Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Couch Fragrances

We were pretty happy with the couch we bought on Craig's List. It had a faint odor to it, but nothing nasty. Then when my Mom was here, she started having these bad asthma attacks. We figured out they happened after she had been sitting on the couch. Then I noticed that when I sat in the living room I started to have allergy symptoms too. I hadn't noticed before because I had been spending most of my time in the bedroom with the new baby.

When we moved the couch to the garage, any and all family sneezles disappeared.

So we relisted it on Craig's List. (Hasn't sold yet, but we're getting there.)

Watching Craig's List for another couch, I would email any possibilities immediately and say "is this from a smoke-free, pet-free home?" Usually by the time they got back to me they had sold it to someone else. (I finally figured out what I should have done-- I should have said "I'm very interested, call me immediately" and left my phone number. Then when they called I could have asked them about smoke and pets.) Pickings were slim in our price range, and it was getting a bit discouraging.

Yesterday there was finally a couch in our price range that wasn't hideous and it said "smoke-free, pet-free home" and she got right back to me and said I could come see it right away.

We pulled the seats out of the van, loaded 3 kids into the back of the Honda, and put Bean in the van with Badger. Then we stopped by the bank to withdraw some cash before heading to the south end of town to take a look at this couch.

When we pulled up in front of her house, the woman was smoking a cigarette on the porch. The Badger hissed quietly to me, "I thought you said smoke-free!"

"She smokes outside. We'll see how her house smells inside, and if we don't like it, we won't buy the couch." I was dismayed, but desperate.

Inside the house, there was no smell of cigarettes. There was definitely a smell though-- something like really caustic hair styling products. It wasn't making my nose run or my glands swell, so I figured we'd be okay. We bought the couch.

The color is off in this picture. In real life, the green of the couch matches the rug and the rest of the living room pretty well. It's a very comfortable couch too.

When you sit on it, it smells like that woman's house though, and it's a really strange smell. I was all for leaving it outside to air for a couple days, but the Badger was desperate to have something to sit on in the living room. I don't seem to be allergic to it, but it does give me a tiny bit of a headache.

I can only hope that over time the smell goes away. We're doing our best to live within our means, and apparently that means that couches in our price range are fragrant. But it's very nice to have a couch again, and with spring on its way we can have the windows open a lot.

This morning I sat on the couch and read stories to the boys. Fish said, "I like the smell of this couch!"

Hey, Fish, that's just great. Enjoy!
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Annalea said...

There's a great spray called "Fresh Ayre" I get at the health food store that really does a good job of removing odors. It would take quite a bit of spraying, and several applications, but you could use that. You can also sprinkle baking soda generously over the whole thing, let it sit for a couple of hours, and then vacuum it really well. (Test for colorfastness on the back of a cushion or something first, though!) I had some baking soda strip the finish of of a wooden porch once, but I haven't had it bleach fabric unless there was water involved. Usually it's just fine dry.

Best of luck . . . we've been thinking that we'd get a couch on Craigslist after we move, but now I'm wondering if I'll be able to breathe once it's here . . .

janeannechovy said...

I don't have any on hand because I generally avoid "household" chemicals like the plague, but there are times when Febreeze is really the best thing for the job. Hmm, I wonder if Method makes a non-chemically version?