How to clean couch cushions that stink

Written by mel frank
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How to clean couch cushions that stink
Cleaning smelly couch cushions is easy. (cat on the sofa image by Oleg Mitiukhin from

A couch is typically found in the living room or family room, areas of the home where friends and family gather and spend extended periods of time. Whether you have purchased a used couch, stored your couch in a musty basement or storage unit or just if an unpleasant odour has developed over time, it is important to properly handle foul-smelling couch cushions. It is important to clean in a manner that will remove the odour, but not soak the cushions, as too much water will cause mildew growth and additional unpleasant odour.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Vacuum
  • Washing powder
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Bowl
  • Spray bottle
  • Cleaning cloth

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  1. 1

    Vacuum the couch cushions to collect loose residue. Vacuum one side, then clean the underside as well. Also remember to clean the sides.

  2. 2

    Fill a spray bottle with one cup water, one cup vinegar and three tablespoons of baking soda. Shake gently to mix ingredients. A slight foaming action may occur when the baking soda and vinegar mix, which is natural; it will dissipate within a few seconds.

  3. 3

    Spray directly onto the couch cushions, covering all sides with a light mist. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant and deodoriser, while baking soda is also a deodorising agent.

  4. 4

    Mix a cleaning solution in a bowl, to give a more thorough cleaning to set-in odour and residue. Pour two cups water into the bowl, with one-half cup vinegar, one tablespoon of baking soda, and one tablespoon of washing powder. Both liquid and powdered detergent will work well; use whichever you have on hand.

  5. 5

    Dip a cleaning cloth into the mixture and wring it out thoroughly. You want to use little water when cleaning the cushions to prevent mildew growth.

  6. 6

    Repeat until all cushions are cleaned and allow to air dry.

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