I don't want my chair to smell like shampoo! I want it to smell like a chair!
July 27, 2011 10:34 AM   Subscribe

How do I get this shampoo smell out of a recently-cleaned chair?

I bought an office chair from Craigslist and decided to clean it. The cushions are covered in black fabric.

I bought a can of carpet/upholstery cleaner at Walgreens (I know, probably a big mistake), the kind with the brush on top. I rubbed some of the shampoo into the cushions, scrubbed it, and then wiped it off with a damp towel.

It cleaned the cushions just fine. The only problem is that now the chair stinks of shampoo. It smells like dog shampoo. Yuck! Even worse, it makes my clothes smell like the shampoo. So sad!

I've tried washing the cushions with club soda. Had limited success with this. Someone else suggested leaving the chair in the sun, so I've been putting it in a sunny part of my living room and leaving the windows open. This may have made a difference.

Is there any way I can get this smell out of the chair? Will it go away on its own? Or is the situation hopeless?
posted by Sloop John B to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Sprinkle baking soda all over it, let it hang out in the sun some more, then vacuum the baking soda off. (I've found that most bad smells in my world can be cured with baking soda...I don't know if it'll fix your chair, but it's worth a try.)
posted by phunniemee at 10:45 AM on July 27, 2011

I don't know your club-soda application technique, but I would

- blot all over with a wet but not dripping-wet clean sponge, dunking it in a bucket of clean water every few times to remove any shampoo it's picked up
- blot with dry paper towels
- repeat
posted by zippy at 11:17 AM on July 27, 2011

Alternately, and possibly a Bad Idea, I'd take it outside, hose the cushions down, and then blot repeatedly and thoroughly with dry towels before leaving the chair to dry the rest of the way in the sun.

One risk from this is that the chair doesn't dry and you get mold or mildew, so caveat, um, sedor?
posted by zippy at 11:20 AM on July 27, 2011

Ground coffee will also take care of nasty smells. It's the only reason that the used car I bought no longer reeks of Armor-All, because baking soda wasn't even making a dent in the stench. You can use cheap coffee, or decaf, or whatever--it doesn't matter. Depending on the size of the chair, you can either put an open container of ground coffee on the seat and encase the whole chair in a big trash bag. Or you can sprinkle a layer of coffee grounds on the seat, let it sit overnight, then vacuum them up. Lay the chair down on the floor to do the same with the back.

When I've done this, the items being de-stunk do not end up smelling like coffee. But if you're concerned about that, the container-and-trash-bag approach might be safer.
posted by corey flood at 11:35 AM on July 27, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice! I'll be trying these out, and will let you know what worked!
posted by Sloop John B at 2:09 PM on July 29, 2011

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