Fact of life – if you have a dog and you let him up on the furniture, you’ll want to know how to get dog smell out of the couch. We love our furry friends, but pet odor lingers in your sofa, making you wonder why you ever let Rover up on the couch to begin with.
How to get dog smell out of your couch? Use these 9 tips to remove doggie odors so you can reclaim your sofa!
1 – Remove and Wash Blankets and Pillows
If you have throw blankets and pillows on your couch, start with these to remove odor. Take them off the couch and wash them regularly, at least once a month if not more. Only use pillows that have a removeable slip cover so they’re easy to throw in the washing machine.
If you have non-washable pillows, consider getting rid of them and switching to slip covers. It will be much easier to stay on top of doggie smells before they start to become noticeable!
2 – Remove Couch Covers
Some couches come with removable covers for the seat cushions. Remove these covers and wash them every 3 to 4 weeks. Check the labels to be sure they’re machine washable – otherwise wash by hand or take them to the dry cleaner. Add ½ cup of vinegar to the wash cycle to remove any stubborn odor.
Running low on detergent? Try one of these 4 simple ways to do laundry without detergent.
Before tossing in the dryer, be certain the wash has been thorough and gotten rid of all dog smell. If in doubt, put through another wash cycle.
Putting covers in the dryer before the smell is completely removed can set the odor into the fabric. The warm heat can intensify any smell that you may not be able to get out even with subsequent washes.
Another option is to hang dry – and if the covers still smell like your pooch, repeat and wash again.
3 – Vacuum Often!
It goes without saying that vacuuming regularly helps with dog smell. Vacuum daily if needed to remove dog hair and any debris that your pup drags in from outside. Consider buying a hand vacuum that’s reserved for just this purpose.
It will be easy to pull out once a day and clean up after Rover and keep his dog smell under control. Get down deep into all the corners and under cushions. And if your dog lays on a blanket on the couch, vacuum this thoroughly as well.
While you’re at it, here are some tips on getting fur off of your clothes.
4 – Vacuum Using Baking Soda
Daily vacuuming can help minimize dog smell, but eventually that odor is going to need more than just a vacuum. Add baking soda to the job to neutralize and absorb odors. Sprinkle baking soda on the couch where Rover sits, including the arms and back of the sofa.
Leave it on overnight so it can absorb more of the smell. Then vacuum in the morning. Your couch will smell fresh and clean again, and because baking soda is completely safe and natural, you can use this cleaning method as often as necessary.
5 – Rent a Carpet Cleaner
Renting a carpet cleaning machine that comes with an attachment for upholstery helps you get a deep cleaning into the couch. Use a cleaning solution that neutralizes as well as cleans – and that’s non-toxic for animals.
Another option is to purchase a cleaning machine that’s handheld and designed to get out spots. There are several good brands on the market that are easy to use, allowing you to steam clean into one specific area of the sofa where Rover sits.
6 – Non-Chemical Cleaning Solutions
You’ll want to stay away from cleaning solutions that contain toxic chemicals. These chemicals can be harmful both to your dog and to your family. You can make these spray solutions yourself – and they’re all natural and safe for everyone.
Vodka Cleaning Solution
Yes, vodka can be used as a cleaner! Fill a spray bottle with 1 cup of vodka and ½ cup of water. Mix well.
To use, first vacuum the couch well. Test a small inconspicuous spot on the couch to see how the fabric reacts to the vodka, letting dry for at least 30 minutes before checking. You want to be sure the couch material doesn’t stain.
If there’s no issue, you can spray all over with the vodka solution, including the back and arms of the couch. Let dry overnight and then vacuum. Repeat if the doggie odor doesn’t disappear the first time.
Why does this work? The alcohol content in the vodka kills Rover’s scent and is odorless when it evaporates.
Vinegar is good for deodorizing and neutralizing when baking soda doesn’t do the trick. In a spray bottle mix together ¾ cup water, ¼ cup of white vinegar, and ½ a tablespoon of mild dish soap.
As with the vodka, do a test patch so see how the couch material reacts to the vinegar, letting dry for about 20 minutes to check for staining. Then spray onto the couch and let dry for a few hours or overnight. Vacuum well to clean off any vinegar scent.
You’ll need to be careful with this solution and test well. Vinegar is acidic and can stain some sofa material, such as Naugahyde and some natural fibers.
Baking Soda and Vinegar
For extra strength against doggie smell when baking soda or vinegar on their own just don’t work, it’s time to combine both these cleaning products. Combined you’ll get double the power.
In a spray bottle mix together 1 cup water, ½ cup vinegar, and ¼ cup baking soda. Use a large spray bottle as this solution will immediately start to foam and bubble up. Let the solution settle before using.
Do your test spot to check for any fabric reaction, letting it dry thoroughly and vacuuming before continuing. Then spray lightly onto the couch and let dry overnight before vacuuming. Repeat if needed to remove any lingering odors.
Yucca root is made from a woody shrub – and it’s good for eliminating odors. You can purchase yucca powder at most health food stores or online (link to Amazon). Mix together 1 tablespoon of the powder into 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake well to dissolve.
After doing a spot test, spray lightly onto the couch in all areas that your dog claims as his own. Let dry for a few hours and vacuum. You have to repeat this method 2 or 3 times, but many pet owners have found it to be extremely effective in combating dog smells.
Essential Oil Deodorizer
While some essential oils are considered unsafe for your dog, the oils in this deodorizing spray are safe to use. Mix together the following in a large spray bottle:
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 1 cup baking soda
After mixing, letting the solution settle for about 3 minutes before using. Then do a spot test to make sure it’s safe to use on your couch. Spray lightly over the area where Rover sits, letting it dry well overnight. Vacuum the next morning to remove any baking soda residue.
For this solution to fight dog odor, you may want to spray just a portion of the couch to see how your dog reacts to the scent. Even after vacuuming, the solution is easy for dogs to detect, and some dogs may be irritated by the essential oils.
7 – Febreze
Despite having some chemicals in its ingredients, Febreze has been deemed safe to use around pets. Spray lightly and leave on to dry. You can use this deodorizer on the couch, couch pillows, and throw blankets.
Keep in mind that some dogs dislike the smell of Febreze and may look for another piece of furniture to sit on instead.
8 – Enzyme Deodorizer
Recommended by vets, try an enzyme deodorizer to rid your couch of dog scent. You can purchase this non-toxic cleaner at pet stores, online, or through your vet. The deodorizing spray uses active enzymes to cut through the dog dander and odor. After spraying, let dry thoroughly and vacuum.
9 – Preventative Measures
Getting rid of dog smell in your couch is an ongoing job. But there are some preventative measures you can take to cut down on doggie odors:
- Regularly bathe and groom your dog.
- Brush Rover daily to reduce the amount of hair and dirt that ends up on your couch.
- Buy slip covers – there are some great looking designs and styles to choose from.
- Buy throw blankets that are “dog use only.”
- Buy an air purifier to remove dog scent from the entire room.
- Wipe your dog’s feet when he comes in from outside – this can eliminate some of the unpleasant outdoor smells that end up on your couch.
Having a dog in your family doesn’t mean your sofa needs to have an unpleasant pet odor. Use the techniques here to get rid of any dog’s smells.
Try one or two methods to see what works best for you. And don’t limit these tips to just your couch – use them to clean other furniture, including your dog’s bed!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.