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if you have throw-up on a couch and it stinks and the couch is absorbent, how do you clean this up on shabbas? what are the concerns?

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Shabbat 147a (the Shulhan Aruch as well) would Asur you from cleaning this up. Actually, it is an Isur Deorayta of Melaben (see Siddur Ish Masliah at the end).

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...I'm not sure how much you can do to actually clean this, other than scraping up what's external to the couch. Cover it with something that smells nice until after Shabbas?

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Welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for your input on this question! You could make your answer much more valuable by explaining why you believe that scraping and covering are all one may do (addressing the question's "what are the concerns?"). – Isaac Moses May 27 '11 at 2:46
Looks like a useful suggestion, but this is more of an enhanced comment, not a complete answer. Answers should not begin by stating that you don't know the answer. – Seth J Oct 1 '15 at 15:52

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