If there’s any piece of furniture in the home that is constantly in use more than any others, then it would definitely have to be the couch. Our couches are pretty much the central point in our homes – we use them to lounge, to chat with our family members, to sleep on, and to binge watch our favorite TV shows and movies on big nights in. And for those with pets – we’re pretty sure your animal companion has already found a favorite spot on the couch for them to laze around on.
9 ways to neutralize couch smells after steam cleaning:
- Clean spills, crumbs and stains now
- Use baking soda
- Wait until your couch is dry
- Vacuum with a dry brush
- Follow your label instructions
- Give it some sun
- Make a Lemon based cleaning solution
- Use scented bags or activated charcoal
- Use Correct method for steam cleaning
1. Clean spills, crumbs and stains now
Let’s face it, we’ve all had our meals, snacked on popcorn , or had a glass of wine on the couch while watching TV or with friends in the living room. And it’s inevitable that crumbs, spills, and stains will occur on your couch in these situations.
It’s tempting to leave these things for later, saying “I’ll clean it tomorrow”, or “I’ll get it done on the weekend”. But the truth is, the earlier you clean any stains, crumbs, or spills on your couch, the less time these things get a chance to settle into the fabric of your couch, making it a lot harder for you to clean them completely when you finally decide to.
This goes the same for those with pets. Pet hair and dander causes odors that will stick on your couch if not cleaned regularly. Though your pet surely doesn’t mean it, it sure is nicer to have a couch that smells fragrant than one that continually smells of wet pet odors that never seems to go away!
2. Use baking soda
Sprinkle dry baking soda all over your couch if it starts to smell bad. The baking soda absorbs odors effectively after sitting for around 10-20 minutes – simply wipe it off with a cloth or dry vacuum the baking soda off your couch once it’s done its work.
By using a wet baking soda and water mix, you can also remove stubborn stains and urine stains on your couch. Simply create a saturated solution of equal parts water and baking soda to create this homemade cleaning solution for your couch.
3. Wait until your couch is dry
After cleaning and steam cleaning your couch, always wait for your couch to dry off completely before you use it again. Some areas of your couch may still be wet, and will eventually trap scents, dirt, and other unwanted things if you use it too soon after cleaning. This will cause odors to linger for longer.
4. Vacuum with a dry brush
When vacuuming your couch, use a dry brush together with the vacuum to really loosen any dirt and debris that is stuck in the couch fibers, like crumbs, dust, and pet hair. You can use this method on leather, microfiber, and fabric couches effectively.
Most home vacuums come with multiple brush attachments, but you can also remove debris with a separate brush if you have one handy. This gives you more control over removing all unwanted debris, so that the vacuum can easily suck the brushed debris away.
5. Follow your label instructions
Before you start cleaning your couch, it’s always a good idea to look at your couch’s instruction labels. These labels include instructions for proper care of your couch so that you don’t end up causing any damage to your couch fabric and upholstery.
As a basic rule, here are some cleaning codes that are found on most couches:
S: Only solvents like detergent or other chemical solvents can be used to clean your couch safely. Avoid water based cleaners and don’t use steam cleaners on this couch.
W: Water-based cleaners only. Avoid solvents, detergents, and any harsh chemical cleaners on your couch.
S/W: You can use both water and solvent based cleaners on your couch
X: Don’t use any kind of cleaners – only vacuum clean your couch
6. Give it some sun
Nothing beats the natural power of the sun at removing bad odors from your couch. The sun’s powerful UV rays will kill odor-causing bacteria that will leave it smelling fresh and natural.
Simply move your couch to an area of your living room that gets the most sunlight throughout the day, and leave it there for a few hours to get the most out of the sunlight.
7. Make a Lemon based cleaning solution
Lemons are well-known natural odor removers. Simply squeeze the juice of a whole lemon into a cup of hot water to create a chemical free citrus cleaning solution. Use cloth or a sponge dipped in this natural cleaner and wipe down the affected areas on your couch to get a fresh, odor-removing citrus smell on your upholstery.
8. Use scented bags or activated charcoal
Make your own potpourri bags by placing dried flowers and herbs into a small sachet, then placing them under sofa cushions or in little nooks of your sofa. This makes your couch smell great and natural.
You can do the same with activated charcoal in sachet bags – it is a natural effective deodorizer and absorbs any bad smells on your couch for long-lasting freshness.
9. Use Correct method for steam cleaning
When you steam clean your couch, there are some considerations to take note of. Follow your manufacturer’s label before you use the steam cleaner, as it uses high heat which may not be safe for all couches.
If your manufacturer’s label says it’s safe to use a steam cleaner, always remember to vacuum your couch completely before you steam clean, and then let it dry in fresh air before you use your couch again.
How do you neutralize a smelly couch?
With all this daily use, it’s pretty clear to see that our couches truly take a beating. This ultimately results in stains, crumbs, pet fur, and dander that lives on your couch. Not to mention the smelly odors that seem to linger in the air!
Couches must be cleaned regularly in order to neutralize any smelly odors. Plus, they must be cleaned according to the manufacturer’s recommendations otherwise you’ll risk causing damage to your couch.
How often should you steam clean a couch?
Steam cleaning should take place at least once a month if you and your family members use it every day. For lighter usage, try to steam clean once every 3 months just to refresh the couch fabric and keep it smelling fresh.
But more often than not, these smells become stronger in the air after you steam clean them. So here how to neutralize smells and before they get out of hand.
Photo altered by simplelifesaver.com | Photo attribution: Sidekix Media