A lavender color couch in a modern and clean living room

How to Get Smells Out of a Couch

We’ve all been there: You’re exhausted from a long day at work or taking care of family, and all you’ve been looking forward to is relaxing on the couch, watching your favorite show, and unwinding. But then you smell the one thing that could seriously derail your evening plans: musty couch smell!

With multiple people (and pets) sitting, eating, and drinking, it’s easy for odors to get trapped in couch fibers over time. The good news is, there are easy ways to deodorize a sofa and get rid of the smell in a couch without devoting an evening or a Saturday to cleaning.

4 Natural Ways to Get Smells Out of a Couch

  1. White Vinegar
  2. Baking Soda
  3. Activated Charcoal
  4. Fresh Wave Odor-Removing Spray

First, Inspect Your Cushions

Before you begin spraying or washing, do some detective work to find exactly where the smell is coming from. Check for stains or evidence of any spills. If you don’t find a stain or a recent spill, look for depression points in cushions where people and animals have repeatedly sat. 

You may not be able to point to a single source for the bad smell, but if it looks like cushions need a refresh, this inspection will give you an effective place to start.

Next, Vacuum

Once you’ve found the problem area, it’s time to vacuum the couch thoroughly. Start by removing all of the cushions, cushion covers, and pillows. Vacuum couch crevices, as well as underneath and behind it to start with a clean slate. This prep work is a crucial step in getting the smell out of a couch and not unlike the first steps in keeping a duvet smelling fresh.

Duvets and couch cushions are two things in the home that can make a big impact when cleaned properly and regularly, but because they require a little extra care, we have a tendency to let them go for too long. Make sure to check the material of your cushions before you introduce any cleaning solutions and always handle with care when cleaning. Before misting Fresh Wave across your whole couch, do a quick spot check by spraying a hidden area to ensure it does not damage fabric. 

4 Natural Ways to Get Smells Out of a Couch

White Vinegar 

Did you know that white vinegar contains antibacterial properties? White distilled vinegar contains 5% acetic acid which is an organic compound that is highly effective at fighting dirt and grime on surfaces and effective against some pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella. This ability to fight pathogens and clean dirt makes white vinegar a great staple in any home.

To use white vinegar to deodorize a couch, pour white vinegar into a spray bottle and get to work on cushions and armrests! If you’re concerned about the vinegar altering the upholstery, spray a small amount of white vinegar on your couch in a discrete location and wait overnight. 

When you spray the white vinegar solution, be sure to hold the bottle several inches away from the fabric so a light mist comes into contact with the fibers. Holding the bottle too close will result in a wet spot and an intense vinegar smell

Baking Soda

Like vinegar, baking soda is another common household item with multi-uses like getting rid of boot odor and cleaning grime. To get rid of smell in couch, sprinkle baking soda generously on cushions, in crevices, and especially on areas with a stain. Give the baking soda some time to work –about an hour or so — then vacuum up the remains. 

If the odor persists, repeat vacuuming and sprinkling baking soda onto the cushions, pillows, even the rug underneath to deodorize the couch and fight stubborn smells that may be lingering around the area. Volatile molecules producing odor will adhere to the crystal-like structures of the baking soda causing them to neutralize, removing smell from your favorite lounging spot.

Activated Charcoal

While charcoal is a little trickier to work with than baking soda and white vinegar, it is also a highly effective odor-eliminator. The biggest thing to remember when using activated charcoal is to make sure it doesn’t come into direct contact with your couch cushions or pillows. It will stain. 

Nowadays, you can purchase sealed bags of activated charcoal to place in areas of your home (or car) that need deodorizing but to use activated charcoal to deodorize sofa cushions, gently remove cushions and pillows and place charcoal bags in the corners of your furniture to absorb any lingering odor.

While activated charcoal may be the most effective against smell in a concentrated area, many people prefer charcoal to baking soda because the freshness lasts longer. Charcoal is also incredibly effective at removing excess water from the air, making it a great solution in the fight against mildew odor.

Fresh Wave Odor-Removing Spray

Once you clean and deodorize sofa cushions and the area around the couch, you can supplement these efforts with odor absorbing spray specifically designed to eliminate, not cover up, foul odor. Using natural plant extracts and oils, Fresh Wave’s highly effective line of odor-eliminating products can help you craft the odor fighting solution that works best for you.

In the case of couch odor, turn to Fresh Wave Room Spray to deodorize sofa cushions, and tuck Fresh Wave Packs into blanket baskets or underneath cushions. Create ambiance on the coffee table with Fresh Wave Odor Removing Candles.

Combating common odor doesn’t have to eat into your relaxation time. Turn to Fresh Wave for the fast, effective solution you need to get rid of smell in the couch, laundry room, kitchen, or wherever your most persistent and stubborn household odors exist.