Need Help with Couch That Smells like Cigarettes

Updated on May 21, 2008
T.G. asks from Louisville, KY
16 answers

I just recently bought a couch and loveseat from my aunt. They are leather and really nice. She only had them for 9 months when she decided to sell them. The problem is she is a smoker and they smell like smoke. Does anyone know what we can use to get the smoke smell out of leather? I trie using Febreeze but it didn't work.

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So What Happened?

I just want to thank all of those that responded to my question. I receive a numerous amount of responses. Majority of you said to try vineger and leather conditioner. I did try both of them and it worked! My couch, loveseat and my basement no longer smell like cigarettes. Again, thanks.

More Answers

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L.M.

answers from Nashville on

I agree with the previous post...try vinegar. I've never tried to get smoke out of leather furniture, but I've successfully gotten smoke and other smells out of clothes, etc with the use of vinegar. YOu may have to apply it and let it dry then repeat the process several times and use the leather conditioner after you are done.

best of luck

1 mom found this helpful
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E.W.

answers from Chattanooga on

T.,

Use a solution of soap and water, dry it well. Then fix a spray bottle of 2 parts white vinegar and 8 parts water. Sray rub it in with a soft cloth and dry well. Then go and get a leather conditioner, a good one ask at what ever place you go for that. I am sure you can get a good leather conditioner at a hardware store. Apply that according to the directions and hopefully that will work.

I did that to a leather coat that I had bought second hand and it worked very well. good luck.

E.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.H.

answers from Fayetteville on

Vinegar! I have sworn by it for years, and it has never let me down. You have to get the covers off the cushions, then spray with a mixture of vinegar and water, about 1:3 mixture should do. This works great on mattress accidents, just mop up, spray with vinegar mixture, then sprinkle baking soda. Leave it all day until the baking soda is dry, sweep up the majority of the baking soda, then vacuum the rest. No stain, no smell. Works on carpet too.
I used it in my car too, before I quit smoking. It's great!

1 mom found this helpful
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G.V.

answers from Charlotte on

T.,

Cigarette smoke can be tough to get rid of, no matter what you do. I have two recommendations, based on my years of employment history in the automotive industry. The first, and easiest, is to go to a local auto parts store (or do an online search/purchase) and buy 2 products manufactured by Duragloss. The first is called 441 Leather Shampoo, the second is called 221 Leather Conditioner. They are to be used in the sequence that I listed them above. The second product is enhanced with a special leather extract, which enhances the natural leather scent, and it lasts for some time. I love the smell of new leather (think of a new car with leather seating, or a visit to a tack shop), and that is the only scent it gives off. It's also safe for your children.

The second, more agressive approach if that doesn't fix the problem, is to use an ozone generator. These devices are commonly used by companies who do fire & water damage restoration, mold remediation, marinas that offer boat detailing and odor elimination, and even some more professionally equipped automotive detailers. Hotels also use them to convert smoking to non-smoking rooms. Ozone is naturally occuring in the environment, and is three oxygen molecules bonded together (03, versus 02 for oxygen). Ozone is a natural deodorizer, and can destroy chemical, smoke, mold and other odors. The scent is what you would smell immediately after a thunderstorm when lightening is present. Some people liken it to the smell of clean sheets. If you've ever used a dryer at a laundromat, you've probably noticed the same smell, as many commercial dryers incorporate ozone generators into their gas-fired clothes driers. What the machines do is take oxygen out of the air, separate the oxygen molecules using an ultra-violet light spectrum, and the molecules exit the machine rebonded in threes, or ozone. Over a period of many hours (sometimes days), in a sealed-off environment, the odor is eliminated. I actually own a small ozone generator, a leftover demo machine from my days of selling to the auto industry. These machines are rated in how many parts per million of ozone that they have the capacity to generate. Mine is an acceptable size to eliminate odors in a small area, like inside of a car that has been smoked in or has been soiled by a child or pet. I have also taken small items that needed scent removal, and thrown them in the car for a time, and that has been effective. However, "throwing" your couch into the minivan or suv is not an option for you. You would need access to a higher-capacity (higher ppm) generator, and place the couch temporarily in a small room that you can seal off for a period of time while running the machine. (An acceptable continuous level of exposure to air with high quantities of ozone present has not been established, particularly for small children, pets, older people, people with lung ailments, etc. So you need to keep a room where you're using an ozone generator sealed off with blankets or towels around the door bottom and openings, and keep people out of that area. Upon completion, you need to allow the ozone time to naturally breakdown back into oxygen before habitating that room. The recommendation is generally 50% of the time that the ozone generator was running. (I.E. If the machine ran for 48 hours, allow 24 hours after the machine was turned off before going into that living space.)

I know, it seems like an awful lot to go through, but that's the only sure-fire way to eliminate the cigarette odor permanently, and not layer your couch with chemicals that won't work or are not good for your children.

Best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful
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N.G.

answers from Fayetteville on

T.,
The smell is coming from the filling, so spraying surface scent isn't solving the problem. Have you tried taking out the padding and airing them out really well, say for a couple of days? Baking soda is a great odor eater. Maybe you can also try sprinkling some on the padding and vacuum it up after a couple of hours. Good luck!

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M.H.

answers from Louisville on

Natures miracle you can buy it at target in the pet section.... but it gets out any smell....

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T.C.

answers from Nashville on

I would call a leather store and ask them. You probably will need to wash them! But don't know much about leather. Definitely call a leather furniture store!

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K.H.

answers from Memphis on

Furniture is so much easier than cars. Bottom line, a lot of products out there can ruin the leather. Let the furniture breath for awhile. It will take about two to three weeks for the odor to disappear, but it will. Hope that helps.

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C.W.

answers from Chattanooga on

Sorry, I can't offer any help, but I'll tell you my experience. We bought a BMW from a heavy smoker. It was a fantastic deal we just couldn't pass up. We thought we could get the smell out of the leather interior. The car only had 10,000 miles on it so it wasn't like she had smoked in it for many years....but we never, ever got the smell out despite trying everything everyone recommended, including car dealers' advice. Every day when I got into the car after it had sat all night with the windows up, it smelled like smoke. Of course that was about 20 years ago and there are a lot of products out now that weren't available then, but I would never think of buying anything whatsoever again from a smoker, no matter what a good deal it was.

Good luck though. Leather furniture is really nice. I have a leather couch and a leather Lazy Boy recliner that are more than 20 yrs old and still look great.

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L.C.

answers from Raleigh on

we did nothing to ours, suffered or a little bit(hate that smell)but it was just gone after a while .

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P.G.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi T.~ You may have to call a professional furniture cleaning company. I don't know of any because I just moved here, but I'm not sure if there is anything safe (over the counter) to use on leather. Good luck!

Paula G.

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K.G.

answers from Stockton on

I don't know if Baking soda is good on leather but I use it in my shoes and any thing else that smells. I usually sprinkle it on dry or in whatever, then empty or vaccum, but could probably be made into a paste if needed. You check out their website for ideas, K.

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C.M.

answers from Fayetteville on

It was suggested to me to try some murfey's oil soap. And to try to sun the chairs. I am not sure but I know it won't hurt.

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W.W.

answers from Louisville on

I work with a "green" company that has 2 products I would recommend for you - 1. is a safe 3-in-1 cleaner/deoderizer/stain remover that you can dilute - it is great on odors & safe for the material AND your children; 2. is their furniture & leather polish - again safe for the kiddos but works better than anything I have ever used for leather, vinyl, & wood furniture.

I cannot advertise the company on a public site. Just email me at [email protected]____.com if you want more details!

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K.P.

answers from Louisville on

We purchased a used older model car for my teenage son that had belonged to a smoker (at least 3-5 years of smoking in the car). I got the smell out the first time I cleaned it. The trick? Sams Club sells some stuff called OdoBan (I think that is how it is spelled). It is about $9-$13 for a gallon jug. There are directions on the back for diluting it. It is amazing. My only suggestion is that you buy a spray bottle that you use only for the product. The smell is so concentrated that I can usually smell it in buckets and stuff it has been in. A friend told me they use it in large vet offices to clean and eliminate the smell of animal blood and waste. Don't forget to clean the carpets, roof, vents, under seats, etc. Smoke gets everywhere.

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K.S.

answers from Raleigh on

I would call a cleaning company and ask if they can get it out.
I am surprised you did not think about this before buying it. I would find a sunny spot on a dry day, and move it outside all day.

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