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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in Nest.

For this BB, you will deep clean the fabric on a couch or chair using natural cleaners!

Related Threads and Articles:
- Podcast 206 - Natural Cleansers
- Clean with Cleaners You can Eat
- Clean Mold & Mildew Organically
- How to Make Natural Upholstery Cleaner
- A Green Clean - Homemade Cleaners to Detox Home
- How to Deep Clean a Couch

How to Clean a Couch QUICKLY for Company Coming! (No fancy equipment or cleaners needed!)


20 DIY NATURAL CLEANING RECIPES, TIPS AND HACKS THAT ACTUALLY WORK!



To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
- deep clean the fabric on a couch or chair using natural cleaners
- no toxic gick allowed

To document your completion of the BB, provide proof of the following as pictures or a video (less than two minutes):
 - describe the natural cleaner(s) you used (provide the recipe if you made it yourself)
 - before, during, and after deep cleaning a couch or chair with natural cleaners
COMMENTS:
 
pioneer
Posts: 261
Location: SF Bay, California Zone 10b
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I cleaned a chair! The fabric is rather dark so it's hard to see a difference. It definitely smells better! For the cleaning solution, I mixed vinegar, rubbing alcohol, water, and orange essential oil.
after.jpg
After being cleaned
After being cleaned
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IMG_20210521_163646_1.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20210521_163646_1.jpg]
before.jpg
Before being cleaned
Before being cleaned
Ingredients.jpg
[Thumbnail for Ingredients.jpg]
Staff note (gir bot) :

jordan barton approved this submission.

 
pollinator
Posts: 1495
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I clean our bar stools every couple of weeks or if I notice one is sticky - where a boy has been! I nurture them twice a year. I follow Nancy’s Natural Nurture (for leather goods of any colour) from ‘Clean & Green’ by Nancy Birtwhistle.

Here are the steps for cleaning and nurturing that I followed today.

1) Use a bowl of warm water (about a pint / half a litre) and add a squirt of Castile soap and 3 tablespoons of white vinegar
2) Scrub surfaces with cloth dipped in cleaning solution
3) Towel dry with tea towel
4) Make a nurturing gel with 50g coconut oil, 20ml of vegetable glycerine and 20 drops of essential oil.
5) Rub all over the leather with a soft cloth.
6) Leave for an hour or two
7) Add an optional second coat
8) Leave a further 2 hours
9) Surfaces shouldn’t feel at all greasy

B4123FCD-33B8-4CDB-899F-584BE9E12C5E.jpeg
Grubby Chair
Grubby Chair
2E831058-D9A7-4212-8E20-6AF148F3E397.jpeg
Cleaning Solution
Cleaning Solution
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Cleaning Solution
Cleaning Solution
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Cleaning the chair
Cleaning the chair
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Chair clean and dry
Chair clean and dry
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Making nurturing ‘cream’
Making nurturing ‘cream’
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Side by side comparison - both clean, left nurtured
Side by side comparison - both clean, left nurtured
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All four chairs cleaned and nurtured
All four chairs cleaned and nurtured
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Finished, clean and not oily
Finished, clean and not oily
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Haasl approved this submission.

 
pollinator
Posts: 414
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I cleaned my whole living room sectional! It's suede, which is terrible to clean, as it has to be evenly saturated with cleaning fluids in order to avoid drying spots. I, therefore, use a mixture with rubbing alcohol for quick evaporation, grapefruit essential oil and liquid castille soap to cut oils on the couch surface, and water to thin it out. A little bowl of this is enough to do one panel of the couch.  I apply it with a scrub brush, make some dirty suds, and wipe them off with a cloth. I am showing details of just one section, to close up the cleaning action and the stains removed. I even stitched up a little rip on the top cushion! Ahhh... such a nice spot for resting your @$$...
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dirty couch section
dirty couch section
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cleaning the armrest
cleaning the armrest
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little rip
little rip
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cleaned couch section
cleaned couch section
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whole couch cleaned
whole couch cleaned
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fixed rip
fixed rip
Staff note (gir bot) :

Edward Norton approved this submission.
Note: Well done on cleaning such a large piece of furniture

 
gardener
Posts: 1958
Location: British Columbia
1105
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To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
- deep clean the fabric on a couch or chair using natural cleaners
- no toxic gick allowed

To document your completion of the BB, provide proof of the following as pictures or a video (less than two minutes):
- describe the natural cleaner(s) you used (provide the recipe if you made it yourself)
- before, during, and after deep cleaning a couch or chair with natural cleaners

My husband brought home an office chair today that was being given away by our local bank. It smelled like an office so I wanted to give it a good scrub down

Cleaner I made:
1/4 white vinegar
3/4 warm water
Tbsp Dr.Bronner's Castile Soap (Peppermint)

Start of Office chair:



Spraying down the chair:


Finished Office Chair:


I thought I might as well do my laundry chair as well and get out the stain:

Start of Laundry Chair:


Me scrubbing the stain:


Finished laundry chair:

Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.

 
pollinator
Posts: 56
Location: Boston, United States
44
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Spot treated first, then cleaned full couch with same diy spray and brush.

Used the following link for spray recipe:
https://www.diynatural.com/homemade-carpet-cleaner/
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Couch before: Teddy got sick.
Couch before: Teddy got sick.
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Ingredients and upcycled bottle/ spray handle
Ingredients and upcycled bottle/ spray handle
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Progress photo
Progress photo
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Fully cleaned couch. All better Teddy.
Fully cleaned couch. All better Teddy.
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: I certify this BB complete!

 
pollinator
Posts: 110
Location: Seattle, WA
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Would plain water work? That's what I usually use, with wet vac.
 
C Lundquist
pollinator
Posts: 110
Location: Seattle, WA
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The cat peed on this chair. It also was overdue for a general cleaning. First I saturated the pee area with an enzyme spray. This spray is the only thing I've found that really gets rid of pee smell, and it's natural to boot! I let that sit and soak in for a while, then I used plain water and my little wet vac to wash the whole chair thoroughly. You can see the dirty water in the tank and the chair smells a lot better!
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Stinky chair
Stinky chair
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Enzyme spray
Enzyme spray
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Saturating the pee on the chair
Saturating the pee on the chair
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Pure water in the wetvac
Pure water in the wetvac
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Washing the chair: seat, back, and arms
Washing the chair: seat, back, and arms
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Dirty water
Dirty water
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Smells a lot better!
Smells a lot better!
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.

 
Posts: 68
Location: Northeast Indiana (zone 6a)
73
home care urban food preservation fiber arts medical herbs homestead
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My couch is old and not exactly pretty, and even though it didn't look all that dirty, it was starting to smell like an unpleasant combination of sweat and dog. I've been meaning to clean it for a while, but the promise/threat of having guests the next day made me bump it to the top of the list.

I used my two favorite natural cleaners: baking soda and a vinegar/water mixture in a ratio of 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water. I saturated a rag in the vinegar/water mixture, scrubbed the whole couch, and let it air dry, then sprinkled the couch with baking soda, let it sit for a bit, and vacuumed it up. The baking soda was probably overkill, but it's very satisfying and basically guarantees there won't be any odors left. It's hard to see a visible difference in the before and after pictures, but it doesn't have grubby patches anymore and it definitely smells better!
dirty.jpg
The couch, ready to be cleaned.
The couch, ready to be cleaned.
scrubbing.jpg
Scrubbing with diluted vinegar.
Scrubbing with diluted vinegar.
vacuum.jpg
Vacuuming up baking soda.
Vacuuming up baking soda.
clean.jpg
It doesn't look a whole lot different in the photo, but in person it looks much better!
It doesn't look a whole lot different in the photo, but in person it looks much better!
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.

 
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Hey folks. I’ve recently received my book and am excited to get a start. I’ve scoped out the sand nest badge as achievable (and consisting largely of things that need doing around the house!) but this particular BB seems to be the biggest hurdle: I lack upholstered chairs and have no sofa/couch at all. Had a think though, and I have an old ottoman my father made which has a fabric-covered top.

So just a quick question: would an upholstered ottoman cover the requirements of this BB?
 
pollinator
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For my natural cleaner, I used the white vinegar, lemon juice, warm water, and the all natural greywater safe 9 element soap. I really didnt have a recipe to per se, I just eyeballed it. I deep cleaned my couch, which definitely needed it. Both myself and my dog spend a lot of time there and it was smelling less than pleasant.
IMG_3471.jpg
Here are my ingredients and the pot I used.
Here are my ingredients and the pot I used.
IMG_3470.jpg
Here is my couch before, you can't really tell but it is dingy.
Here is my couch before, you can't really tell but it is dingy.
IMG_3472.jpg
cleaning the cushion
cleaning the cushion
IMG_3473.jpg
Cleaning the arm
Cleaning the arm
IMG_3474.jpg
Another cushion
Another cushion
IMG_3476.jpg
And the back
And the back
IMG_3477.jpg
It is a beautiful day here in CO, so I opened the windows for the air to dry and the sunlight to further clean. It looks so much better in person.
It is a beautiful day here in CO, so I opened the windows for the air to dry and the sunlight to further clean. It looks so much better in person.
Staff note (gir bot) :

jordan barton approved this submission.

 
gardener
Posts: 1516
Location: Washington State
949
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Here is my submission for the Nest Aspect - Straw - Deep Clean a Chair (or Two) BB.

Wheaton Labs: Fisher-Price House
I mixed up a solution of Citric Acid and Dr. Bronner's soap to be used as a general-purpose cleaner for fabrics and other surfaces.  I cleaned two fabric-covered folding chairs that are used mostly at the kitchen table.

500 mL water
58 g Citric Acid
6 g Dr Bronner's

It took a long time for the soap to integrate with the citric acid solution so I probably won't use this recipe again.

To show you've completed this Badge Bit, I have provided the following:
 - describe the natural cleaner(s) you used (provide the recipe if you made it yourself)
 - before, during, and after deep cleaning a couch or chair with natural cleaners
1.JPG
Ingredients
Ingredients
1-Natural-Cleaner.JPG
Cleaner
Cleaner
2.JPG
Chair #1
Chair #1
3.JPG
Chair #2
Chair #2
4.JPG
Cleaning
Cleaning
5.JPG
more cleaning
more cleaning
6.JPG
two clean chairs
two clean chairs
Staff note (gir bot) :

Edward Norton approved this submission.
Note: Good job - I have the same bag of citric acid - it’s awesome stuff

 
Posts: 102
Location: Dallas, TX area
69
2
cat forest garden greening the desert homestead
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For this badge bit, I cleaned a recliner. First, I brushed the upholstery all over to remove loose dust and hair. The worst parts were the foot rest (there were clouds of dust coming out) and a spot on the back where the cats rub past.

Then, I sprinkled the chair with baking soda to help pull out and absorb any body oils. I keep a mason jar with holes punched in the top with baking soda in it for this purpose. The soda only really stuck to the flat surface areas, but that's okay because that's where the body oils would be.

Finally, I sprayed everything down with water and extracted the water using a wet vac (Bissel Little Green). The only cleaners used were baking soda and water. I saved the extracted water and the water from rinsing the machine off for our growies.
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[Thumbnail for 20220626_104839.jpg]
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Staff note (gir bot) :

Casie Becker approved this submission.

 
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: In the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains
114
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Our recliner needed a good wipe down. I use 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, 1/2 cup white vinegar, and 1/2 cup filtered water, I shook it all up in a spray bottle and scrubbed the chair down with some of the rags I made from an old T shirt for an earlier BB.  Some of the stains wouldn't come out, maybe with a stronger concentration and more time.
IMG-6608.JPG
One grungy chair
One grungy chair
IMG-6609.JPG
Some stains
Some stains
IMG-6610.JPG
My rags I made
My rags I made
IMG-6611.JPG
Half-way done
Half-way done
IMG-2244.JPG
Cleaning complete
Cleaning complete
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.

 
master gardener
Posts: 2206
Location: Carlton County, Minnesota, USA: 3b; Dfb; sandy loam; in the woods
1084
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Right, so I cleaned our couch. It didn't really look dirty, but I also think it has never been cleaned with a solution like this, just vacuumed thoroughly. And that's how I started this cleaning. I vacuumed all the surfaces, took the cushions out, vacuumed their (under)sides and underneath them (ugh!) and then put things back together and started wiping down with a simple vinegar w/ orange oil solution I just mixed up. I really liked in the video at the top of this thread how the white rag came out filthy after the wiping down, so I made sure to get some very white rags together. I only ended up needing one for the job, and it came out grey, but not as gross as I was expecting. I wonder if that CitrusSolve stuff gets more up or if her couch was just grungier.
couchBefore.jpg
This is the couch. We've had it for about 18 years.
This is the couch. We've had it for about 18 years.
couchUnderCushionDebris.jpg
I also found a book, two cloth napkins, and a knitted hat that must be my granddaughter's!
I also found a book, two cloth napkins, and a knitted hat that must be my granddaughter's!
couchAfterVacuuming.jpg
Getting ready to do the surface wiping with this gentle solvent.
Getting ready to do the surface wiping with this gentle solvent.
couchAfterScrubbing.jpg
Yeah, that's a little gross.
Yeah, that's a little gross.
couchAllDone.jpg
Nice. Honestly, it doesn't seem that different when put all back together and from a distance, but I did get a lot of cat fur off the back of it and now it all smells delightfully orange.
Nice. Honestly, it doesn't seem that different when put all back together and from a distance, but I did get a lot of cat fur off the back of it and now it all smells delightfully orange.
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.

 
Posts: 34
Location: Central Ohio
11
rabbit urban food preservation
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Using the 1:1:1 water, white vinegar, rubbing alcohol method with some orange essential oil to combat the fumes.
This isn’t my favorite chair, to be honest, but I’m trying the mixture on a spot test on the favorite chair to try later if the fabric allows.
This chair has been eaten in by children so there are some stains that are in need of cleaning.
IMG_4024.jpeg
Preparing ingredients
Preparing ingredients
IMG_4025.jpeg
It’s a gathering place for items
It’s a gathering place for items
IMG_4026.jpeg
Stain city before cleaning
Stain city before cleaning
IMG_4027.jpeg
Spray
Spray
IMG_4028.jpeg
Scrub
Scrub
IMG_4029.jpeg
Part way through. Some areas needed more liquid than others
Part way through. Some areas needed more liquid than others
IMG_4030.jpeg
Done cleaning, time to dry
Done cleaning, time to dry
Staff note (gir bot) :

Elizabeth Horsley approved this submission.

 
pollinator
Posts: 60
Location: Tennessee Zone 7
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We "inherited" the couch and chair from the tenants.  Nice furniture, but she had a dog and he apparently was allowed on the furniture.  The LazyBoy site said to use water or a professional cleaning solution.  After vacuuming,  I used a weakened vinegar spray (2 parts vinegar to 1 part water).  Scrubbed the cushions and frame areas.  Couldn't really see it on the blue cloth, so switched midway to a white one.  Then I sprinkled a generous amount of baking soda and let it sit before vacuuming it again.  Sure smells better!
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Staff note (gir bot) :

Elizabeth Horsley approved this submission.

 
gardener
Posts: 1510
Location: Zone 8b North Texas
368
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To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
- deep clean the fabric on a couch or chair using natural cleaners
- no toxic gick allowed

To document your completion of the BB, provide proof of the following as pictures or a video (less than two minutes):
- describe the natural cleaner(s) you used (provide the recipe if you made it yourself)
- before, during, and after deep cleaning a couch or chair with natural cleaners



My son and I sold our house in 2015, bought and moved into an RV, began home schooling, and started a company.  A couple years ago we moved out of our RV into a house whose occupants were moving into an RV.  We bought all their furniture but there was only a futon to sleep on.  The futon became my son’s and this recliner was where I slept until we got beds.  Our dogs and cats are allowed on the furniture.  We keep it covered but it still gets smelly and furry.

I'm cleaning this recliner from my sectional using water and a biodegradable Melaleuca natural cleaner Tough and Tender.
Tough & Tender® 12x All-Purpose Cleaner 2-Pack (Mixing Spray Bottle not included) (melaleuca.com)

I brushed the chair off to remove pet hair and dust.  The chair was sprayed with the cleaner and allowed to sit 5 minutes for it to soak in some.  I scrubbed the chair then wiped it down with a cloth to remove any excess moisture.  It looks and smells much better.
1-Cleaner-used.jpg
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3-Scrubbing-Recliner.jpg
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4-Clean-Recliner.jpg
[Thumbnail for 4-Clean-Recliner.jpg]
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Someone approved this submission.

 
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I used a solution of vinegar (~1\2 c), rubbing alcohol (~tbsp), and water (~1\2 c). The arm cushions look a lot better, and all the cushions feel better.
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Before
Before
20240118_221708.jpg
During clean
During clean
20240118_233321.jpg
After
After
Staff note (gir bot) :

Ashley Cottonwood approved this submission.
Note: This BB is complete!

 
pollinator
Posts: 130
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I cleaned our couch - much needed!

I removed all cushion covers and washed them, including the pillow covers. I used Molly's Suds detergent.

For the rest of the couch:
1. I used a Norwex rubber brush to brush the whole couch, loosening the cat hair.
2. I vacuumed the couch with an attachment
3. I lint rolled the couch
4. I used a damp microfiber cloth to lift a few stains

Lastly, I tilted the couch up and vacuumed underneath and cleaned the legs.



IMG_8590.jpeg
Before
Before
IMG_8602.jpeg
cushions are stained
cushions are stained
IMG_8606.jpeg
using the rubber brush
using the rubber brush
IMG_8614.jpeg
using microfiber cloth
using microfiber cloth
IMG_8610.jpeg
vacuumed underneath
vacuumed underneath
IMG_8616.jpeg
After!
After!
IMG_8619.jpg
detergent used
detergent used
IMG_8595.jpeg
detergent ingredients
detergent ingredients
Staff note (gir bot) :

Someone approved this submission.
Note: This BB is complete!

 
Posts: 25
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I started by thoroughly brushing it off.  I then clean the whole chair with a solution of one drop natural dish soap and warm water. I wiped off the solution with a cloth and hot water.
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Before
Before
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During
During
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During
During
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During
During
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After
After
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I don't own a couch or chair with fabric on it: Do I have permission to deep-clean a carpet according to the rules, instead?

Edit:  I've just found a foam sofa-bed.  Would this count?
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Jojo Cameron
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Okay, so, the only upholstered piece of furniture I have is a sofa bed.  It's a satin-feeling fabric with no instructions on it, but I suspect a liquid cleaner would stain it.  It's quite bright because it's not used and it's kept in a dark space, but I've sprinkled it with bicarbonate of soda and hoovered it.  That'll have killed off any microbes or bugs that were hanging around, and it at least feels a bit brighter, even if it's not visually so!
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I regret how dull the photos are -- it's actually a bright and pretty sofa-bed!
I regret how dull the photos are -- it's actually a bright and pretty sofa-bed!
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Cleaning product.
Cleaning product.
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Sprinking.
Sprinking.
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Hoovering.
Hoovering.
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All done!
All done!
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