Chem Dry stankified my sofa
July 10, 2018 8:22 PM   Subscribe

Today I had Chem Dry clean my sofa. The guy whipped out two aerosol cans of some kind of solvent and sprayed them all over the arms of the sofa before I knew what was happening, and now my entire house reeks of this perfumed solvent shit. The sofa is totally dry already. What can I do? The problem, I think, is that this stuff is now IN my sofa, not just on it. I'm so upset I can't tell you.
posted by HotToddy to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Well, thanks for the warning.

Easiest first thing to try is baking soda, liberally applied, then vacuumed up later, maybe tomorrow. Turn the couch different ways to get each surface close to horizontal for spreading the baking soda. Plan to use 2-3 small boxes.

Next idea: get it wet cleaned by somebody else...oh, wait, you'll probably have to do it yourself, with cleaner you MAKE YOURSELF, to have any chance of getting something unscented. I used very dilute water/unscented laundry detergent mixed with a generous splash of white vinegar...but that seemed to liberate some flame retardant or something...

So, currently my couch is covered with some vinyl table cover fabric I got at JoAnn Fabrics (which fabric I ran through a commercial dryer a few times to reduce the vinyl/plastic smell).

Yay modernity.
posted by amtho at 9:43 PM on July 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

Chem-Dry offers a satisfaction guarantee, if you'd want to pursue that.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:10 PM on July 10, 2018 [9 favorites]

As a man with a perfume allergy, I'm furious on your behalf.

If that had happened in my house, I would move the sofa outside and leave it in the sun and wind every day, and run the bathroom exhaust fan with every external door and window closed except for the windows in the room the sofa was in, until the stank had dissipated.

I would also definitely pursue Chem-Dry for a refund. They said they were going to remove allergens, and I think that's reasonable grounds to expect them not to pollute the entire house with one.
posted by flabdablet at 12:45 AM on July 11, 2018 [8 favorites]

FWIW, a refund is not nearly enough to make you "whole". They basically ruined your couch, which is an expensive piece of furniture. Maybe the scent will go away, maybe not.

Am I saying that you're legally going to get more than a refund? Not necessarily.... just that when you contact them, some anger is justified.

Also, if they get enough pushback from people, maybe they'll apply pressure to the relevant channels to get better products. Or at least find some. My experience dealing with cleaning companies is that they don't believe there _are_ unscented products on the market for them to use. However, a large company like that could probably get something custom made if they thought enough people wanted it.
posted by amtho at 6:07 AM on July 11, 2018

Spot cleaners have volatile chemicals, solvents that dissolve oils and dirt so they can be vacuumed out. I agree that sunshine is most likely to get those solvents and the perfumes out. I'd put the couch in the sun and put a fan or 2 on it to disperse the stink as quickly as possible.
posted by theora55 at 6:57 AM on July 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

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