Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Little Elbow Grease Pays Off!

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 stuffing was no problem.  When we flipped the couch over (there was no fabric covering the bottom) we could see the cardboad that had been holding it in place had broken.  Most of the stuffing was still in the side section, but I ran out and bought some more at the fabric store (when it was on sale 50% off of course) to make it extra full.  Once we had it in place we could install a piece of plywood over the opening to prevent reoccurance.

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----
Surely I don't have to label the "Before" and "After" for you. 

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. 

7 comments:

Stefanie said...

Wow that is an amazing difference!! Great job. Although I have to admit I'm still chapped that the previous owner treated everything that way considering the condition of the couch.

Kristenph said...

Amazing! Great job.

Lorus! said...

Amazing! Our microfiber couch is a similar color. I am thankful for this cleaning tip, but whew! am I glad I don't have a mess like that to clean.
We had a few tiny black grease flecks on ours last night (thanks to a houseful of boys!) and found that GoJo type wipes took them right off. I was hesitant to buy microfiber, but I'm glad I did - it seems so much more cleanable than some fabrics!

Lora @ my blessed life said...

That is an impressive difference! Isn't it a great feeling to get an amazing deal on something that works out so well? We love that here, too!

Mary said...

Awesome!! Great job!!!

Kristi said...

WAY TO GO!!! That's an amazing job you guys did!

Erika said...

Wow! You did such a great job! Hard work pays off. :)

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