How to Get Bad Smell Out of Leather?

Getting Bad Smells out of Leather

As leather is a natural material, it is absorbent, which is not inherently a bad thing. However, it’s a whole other story when it comes to bad smells and odors, because leather, being absorbent, absorbs them all. Moreover, these foes of the nasal cavity are quite difficult to get rid of. However, we said difficult not impossible. Given below is a complete guide on how to get bad smell out of leather. These bad smells include pet odors, smoke, perfume, mildew, and the fishy smells that often plague faux leather.  

How to Get Bad Smell Out of Leather?

1. Understand the Type of Your Leather – How to Get Bad Smell Out of Leather?

Understand the type of leather - How to Get Bad Smell Out of Leather

When the question, of how to get bad smell out of leather plagues your mind and nose, the first thing you have to do is identify the kind of leather you have. This is because faux leather and real leather need to be treated differently, one is royalty, other is the mimicker. Real leather is a lot more delicate, and absorbent as compared to fake leather. That means, that real leather is more prone to collecting odors over time than fake leather. Moreover, the item from which you are trying to get out the bad smell is also important.

If it’s a leather couch that is wafting a bad odor, then it is important to understand that beneath the layer of leather lie foam cushions as well as other upholstery that also absorb odors easily. In case you have cleaned your leather, and the smell is still wafting off the couch, then you will have to treat the cushions. Lucky for you, with many couches, you can remove the leather covering, and then clean or replace the cushioning. This will get rid of the bad odor and your nose will breathe a sigh of relief. Also keep in mind that, this comes into play for leather items that consist of other materials as well. 

2. Use a Leather Cleaner to Cleaner Leather – How to Get Bad Smell Out of Leather?

Once you have identified the type and source of smell, it’s time to get cleaning. But first, take a look at the care instructions issued by the manufacturer. Some leather cleaners are safe to use on real, bonded, as well as fake leather. However, there are some on the market that are made for only a specific kind of leather. So, make sure to do your research before you purchase a leather cleaner. Before cleaning leather, make sure to do a patch test in a discreet area first to check if the leather will react to the cleaner or not. If it doesn’t, then you are good to go.

Take a soft, lint-free cloth and apply the leather cleaner to it, making sure to moisten the cloth completely. Wipe your leather with the cloth and make sure to give extra attention to the soiled and aromatic areas. Do not rub or scrub harshly, as that will damage the surface of the leather. Once you have thoroughly cleaned your leather, allow it to dry naturally for a few hours. Chances are that after cleaning, the smell will be removed completely, however, if some traces remain, attempt another cleaning. 

3. Air Out Leather – How to Get Bad Smell Out of Leather?

Once you are done cleaning, allow your leather to dry in an area with good air circulation. This will remove any lingering smells in the leather and will help dry it quickly. Airing out is an effective method for removing odor, especially from fake leather that sometimes develops a fishy smell due to the dye and packaging process. 

4. Use Odor Eliminators – How to Get Bad Smell Out of Leather?

Get rid of leather odor with vinegar

In case cleaning leather does not get rid of the foul smell, you can use natural ways to eliminate the bad odor. One of the most common, as well as effective options for removing odor from leather, is using white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. However, it’s best to use apple cider vinegar for leather that is dark in color and white vinegar for light-colored leather.

First of all, dilute the vinegar with water in a 1 to 4 ratio of vinegar to water. Before you apply the solution to the entirety of the leather, do a patch test on a discreet area. If there is no reaction, then proceed. Dip a cloth in the solution and wipe down the surface of the leather. Vinegar is effective for removing smoke and other milder smells. Even though after the application, your leather will smell like vinegar, the smell will go away in a few days. 

5. Conditioner Leather on a Regular Basis – How to Get Bad Smell Out of Leather?

Conditioner Leather

Even though conditioning does not prevent odors, it does help with molds and mildew. Nevertheless, conditioning is a vital step in cleaning leather. Moreover, if you used the above-mentioned step for removing odor, then conditioning is necessary because vinegar dries out leather. In case you do not condition it afterwards there is a chance that your lather might get damaged. Therefore, make sure to condition your leather every 6 months or so to preserve its suppleness and protect it against harsh elements.

Also Read

How to Remove Ink from Leather?

6 Major Causes of Leather Damage

Ultimate Guide to Leather Care


About Whites Pearl

Whites Pearl is a Texas based company that specializes in making Natural Leather Conditioner and Sneaker Cleaner from non-toxic and 100% organic ingredients. We also Prioritize our environment that's why our products are packaged using eco-Friendly packaging.

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