Wet couch needs help!
October 1, 2007 9:29 AM   Subscribe

Is there any hope for a couch that sat in the rain overnight?

Due to a couple of bad decisions and lack of time to move things, a couch we were giving to a friend was left outside overnight in the rain. Is there any hope of letting it dry out and using it or is it ready for the dump? It is an older reclining model (both ends recline) and the fabric seems to be some thick woven cotton blend. The back rest comes off for ease of moving, so that could be brought inside to dry along with the seat cushions, but I'm not sure if my friend wants a whole sopping couch in his apartment. Ugh.
posted by youngergirl44 to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by jayder at 9:31 AM on October 1, 2007

Seconding that no.

Mold will develop at the first chance it gets.
posted by jimmyhutch at 9:35 AM on October 1, 2007

we found a vintage Knoll couch out in the rain one day, and carried it back to my girlfriend's house.

pretty much the same kind of material you're talking about, although in our case it wasn't absolutely soaked through, but certainly damp enough to remain so for a day or two. We pulled off all the coverings we could and let the batting air out. It's definitely *usuable* -- no mold or anything, and the mildew smell left after the first week or so. It's certainly not nice, as everything has lost its shape (and it's the domain of our small dog), so if we weren't planning on having it fully re-upholstered (new batting, new covers), we'd probably have tossed it by now.

so if 1) the couch is kinda crappy anyways or 2) your friend was planning on using it inside, then yeah, garbage. But if it's sorta nice or if your friend is just looking for a porch couch (although I'm sure the very idea makes some peopel shudder), it's probably fine.
posted by fishfucker at 10:03 AM on October 1, 2007

If you want to have a go at saving it, I would get a wet vac and suck as much water out of the upholstery as possible, and unstuff the cushions where possible, spreading everything out in a warm dry place; it may take several days. You might be able to dry some of the unstuffed cushions in a commercial dryer (like a laundromat) but they may shrink and be ruined, so be careful there. You may also need to replace the foam if it is too wet. If going to all this trouble for a quite likely poor result is not worth it, you might want to just have the whole thing reupholstered, if it is a nice piece. Whether any of this works depends in part on how wet it actually is; is all the foam or batting completely saturated? It may be worth a call to a local upholery shop, as well.

It is quite likely to be ruined, though.
posted by TedW at 10:08 AM on October 1, 2007

There are restoration services that specialize in water damage. The cost to restore it might be (is probably) more than the couch is worth, though.
posted by cooker girl at 10:14 AM on October 1, 2007

If there isn't any more rain forecasted and it's going to be a bright sunny and warm day, I would leave it out until tonight. Can't beat the sun for drying stuff out and intense sunlight is always good for making sure things don't smell.

Then you can try the various drying methods other people have suggested.

Perhaps you can explore getting some kind of UB light to put over the couch for a day or two. It won't help dry it out, but I know they help prevent mold growth.
posted by lockle at 10:16 AM on October 1, 2007

Yes, shop vac the water out as best you can, take it apart as far as possible, then bring it inside and put as many fans on it as possible. Might work.
posted by LarryC at 8:31 PM on October 1, 2007

if all else fails, i have a two part solution

a) drape a sheet over it
b) walk away backwards with 'tada' expression on your face

good as gold.
posted by camdan at 10:43 PM on October 1, 2007

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