean on our carpet to remove cat incidents, and nothing else has worked as well at all. If you can test some area of the couch and make sure it won't ruin it, I'd at least try the Oxy route.

Depending on how much you like your couch, I don't know, we used to get couches from GoodWill and then recover them with upholstery fabric we got on sale. It made for a few ugly couches but they were basically disposable conversation pieces.
posted by Medieval Maven at 2:22 PM on June 4, 2005


Wow, that was very honest of you. I would have stuck with "mistakes were made." Good luck.

If the covers come off and can be washed, and if the cushion is foam I would wash the cover in the washer, cold water and gentle, lay out to dry and wash the foam in lots of soapy water.
posted by caddis at 3:58 PM on June 4, 2005 [1 favorite]


There was something called Organic Enzyme II that they had in the janitorial closet in my dorm, which--as I remember it--is a product built from the ground up to get puke, piss, blood, etc. out of institutional carpet. Not sure if it would dissolve your couch, but an idea.
posted by armchairsocialist at 4:02 PM on June 4, 2005


Agree, the pet products work great. Also, next time don't invite Poppy.
posted by HyperBlue at 4:29 PM on June 4, 2005


This is the best AskMe thread ever now.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:23 PM on June 4, 2005


Field Guide to Stains: How to Identify and Remove Virtually Every Stain Known to Man is a good book to own.
posted by mlis at 6:04 PM on June 4, 2005


that was me in the other thread.
posted by puke & cry at 7:12 PM on June 4, 2005


I think I might have dated you in college, except it was my bookshelf that suffered...

Once you've tried all the industrial stuff, it can help to pour Borax onto the stain and leave it in the sun. The Borax absorbs what's left, and the sun can neutralize any additional ick.
posted by hamster at 10:51 PM on June 4, 2005


Its not at all impossible that sun and air will cure the problem. Sun kills both stains and odor.
posted by Goofyy at 12:52 AM on June 5, 2005


I sent this to a friend for comedic value. His response (edited somewhat to protect the innocent):
We had a friend that would get really drunk and pass out on the couch. He also had a habit of losing control of his bladder when really drunk.

He ended up peeing on both couches within a couple of months and then we wouln't let him spend the night on the couch. What we did is wash the cushion covers a couple of times in the washing machine, and then take the
foam padding inside of the cushions, soak it in the bath tub with some detergent and then hose it down for a long timeā€”let dry in the sun for a few days.
posted by grouse at 1:44 AM on June 5, 2005


Not for nothing, I once passed out at a kitchen table and completely pissed myself. I then woke up, and in some sort of insane pre-hangover wakefulness washed the floor with a dishrag, and put it back in the sink.

Now, my friend woke up the next day, did all the dishes, noticed that they "stunk like a thousand assholes" and had to wash every dish in the house again.

Needless to say, that was my proudest moment.
posted by jon_kill at 8:44 AM on June 5, 2005


.
posted by mkultra at 10:18 AM on June 5, 2005


Metafilter: Because the person I peed on had just happened to throw up all over the carpet.
posted by fletchmuy at 2:25 PM on June 5, 2005


I live with a toddler...which in many ways is like living with a frat brother. I've found that the "kids -n- pets" brand enzyme cleaner isn't as cloying as Nature's Miracle, but seems to work really well on both urine and vomit.

That said, if it's not an expensive couch, you might be better off replacing it. :)
posted by dejah420 at 5:32 PM on June 5, 2005 [1 favorite]


Fortunately, it turns out a pillow caught much of the brunt of the attack. Said pillow has since been laid to rest with full honours. Cost and time were factors as I am going on vacation and I just went to wal-mart to get what i could without having to call around for products. I didn't try Nature's Miracle, but I will purchase some before the next party. Here was the process I used:

1) Icky, but had to be done: went over the couch with paper towels, soaking up as much urine as possible. (this was prior to my posting of the question on AskMe)

2) Struggled to remove foam from cushion cover. Applied pet cleaner spray (wal-mart brand) all over both, and blotted it off. Left both out in the sun to dry.

3) Detailed analysis of the pillow left me with no choice but to discard it. Very sad.

4) Applied pet cleaning spray to the rest of the couch, as well as the carpet, blotting if off.

5) Used Woolite on some particularly suspicious-looking stains on the carpet adjacent to the couch.

6) Went over everything using a Bissell Spot and Stain Cleaner thing I borrowed (it sprays a cleaning solution onto the fabric, then goes over it with a vacuum/bristles). Left it to dry. I went over the foam cusion as well with it, even though it had these rotating bristles, it didn't hurt my hand much so I felt that it would not hurt the exposed foam.

7) Thorough inspection followed. Trace scent of urine in the air, but curiously at the opposite end of the room from where the couch was. This has generally been disregarded as a psycho-somatic illusion, thankfully.

8) Liberally applied Febreeze to the entire room.

9) Removed from the room a green garbage bag containing large volume of used paper towels, pillow, and various other trash from party.

10) Febreeze sprayed again. Urine scent gone.

Huzzah! Thanks all, not only for your suggestions, but for your moral support as well. The involuntary recipient of my drunken piss-on has as yet not returned my calls.
posted by tweak at 9:30 PM on June 5, 2005 [1 favorite]


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