how to get smoke smell out of leather couch

How to Get Smoke Smell Out of Leather Couch

Leather couches are a stylish and comfortable addition to any living space, but their beauty and functionality can be compromised by lingering smoke smells.

Whether it is from cigarettes, a fire, or cooking mishaps, the odor of smoke can permeate leather and linger for an extended period of time. Removing the smell not only improves the air quality in your home but also prolongs the life of your leather furniture.

Fresh Gear machines can sanitize and deodorize pretty much anything. But, even though they’re bigger than a fridge, we realize that not everything can fit inside. And, even though there are many Sanitizing Centers across 10 countries, there may not be one near you.

So, we’ve gathered a collection of the most popular, non-FreshGear ways of sanitizing and deodorizing to help you out.

This comprehensive guide will provide you with a detailed understanding of the causes of smoke odor in leather furniture, the steps to remove it, alternative remedies, and prevention tips to keep the smell from returning.

By following these methods and advice, you can restore the fresh and clean smell of your leather couch and maintain its aesthetic appeal and longevity.

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Understanding the Causes of Smoke Odor in Leather Furniture

How smoke permeates leather

Leather is a porous material, which means it can easily absorb and trap odors such as smoke. When smoke comes into contact with leather, the particles can penetrate its surface, making it challenging to remove the smell entirely.

Common sources of smoke odor in furniture

The most common sources of smoke odor in leather furniture include:

  1. Cigarette or cigar smoke
  2. Smoke from wood-burning stoves or fireplaces
  3. Smoke from cooking mishaps, such as burnt food
  4. Smoke from nearby wildfires

Steps to Remove Smoke Smell from Leather Couch

A. Pre-cleaning Preparation


Before attempting to clean your leather couch, it is essential to ventilate the area. Open all windows and doors in the room to promote airflow and expedite the removal of smoke particles from the environment.


Vacuum your leather couch to remove any surface dirt, dust, and debris. Use a soft brush attachment to avoid scratching the leather. This step is crucial as it prevents dirt from spreading during the cleaning process.

B. Deep Cleaning the Leather

Choosing the right cleaning product

Select a mild, pH-balanced leather cleaner that is specifically designed for the type of leather on your couch. Read the product label carefully to ensure it is appropriate for your furniture.

Applying cleaning product to the leather

Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for applying the leather cleaner. Typically, you will dampen a soft, lint-free cloth with the cleaner and gently wipe the leather surface. Avoid saturating the leather, as this can cause damage.

Drying the leather

After cleaning, use a dry, lint-free cloth to remove any excess moisture from the leather surface. Allow the couch to air dry in a well-ventilated area. Do not use heat or direct sunlight to speed up the drying process, as this can damage the leather.

C. Treating the Smoke Smell

Using baking soda

Baking soda is a natural odor absorber and can help neutralize smoke smells. Lightly sprinkle baking soda on the leather couch and let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Vacuum the baking soda off the couch, ensuring you remove all residue.

Using vinegar

Mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly mist the leather surface, being careful not to saturate it. Allow the vinegar solution to air dry, and then wipe the couch with a dry cloth. The vinegar smell will dissipate as it dries, taking the smoke odor with it.

Using activated charcoal

Place a few bowls of activated charcoal around the leather couch and leave them for a few days. The activated charcoal will help absorb the smoke smell from the leather. Replace the charcoal as needed until the odor is gone.

Using commercial smoke odor removers

There are many commercial smoke odor removers available on the market, such as odor-absorbing sprays, gels, and foggers. Choose a product specifically designed for leather and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use. Ensure proper ventilation when using these products.

Alternative Remedies for Removing Smoke Smell from Leather Couch

Using a leather conditioner

After cleaning and deodorizing the leather couch, apply a leather conditioner to restore its natural oils and suppleness. This can also help mask any remaining smoke smell.

Using a leather scent product

Leather scent products are designed to restore the original smell of leather. Apply a leather scent spray or oil according to the manufacturer’s instructions, which can help to mask the smoke odor.

Using an ozone generator

An ozone generator can be an effective tool for removing smoke smell from leather couches. Ozone generators work by producing ozone, which reacts with and breaks down the smoke odor molecules. However, these machines should be used with caution as ozone can be harmful to humans and pets. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines carefully.

Using essential oils

Essential oils, such as lavender or eucalyptus, can help mask the smoke smell in your leather couch. Dilute a few drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle and lightly mist the leather surface. Be sure to test the essential oil mixture in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause discoloration or damage to the leather.

Prevention Tips for Keeping Smoke Smell Out of Leather Furniture

Avoiding smoking indoors

The most effective way to prevent smoke smell in your leather furniture is to avoid smoking indoors. Encourage smokers to smoke outside or designate a specific smoking area away from your leather couch.

Reducing smoke in the home

Take steps to reduce the amount of smoke in your home by using exhaust fans while cooking, maintaining wood-burning stoves and fireplaces, and using air purifiers to help remove smoke particles from the air.

Regularly cleaning leather furniture

Clean your leather couch regularly with a leather cleaner to remove dirt, dust, and debris that can trap smoke odors. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper cleaning and maintenance.

Protecting leather furniture

Use furniture covers or throws to protect your leather couch from potential smoke damage. Remove the covers for cleaning and airing out regularly.

Recap of steps and tips

To remove the smoke smell from your leather couch, follow these steps:

  1. Ventilate the area
  2. Vacuum the couch
  3. Deep clean the leather with a mild, pH-balanced cleaner
  4. Treat the smoke smell with baking soda, vinegar, activated charcoal, or a commercial smoke odor remover
  5. Consider alternative remedies, such as leather conditioners, leather scents, ozone generators, or essential oils

To prevent smoke smell from returning:

  1. Avoid smoking indoors
  2. Reduce smoke in the home
  3. Clean your leather furniture regularly
  4. Protect your leather couch with covers or throws

Final thoughts on removing smoke smell from leather couch

Removing the smoke smell from your leather couch can be a challenging task, but with the right tools, techniques, and perseverance, it is possible to restore its fresh and clean smell.

By following the steps and tips outlined in this article, you can maintain the aesthetic appeal and longevity of your leather furniture while improving the air quality and overall comfort of your living space. Remember that consistency and proper maintenance are key to keeping your leather couch free from smoke odors.

Keep your home well-ventilated and prioritize regular cleaning to ensure your leather furniture remains a stylish and functional centerpiece for years to come.


Top FAQs related to Getting the Smoke Smell Out of a Leather Couch

Q: Can I use a steam cleaner to remove smoke smell from a leather couch?

A: It is not recommended to use a steam cleaner on a leather couch, as the high heat and moisture can damage the leather. Instead, use a mild, pH-balanced leather cleaner and follow the steps outlined in the article to remove smoke smell safely.

Q: How often should I clean and deodorize my leather couch to keep smoke odors at bay?

A: Regular cleaning and maintenance are key to keeping your leather couch free from smoke odors. Clean your leather couch with a leather cleaner once every three months, and treat it with odor-removing methods like baking soda or vinegar as needed, depending on the frequency of smoke exposure.

Q: Can I use a HEPA air purifier to help remove smoke particles from the room and reduce odors?

A: Yes, a HEPA air purifier can help remove smoke particles and other airborne contaminants from the room, reducing odors and improving air quality. Place the air purifier in the room with your leather couch and run it regularly, especially after any smoke exposure.

Q: Will sunlight help remove smoke odors from my leather couch?

A: While sunlight can help neutralize some odors, exposing your leather couch to direct sunlight can cause the leather to fade, crack, or become discolored. It is best to avoid using direct sunlight as a method for odor removal.

Q: Can I use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process after cleaning my leather couch?

A: Using a hairdryer or any heat source to speed up the drying process is not recommended, as it can damage the leather. Instead, allow your leather couch to air dry naturally in a well-ventilated area.

Q: Can I use lemon juice as an alternative to vinegar for removing smoke odors from my leather couch?

A: Lemon juice has acidic properties that can help neutralize some odors. However, it may cause discoloration or damage to the leather, especially if not diluted properly. It’s safer to use distilled white vinegar as outlined in the article.

Q: How can I test if a cleaning solution or method is safe for my leather couch?

A: Before applying any cleaning solution or method to your leather couch, test it on an inconspicuous area, such as the back or underside of the couch. Observe the leather for any adverse reactions, such as discoloration, damage, or fading, before proceeding with the treatment.

Q: Can I use fabric odor eliminators, like Febreze, on my leather couch?

A: Fabric odor eliminators like Febreze are not designed for use on leather and may cause damage or discoloration. Instead, follow the methods outlined in the article to safely remove smoke odor from your leather couch.

Q: Can I use a dehumidifier to help remove smoke odors from a leather couch?

A: A dehumidifier can help reduce moisture levels in the room, which may contribute to a fresher environment. However, it is not a direct method for removing smoke odors from the leather couch itself. Use the cleaning and deodorizing techniques outlined in the article for more effective odor removal.

Q: What if the smoke smell persists after trying the methods outlined in the article?

A: If the smoke smell persists after trying the methods outlined in the article, consider consulting a professional leather cleaning service. They may have specialized techniques and equipment to effectively remove stubborn smoke odors from your leather couch.

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