How to Get Urine Smell Out of Couch: Methods for Various Types

Last updated on March 28, 2024

This article provides useful tips and straightforward methods to effectively remove the urine smell from your couch, regardless of its material type.

Key takeaways:

  • Act quickly to prevent urine from soaking deeply into the couch fibers.
  • Use white vinegar to neutralize the urine smell on most upholstery fabrics.
  • Baking soda is effective in removing lingering urine odors.
  • Enzyme cleaners are recommended for older, set-in urine stains.
  • Seek professional upholstery cleaner if DIY methods don’t work.

Table of Contents

Immediate Action for Pee Stains

Act quickly to prevent urine from soaking deeply into the couch fibers. Remove any solid residues with a paper towel or cloth, dabbing gently to avoid pushing the stain further into the fabric.

Avoid using hot water, as it can set the odor and stain into the couch. Blot as much liquid as possible, repeatedly using clean towels to absorb the urine.

Cleaning With White Vinegar

White vinegar is a powerful odor neutralizer and is safe for most upholstery fabrics. For urine stains, mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Test the solution on a small inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t discolor the fabric.

Generously spray the affected area, allowing the mixture to penetrate the stain deeply. Blot the excess liquid with a clean, dry cloth, but avoid rubbing as this can spread the urine. Let the couch air dry.

If the smell persists, repeat the treatment or consider following up with a round of baking soda for added deodorization. Always ensure the room is well-ventilated during and after the cleaning process.

Deodorizing With Baking Soda

Once you’ve blotted and neutralized the area, baking soda can help to remove any lingering odors. Thoroughly sprinkle baking soda over the stain and allow it to sit for several hours or overnight for optimal absorption. The natural properties of baking soda work to draw out and trap unpleasant smells, making it a powerful deodorizer.

If the stain is fresh, ensure it is dry before applying the baking soda; otherwise, it will clump and potentially hinder its effectiveness. For an added fresh scent, consider mixing a few drops of essential oil like lavender or lemon with the baking soda before application.

To remove the baking soda, use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner. This will help to avoid pushing the powder deeper into the fabric. Make sure to vacuum thoroughly to remove all traces of the baking soda, as any remaining residue may attract moisture and cause the couch to have an unpleasant smell again. If needed, this process can be repeated for stubborn odors.

Using Enzyme Cleaner for Older Stains

Enzyme cleaners are highly effective for tackling set-in urine smells and stains. They break down urine molecules into simpler, odorless substances.

Follow these steps to use an enzyme cleaner:

  • Choose an Enzyme-Based Cleaner: Look for products specifically formulated for pet stains. They contain the right mix of enzymes to combat urine odors.
  • Test for Colorfastness: Apply a small amount of the cleaner to an inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t discolor your couch fabric.
  • Apply the Cleaner: Generously spray or pour the enzyme cleaner on the affected area, making sure to cover it completely for thorough saturation.
  • Allow it to Sit: Enzymatic cleaners require time to work. Leave it for the specified period on the label, often several hours, to ensure the enzymes can fully digest the urine residue.
  • Blot Excess Moisture: After the waiting period, blot away any residual cleaner gently with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Let it Dry: Air dry the spot completely. Avoid using heat, as this can hinder the enzymes’ effectiveness.
  • Reassess: If the smell persists, a second application may be necessary. The depth of the stain and the fabric type affect how easily the odor can be eliminated.

When to Call a Professional

If the urine odor persists despite the above-mentioned DIY methods, it may be time to seek help from a professional upholstery cleaner. Consider reaching out if:

  • 1. The urine has penetrated deep into the cushions, making it difficult for surface treatments to be effective.
  • 2. The couch material is delicate or antique, requiring specialized care that goes beyond home remedies.
  • 3. There is a significant amount of urine, especially if it’s from a pet marking its territory frequently over time, which may have caused extensive damage not visible to the naked eye.
  • 4. You’re dealing with persistent, set-in stains and odors that have resisted all forms of household cleaning solutions.
  • 5. You or family members are sensitive to the strong odors or have allergies that are exacerbated by the urine smell, necessitating a thorough, professional-grade cleaning.

In these cases, specialists have access to industrial-strength cleaners and deodorizers, as well as advanced techniques and equipment that can more effectively remove odors and revitalize your couch.


What neutralizes the smell of urine?

To neutralize the smell of urine, one should formulate a solution consisting of 8 fluid ounces of peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and a few drops of dish detergent.

What is the best cleaner for urine on couch?

The best cleaner for urine on a couch depends on the stage of the stain and the source; fresh stains are best treated with vinegar and baking soda, set stains can be tackled with a mixture of dish soap, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide, and if the mess was from a pet or if the couch is microfiber, an enzymatic cleaner is recommended.

What removes urine smell from fabric?

To remove urine smell from fabric, using a mix of baking soda and white vinegar can prove to be highly effective.

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

To eliminate odors from a fabric couch, apply a liberal layer of baking soda over the entire surface and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes to neutralize and refresh the fabric.

How effective are enzymatic cleaners for eliminating urine odor on couches?

Enzymatic cleaners are highly effective in eliminating urine odor on couches, as they break down the uric acid crystals responsible for the persistent smell.

Which household items can be used as substitutes to commercial cleaners for removing urine smell from a couch?

Household items like vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap can be used as substitutes to commercial cleaners for removing urine smell from a couch.

How can one prevent the recurrence of urine smell on couches after cleaning?

To prevent the recurrence of urine smell on couches after cleaning, use an enzyme-based cleaner or vinegar solution, apply a waterproof protector, and incorporate regular cleaning practices to ensure fresh scent maintains over time.

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