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brown leather

Everyone loves leather sofas! They are elegant, comfy and don’t go out of style. But leather can soak up strong smells, such as smoke, food odour, sweat, perfume, etc.

After receiving few emails from our customers asking for advice, we have decided to write this blog post. Here you have our 8 Quick and Easy ways to Remove Bad Smells from Leather!

Classic, elegant, comfy… And never smelly again!

1. Vinegar

Vinegar is highly acidic, which enables it to kill bacteria and also remove smells. Actually, vinegar is also used in many countries of the world even to scrub the floors, among many other uses.

To remove smells from your leather sofa, or any other leather product, just use a clean cloth to wipe the surface of the leather with vinegar. You can also use a spray bottle to spray the leather with the vinegar and then wipe it clean with a cloth.

vinegar Baking Soda is one of the ways to remove bad smells from leather
Use a spray bottle to spray the vinegar more evenly over the leather.

2. Baking soda

Baking soda, which is basically sodium bicarbonate, is good for neutralizing smells. It’s a natural odour eliminator and it works very well removing smells from leather sofas.

Just put the baking soda over the leather and let it sit overnight. In the morning, vacuum up the baking soda and the smell should be gone. Easy peasy!

Baking Soda is one of the ways to remove bad smells from leather
Baking soda is a a natural odour eliminator.

3. Professional products

Another quick and easy ways to remove bad smells from leather is to use professional cleaning products. Up next you have a general explanation of the most common and effective ones.

  • Leather Cleaner: it is able to dissolve any dirt and grime on the leather product, and safely remove it. Normally you just have to apply it over the leather and use a clean cloth to remove the dirt and the remains of the product.
  • Leather Conditioning: this product helps preserve the leather and strengthens it. Using this product will keep your leather sofa clean and prevent bacteria and bad odours.
  • Silica Gel: this basically moisture (e.g. sweat) so bacteria has nothing to feed on and consequently, will remove the lingering stink. Have in mind that silica gel is not recommend in houses with pets or kids as it contains added toxic chemicals.
Coffe and cupcakes in a leather sofa
Remove smells from food, sweat, smoke, etc., just using leather cleaner products and leather conditioning.

4. Dry the leather

If your slipcover is humid or someone has spilled liquids on it, place the leather in a spot in your home that gets indirect sun or use a blow-dryer on a low heat setting.

Removing humidity from the leather you’ll prevent it from bad odours. We recommend to also use a leather cleaner, vinegar or baking soda after drying the leather to remove the smells more effectively.

Leather sofa cover for a Kramfors Sofa by Comfort Works
Kramfors sofa with an Urbanskin Kramfors slipcover from Comfort Works – Picture sent by a customer

5. Fresh air

The most ancient method to remove bad smells is airing your sofa covers out. Choose somewhere outdoors that is sheltered from direct light and heat, such as a table on the porch. Leave the sofa cover for a day if possible. Fresh air will also help to remove the moisture of the leather.

Leather sofa under the sun
Important! Always avoid direct sunlight on your leather sofa.

6. Newspapers

Paper is more porous than leather, which makes it excellent at absorbing odours. If you have any smaller leather products, you can pack them up in newspapers or packing paper.

The fibers of the paper act as wicks that lift the odours from the leather, and are also an excellent way of preserving the untreated reverse surfaces of leather items.

We recommend to leave the leather packed inside the newspapers for at least 24 hours.

Old newspapers are one of the ways to remove bad smells from leather
Recycle your old newspapers and effectively remove bad smells from your leather sofa.

7. Professional cleaning

If after trying all this tips your sofa still has bad odours, you can try professional cleaning. This option is always the most expensive one and we only recommend it after trying all our initial tips and advice.

IKEA Soderhamn Sofa with a white leather slipcover from Comfort Works – Fabric name: Modena White

8. Extra Tip: New Slipcovers!

If you’ve managed to remove some of the smell, but not entirely, then perhaps you might want to look into some additional alternatives for your sofa?

A slipcover could help you mask the remaining smell, and to help you find the right leather slipcover for your sofa, check out our post on where to get leather slipcovers!

At Comfort Works we are specialists in manufacturing handmade slipcovers, so we’ll love to help you with that.

Remember that you can order swatches to check our fabrics before ordering your sofa cover. I’m sure you’ll love all our leather options!

Check them out by clicking on Fabric Samples here.

Leather Sofa Cover by Comfort Works
Karlstad Sofa with a leather slipcover from Comfort Works

If these tips have successfully helped you remove the smell off of your leather sofa, then you should check out our post on how to clean and maintain your couch super effectively.

If you’re thinking of a sofa makeover or considering upholstery but don’t want to break the bank by paying for it, you can check out our post that takes you through a step by step guide on how to reupholster a leather sofa.

Happy designing!