How to Clean a Smelly Couch: 6 Steps to Achieve Fresh, Odor-free Comfort

Your couch smells. It’s a common problem. Couches catch odors from cooking, pets, and daily use. Our guide outlines 6 steps to make your couch smell fresh again.

Read on for odor-free comfort.

Key Takeaways

Check your couch’s care tag before cleaning to use the right method, like vacuuming or choosing water-based cleaners versus solvents.

Use baking soda and a vacuum for a basic clean, or steam cleaning for deep odor removal from your couch.

Quick action on stains with homemade solutions of dish soap or vinegar can prevent lasting damage.

Regular vacuuming, using deodorizers like baking soda spray, and washing cushion covers keep your couch smelling fresh.

Tackling spills fast and incorporating routine upkeep practices help avoid future smells.

Preparing Your Couch for Cleaning

How to Clean a Smelly Couch 2

Before cleaning, check your couch’s care tag. Next, grab a vacuum cleaner to suck up dirt and allergens from the surfaces and under the couch cover.

Consult Care Labels Before Cleaning

Check the care labels on your couch before you start cleaning. They tell you how to clean it safely. Labels have codes: W means use water-based cleaners, S is for solvents only, S/W allows both types, and X means don’t use any cleaners.

YouTube player

Knowing this keeps your couch safe from damage.

Vacuum the couch first to get rid of dirt and dust. Then, look at the label for cleaning instructions.

Couch materials need different care. Some can be wet cleaned; others need dry methods. Always follow what the label says to avoid shrinking or color loss. This step ensures that your efforts improve the couch’s smell without harming it.

Vacuum to Remove Surface Dirt and Allergens

Grab your vacuum. It’s the first step to tackle that smelly couch. Couches catch a lot of dust, crumbs, and pet hair. Not to mention, allergens that you can’t even see. A good vacuum goes over every inch–cushions, crevices, and under pillows gets rid of these unwanted guests.

Make sure to use attachments for tight spots.

Next move? Focus on those cushions and pillows. They trap odors from snacks during game night or pet urine accidents. Vacuuming them pulls out particles causing bad smells. This makes your place ready for friends any time without worry about odors jumping out.

It’s not just about cleaning; it’s ensuring comfort meets freshness in your apartment or bachelor pad.

Addressing Stains and Spills

How to Clean a Smelly Couch 3

Dealing with stains and spills fast keeps your couch looking good. Use dish soap, white vinegar, or baking soda for quick fixes—easy ways to tackle messes without a headache.

Act Quickly on New Stains

Spills happen, but quick action can save your couch. Grab a paper towel and blot up the spill right away. This stops the liquid from sinking deep into your couch. Use a dabbing motion—not rubbing—to keep the mess from spreading wider.

YouTube player

For tougher stains, mix dish soap with water. Apply this solution gently to the spot. Again, dab, don’t rub. I’ve seen this method lift various spills without leaving behind any scent or mark on microfiber or bachelor pad essentials like slipcovers and cushions.

Apply Homemade Solutions for Spot Cleaning

For spot cleaning, make your own cleaner with things you already have. Mix 1 cup of warm water, a dash of dish soap, and a few drops of lavender essential oil or lemon juice in a spray container.

This mix works well on spots for couches labeled W or S/W. Spray it lightly on the stain and then dab gently with a clean cloth until the stain lifts.

Always test homemade cleaners on a small, hidden area first to check for colorfastness.

Using this method ensures you’re not using harsh chemicals that could harm your couch’s fabric. Plus, it’s cost-effective and safe for most materials. Always use soft cloths to avoid damaging the upholstery while dabbing at stains.

Comprehensive Cleaning Techniques

How to Clean a Smelly Couch 4

To tackle deep smells, sprinkle baking soda all over the couch. Let it sit, then vacuum off for a fresh scent. For tougher jobs, using a steam cleaner can get into the fabric to clean and deodorize deeply.

Utilize Baking Soda to Neutralize Odors

Sprinkle baking soda directly on the couch to beat bad smells. Cover every inch for best results. Let it sit overnight—about 12 hours. Next day, grab your vacuum and clean it all up.

This gets rid of the stink fast.

YouTube player

For spots that smell worse, do a spot treatment with more baking soda. Let those areas soak in it for at least 15 minutes before you vacuum. This simple trick keeps your couch smelling fresh without much work.

Employ Steam Cleaning for a Deep Clean

After tossing baking soda on your couch to tackle odors, it’s time for steam cleaning. This method gets deep into the fabric, pulling out stubborn smells and spots. You will need a steam cleaner or a portable rug steam machine for this job.

They are amazing at removing deep-seated dirt and unwanted odors.

For best results, follow the detailed instructions that come with your device carefully. Always allow your couch to air out completely after using a steam cleaner. This ensures no moisture is left behind, which could lead to more smells or damage over time.

Using a steam cleaner not only removes odors but also kills most germs and dust mites hidden in your upholstery.

Maintenance Tips for Couch Upholstery

How to Clean a Smelly Couch 5

Keeping your couch looking fresh is easier than you think. A quick brush can shake free dirt, and tossing cushion covers in the washing machine keeps things clean.

Use a Dry Brush to Dislodge Soil

Grab a brush and get to work on your couch. A simple brushing sweeps away dirt, dust, and crumbs stuck in the fabric. Aim for every nook and cranny where soil loves to hide. This method ensures nothing is left behind.

After brushing, take your vacuum or a lint roller over the couch. This picks up anything the brush missed, like pet hair. It’s an easy step that makes a big difference in how clean your couch looks and smells.

Machine Wash Removable Cushion Covers

After brushing off the soil, focus on cushion covers. Check their labels to see if they are machine washable. For those that are, take them off and toss them in your washing machine.

Mix vinegar with a mild detergent for effective cleaning. This mix works well on materials like cotton blend, linen, or foam cushions. It’s simple yet powerful.

Make sure to use a gentle cycle and cool water to avoid shrinking or damaging the fabric. Once washed, you can air dry them or put them in your dryer on a low setting. Use dryer sheets to add freshness and reduce static cling.

This method not only cleans but also deodorizes your cushions, leaving your couch smelling fresh.

Strategies to Prevent Couch Odors

How to Clean a Smelly Couch 6

Keeping your couch smelling fresh is all about routine care. Vacuum regularly, use odor neutralizers like baking soda, and don’t let spills sit—tackle them fast.

Implement Routine Cleaning Practices

To keep your couch smelling fresh, make cleaning a regular task. Start by using your vacuum to suck up crumbs, dirt, and pet hair at least once a week. This helps prevent buildup that can lead to bad smells.

Don’t forget to use the vacuum’s attachments to reach deep into crevices where debris hides.

For an extra clean, sprinkle baking soda on the upholstery once a month. Let it sit for 20 minutes before you vacuum it off. Baking soda absorbs odors, leaving your couch smelling nice.

Also, if your couch has removable cushion covers, throw them in the washing machine every two months or as needed. Choose the gentle cycle and air dry them to avoid shrinkage and damage.

By sticking to these simple steps regularly, you’ll find that keeping your couch odor-free doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming.

Incorporate Deodorizers in Regular Care

Keep your couch smelling fresh; include deodorizers in your regular upkeep. Spray fabric with a mix of water, baking soda, and essential oils. This homemade spray fights odors fast and keeps the couch fresh longer.

Also, for instant freshness, lightly use fabric-sanitizing sprays after each clean. These steps ensure your sitting area stays welcoming.

Make these deodorizers part of every cleaning session to stop smells before they start. Vacuuming pulls out hidden dirt that can cause bad smells. After vacuuming, applying your homemade or store-bought deodorizer will reinforce cleanliness and scent maintenance on the upholstery—a sure way to keep everything odor-free between deep cleans.

FAQs About How to Clean a Smelly Couch

Can I dry clean my smelly couch at home?

Yes, you can use a vacuum to remove dust and debris first. Then, apply a dry-cleaning solvent specifically designed for upholstery. Always test it on a small area first.

How do I eliminate odors from my couch without washing it?

Vacuums work well to pull out hidden crumbs and pet hair. After vacuuming, sprinkle baking soda over the couch, let it sit for an hour or two, then vacuum again thoroughly.

Will regular vacuuming prevent my couch from smelling bad?

Absolutely! Regularly using vacuums helps remove the particles that contribute to odors before they settle deep into your couch’s fabric.

What’s the best way to keep my couch smelling fresh all the time?

Incorporate deodorizers in your cleaning routine after you vacuum. These products are great for maintaining a fresh smell between deeper cleans.



Home Decor

Photo of author


Rasha writes about family, parenting, and home décor for Unfinished Man. Drawing from her experiences raising her own kids, she provides tips on creating warm, welcoming spaces. Rasha also shares home staging expertise to help transform houses into magazine-worthy dream homes.

Leave a Comment