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Your couch is the centerpiece of your living room, where you relax, watch your favorite shows, entertain guests, and maybe sneak in a nap or two. But what happens when your couch takes on a smell that’s…less than inviting? Whether it’s pet odors, food spills, smoke, or just one of those musty scents that builds up over time, a smelly couch can be a real bummer. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to make your couch smell better, so you can enjoy a fresh and pleasant living space.

Assess the Situation

First things first—you need to identify the source of the odor. Is it pet-related? Is it a spill? Understanding the cause will help you choose the right approach to tackle the problem. Remove your cushions and inspect them for stains, indentions, and localized odors. If you find a precise source of the smell, cleaning will be much easier.

Spot Clean Stains

If you have visible stains, address them first. Use a fabric or leather cleaner depending on your couch’s material. The tags on your cushion covers should include cleaning instructions that will help you keep your upholstery in tip-top shape. Also make sure to carefully follow any instructions for your cleaning products.


Use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris from your couch. Pay special attention to the crevices and seams where odors can linger.

Deodorize with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a fantastic odor absorber—especially when it comes to pet odors. Sprinkle baking soda evenly over the entire couch’s surface. Let it sit for about an hour to absorb odors. After the baking soda has had time to work its magic, vacuum your couch once more to remove the baking soda and any lingering odors it has absorbed.

Use Vinegar for Stubborn Odors

For stubborn odors, vinegar might be able to do the trick. Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the affected areas of your couch, but be careful not to oversaturate the fabric. Vinegar’s odor will dissipate as it dries, taking the unwanted smells with it. Remember to test a small, out-of-sight area of your couch first to ensure that the vinegar solution doesn’t cause any discoloration or damage to the fabric.

Upgrade Your Couch

If you’ve tried everything and your couch still smells, it might be time to upgrade. Aaron’s has a HUGE selection of non-stinky couches from top brands like Ashley and Amalfi.