Over time the sofa can smell bad due to accumulation of dirt, grease, feathers / hair, and food debris. The smell on the sofa can also kick in immediately if your child or pet wets the bed, or if you let your friend with smelly feet sleep there! Whatever the cause, removing odors from sofas is actually easy. First, though, check to see if your sofa can be cleaned with a water-based cleaner. If your sofa can't be cleaned with water, just use a vacuum cleaner and baking soda or other dry solvent to make it smell fresh again.
Part 1 of 2: Using Water-Based Deodorizing
Step 1. Find out the material of the sofa by checking the label
There are sofas made of cloth, microsuede, polyester, or leather, so they have to be cleaned differently. The label on the sofa usually includes a W, S, SW, or X code.
- W: wet/water cleaning only. You should only use water or vinegar as a cleaning solution.
- S: dry solvent cleaning only. Use a dry solvent such as baking soda or ask a professional to clean the sofa.
- SW: solvent and/or wet cleaning. You can use a dry solvent, or vinegar, or water.
- X: should only be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or professionally.
Step 2. Machine wash the removable upholstery
If the sofa cushions and cushions are upholstered in removable fabric, you're in luck! As long as the care label on the sofa includes a W or SW code, you can put smelly upholstery in the washing machine right away.
If the sofa cushions are not covered with a removable cloth, use a handheld vacuum cleaner or a regular vacuum brush extension to clean them
Step 3. Clean the stains with steam
Check the sofa care label to make sure you can steam clean it. If the label says that you can use water to wash the sofa, it means that steam is also safe to use. Turn on the iron on the steam setting then aim it at the stained area.
Steam can dissolve a lot of stubborn dirt and make the sofa look clean
Step 4. Mix the deodorizer with white vinegar
You don't have to go to the convenience store and buy expensive deodorizers. You can make your own deodorizer at home from inexpensive ingredients, and it will be just as effective! Check the care label on the sofa if you're not sure what type of material it is. You'll need to make slightly different deodorizers, depending on the specific type of upholstery your sofa has. However, to make a general deodorizer, mix the ingredients in a spray bottle, and make sure to use plain white vinegar instead of white wine vinegar.
- For an upholstered sofa, mix 120 ml of white vinegar, 120 ml of rubbing alcohol and 250 ml of water.
- For a leather sofa, mix 60 ml of white vinegar and 120 ml of olive oil in a spray bottle.
- For a sofa upholstered in synthetic material, mix 120 ml of white vinegar, 250 ml of warm water and a little dish soap in a spray bottle.
- To the whole deodorizing mixture, you can add a few drops of lavender essential oil or lemon juice to make it smell fresher. Shake the bottle until the ingredients are well blended and you can spray it directly on the sofa.
Step 5. Open the window of the room and turn on the fan
The materials you use to spray your sofa are not at all toxic, but the smell can be a little annoying if used in an enclosed space. To make this activity more enjoyable, open the windows of the room and turn on the fan.
If you can, clean the sofa on a sunny day. So, you can open the window and the sofa can dry faster
Step 6. Spray a small amount of deodorizing onto the sofa
Leave about 30 cm between the sofa and the spray bottle. That way, you won't get the sofa too wet. You just need to spray a little deodorizer. If there is an area that smells very bad, focus on that area. However, if you cannot detect the source of the odor, spray the entire surface of the sofa.
The vinegar may have an odor, but after a few hours, this smell should go away
Step 7. Use a clean cloth to dry the sofa
Use a soft, dry, and absorbent cloth. By pressing the cloth gently, remove any remaining liquid that has not been absorbed or evaporated. If your sofa is made of leather, you may want to wipe the surface with a cloth, as this material is more water resistant.
If your sofa is made of fabric or velvet, you should not wipe the rag, but simply press it on a wet area to prevent damage to the upholstery
Step 8. Dry the sofa in the sun or a fan
You certainly don't want your sofa to grow moldy because it's damp. Therefore, make sure your sofa is perfectly dry. During the dry season and sunny weather, simply let the sun's rays in through the windows of the room to help dry the sofa quickly. Meanwhile, on rainy and cloudy days, point the fan at the sofa for a few hours to speed it up.
If you've tried all of these techniques, but your couch still smells bad, consider contacting a professional sofa cleaning service
Part 2 of 2: Removing Odors without Water
Step 1. Pat a paper towel to remove any spills and stains from the sofa
If something very smelly spills onto the surface of the sofa, for example, pet wetness or blood, the first thing you should do is remove it as soon as possible with a clean cloth. This will reduce the time the material is absorbed into the sofa.
Pick up any spilled smelly material by pressing or patting, not rubbing. That way, the material will not go further into the sofa
Step 2. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the sofa cushions and cushions
If the upholstery of the sofa cushion is not removable, or if it cannot be exposed to water, simply use the brush extension on the vacuum cleaner to clean it. You can also use a handheld vacuum cleaner to do the same. This is also a way to clean the sofa body. Be sure to clean both sides of the sofa cushions!
If the sofa cushions cannot be removed, simply use a vacuum cleaner to clean the entire sofa
Step 3. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the sofa body
You can use a handheld vacuum cleaner or a regular vacuum cleaner brush extension to do this step. Make sure to also clean the crevices on the sofa because this is where the hair, debris and dirt builds up.
Use a dusting roller to remove any remaining pet hair
Step 4. Sprinkle baking soda on the stain to remove the smell
Pour a small amount of baking soda into the palm of your hand and then sprinkle it on the stained area. Baking soda has a dual function, that is, it dissolves annoying stains and eliminates bad odors.
Let the baking soda sit on the stain for at least 1 hour then remove it with a vacuum cleaner
Step 5. Wipe the non-upholstered part of the sofa with a damp cloth
Although the upholstery of the sofa should not be cleaned with water, you can still clean the parts of the sofa that are not covered with water. Mix warm water and dish soap. Wet a clean cloth with the solution and then use it to wipe the sofa legs or other metal parts and not upholstered in the sofa.
Use a dry, clean, absorbent cloth to dry the area you are cleaning with water
Step 6. Purchase a dry cleaning solvent and use it to clean the sofa
If you've tried all of the techniques above, but the sofa still smells, it's a good idea to use the dry cleaning technique. You can buy dry cleaning solvent from a hardware store or online. Open the windows of the room and turn on the fan to allow air to flow more smoothly. Pour the dry cleaning solvent onto a clean towel and then rub it into the upholstery of the sofa.
- Use a soft-bristled brush to push the cleaning agent deeper and clean particularly dirty areas of the sofa.
- Do not use this technique if you have an infant or other person at home with impaired lung function.