Whether the sofa reeks of cigarette smoke or smells like a pet bed, a simple freshen-up with baking soda helps remove these unpleasant odors and a plethora of others. Fresh, dry air also helps -- excessive humidity may lead to musty, stale odors that don't go away on their own.
Pre-Treatment for Pet Odors
If cats or dogs share your sofa, pet fur and dander may be a big part of the odor problem. Use a lint roller to lift up loose pet fur, or dab the fur with your hand after winding some packing tape sticky-side-out over your fingers. Wear a rubber glove and wipe down the sofa with your hand to roll up the fur, making it easier to grab.
Baking Soda Sofa Freshener
Baking soda removes odors from all types of upholstery just as well as it removes foul smells in the fridge. Remove the sofa cushions -- if they come off -- then sprinkle baking soda liberally over all the cushions and the entire sofa. Wait at least an hour -- or even leave it overnight -- before vacuuming up the powder, using the vacuum cleaner's upholstery-brush attachment. If any odor remains, repeat the treatment process.
Fresh Air for Stale Smells
If cigarette smells or a musty odor plagues your favorite sofa, fresh, dry air helps remove the odor. If at all possible, place the sofa in a place where it can get plenty of fresh air, such as on a porch or balcony, for several hours or all day. Do this on a dry, non-humid day for best results; moisture contributes to musty odors. If taking the sofa outside isn't an option, open the windows and turn on a ceiling fan or portable fan. If you have window fans or box fans, place one in a window on one side of the room to draw out the air. Place another fan in a window on the opposite side to draw fresh air in. For musty odors, exposure to dry air is the best option. Place the sofa in a less damp environment or turn on a dehumidifier or air conditioner to remove moisture from the air.
A mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle also helps remove odors from upholstery. Vinegar's own scent dissipates quickly, so your sofa won't end up smelling like pickles. Spritz fabric, leather or faux leather with a light mist of the vinegar spray. With a lint-free white cloth, pat the area dry after 10 minutes or so. Test the spray on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it does not stain the upholstery.