How to clean smelly leather

Written by amy davidson
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How to clean smelly leather
Leather can soak up a variety of smells, such as smoke or even mildew. (Getty Creative)

Leather is a great medium to add a little luxury to any piece of furniture. One issue with leather, though, is that it can suck up odours well and hold onto them for quite a while. Luckily, removing the odours from smelly leather, be it a new piece of furniture you’ve acquired or an old family piece, can be done through the use of a few common household products.

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Things you need

  • Clean rags
  • 480 ml (2 cups) white vinegar
  • 240 ml (1 cup) water
  • Baking soda
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • 18 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice

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  1. 1

    Wipe down leather furniture with a clean damp rag to remove any dirt, dust or grime that may be on furniture.

  2. 2

    Fill a plastic spray bottle with 480 ml (2 cups) of white vinegar and 240 ml (1 cup) of water. Shake bottle to mix up vinegar and water.

  3. 3

    Spray down furniture and let solution sit on furniture for five to 10 minutes to allow it to suck up any smells. Wipe up solution with a clean rag or sponge.

  4. 4

    Repeat the previous step for a few hours to continue soaking up any smell on furniture. Then let furniture dry completely.

  5. 5

    Pour a light layer of baking soda onto furniture and let it sit for about eight hours. To save time, try pouring on a layer before bed and letting it sit overnight. Vacuum up baking soda.

  6. 6

    Mix 18 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil with 60 ml (1/4 cup) lemon juice. Apply this mixture to a clean cloth and wipe down the furniture, rubbing the oil into leather to help moisturise it. Let the oil mixture sit for a couple of hours and then wipe away any excess oil that didn't soak in.

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