DIY Couch Cleaning: Revive Your Furniture with This Simple 3-Step Process

Karen Lawes

Written by: Karen Lawes Maguire

Karen is the founder and CEO of, a leading cleaning industry website. With 10+ years experience, she's an expert on new cleaning technologies, regulations, and best practices.

DIY 3 Step Couch Cleaning
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Is your sofa harboring foul odors that make your living room uncomfortable? Whether it's lingering pet smells, the lasting effects of cigarette smoke, food odors from kids' snacking, or just general mustiness - couch odors can really put a damper on your home's fresh, inviting vibe.

The good news is you don't have to resign yourself to living with a stinky couch or pay through the nose for professional upholstery cleaning services. With some inexpensive household items and a few simple steps, you can deodorize and refresh your couch yourself at home.

Andrea Jean, a cleaning influencer and busy mom of two, shares her go-to 3-step process for DIY couch cleaning that will eliminate odors, disinfect the fabric, and leave behind a fresh scent - no harsh chemicals or expensive services required.

"Furniture fabrics hold smells like nobody's business," Andrea says. "I like to keep things as nice as possible for as long as possible."

Step 1: Deodorize with Baking Soda

The first step is lightly misting the entire couch with a spray bottle of water until just dampened.

"I find that the baking soda sticks a little bit better to the fabric when it's dampened with the water first," Andrea advises.

Then generously sprinkle baking soda all over the couch, getting into every crevice. Use a clean rag or cleaning glove to work the baking soda into the fabric using circular motions. The baking soda will help absorb and neutralize foul odors trapped in the upholstery.

Let the baking soda sit for at least 30 minutes, though Andrea recommends leaving it for as long as your schedule allows up to a few hours.

"The longer you can let it sit the better," she says. "Baking soda is always working to eliminate and remove odors."

Once the baking soda has had ample time, go back over the couch with the vacuum to suction up all the powder residue. Any remaining trapped grime, dead skin cells or other contaminants in the fabric will be removed along with the baking soda.

Step 2: Disinfect and Deodorize with Rubbing Alcohol

After vacuuming up all the baking soda, the next crucial step is using a 70% rubbing alcohol solution to fully disinfect the couch fabric while assisting with any lingering odors.

Lightly mist the entire couch all over with the rubbing alcohol, ensuring you have windows open or a fan going for good ventilation in the room. The high alcohol content helps kill any germs, bacteria or viruses that may be lurking in the fabric.

"It also helps with smells, so it's kind of like double the action," Andrea notes.

Let the rubbing alcohol fully air dry and evaporate from the fabric. Because it is a very drying solution, it won't leave any dampness or residue behind.

Step 3: Freshen with Natural Essential Oils

For the finishing touch to your DIY couch revival, lightly mist the entire piece with a natural linen or room spray containing essential oils. Andrea is a fan of the Mrs. Meyers line of plant-based home fragrances like the Peony or Honeysuckle scents.

"I really love this Peony scent by Mrs. Meyers," she raves. "It's made with essential oils and without propellants, phthalates, parabens and artificial colors, so it makes me feel better if my kids are going to be around it."

These sprays contain natural oils that will leave behind a light, refreshing fragrance without any harsh chemical odors. Plus, if you have kids that may come into contact with the couch, you can feel better about using a plant-based product.

Follow up with this final spritzing and you'll be amazed at how fresh and welcoming your couch smells and feels.

"It's disinfected, the smell is gone, and now it smells nice and fresh," Andrea confirms.

Not only have you eliminated any offensive odors, but you've also fully sanitized and deodorized the fabric with affordable household items.

The next time off-putting couch stench has you holding your nose, skip the pricey professionals or caustic chemical cleaners. Andrea's simple, safe and budget-friendly 3-step process using baking soda, rubbing alcohol and essential oils will revive even the smelliest of sofas with just a few dollars worth of supplies.

With some elbow grease and about an hour of your time, you can transform your couch from a musty mess into a clean, inviting oasis again!

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