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Why Does My Leather Couch Smell? (And What to Do About It)

Why Does My Leather Couch Smell? (And What to Do About It)
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Leather couches are some of the most popular types of couches. They look amazing and they can also be incredibly comfortable.

It makes sense that you’d want a nice leather couch for your home. You might find one of these couches to be the perfect addition to your living room.

However, many have noted that leather couches have a distinct smell. If you’ve purchased a leather couch recently, you might have noticed that it smells a bit funny.

Why would a leather couch smell? Is it normal for this to happen and is there something you can do to mitigate the odor?

Keep reading to learn more about this topic. You’ll know what you can do so you can enjoy your leather couch to the fullest.

Leather Is Porous

Your leather couch likely smells because you spilled something. It’s possible that you spilled something you were drinking or dropped food on the couch at some point.

Pets can also make leather couches start to stink. There are many things in your home that might cause a leather couch to smell a bit funky.

Why does this happen? Leather is a porous material that is going to pick up many types of smells.

These smells will linger for longer periods of time than you might expect. It can be rather frustrating for couch owners, but there are things you can do to get the couch smelling fine again.

You should be careful not to make your couch stinky. Body odor can easily transfer to a leather couch.

Cigarette smoke is going to make the couch smell bad as well. If you want the couch to smell as good as possible, you should avoid doing things that will make the couch have a foul odor.

Don’t get on the couch if you’re dirty. If you’ve just worked out, it might be wise to shower before lounging on the couch so you don’t transfer your body odor to leather.

Keep pets from jumping onto the couch. You likely love your pets very much, but they shouldn’t be laying on your leather couch for many different reasons.

If you can be careful with the couch, you’ll have fewer issues with bad smells. Don’t worry if your couch already smells; you can fix things.

Expose the Couch to Sunlight

Exposing the couch to sunlight for a certain period of time can help to get rid of the odor. It might be as simple as opening the curtains and letting the natural sunlight do what it needs to do.

However, this trick will work better if you can expose the couch to sunlight directly. Some leather couch owners might choose to briefly place the couch on the deck.

If the weather is nice enough for it, you can keep the couch outside and let the sun shine on it for a few hours. This can help to get rid of smells and it can even solve issues with mildew.

Understand that sunlight can be harmful to leather couches, though. Sunlight will damage leather over time.

Too much UV exposure will cause leather to start fading. It can also damage the surface and will make it more likely that the leather will crack.

Knowing this, you want to use the sunlight method to get rid of smells sparingly. This isn’t something that you should do all the time.

You Can Try White Vinegar

White vinegar is a good option when you need to clean certain types of leather. You’ll have to look up whether your couch is going to be compatible with this method.

The idea is to use white vinegar that has been diluted with water. You use one part white vinegar and one part water.

You mist the surface of the leather using the white vinegar spray. Then you use a paper towel to wipe away the spray.

It’s important to wipe the spray away before it can soak into the couch. If the spray soaks into the couch, it can actually be harmful.

This white vinegar spray does an excellent job of getting rid of foul odors. The vinegar might smell bad for a little while, but this will go away over time.

So long as you don’t use too much of the white vinegar spray at once, this should be easy to do. It’s wise to test a section of the couch that’s out of sight before moving forward with this method.

It allows you to be safe and avoid damaging the couch. If your couch doesn’t respond well in the test patch location, you won’t want to use the white vinegar spray on the rest of the couch.

Baking Soda Can Also Work

Baking soda is another thing that people turn to when trying to get rid of smells. You might have used baking soda to remove smells from other things in your home in the past.

It’s easy enough to use baking soda to get rid of smells that are lingering near your leather couch. All you need to do is sprinkle the baking soda on the couch.

Grab a dry brush and then rub the baking soda into the leather. Do so gently so you don’t hurt the couch in any way.

Allow the baking soda to sit on the couch overnight. Ensure that no one sits on the couch and keep pets away from the couch, too.

In the morning, you’ll have to vacuum the couch. Use an upholstery attachment for your vacuum cleaner if you have one.

This will allow you to get rid of the baking soda and the smell should be gone once you’ve vacuumed everything. Using baking soda is a reliable way to make a leather couch smell nice again.

What About Leather Cleaner?

Leather cleaner is something that you’ll likely want to keep around when you own a leather couch. These products contain everything that you need to polish your couch and protect it.

It’s also possible to use leather cleaner to get rid of bad smells. Use the leather cleaner as instructed and you should get good results.

So long as you’re not using too much of it, you’ll easily be able to eliminate most odors. Some strong odors might be problematic, but most situations will be fine if you use leather cleaner in a timely fashion.

You can get leather cleaner from department stores. It’s also easy to buy what you need at most popular online marketplaces that sell furniture-related items.

How Long Will a Leather Couch Last?

Leather couches have the potential to last for a very long time. If you treat the leather and keep it in good condition, you could wind up using it for several decades.

It’s not uncommon for leather couches to stay in great shape for up to 25 years. If you don’t put effort into treating the couch, it won’t last nearly that long.

Of course, some leather couches will be made to be sturdier than others. Generally, the less expensive a couch is, the less sturdy it will be.

This isn’t always the case, but you do want to buy a couch that is strong and will stand the test of time. Even a sturdy couch can break if you aren’t careful, though.

Don’t flop on the couch and be careful not to let kids and others jump on the couch. Treat the leather with conditioner so it doesn’t dry out and become cracked.

Doing your best to look after the couch will give you the chance to use it for longer. The couch could be a fixture in your house for such a long time if you do things right.

Final Thoughts

Since leather is a porous material, it will sometimes hold onto bad smells. You might make your couch smell by spilling drinks or dropping food.

Even body odor and pet odor will make leather couches stinky. This is going to make it hard to enjoy sitting on the couch since the smell might be too strong to handle.

If you have a smelly leather couch, you don’t need to worry. The problem can be fixed, but you’ll need to take the right steps.

One of the best ways to get rid of smells is to use white vinegar. You can mix up a white vinegar spray that contains one part vinegar and one part water.

Use this to wipe down the couch without saturating the couch too much. It can get rid of bad smells and make it easier to use your couch.

Baking soda is even easier to use because you can gently rub it into the couch and allow it to sit overnight. This will give you a chance to vacuum it up in the morning and the smell will be gone.

Leather cleaners can do a good job of fixing things, too. You can get the couch to smell good once again so long as you put in the effort.

If you have any friends who own leather couches, let them know what you learned today. It should be very helpful to know how to fix issues with bad smells without it being a huge pain.

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