My Recliner Smells

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Learn how to keep your recliner odor-free.

All kinds of odors can potentially affect your favorite recliner, whether leather or upholstered. Smoke, sweat, pet stains, and mold and mildew are the main odor culprits, with urine and mildew stains causing potential health threats. Use natural cleaners from your kitchen cabinets, such as baking soda and white vinegar, to keep your recliner free of nasty odors.


Smoke Odor

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Cigarette smoke odor can be removed from leather recliners by placing bowls of white or apple cider vinegar around the chair. Shallow bowls or cake pans work best and should be filled about three-quarters of the way full. Leave the bowls out for 24 hours to remove the odor. Fabric recliners can be sprayed with one part white vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle. If possible, the cushion should be removed and hung on your clothesline to dry out. The sun will also help kill odors. Placing the cushion on a clean lawn chair for drying purposes is another option.

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Body Odor

Baking soda can be sprinkled on leather and fabric recliners to remove body odor. The powder should be rubbed gently into particularly severe odors and left on the recliner overnight. The baking soda can then be vacuumed off the recliner the following day. Use caution when vacuuming as baking soda can occasionally clog vacuums, so remove large chunks manually. If the odor persists on fabric recliners, a spray of one part white vinegar and one part water on affected areas will get rid of the odor. Windows should be opened to allow the vinegar to dry completely and remove the odor.


Urine Odor

Wet cat or dog urine stains on your recliner can be blotted with a clean terrycloth towel, which will absorb the stain better than rubbing it with a cleaning agent. To rub at the stain will further push it into the recliner cushion, particularly if it is a fabric cushion. Urine stains on leather recliners can be dabbed at with damp terrycloth towels, which should remove the stain and odor completely. If you find the odor persists on a leather recliner, shallow bowls of white vinegar set around the chair should help absorb odors. Persistent stains on fabric recliners can be removed with a solution of one part white vinegar and one part warm water. Paper towels can be used to absorb the solution and stain. Open windows to further help the recliner dry.


Musty Odor

Mold and mildew stench on leather recliners can be removed by mixing one part rubbing alcohol with one part water, which you can spray on affected areas with a spray bottle or use a clean rag to apply the mixture. Allow the mixture to air-dry on the leather while keeping it out of the sun, though you can place a fan near the recliner to speed the drying process. Musty odors on fabric recliners can be removed by placing either the entire recliner or removable recliner cushions in full sun, which will kill the mold and odor. A solution of one part vinegar with one part water works for further mold and odor removal if necessary for fabric recliners; keep the recliner in full sun or in a room with open windows to dry the fabric out.


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