How to Deodorize a Sofa [6 Effective Methods]

As one of the biggest furniture staples of your living room, it’s not surprising that sofas see a lot of action. Sometimes, they can weather it well. Other times, they may end up getting stained, or worse, retaining the smells from all those meals you’ve eaten while sitting on them. Did you ever wonder how you can deodorize your sofa for good? We did a little research to find out what the top methods are.

You can use several methods to deodorize a sofa, each of which has its own perks. The most common methods include:

  1. Using Baking Soda
  2. Using Vinegar
  3. Spraying The Sofa With Febreze
  4. Coffee Grounds
  5. Using Ozium
  6. Using Leather Cleaner

Each method has its own benefits, and some are primarily geared towards one type of furniture material or another. If you want to make your sofa smell great, you need to know which one will work best. 

virus disinfection. Furniture cleaning. A hand in a medical glove holds a bottle with a disinfectant. Spray. A jet of liquid is sprayed from the bottle. - How to Deodorize a Sofa [6 Effective Methods]

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Which Deodorizing Method Should You Use For A Sofa?

Trying to deodorize a couch can be a little daunting, especially if you don’t know what to use or whether the method in question will work with your furniture. To make your time easier, we’re going to break down the methods via the most common questions people have about each. 

How Do You Use Baking Soda To Deodorize A Couch?

Baking soda can be used to deodorize both fabric and leather sofas. In fact, it’s a universal deodorizer, so if you are not sure what to use, try this method. Using baking soda as a deodorizer is simple. All you have to do is sprinkle it on your sofa and work it into the material. Wait a day or so, then use a vacuum to pull up the baking soda. 

The baking soda will absorb odors from the sofa. Once you’ve vacuumed it up, you should expect to smell a major difference. It’s worth pointing out that many professional cleanup crews use baking soda for deodorization.

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Click here to get baking soda from Amazon.

How Do You Use Vinegar To Deodorize A Sofa?

How you use vinegar to deodorize a sofa depends on the material. If you have fabric, just use white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle to spray it down. White vinegar has a natural deodorizing effect, so any odorous chemicals in your fabric will get dissolved with the vinegar. With fabric, make sure that the material your sofa is made from can handle vinegar before using it.

If you have a leather sofa or a plastic sofa, you will need to take a cloth, dip it in vinegar, and just wipe down your couch. Let it dry. After that, you can follow up with some leather protector to help keep your leather moist.

Does Febreze Really Work?

Woman in gloves cleaning dirty stain on sofa at home

If you’re like many homeowners, you’re somewhat skeptical about the claims that Febreze makes. It has a “too good to be true” air about it, but don’t hate on this. Unlike many other remedies for deodorization, Febreze is scientifically proven to work. The way it works is simple, at least when it comes to concepts. 

Febreze does not make the molecules that cause the bad smell to disappear. Rather, they use specialty molecules that trap other molecules inside of them. Since the scent molecules cannot emit smells due to being trapped inside a larger shell, you won’t be able to smell the foul odors they make. 

Click here to grab some Febreze from Amazon.

Does Ozium Work On Sofas?

Close-up Of A Human's Hand Spraying Air Freshener In Living Room

Ozium has been a go-to cleaning agent for almost every smoker’s home. Like Febreze, this is an air sanitizer that is meant to trap or cover up foul smells. This is a powerful agent that works wonders on fabrics rather than leather. However, you need to be aware of something if you want to use Ozium. 

While it is a highly effective air freshener and odor eater, this is a product that has a notably strong smell. The smell does dissipate within a matter of minutes, but it still can be a lot to handle. If you have a sensitive sense of smell, keep this use to a minimum and open up a window when you use it.

Click here to get Ozium from Amazon.

Do Coffee Grounds Absorb Smells?

Coffee grounds are not exactly what most people would go for when they have a foul-smelling sofa, primarily because the grounds can stain materials like leather and fabric if sprinkled on the furniture itself. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use them. Coffee grounds contain high levels of nitrogen, which can absorb smells as they emit off the sofa. 

If you want to find a way to absorb smells from your couch, the best way to do it with coffee grounds is to have a small jar filled with unused coffee next to your couch. It won’t fully absorb the smells, but it’ll lightly deodorize everything around your couch. 

How Does Leather Cleaner Remove Odors From Your Sofa?

Bottle of air freshener on sofa in room, closeup

If you have a fabric sofa, skip this option. If you have leather, this is a good choice to consider. In fact, you might even want to make this your go-to. Leather is one of those materials that rarely has odor molecules rest deep in the material. This means that the odor molecules tend to be there on a superficial level. 

The easiest way to get rid of odor from a leather sofa is to use a leather cleaning agent, followed by a conditioner. The cleaner will remove the smells, while the conditioner will create a protective coat that helps keep foul smells out of the deeper layers of your leather.

Click here to get a leather cleaner kit from Amazon.

Why Do Sofas Get Smelly?

It would be so nice to have a single reason as to why your sofa smells. However, the fact is that couches and sofas naturally seem to attract or trap odors. Sometimes, it’s just a slight musty smell from regular wear and tear. Other times, there can be a more traceable event that made your couch smell funky. Some of the more common reasons  include:

  • Someone with foul body odor slept on your couch. This could be a person who just didn’t bathe, a pet with a particular stench, or just someone who was sprayed by a skunk.
  • You had food that was particularly pungent near your sofa, such as curry or stir fry.
  • Your home had a flood, and the odor that you’re sensing is actually mold or mildew. 

Keep all of your living room furniture clean and fresh; check out “How To Clean An Ottoman Or Pouf [Cleaning Method By Fabric Type].”

Is Professional Couch Cleaning Worth It?

If you’re seriously struggling with a couch that won’t stop stinking, then you may want to call up a professional crew to deodorize it. Professional couch cleaning will often remove odors and stains that you wouldn’t be able to on your own. For the most part, using baking soda or another home remedy will easily get odors under control. 

There is some light evidence that regular professional sofa cleanings can help extend the lifespan of your couch. This is especially true if you have a white couch in your living room since white fabrics are more prone to permanent staining. Professional cleaning is highly advised (or even required) for antiques, sofas made with silk, or sofas that have highly unusual materials. 

How Can You Prevent Your Sofa From Retaining Odors?

Young woman cleaning sofa with duster, closeup

Let’s just be honest. Even though it’s usually easy enough to remove odors, an ounce of prevention acts far better than a pound of cure. If you want to avoid a dreaded stinky sofa, then it’s best to keep the following things in mind:

  • Do not let smelly people or animals sleep or sit on your couch. Yes, this might make you a less-than-stellar host at times, but it’s a good way to avoid shelling out money for professional cleaning. 
  • Don’t eat or drink on your couch. Food odors are one of the leading causes of a foul-smelling couch. 
  • Vacuum your couch regularly. This doesn’t just get rid of hairs and crumbs. It also helps remove odor particles. 
  • Add odor-absorbing items in the fold of your couch from time to time. Charcoal packets, for example, can do a lot to keep odors at bay.

Click here to get activated charcoal bags from Amazon.


Sofas experience a lot of use throughout their lifespans, so it’s not surprising that most will eventually need a deodorizing session. Whether it’s due to a smelly guest, a dog that loves to roll around in mud then lay on the couch, or something else doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you have a ton of options when it comes to cleaning. 

Leather sofas tend to do well with baking soda, leather cleaner, or even a quick Febreze spray. Fabrics work well with Ozium, baking soda, and vinegar too. Of course, the best way to avoid a smelly couch is to prevent it altogether. So, keep up your cleaning and enjoy life with a slightly less odiferous room. You’ll be glad you did.

A man sanitizing a sofa using a small sprayer, How to Deodorize a Sofa [6 Effective Methods]

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