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How to Clean and Disinfect Used Furniture

Purchasing used or pre-owned furniture is a great way to save money on office furniture. Discounted furniture can be found at a variety of places, from office supply stores to antique shops, but it can also be found at yard sales or online.

While you may score the perfect piece for your office at a great price on Craigslist or your local flea market, you can’t always know where’s it been or what it's been through. Pre-owned furniture that hasn’t been properly cared for can bring germs, bacteria, pests, and unwanted smells into your office, so it’s important to know how to clean pre-owned furniture to make sure you and your coworkers are safe.

Tips for Cleaning Used Furniture

Regardless of what kind of furniture you’ve purchased, there are two things you should always do before you start cleaning.

First, always consult the tag (if there is one) for cleaning and care instructions.

Second, always test the cleaner on a small section that isn’t easily seen. That way, if the cleaner has an adverse side effect, you won’t ruin the look of the entire piece.


Disinfecting anything you buy is a good idea. When disinfecting new furniture, you can choose from:

  • A homemade solution of one part vinegar and one part water
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Disinfectant aerosol spray wiped down with a rag
  • Extra strength disinfectant for strong stains, odors, or sticky residue

Removing Pests

Bed bugs, mites, fleas, and ticks can take up residence in old furniture. Even if you don’t see bugs or bug droppings, it’s still a good idea to treat all used furniture for pests by:

  • Spraying the item with all-purpose bug spray (use a pet safe solution or the vinegar and water solution if you have a family pet)
  • Leaving it outside or in a well-ventilated area for 24 hours or until dry
  • Lightly wiping it with disinfectant

Getting Rid of Mold

Getting rid of mold is pretty easy. The furniture may retrain a chemical smell for a few days, but it’s a lot better than dealing with the health problems mold can create. All you have to do is:

  • Make a solution of one part mold remover and one part all purpose cleaner
  • Put the cleaner in a spray bottle and lightly spray the moldy surface
  • Wipe the surface down with a rag and let air dry outside
  • Repeat as needed until mold is gone

Removing Smells

Getting rid of pesky furniture smells is easy as long as you have a few simple household items around. Start by:

  • Taking the furniture outside (warm, sunny days are preferable)
  • Place a bowl of baking soda in each section of the piece, including each drawer and cabinet, and leave it there for several hours
  • Wipe the entire piece down with a mixture one part vinegar, one part water, and a little bit of dish soap
  • Put your baking soda back in and leave out for a few hours or overnight to dry

High Quality Pre-Owned Furniture to Suit Your Needs

Whether your business needs a furniture overhaul or you’re looking for a new piece for your home office, check out our selection of pre-owned furniture. At Office Furniture Source, we thoroughly clean every inch of our used furniture to ensure it’s safe for you, your coworkers, and your family. Contact one of our furniture consultants or give us a call at 972-242-1700 to learn how we can help you.

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