9 Ways to Get Dog Smell Out of a Couch

Updated: Jun. 05, 2024

If you're wondering how to get dog smell out of your couch, there are a number of things you can try, including DIY recipes and commercial cleaners.

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pouring baking soda onto upholsteryFamily Handyman

Absorb Odors with Baking Soda

Baking soda is an extremely effective natural odor remover, and you can use it to get lingering bad dog smell out of your sofa. Simply sprinkle baking soda over the fabric and let it sit overnight. In the morning, vacuum your couch thoroughly. The odors should be significantly lessened, if not gone completely. Find out how to keep your dog off the couch.

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Spray It with Fabric Freshener

If you realize your furniture has an unpleasant pet odor right before guests arrive, you can quickly freshen it up with a product like the Febreze Fabric Refresher Pet Odor Eliminator. This spray eliminates odors at the source, leaving behind a fresh, clean scent in a matter of minutes.

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Wash Pillows and Blankets

The foul smells might not actually be from the couch itself — it might be your pillows and blankets. Check the blanket tag to see if it is machine washable and remove pillow covers to throw into your next load of laundry. Washing these comfort items is a lot easier than cleaning the entire couch, and just might be the culprit of the dog odors.

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Invest in an Upholstery Cleaner

For tough odors, you may have to bring in heavy-duty reinforcements, such as the Bissell Multi-Purpose Portable Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner. This compact upholstery cleaner helps remove pet stains and odors from your furniture using its powerful spray and suction. Plus it’s light and easy to move around your home, helping to control pet odors no matter where they pop up.

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Vacuum Thoroughly

Sometimes your sofa might just need a thorough vacuuming to remove the pet hair and dander that’s causing it to smell. For best results you’ll need a vacuum with powerful suction, such as the Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal and its upholstery attachment, to pick up as much hair and dirt as possible. When you’re done you can also spray it with a fabric freshener for additional freshness.

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Try a Pet-Specific Odor Eliminator

Many pet owners struggle with unpleasant smells in their home. So it should come as no surprise that there are a wide range of odor-eliminating products available, including some formulated for use on furniture. Nature’s Miracle 3-in-1 Odor Destroyer is one popular odor eliminator that can be used on fabric and hard surfaces. It helps break down organic odors, not just cover them up.

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Steam Clean Your Furniture

Steam cleaners use hot steam to kill bacteria, which is often responsible for pet odors. The Dupray Neat Steam Cleaner delivers powerful steam up to 275 degrees F, killing off 99.9 percent of bacteria, viruses, pathogens and mold from furniture and other surfaces around your home. The best part? No harsh chemicals necessary.

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Cushions set outdoors
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Air Out the Cushions

Fresh air and sunshine are surprisingly effective at removing odors. On a nice day, take the cushions from your couch and place them outdoors in a sunny spot for several hours. The sun’s ultraviolet rays will help kill odor-causing bacteria naturally, leaving your sofa smelling fresh again.

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Cleaning a couch
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Have It Professionally Cleaned

When all else fails, having your sofa professionally cleaned will definitely remove dog smells. Many carpet cleaning services offer upholstery cleaning for a wide range of materials and furniture. They may also use a special commercial-grade deodorizing product to help eliminate even the toughest pet smells.