This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (Sort Of)

I’m not going to lie, I had sort of an odd childhood. For some reason, my father deemed it appropriate to let me watch SNL and¬†Gallagher at a young age. Because, you know, an 8 year old gets the subtle nuances of Gallagher. I remember a few specific things about his specials, that I watched on almost constant repeat on our VHS player. One, was when he was discussing what it was like to have a child, he said you get to say things like “Who put Vicks on the Cheese-Its?” Well, here in the Frat House, I say stuff like that more times than I like to think about. Some of my favorites are, “Stop licking that pole!”, “Where are your pants?!”, “We all have to wear clothes when we are outside!”, “Take your hands off your penis, it’s not going to run away!”. Recently, we had a night that added a new saying, which I will NEVER get a kick out of having to yell: Who whizzed on the couch?!

OK, so here’s the deal, The Brunette One decided he wanted to sleep in one of the family room chairs, which is right outside out bedroom. It’s summer and that’s usually pretty harmless, so we agreed. However, on this night, I also decided to test out if I really needed to keep giving The Blonde One his melatonin at night. I put him to bed in his bed, upstairs, with his Good Night (ah, the joys of bedwetting), read him his story, and didn’t think anything about it, because he always passes out. Fast forward to 11pm, when he sneaks in on little, cat feet, right up to the side of my bed, bends down to my long asleep ear, and says, “FLASHLIGHT,” as loudly as he can, then spins on his heel, and heads off to cash on the couch. Guess the answer to the melatonin question is, yes. On the plus side, I discovered that my surprised waking bladder control is excellent.

At this point, The Hubs has begun to snore at a decibel level that rivals large aircraft. Since the couch is taken, I grab up my pillow and hit The Brunette’s bed, because The Blonde One has busted his box spring again (Frat House!). I settle in to grab the last few Zzzz’s I can before everyone wakes up for the day.

Well, at this point, I might sneak in that, at 11, The Blonde One isn’t always so keen about wearing that Good Night to bed. He’s autistic, and he doesn’t care that it saves me laundry, it feels like a diaper and he’s not crazy about it. And, because in my relief that I wasn’t being attacked by something wielding a flashlight, and that I hadn’t wet the bed, I forgot to check and make sure that my sneak still had his Good Night on. I woke up to this:

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Awesome. Couch pee. . .

As you can see, a wet spot on the couch isn’t a mere wet spot for us, we have a leather couch. *sigh* At this point, I am having a “this is why we can’t have nice things” moment, as I make my coffee and settle into googling “how to clean urine out of a leather couch”. The results were surprisingly positive, mainly because it wasn’t cat pee, apparently, if it’s cat pee, you’re pretty much screwed. And, since I was going to have to clean the couch ANYWAY, I guess it’s just an opportunity to show you all how to do it.

I should, at this point, interject that leather is just skin. And being, just skin, it needs to be taken care of like skin, it needs to be washed gently, with mild cleanser and have lotion applied. Now, because there aren’t a lot of leather furniture enthusiasts out there, but there are no more rabid protectors of their leather than car geeks, over the years, I have taken a page from them when caring for my leather furniture. By and large, they swear by Maguire’s car care products. Of course, having just moved, and not being allowed to move liquids cross country, and not having had the wild hair to wash the couch in the 2 months we have been here, I was fresh out of leather soap. I have previously used baby shampoo in a pinch, which of course I was also out of, so I used my kids’ no more tears kiddo shampoo, hoping of the same outcome.

First step, remove the leather covers from the cushions. Febreeze the crap outta them on your back porch. Several times. I always have on hand at least ONE bottle of the pet formula, because pee is pee when you are trying to get rid of the stink. Yes, I suppose I could have dragged out the shampooer, but I also had leather to clean, a therapist coming and I was still in my PJs.

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Did I mention that leather is just skin? Well, leather dyes are really just fancy self tanners, and when liquid is applied to the pores, they suck it in and release it out the back side. Hence why you should NEVER SOAK LEATHER.

So, now you have these stinky, damp leather cushion covers to deal with. Here’s what I used:

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As you can see, we have towels, a wash cloth, bowl of tepid water, kiddo shampoo, dish soap (it’s what About.com suggested, but I was worried about it being too drying), and Maguire’s leather wipes.

First things first, slide some towels inside the cushion cover. You will want them to be towels you don’t mind possibly ruining (remember the cushions?). The aim is not to soak the leather again, but you just want to be safe. Take your wash cloth, dip it in the bowl of water and ring it out to almost dryness, and apply a small, pea-sized amount of soap to the cloth. Suds up. Now, start washing the cushion in gentle, circular motions. I don’t know why it has to be circular, but everything I have ever read says this. Here’s the PITA part, you can’t JUST do the pee part, you have to wash THE WHOLE CUSHION. Otherwise, you will wind up with a water stain, and let’s just avoid further stain googling, shall we? I went over the whole thing several times, sides, too (because of course it leaked in between both cushions!). The thing I can’t stress enough is not to soak the leather again. It will shrink and do other rotten things. Also, don’t over rub, this will rough up the outer layer of the leather and it will wind up looking dry and ugly looking.

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Dry over something that allows air flow.

I slipped my freshly washed covers over my dining room chairs. I wanted to make sure that all sides got good airflow, so as to not only evenly dry my covers, but to air out any residual pee stink. PS- Someday I am going to send this rug out for professional cleaning. It was in front of the computer that The Blonde One favored while potty training, and even though it was mere steps from a toilet, it’s much more efficient to stand in front of the YouTube video you have watched a BILLION times and whizz, than take the time to put it in the toilet. THAT IS MERE. STEPS. AWAY. But, I digress. . .

Once your therapist has left and you have washed both covers, you should probably take the time to give the other cushions a good going over with the Maguire’s wipes. These happen to be the cleaning and conditioning wipes, and in my opinion, you should probably be using them at least once a month. Of course, I don’t do that myself, but it’s a goal. You should also probably take all the cushions off the couch and vacuum, which will make you feel like the filthiest, rat bastard on the planet. There will be crumbs, hair (both human and pet), change, bobby pins, and buttons. Again, I was having flashbacks to my Gallagher watching youth, when he rolled out a giant trampoline disguised as a couch and he pulled random crap out of the cushions. A flip flop, baby’s teething toy, car keys, and something rubbery that I am going to leave up to the imagination. . .

By now, you should have Febreezed your cushions at least twice, and they should be dry. Keep spraying and allowing to dry until you don’t smell pee. For me, it was 3 times. Then, it’s time to reassemble your couch! Also, don’t forget to use the conditioning wipes on the freshly cleaned cushions. I would have preferred to use a separate leather conditioner, but I didn’t have any on hand. I have heard tell of some people using baby oil to condition their couches, but alas, I was out of that as well.

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TaDAAAAHHHH! Clean couch!

Due to the angle of the sun, the couch looks MUCH lighter than the previous picture, but I assure you, it’s just the lighting. It will be a little slippery-er than before, thanks to the conditioners, so be aware.

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Pee spot BEGONE! Huzzah, indeed!

Again, it’s kind of a trick of the lighting that makes it seem bleached out, but I swear it’s not. Maybe a little on the front piping, but it’s kind of like that all the way across the front from the constant rubbing of pant legs.

So, there you have it, we all can have nice things, it just takes a little extra care and attention when they get fouled. Now, if there was such an easy fix for electronics when they get dropped onto ceramic tile floors, laid on concrete slabs. . .

Have a great day!

~AB.