Though ringworm is often thought of as being spread through direct contact with an infected person or household pet, it has also been known to be contracted through contact with other objects, such as that couch that your infected pet has been sitting on.
Causes and Symptoms of Ringworm
Ringworm is an infection of the skin caused by skin fungi, which live on a layer of dead keratin protein on top of the skin. It can be found in both humans and animals and is identified by the characteristic red ring that appears around the affected skin. Ringworm got its name due to the fact that it was once thought to be caused by a worm, and the name continued to stick even after that hypothesis was proved wrong.
Ringworm is spread by both direct and indirect contact. It can be contracted by skin to skin contact with another human or animal such as the common household pet, or indirectly through objects such as combs, brushes, bed linens, and furniture, such as couches, where the fungi can live in the fibers for up to two years.
Steps to Getting Ringworm out of a Couch
First, make sure to treat any people or pets who may have symptoms of ringworm to avoid recontaminating the couch with the fungi.
Regular vacuuming of the couch and any pillows should help get rid of mold and fungi spores that could be transferred to the skin. If the couch is made of a colorfast non-porous material, try spraying it down with Lysol disinfecting spray, leaving it on long enough to be effective. Make sure the material dries thoroughly and quickly by wiping it down with a clean dry cloth, as fungi thrive in damp areas.
Steam-cleaning would also be an effective way to get rid of the ringworm fungi; however, remember to make sure the couch dries quickly to avoid the fungi from flourishing again.
Ways to Prevent Ringworm from Returning
Make sure to isolate all household pets and do not allow infected persons to have contact with the couch or other furniture for the duration of ringworm treatment.
Cover couch in an easily washable slip cover so that if re-infection occurs, slip cover can be removed and cleaned without affecting the couch itself.
Regularly vacuum and wipe down couch with a damp cloth, followed by a dry cloth to remove moisture quickly. This will help to keep away mold and fungi, as well as other allergens that may settle in the couch material.