As you've probably noticed, we like bargains in this family. There was the $400 set of dishes I picked up at a garage sale for $5 because one plate was missing (I asked for a replacement for Christmas). There's our beautiful deck we furnished for absolutely free (okay, we paid for spray paint). And we refurbished a garden bench for my parents. We're not afraid of a little work to make used items seem new again. Recently we found a sofa/love seat combo for free on Craig's List. Believe it or not, we had to email why we deserved the set and he would pick the winner. The post did mention that the furniture needed to be cleaned.
When The Toolman pulled up with borrowed trailer full, I nearly burst into tears. The furniture didn't just need to be cleaned--it looked like we should wear a haz-mat suit to approach it. The stuffing was gone from one arm, the recliner cables were broken and some of the springs were loose. Where did this guy come off making us "plead" to receive his goods? I was afraid we'd just saved him the hauling fees to the dump, and now we'd have to pay those too. Cue the Mission Impossible music....
The Toolman figured out how to reattach the springs and secured them with some of those plastic ties. And we found replacement cables on Amazon. Of course, all this would be for naught if we couldn't get the fabric clean. I couldn't imagine how much a professional service would charge--so much for a bargain couch.
Well the sofa was in our basement and we really had nothing to lose so I researched how to clean microfiber on the Internet. Fortunately, I ran across a blogger who'd already tackled such a problem. Chris and Robin's Nest gives detailed instruction on using rubbing alcohol to clean their sofa. I went to Sams Club to buy large quantities of the stuff. We went a step further and used a Shop-Vac to suck up as much liquid as we could. Here's the result----
Jan 2014 follow up: After having the couch and love seat for a year, we decided they weren't all that comfortable. We took it to the consignment store and they sold them for $400! After taking out their commission, and accounting for the stuffing and rubbing alcohol we still came out waayyy ahead.