Cleaning a Couch With Baking Soda

Updated: Nov. 24, 2023

Use this handy hint if there’s a funky smell lurking in your couch: Sprinkle baking soda on the fabric and let it sit. Baking soda will help to release odors and break up some light stains in the fabric.

Upholstered furniture, like your sofa or couch, sees a lot more abuse than you might think. Whether it is rambunctious kids, food and beverage spills, or family pets sleeping there, your couch may begin to smell somewhat funky after a while.

You don’t need to call in a professional upholstery cleaning service or buy an upholstery spot cleaning machine to get rid of the odor or light stains on your couch. Try this simple hint instead. All you need is some baking soda, a soft bristled brush, and a handheld or upright vacuum with the proper attachment.

How to Clean a Couch with Baking Soda

  • If the cushions on the couch are removable, remove them and set them aside.
  • Use your hand-held vacuum cleaner or vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachment to remove any standing dirt or pet hair from the cushions as well as the cushion-less couch.
  • Spread a generous layer of baking soda evenly over the entire surface of the couch. As well as on both sides of each cushion.

pouring baking soda onto upholsteryFamily Handyman

  • Work the baking soda powder gently into the fabric with an upholstery cleaning brush, or any other clean, soft bristled brush. To avoid damaging the upholstery, do not use a stiff bristled brush or brush the upholstery against the fabric’s grain.
  • Allow the baking soda to rest and absorb odors for 20-minutes to an hour. Longer if the odor is abnormally strong.
  • Using your handheld vacuum or vacuum cleaner with its upholstery attachment, meticulously vacuum up all the baking soda powder from the entire surface of the couch and cushions. Then, replace the cushions back to their original positions.

vacuuming up baking soda from upholstery

That’s all there is to it! Not only will your couch look great, but it will smell great as well.

This method is effective for removing odors from most upholstered fabric furniture, such as sofas, armchairs, dining room sets, and even vehicle seats.

What Makes Baking Soda Such an Effective Cleaner?

Baking soda is a jack of all trades. Besides being one of the most effective tools for cleaning couches, upholstery, fabrics, and carpets. Baking soda can be used to clean bathroom tiles, absorb odors from footwear or litter boxes, polish silverware, and even act as an antacid.

The reason baking soda is so versatile is that it is a mild alkali. The non-toxic powder absorbs moisture and neutralizes the pH of odor-causing substances, mold or mildew, or stomach acidity.