Skip to Content

How to Deodorize a Couch (To Get Rid of Unpleasant Odors)

How to Deodorize a Couch (To Get Rid of Unpleasant Odors)

Share this post:

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one of these links and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

It can generally go without saying that most people can appreciate having a couch that doesn’t smell bad. However, considering the fact that people put their feet up on the couch, spill food on the couch, and probably let their pets on the couch, there’s a good chance that your couch smells less than pleasant.

Whether you are trying to impress guests, friends, or family coming to your house later in the day, or you simply just want to have a couch that doesn’t smell horrendous, it is a good idea to know how to properly deodorize a couch.

Thankfully, there are quite a few different ways you can go about doing this.

The way that you deodorize your couch will, of course, depend on the material of the couch itself. You can’t really clean a leather couch the same way you can clean upholstery, and it can even damage the leather of the couch.

Nobody wants this to happen. Knowing how to properly clean all types of couches is going to do you well in life.

With all of this being said, it might help you reduce the amount of odor coming out of your couch if you know what exactly causes it, and why exactly your couch might be holding on to odors more than usual.

What Makes Couches Smell Bad?

Dog Yawning on Couch

Aside from general use, there are a few things that can really get a couch smelling unpleasant quickly. Animals are one of the most common culprits of a smelly couch, especially dogs who are allowed outside.

If you want to prevent your couch from smelling bad, one of the best things that you can do for it is to make sure that there are no dogs allowed on the couch.

Likewise, you should also make sure that you do not put your shoes on the couch. For much the same reasons for not letting dogs on the couch, your shoes carry all the mud, dirt, and germs that you stepped in outside.

Rubbing those onto your couch is only going to increase how bad it smells. Having a no-shoes policy for the couch will make things much easier in this aspect.

Sometimes, it is simply age that is keeping your couch from smelling decent. Over the months, all sorts of dust, bacteria, and things you would rather not think about wedge itself into the fibers of the couch.

This can lead to it smelling the way it does. Regularly deodorizing the couch, and periodically cleaning it, is a wonderful way to keep it smelling and looking fresh.

What Makes Deodorizing Different Than Cleaning?

Many people confuse the two, and it is important not to. Cleaning the couch involves cleaning chemicals, removing any upholstery, and generally a good few hours of making sure that any and all dirt is gone and the couch is looking as good as it did when you first bought it.

It is an intensive process that will produce extremely good results, if you are willing to put the time into it.

Deodorizing your couch is a little bit different. Deodorizing involves using materials to mask the bad smell of an unclean couch. It is a temporary solution, and it is generally best used in between washing sessions so that your couch doesn’t get over cleaned, but it doesn’t smell bad either.

Deodorizing is a quick, simple process that won’t take up a lot of your time.

What Do You Need to Deodorize a Couch?

Vacuuming Couch With Upholstery Attachment

To deodorize a couch, there are a few key materials that you need. You are probably going to need a vacuum cleaner so that you can get all the deep-seated dirt and dust out of the cushions.

You are also going to want an upholstery brush attachment, if you have an upholstered couch. If you have an upholstered couch, you are going to need baking soda as well.

On the other hand, if you have a leather couch, you are going to want to have a clean rag on-hand so that you can wipe up any spills as soon as you can. You should get a neutral soap that is safe to use with leather, and a container that can hold at least one cup of water.

You are also going to want to look into an enzyme cleaner if the odor persists.

How Do You Deodorize an Upholstered Couch?

Baking Soda in Jar

Deodorizing an upholstered couch is a fairly simple process that doesn’t take a lot of time or energy out of your day. You are going to want to make sure that you have baking soda and a vacuum, preferably with an upholstery attachment already installed.

First things first, you are going to want to vacuum the upholstery to remove all dust, hair, and other debris that may have lodged itself into the fibers of the couch itself.

You should do what you can to remove all the cushions and vacuum both sides of everything so that you can get a thorough job done. The more thorough you are, the longer your couch will stay smelling as fresh as possible.

Once you have vacuumed everything, you are going to want to sprinkle the baking soda on all the upholstered areas. If possible, you should make sure that you remove the cushions, both seating and backing, and place them to the side for the time being.

Make sure that you get the baking soda in between all the cracks and crevices where the cushions were originally. You should be using enough baking soda to be able to see a small amount of residue across the entire sofa.

After you have finished with this, you should make sure that you put baking soda on the upholstery for the cushions as well, since this is where people tend to put their feet most, and it is where animals tend to lean into the most.

Keeping these separate from the couch ensures that the cushions are cleaned as thoroughly as possible, which is always important when you want to completely deodorize your couch.

From here, you should leave the baking soda on the sofa for a minimum of 15 minutes. If you want to completely deodorize your couch, or if something smells horrendously bad, then you should leave the baking soda there overnight. The baking soda will absorb the bad odor from the fabric and cushions.

Vacuuming Couch Around Cat

Now that the baking soda has removed as much of the stench as possible, you should vacuum the baking soda off the couch. As always, you should make sure that you are using a clean vacuum bag or that the vacuum canister was emptied out first, as baking soda can fill up a vacuum quite quickly.

Your couch should be thoroughly deodorized at this point, and it will look a little bit fresher after some good vacuuming.

How Do You Deodorize a Leather Couch?

Cleaning Leather Couch With Rag

Cleaning leather couches is a little more hands-on, but it is also considerably quicker in some aspects. You are going to need more materials, such as a couple rags that you can use to wipe everything up, leather-friendly soap, and a container that can hold at least a cup of water.

Depending on whether or not the stench sticks around, you should also have a good idea of where you can get a good enzyme leather cleaner as well, although this isn’t completely necessary for the first part.

If something spilled onto the couch, you should be using this rag to clean it up as soon as you can, so that the stench doesn’t have time to sit and seep into the leather. Time is key here, which is one reason why you should keep a cleaning rag near your leather couch at all times.

When you are wiping up a spilled mess, you should make sure to dampen the cloth first.

Once you have done this, you should combine a teaspoon of the leather-friendly soap with about one cup of warm water. You should use this solution, and a clean rag to wipe down the smelly area of the couch.

If it’s the entire couch that smells bad, you can wipe the whole thing down, so long as you only wipe a small area at a time and you don’t go too quickly.

After you have wiped down the odorous area with the solution, you should get another clean rag, moistened with regular tap water, and you should wipe away any residue of the soap.

You should find yet another rag, this time a softer, dry rag to dry the area gently. You don’t want to dry everything too vigorously, as this can damage the leather and nobody wants this to happen.

If you find that the odor still remains on the couch, you should then consider getting an enzyme leather cleaner. Typically, you will spray down the couch with these cleaners and you let it dry on, letting the enzymes do their job to break down the bacteria.

However, with this being said, you should always follow any instructions for use on the package of cleaner. Before you know it, your leather couch will smell as fresh as ever.

Share this post:

Alicia Hursley

Thursday 24th of September 2020

Yeah let's be real, couches see a lot of butts...animal and human a like. Thanks for sharing this information. I usually get my couches cleaned professionally twice a year, but I need to do more on my own. I have three kids and a dog who all seem prone to spill on the couch somehow.