How to Get Smells Out of a Couch: Easy Steps & Tips for Odor-Free Furniture

Last updated on April 10, 2024

Discover effective methods to eliminate unpleasant odors and refresh your couch, ensuring a clean and inviting living space for you to enjoy.

We all love our cozy couches, don’t we? They are the perfect spot to relax, watch TV or read a book. But what happens when your comfy couch starts to smell funky? Maybe it’s because of spilled food or drink, pet odor, or just general wear and tear.

Whatever the cause may be, dealing with unpleasant smells in your couch can be a challenge. Don’t worry though; in this article, we will share some effective tips and tricks on how to get smells out of a couch so that you can enjoy your favorite spot without any unwanted odors.

So let’s dive right in!

Table of Contents

Assessing the Odor

smelly couch

Before you start treating the odor, it’s essential to assess its intensity and source. Sometimes, a simple spill or pet accident can cause an unpleasant smell that can be easily removed with basic cleaning methods.

However, if the odor is persistent and strong, it may indicate a more severe problem like mold growth or deep-seated stains.

To assess the odor’s intensity and source in your couch:

  1. Sniff around: Get close to your couch cushions and take a whiff of any noticeable smells.
  2. Identify the Source: Try to locate where exactly on your couch is causing this smell.
  3. Check for Stains: Look for any visible stains on your sofa as they could be contributing factors.

Vacuum the Couch

cleaning sofa

This will help remove any loose dirt, dust, and debris that may be contributing to the odor. Use a handheld or upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner for best results.

Start by removing all cushions and pillows from the couch. Then use the crevice tool attachment to clean between cushions and along seams where dirt can accumulate easily.

Be sure to also vacuum under the cushions as well as around them.

If you have pets at home, consider using a pet hair removal tool before you start cleaning with a regular vacuum cleaner since pet hair tends to stick stubbornly onto furniture fabrics.

Vacuuming regularly is an essential part of maintaining your couch’s cleanliness and preventing odors from building up over time.

Baking Soda Treatment

Baking Soda and Salt

To use this method, sprinkle baking soda generously over the entire surface of your couch and let it sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight if possible. The longer you leave it on, the better results you will get.

Once the time has passed, vacuum up all of the baking soda using an upholstery attachment to remove any remaining residue. You should notice a significant improvement in odor after this treatment.

If there are still lingering odors after trying out this method, consider repeating it or combining with other treatments such as vinegar solution or enzyme cleaners for more effective results.

Vinegar Solution

vinegar soda lemon bicarbonate

It works by neutralizing the odor-causing bacteria, leaving your couch smelling fresh and clean. To make a vinegar solution, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.

Spray the mixture onto the affected areas of your couch, making sure to saturate them thoroughly. Allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes before blotting it dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.

If you’re worried about the smell of vinegar lingering on your furniture after cleaning, don’t worry! The scent will dissipate as soon as it dries completely.

Enzyme Cleaners

cleaning couch

These cleaners contain natural enzymes that break down the organic matter causing the odor, such as pet urine or spilled food. Enzyme cleaners work by breaking down the molecules of these substances into smaller pieces, making them easier to remove.

To use an enzyme cleaner on your couch, start by blotting up any excess liquid or debris with a clean cloth. Then apply the enzyme cleaner according to its instructions and let it sit for several hours before wiping away with a damp cloth.

It’s important to note that not all enzyme cleaners are created equal and some may be more effective than others depending on what type of odor you’re dealing with. Be sure to choose an enzymatic cleaner specifically designed for upholstery cleaning and follow its instructions carefully.

Enzyme cleaners can be highly effective in eliminating stubborn odors from your couch but they may take longer than other methods like steam cleaning or vinegar solution treatment.

Steam Cleaning

fabric steamer sofa

It not only removes the odor but also sanitizes the fabric, killing bacteria and germs that may be causing the smell. Steam cleaners work by using hot water vapor to penetrate deep into the fibers of your couch, loosening dirt and grime while eliminating odors.

To steam clean your couch, you will need a handheld steam cleaner or an upholstery attachment for your regular steam cleaner. Start by vacuuming any loose debris from your sofa before steaming it thoroughly in sections.

Be sure to follow manufacturer instructions carefully when using a steam cleaner on upholstered furniture as some fabrics may not be suitable for this type of cleaning method.

Professional Cleaning

professional couch repair

Professional cleaners have access to specialized equipment and products that can effectively remove even the toughest odors from your couch. They will assess the situation, determine what type of cleaning method is best suited for your specific needs, and provide you with an estimate before starting any work.

While professional cleaning may cost more than DIY methods, it’s often worth it if you want a deep clean that eliminates all traces of odor-causing bacteria or mold. Plus, hiring professionals saves you time and effort since they do all the heavy lifting for you.

Before hiring a professional cleaner though, make sure they are reputable by checking their reviews online or asking friends for recommendations. Also ensure that they use eco-friendly products if possible as harsh chemicals can damage both your health and furniture over time.

Deodorizing Sprays

spraying couch

These sprays are designed to neutralize unpleasant smells and leave behind a fresh scent. However, it’s essential to choose the right product that won’t damage your furniture or cause any allergic reactions.

Before using any spray on your couch, make sure you read the label carefully and test it in an inconspicuous area first. Once you’ve confirmed that the spray is safe for use on your couch, apply it generously over all surfaces of the furniture.

While deodorizing sprays can provide temporary relief from bad smells in your couches, they may not be effective against strong or persistent odors caused by pet urine or mold growth. In such cases where odor persists despite repeated attempts at cleaning with different methods including deodorizers; professional help should be sought out immediately.

Replacing Couch Cushions

Remove Cushions From Couch

Over time, cushions can absorb odors and become less supportive. Replacing them will not only eliminate any unpleasant smells but also give your couch a fresh new look.

When shopping for replacement cushions, make sure to measure your current ones carefully so that you get the right size. You can choose from a variety of materials such as foam or down-filled depending on what feels most comfortable for you.

Replacing couch cushions may seem like an expensive option but it’s worth considering if other methods have failed or if they are old and worn out beyond repair. It’s always better to invest in quality replacements than constantly dealing with unpleasant odors that won’t go away no matter how much cleaning you do.

Remember that routine maintenance is key when it comes to keeping your furniture smelling fresh and clean.

Routine Maintenance

eating in couch

Regular maintenance of your couch can help prevent unpleasant odors from developing in the first place. Here are some tips for routine maintenance:

  • Vacuum your couch regularly to remove any dust, dirt, and debris that may accumulate on it.
  • Avoid eating or drinking on the couch as spills can cause stains and odors.
  • If you have pets, make sure to groom them regularly to reduce shedding and dander buildup on the furniture.
  • Use a fabric protector spray to protect against spills and stains.

Preventing Future Odors

dry cleaning couch

Here are a few tips that can help you keep your couch smelling fresh and clean:

1. Avoid eating or drinking on the couch: Spills and crumbs can easily get trapped in between cushions, leading to bad odors.

2. Clean up spills immediately: If something spills on your couch, make sure to clean it up right away before it seeps into the fabric.

3. Use a protective cover: Consider using a slipcover or throw blanket over your sofa if you have pets or kids who may cause messes.

4. Vacuum regularly: Regular vacuuming will help remove any dirt, dust, and debris that could lead to unpleasant smells over time.

By following these simple steps for routine maintenance of your furniture piece will ensure its longevity while keeping unwanted odor at bay!


How do you get the smell out of a fabric couch?

To get the smell out of a fabric couch, sprinkle baking soda on it overnight and vacuum up the residue in the morning to neutralize the odor.

How do you get the old smell out of a couch?

To get the old smell out of a couch, mix a 1:1 ratio of water and white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar if unavailable), wipe down the furniture thoroughly, and let it air dry.

What absorbs smells from furniture?

Baking soda effectively absorbs smells from furniture and also helps remove stains.

What is the most effective method for neutralizing pet odors from a sofa?

One effective method for neutralizing pet odors from a sofa is using a mixture of water, vinegar, and baking soda to create a cleaning solution, then applying it to the affected areas and allowing it to dry.

Can using natural ingredients be effective in removing musty odors from upholstered furniture?

Yes, utilizing natural ingredients can effectively remove musty odors from upholstered furniture.

How often should you deodorize a couch to maintain a fresh scent?

One should deodorize a couch every three to six months to maintain a fresh scent.

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