Various everyday scents can permeate a couch; some are familiar, while others might have you guessing. Regardless of who or what’s to blame, lift a negative odor from leather or cloth upholstery using a stink-fighting “weapon .”

Farewell, My Musty Friend

Get rid of a mildew or musty scent by misting the sofa with a spray-bottle mixture of 1 cup water plus one tablespoon white vinegar. Rub in the potion with a clean, white cloth; the vinegar should evaporate, but test the upholstery on an inconspicuous area like a lower-back corner or under a dust ruffle for any adverse effects like discoloration.

Goodbye Stinky

Go after body or pet odor on a plastic or vinyl couch with a clean cloth and a mixture of 1 part water to 1 part lemon juice. Lemon neutralizes odor and leaves a clean, fresh scent, but in addition, it has bleaching properties, so rinse it from leather or vinyl with a clean, moist cloth, and do not use it on fabric upholstery. Neutralize pet-urine odor by steam-cleaning fabric upholstery having an enzymatic steam-cleaner shampoo designed for pet odors. For food scents or any powerful stench in suede or fabric, sprinkle the couch with baking soda and wait an hour or so before vacuuming up the powder.

Smell Ya Later

If your cleaning efforts do not remove the stench, the issue may lie deeper — inside the cushion foam. For removable or zippered cushions, remove the foam. Put it out in a sunny location for a couple hours to allow the sun’s heat kill any odor-causing bacteria. Couch fabric typically is washable, but consent to the manufacturer’s washing instructions, which may recommend washing the covers on a warm-water setting. Insert 1/2 cup of borax into the wash cycle with your regular laundry detergent to raise freshening power. Hang the covers to dry to avoid shrinkage.Vacuum the foam; if a smell stays and the couch is well worth saving, replace the cushion. Seek the support of an upholsterer, or use the soiled materials as size guides or templates to produce something new.

And keep Out

After ridding odor from your sofa, do not get too comfy; scents creep back in over time. Wipe down a leather couch each week. Vacuum a fabric-covered couch weekly, and sprinkle it with baking soda before vacuuming once a month. Cover an often-used sofa with a blanket or slipcover that goes with your decor — particularly if a dog or cat considers it a pet bed. Remove the cover and toss it in the washing machine whenever it is needed.

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