How to Deodorize a Smelly Couch After Moving

How to Deodorize a Smelly Couch After Moving

a clean couch in new a house

After moving furniture to a new home, most people just want to flop down on the couch and take a breather. Nothing ruins the moment more than finding out your couch now has a horrible odor coming from it. Here are some of the best ways to deodorize and get smells out of your couch.

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Quickest Ways to Deodorize a Couch

If you are trying to find a way to deodorize a couch after moving, you are most likely trying to find the quickest way to do it. There are multiple easy solutions, especially if the smell isn’t too bad.

Fresh Smelling Fabric Sprays

One of the easiest ways to deodorize a couch is to use a fresh-smelling fabric spray. The purpose of these sprays is to trap the odors and essentially mask them until they can later be cleaned. While this is not a lasting solution, it does make for a very effective quick fix when you just want to relax after your move.

Some well-known fresh-smelling fabric sprays include Febreze Fabric Spray and Bouquet Garni Fabric Perfume.

Anti-Bacterial Fabric Sprays

Another quick way to remove smells from a couch is using an anti-bacterial fabric spray. While similar to fresh-smelling fabric sprays, anti-bacterial sprays kill off the bacteria that are causing the odor and therefore neutralize the smell. These sprays are easy to use; you simply spray them onto your couch and they do the rest of the work for you!

Common anti-bacterial fabric sprays include Tide Antibacterial Fabric Spray and Clorox Fabric Sanitizer Spray.

Home Remedies for Deodorizing a Couch

After moving you may not want to spend extra money on a spray to help fight the odor coming from your couch. Household cleaning solutions can be very effective. Save yourself the hassle of running to the store and try out one of these home remedies for deodorizing a couch with simple ingredients you can find at home.  

Baking Soda Method

Baking soda has more uses than just cooking and baking. It is often used as a household cleaning product. Baking soda is very effective at lifting odors from fabric and then neutralizing them, making the fabric smell fresh once again.

Using baking soda to remove smells from your couch is very simple. You simply sprinkle a light dusting of baking soda on your couch and let it sit. While it only needs to sit for around 20 minutes, it is okay if it sits for a longer amount of time. After it has sat on the couch for a while, you simply vacuum up the excess baking soda and your couch should now smell fresh.

Vinegar and Water Solution

When it comes to how to deodorize your couch, another easy home remedy is using a vinegar and water solution. This solution is as simple as it sounds. You mix one part vinegar with one part water and then use a spray bottle to distribute it evenly onto your couch. While it will smell like vinegar at first, the vinegar will break down the bacteria and molecules that are causing the smell. Once the couch dries the smell of vinegar will go away, leaving you with an odorless couch.

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Deep Cleaning a Couch to Remove Odors

There are going to be cases when using a fabric spray or a home remedy simply won’t make the odor go away. In these cases, you are going to have to do a little deep cleaning to get your couch smelling better.

Step One: Removing the Cushions

The first step to deep cleaning a couch is to remove the cushions. Removing the cushions has many purposes. First, it will allow you access to the part of the couch where most of the hidden crumbs and germs are. Second, it will allow you to clean the full cushion, not just the top portion you normally see.

Some cushions have covers over them, and in those cases, you can simply throw the cushion covers in the wash. You can then clean any of the deep stains on the cushion pads with a little soap and water. For the cushions that don’t come apart, you can use soap and water to remove any stains and then leave them out to dry.

Step Two: Vacuuming Any Crumbs

The next step in how to deodorize your couch is to vacuum any stray crumbs hiding in your couch. Crumbs are one of the main sources of bad smells since they tend to mold if they aren’t cleaned up right away.

When you are vacuuming your couch, the best option is to use the hose attachment. This will allow you to better access the hard-to-reach spaces. It is important you get in all the cracks and places where crumbs may have fallen.

Step Three: Time to Deep Clean

When it is finally time to deep clean your couch there are some factors to take into consideration before deciding the best deep cleaning method. The biggest factor to check is what type of material your couch is made of. If the couch tag has a W on it then water-based cleaners are what you use, and if the tag has a S on it then you need to use a solvent-based cleaner.

Water-Based Cleaner

Water-based cleaners are very simple. You can mix lukewarm water with some dish soap. This mixture cleans the stains you see on your couch. Apply the solution to the couch, then use a towel or a bristled brush, and finally scrub the area until the stain is fully removed. This cleaning method will help you to get rid of the bad smell coming from your couch.

Solvent-Based Cleaner

Solvent cleaners often contain oxygenated, hydrocarbon, and halogenated cleaning solvents. This allows them to be very effective at penetrating the surface of a fabric but can make them too harsh for certain types of fabric.

With solvent-based cleaners, you are going to use the same method of cleaning as water-based cleaners. You simply put some of the solution on the stain and then scrub at it until the stain is gone.


When it comes to deodorizing your couch, there are a lot of different methods. The method that you choose is going to depend on the severity of the smell and the amount of time you have to clean your couch. No matter the situation, it is always worth it to clean your couch and get it back to smelling brand new. While cleaning your new home may not seem fun, it is always good to start fresh in your new space.

Jessica is a students at the University of Northern Iowa. She is majoring in English Education with a creative writing minor. In her free time she loves to read books of every genre, write short stories, and spend time with friends. In the future she hopes to share her love for reading and writing with her future students.