Jump to navigation links Jump to main content Jump to footer links
4 Ways to Make Your Couch Smell Better

4 Ways to Make Your Couch Smell Better

Food, pet, and suspicious odors can settle into your upholstery and leave you feeling like your space is less than clean. From movie nights and watch parties to post-little league gatherings, all of these events can do a number on your sofa. Not only can you experience sagging couch cushions, but all of this activity could transform your furniture into the perfect breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria.

Rather than tackle unwelcome scents with plug-ins, air fresheners, and other products that only mask bad smells and do nothing to eliminate them, try using natural household items instead. Learn how to make your couch smell better with these deodorizing tips.

Check Your Couch’s Care Tag

Before learning how to get smells out of a couch, check the fabric tag. This label will provide you with the best possible information for cleaning and deodorizing your sofa. Here are a few of the most common cleaning codes:

  • W: Or water-based cleaners. With this code, you’ll want to look for water-based ingredients when cleaning your sofa.
  • S: Or solvents. Avoid water-based products and steam cleaning to prevent water rings and color loss. Instead, opt for dry solutions like baking soda and detergent.
  • S/W: A combination of S and W means that you may be able to use water-based cleaners and solvents on your sofa.
  • X: Avoid all cleaners. However, this material is safe to vacuum.

Baking Soda

(S) care tag sensitive
Baking soda is an excellent cleaning option when learning how to get odors out of a couch. This household staple can help to absorb foul smells and get rid of them for good. To get the stink out of your sofa, follow these steps:

You’ll need:

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A small box of baking soda
  1. Vacuum the front and back sides of the cushions, seating, backing, and any hard-to-reach crevices that may be trapping odor-producing items.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda until a thin layer covers the entire sofa.
  3. Leave the baking soda overnight or throughout the day while ensuring that pets and children aren’t tracking it throughout the house.
  4. Vacuum your sofa again until all traces of the baking soda are removed.

Steam Clean

(W) care tag sensitive
Steam cleaning is a fantastic treatment for elusive smells, as it can kill most odor-producing germs and bacteria lingering on your sofa. However, this cleaning method does involve heat which may not be safe for all fabrics. Before starting, refer to your manufacturer’s label, and try steam cleaning a small, hard-to-see area to test out this method.

You’ll need:

  • Upholstery steam cleaner
  • Vacuum
  • Brush
  1. Select a bright and sunny day to deodorize your sofa, as it’s best to open windows to air out the upholstery.
  2. Vacuum and brush your couch to remove any food particles, pet hair, and debris.
  3. Steam clean your sofa thoroughly.
  4. Let dry completely before allowing guests, pets, or children to sit on it.

Distilled White Vinegar

(SW) care tag sensitive
Distilled white vinegar, a natural deodorizer and an effective solution for removing bacteria, stains, and dirt, can successfully neutralize and eliminate stubborn smells. White vinegar is a non-toxic household staple that should be readily available at your nearest grocery store.

You’ll need:

  • A small container of baking soda
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Water
  • A spray bottle
  1. Before leaving home for the day or turning in for the night, evenly sprinkle baking soda over your sofa.
  2. When you arrive home from work or at the start of your day, use a vacuum cleaner to remove all traces of the solvent.
  3. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and douse your couch with the solution.
  4. Let the sofa dry completely. If used too soon, the wet areas of your sofa can trap more unwanted scents and dirt.

Don’t worry about the vinegar scent, as it’s never long-lasting. Since vinegar evaporates as it dries, the smell fades over time, leaving your furniture vinegar, pet, and musty odor-free. However, if you’re sensitive to the initial smell, try mixing citrus rinds (lemon, orange) or a few drops of essentials oil into the vinegar/water combo for a fresh boost of fragrance.

Deodorize the Room

(S, W, S/W, and X) care tag sensitive
If you’re unable to clean your sofa with solvents or water-based products, deodorizing the space around it may do the trick. Try deodorizing your couch indirectly with this technique:

You’ll need:

  • Small to medium-sized plastic containers (like Tupperware)
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Essential oil of your preference
  1. Fill the containers with white vinegar and a few drops of essential oil.
  2. Seal the container shut with a lid or saran wrap.
  3. Punch small holes into the lid or cover.
  4. Stow containers overnight in a cabinet, drawer, or on the coffee table, and let the solution work its magic!

Get Rid of Couch Stink with Rent-A-Center

If you’ve tried all of these tips and your sofa just won’t stop stinking, it may be time for a new one! With our no-credit options, budget-friendly prices, and flexible rent-to-own payment options, you can get rid of that stink once and for all. Shop online for brand-new sofas, or visit your nearest Rent-A-Center today!

About Us

The good things in life don’t have to be out of reach. Rent-A-Center is here to make the things you want and need accessible, and Front & Center is your resource for living well on a budget.

Each week, we’ll bring you tips and tricks for infusing simplicity, style—even a little fun—into every aspect of your life and home. From decorating advice to money-saving strategies to opportunities to share with others like you, we’ll give you ideas that inspire. Live well, friends. And send your submissions, suggestions and questions for the blog to blog@rentacenter.com. For all customer service inquiries, please contact our Solution Center team at 1-800-422-8186.