Smelly couch? Where did that stink come from???

Why Smells Linger In Your House

It happens, you walk in your home and there is an odor, a smell that you can’t place where it’s coming from, so you spray air freshener and yet the smell still lingers. You make dinner and the scent of home cooked food masks whatever smell there was, until dinner is over – there it is again. It’s the end of the night and all you want to do is relax on the couch, watch some television or a movie, you sit down and  there it is – the couch has the odor. It is a musty or stale, food and pet infused smell. It’s time to clean the furniture. What’s lingering in the fibers of your couch may surprise you!

With pets, friends and family eating, drinking and lounging on the sofa, and after all these months of staying home because of social distancing,  it is easy for odors to get trapped in couch fibers. Have you ever wondered where that gas your friend had on your couch last week went? You really don’t want to know. Our sofas have definitively been beaten up, There is good news however, there are very easy ways to deodorize and clean a sofa and without spending an entire evening or an entire Saturday or Sunday cleaning it.

Removing the smell from a sofa or chair does not have to be a challenge.

An old chair or sofa in the family room or living room most likely will have some kind of spot or odor attached to it. This could be something as simple as soda, coffee or even spilled milk, if it is something more serious the possibility of mold growing inside the fabric is greater.  Mold spores can grow anywhere, even indoors, so they don’t really need much moisture for growth.

Here are some natural ways to remove smells out of the sofa and other upholstery.


If you see signs of dirt or pet hair, vacuum up as much debris as possible before beginning with other methods. This step helps remove potential sources of smells so they won’t interfere with your efforts later. Before vacuuming, you can also dry brush, which will help to remove crumbs, dust and any debris, dry brushing is one of the safest and easiest ways to clean your sofa. Be very careful with this method, because using the wrong stroke when vacuuming can turn a spot into a stain.

White Distilled Vinegar (Please call before using)

They said White Distilled Vinegar can be used in many ways around the house, but the most common use for white distilled vinegar is as a household cleaner. It works great when used as part of a regular routine to remove smells from upholstered furniture. All you need to do is mix 1 cup of white distilled vinegar with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle, then lightly spray on spots. It is also best to let the vinegar mix sit overnight and then vacuum the next day any remaining residue. Please, Please call me before using this method.  I don’t want to see your furniture being discolored. 

Baking Soda

Similar to vinegar, they say baking soda is another extremely common household item with a multitude of uses including removing odors and cleaning grime. To remove odors in the couch, sprinkle baking soda generously on cushions, in crevices, and especially on areas where there are spots. Wait a little while, about an hour and give the baking soda some time to work, then vacuum the area. You must be very careful with baking soda to not overseed your furniture.  This could lead to baking being trapped in your furniture because your vacuum is not strong enough to get it out. 

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 molecule producing odor will adhere to the crystal-like structures of baking soda and remove smell from a lounging spot. It so important to vacuum all of the baking soda up. If you have any questions, please give me a call. 

Please be very careful with Activated Charcoal 

Please use this method with extreme caution. Please give us a call if you have any questions. While charcoal can be a little trickier to work with than just baking soda and white vinegar, it is also a highly effective odor-eliminator. One 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. 

You can purchase sealed bags of activated charcoal to place in areas of your home 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 odors.

Unique Cleaning Method

At Unique, we have always believed in the proven method of agitating the fibers with a soft non-abrasive brush followed by a thorough triple clean water rinse and dry system. This is similar to the agitation that your washing machine performs and how you wash your hair etc. Using the correct agitation and proper clean water rinsing and drying, your furniture will last longer, smell better and be cleaner than ever before. 

Whichever way you decide to clean your sofa and upholstery, always wait until it is completely dry before sitting or using it again. One way of keeping your sofa smelling fresh is to periodically use a fabric sanitizing spray which can also kill lingering germs and bacteria. Please give us a call if you have questions on what spray to use. 

If you follow one or all these steps, you shouldn’t have any lingering sofa odors on your next at home movie night.

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