How To Deodorize A Couch In The Easiest Way

The odor from pets, spilled food, even the sweat of our body over time makes your couch give off an unpleasant smell.

So, How to Deodorize A Couch? Let me show you six essential steps to remove stains by a home-made couch deodorizer or the cleaner available in the market!


How To Deodorize A Couch

Step 1: Identify The Type of Couch

Deodorizing a couch gets easier if you know something about what kind of couch you have at home. Each coach type requires its cleaning method. The easiest way to know is to check the care tag from the producer. In most of the cases, it would be fabric, leather, or synthetic couch. The care tag, which says either SW, S, W, or X, also shows you the recommended cleaning way by producers to make it clean.

  • W: Wet cleaning is advised. You may utilize vinegar or water or as a cleaner.
  • S: It allows you to clean with a dry solvent. Utilizing baking soda or having professionals dry-clean is the method of the dry solvent.
  • SW: Solvent or wet cleaning. It is a combination of the two methods mentioned above. You can utilize vinegar, dry solvent, and water.
  • X: It requires professional cleaning or only vacuuming.

Step 2: Prepare Necessary Tool For Your Couch Cleaning

Don’t worry too much about the tool you need to prepare in advance. Almost all of the tools are already available at your home!

The most important tool is a vacuum cleaner. It helps get all the deep-seated dirt and dust out of the cushions. Additionally, an upholstery brush attachment and baking soda are necessary for your couch made of fabric.

As for the leather upholstery, you would need liquid neutral soap, typically, saddle soap or Castille, with warm water (one cup) and a clean rag on hand as well. Besides, an enzyme cleaner may be necessary to remove the lingering odor on the surface of leather. Don’t forget to prepare a spray bottle as well.

Step 3: Vacuum 

Image by Misch

Remove the cushions from the sofa and set them aside. Use a hand vacuum or your vacuum cleaner’s brush attachment to remove the loose dirt from the base, armrests, and headrest of the couch. Vacuum both sides of the seat cushions before setting them back into place.

Be sure to pay attention to the crevices where pet hair, food crumbs, and dirt accumulate. If it is hard for the vacuum to get all crevices perfectly, please use a lint roller. Spraying the cushion lightly with an air freshener like Febreze or Lysol is also effective if your couch is musty

Step 4: Remove Stain

In this step, let me share with you useful tips to remove stains. My tips given are based on the type of upholstery. With some recipes for home-made deodorizers, trust you can practice easily at home. 

Remove Stain From Fabric Upholstery

Test the care tag of your fabric upholstery to verify whether it is washable or not. If the care tag says W or SW, luckily, you just need to remove the couch cushion and toss it into the washing machine. 

If your cushion is non-washable, please vacuum the fabric upholstery to remove dust, hair, and other debris from the base, armrests, and headrest of the couch. Then, sprinkle baking soda on the upholstered areas of the couch and the cushions as well. Ensure that you allow the baking soda to stay on the couch for at least 15 minutes or overnight as for severe odor. 

The baking soda will absorb the musty smell on the cushion and fabrics. After all,  vacuum the second time to remove baking soda residue. 

A small tip for you to do is applying a small amount of baking soda on a partial fabric upholstery to check how it works before putting any on the whole cushion. 

Remove Stain From Leather Upholstery

Deodorizing a leather couch is easier and takes less time than fabric upholstery. As soon as your couch gets dirty, using a regular rag to wipe away the filth is more than enough. The quicker you wipe the spilled mess up, the cleaner the couch is. 

After that, use the leather friendly soap with warm water to wipe down the area with the heaviest smell. You can also use the home-made leather couch deodorizer with the material and recipes recommended as below:

  • 1 cup olive oil (59 ml)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar (120 ml)
  • Orange essential oil
  • Spray bottle
  • Microfiber cloth

The combination of white vinegar and olive oil removes odor from leather while some drops of orange essential oil to freshen up the scent. Before spraying this mixture into a dirty area, please make sure that all ingredients are mixed and shaken well in a spray bottle. 

You should hold the spray bottle about 1 foot (30 cm) away from the couch as you spray. By doing that, the couch is not absorbed with a large amount of liquid. To have the vinegar smell evaporate easily, please open the window and turn on the fan. After all, use another soft dry rag to clean away the residue.

Remove Stain From Synthetic Upholstery

Removing stain from synthetic upholstery is quite similar to the way you clean the leather upholstery. You still need to prepare the home-made cleaner with the recipe including: 

  • 1 cup of warm water (240ml)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar (120ml)
  • Lavender essential oil 
  • Dish soap
  • Paper towels
  • Spray bottle

Then,  stay one foot away from the sofa and spray the cleaner across the entire area. Then, use a paper towel to wipe up any excess moisture.

Step 5: Remove Odor

Over time, your couch is getting smelly due to absorbing body sweat, cooking fumes, pet odor, etc. Despite light or touch smell, you should remove odor as soon as you can. Here, I’m showing you two methods to remove odor from a couch, which is easily applied at home.

Method 1: Use White Vinegar and Baking Soda

Let’s start removing the cushion from the couch and vacuuming thoroughly to remove any dander, hair. Please still pay attention to cracks, where much loose hair and debris are usually hidden. 

If the cushion is washable, let’s use cool water with bleach-free detergent and add 1 cup of white vinegar to remove any unpleasant smells. After washing it for the first time, it still gets a musty smell or urine of pet odor. You should wash it again. The second wash should use an enzymatic cleaner under manufacturer’s instructions. 

You will then dry the couch by fan or air-drying method. While waiting for the couch to dry, you will prepare the cleaning solution. Pour equal parts of water and white vinegar into a spray bottle then mist the couch. Use the fan to speed up drying the couch and smell vinegar. 

Wait until the vinegar completely dries before sprinkling baking soda on the couch and uncovered cushion.  Place a few droplets of essential oil into the baking soda overnight. Then, once the powder has had time to work its magic in the morning, you simply vacuum up the residue. The cushion and couch are ready to use again!

Method 2: Use Coffee Ground 

After eliminating the odor in a few months, the unpleasant smell could come back. At this time, you should use unused coffee grounds to neutralize odors. The coffee grounds’ effectiveness is further better than baking soda as it has a strong smell. 

Sprinkle the coffee grounds and leave it in 24 hours before vacuuming the couch. Let tuck coffee ground-filled sachets under and behind loose cushions and in all crevices. Once you vacuum the couch on a regular basis, don’t damage the stuffing.

Step 6: Dry The Couch

The final step is drying your couch. Let open the window to allow wind and sunlight to come through your room. You can also use a fan to speed up the drying process.

Tips And Tricks In Deodorizing A Couch

  • When spilling something on your couch, clean it up immediately to prevent stains from forming.
  • Always have the window open to have your couch dry quickly. 
  • If you cannot still get rid of the odor, you’d better try the dry-cleaning method. You can buy solvent for this purpose from a home repair store or online.
  • Don’t recommend dry-cleaning the couch in case you live with somebody else with respiratory issues.
  • Use some delightful parcels like dried flowers or herbs and stuck them under the sofa cushion like a trick for long-lasting freshness.

In Sum  

I’m pretty sure that once reading until here, you have got the basics of “How To Deodorize A Couch”. To make your couch look new again, please always make sure that you understand the material your couch is made of.

Then, always keep baking soda or white vinegar and some essential oils always available in the kitchen so that you can immediately deodorize a couch.

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