How To Get Dog Smell Out Of Couches – Top 10 Best Solutions & 5 Prevention Tips

You love your furry friend and you want it everywhere, but there are some rules you need to set. However, these rules do not always work. When your dog is only a puppy, it will go everywhere. You want them on the couch with you, resting in your arms and sleeping tucked into you. But as your dog grows and it keeps going on the couch, the smell keeps lingering on the sofa. At some point, you ask yourself why you ever let it up there in the first place.

The bad news is forbidding the sofa could be a challenge, especially when you are not at home. The good news is no one has to suffer. Learning how to get dog smell out of couches is not that difficult and you do not have to invest in any sophisticated substances. It makes no difference what fabric it is – obviously, chances are fibers like cotton are more likely to smell than leather. All in all, here are the most efficient options to get rid of that smell without banning your furry friend from the couch.

How to get dog smell out of couches

Clean the pillows and blankets

If you have had dogs before, you might be aware of this smelly problem. At this point, you probably throw a few blankets on the sofa every now and then. You might as well have some pillows. These are the first steps in the process – and sometimes, the only ones. Grab the blanket, throw it in the washing machine, get in some intense detergent and you are ready to go. You should do it once or twice a month.

If you have pillows, most of them come with covers. They are usually removable and machine washable. If you do not, it might be a good idea to get some – move the fancy ones to a different room and get something with removable slip covers. Since they are smaller than blankets, you can wash them more often.

If you do not feel like quitting on your current pillows, you may need to invest in professional cleaning. Not being able to take the slipcovers off means you cannot just throw them in the washing machine – unless they are based on natural fibers and can go in there. At this point, you will have to go to a cleaning center and get them cleaned by an expert.

Vacuum more often

You do not have to be a genius to realize that small things may stimulate and keep the smell around. You do have a few options then – vacuum as often as possible. Whether you vacuum once a week or twice a week, make sure you never overlook the couch. If your pouch leaves a lot of hair too, you might need to vacuum once a day or once every two days.

Vacuuming so often implies removing pet hair and debris that your furry friend might bring from outside. Such things tend to keep the smell around, so getting rid of them as soon as possible prevents the smell from getting into the couch. It might be a good idea to buy a small – but powerful – hand vacuum cleaner for this purpose only. Keep it under the bed and smash the couch on a daily basis.

Use the vacuum thoroughly and make sure you get into every corner. Lift the cushions, shake them a bit out the window and vacuum under them as well. If you have a blanket on the couch, you might as well give it a cleaning procedure as well. The whole process should only take a few minutes of your time, so it is totally worth it.

Use a carpet cleaner

Most people have their own carpet cleaners – you can get one for a relatively cheap price and use it for all kinds of cleaning activities too. Sure, you could also rent a carpet cleaner, but buying one is simply more cost-efficient. You can use it to clean carpets and upholstery all around your home, so it makes a good investment.

how to get dog smell out of couch

Make sure the machine features an upholstery attachment too. While the attachment is pretty standard, you will find a few exceptions too. The attachment is ideal for deep cleaning couches. You can also purchase a cleaning solution that will neutralize odors and dust, while cleaning around – make sure it is not toxic for pets or people.

Another good option is to get a handheld machine. It may not be as powerful, but it is cheaper, easy to store and maneuver – chances are you will use it more often then. It is imperative to purchase a product designed to remove spots. There are lots of good brands out there – hunt value for money and avoid random bells and whistles.

Vinegar spray

Vinegar may not have the most appealing smell in the world, but it is great to neutralize other odors. Plus, getting rid of it is fairly simple. You would have to come up with such a solution yourself – ¾ cup of water, ¼ cup of vinegar and ½ tablespoon of dish soap.

You will have to do a test first. Mix the ingredients and spray over a small part of the sofa – somewhere not visible. Give it a few hours to see if it stains. If it goes fine, you can use it for the whole sofa. Vacuum everything once done. Vinegar is acidic and can stain, hence the necessity of testing.

Yucca powder

Yucca powder may not be as readily accessible as vinegar, but it will do a pretty good job too. It is commonly used to eliminate nasty odors and it makes a good choice when learning how to get dog smell out of couch too.

Get some yucca powder from a health food store or over the Internet. Get a tablespoon of it and mix it with a cup of water. Shake and let it sit, then shake again. Again, a spot test is highly recommended. Let it dry for a few hours, then vacuum the area. You might need a few uses to get rid of the smell completely.


Vodka makes a good cleaner. If you would rather get rid of the smell than to use it for your own consumption, use a cup of vodka and mix it into half a cup of water. The substance will be quite strong – mix it well. Use the vacuum cleaner first and perform a spot test.

If the fabric reacts to vodka well and there are no stains, spray the solution all over. Let it dry overnight and vacuum again. You might have to perform this procedure two or three times if the couch has a really bad smell.

Baking soda and vinegar

Vinegar is an excellent odor killer and it is widely used in a series of applications. Learning how to get dog smell out of couches will almost always involve using it. Both ingredients work wonders in the process – mixing them together will double up their powers.

Get a spray bottle and mix ½ cup of vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda into a cup of water. Stir aggressively for a few minutes to ensure the solution is consistent. You will see foam and bubbles coming out – let it sit for a while until all reactions are over.

Perform the classic spot test to ensure the mix is safe for the fabric. If everything looks alright, vacuum the couch well, spray the mix into it and let it dry overnight. Vacuum again the next day and lingering odors should be history.

Essential oils

Generally speaking, many essential oils are not safe for dogs. Some of them are though – so make sure you do not mix random oils together, but do your homework upfront. All in all, get a spray bottle and throw in a cup of baking soda, a teaspoon of salt, ½ cup of water, ½ cup of apple cider vinegar, a couple of drops of eucalyptus essential oil and not more than five drops of lemon essential oil.

Stir vigorously for a few minutes and let the solution settle – you might see a bit of foam. Five minutes later, you can perform a spot test to ensure the couch will not get stained. Spray it all over the couch – not a high amount, but light sprays. Let it dry overnight and vacuum the leftovers in the morning – baking soda, for example.

While the eucalyptus and lemon essential oils are considered to be safe for dogs, you may still want to be cautious. When learning how to get dog smell out of the couch, you have to do it with your furry friend’s vulnerabilities in mind. Some dogs might be irritated by these oils, so make sure your dog has a sniff during the spot test – only to ensure it is alright with it.

Use a fabric freshener

A fabric freshener is both a long and short term solution. If you notice an unpleasant odor right before some guests come over, spray it all over the couch to give it a nice smell. The spray eliminates sources of odors and will leave a fresh aroma. There are more brands in commerce – some of them are obviously more popular than others.

How to get dog smell out of the couch

These fabric fresheners or sprays are not necessarily natural. In fact, they actually come with a few chemicals. With all these, they are normally safe for pets. Spray lightly and give it time to dry. You can also use the deodorizer on pillows and blankets. It is worth noting that some dogs will dislike certain aromas, so they may end up looking for other types of furniture to chill on.

Get a steam cleaner

The steam cleaner goes in the same category as vacuum cleaners or spot cleaners. The only difference is it operates in a different way. It relies on hot water turned into steam, meaning it is great for all surfaces if you have stubborn dirt. The steam will soften dirt and grime, so cleaning becomes a matter of seconds only.

When used for soft surfaces, a steam cleaner will most likely kill bacteria associated with the unpleasant pet odors. Make sure you double check the specs though – the maximum temperature should go over 250 degrees F, only to be able to kill over 99% of all bacterias, pathogens and viruses. The best part about it? There are no chemicals involved.

Tips to prevent dog smell in your couch

Learning how to get dog smell out of coaches is one thing. Once you manage to get rid of the small, you will clearly want to maintain the fresh aroma for as long as possible too. The better you are with the prevention, the less maintenance work you will have to do. Here are a few helpful tips to aid in the process.

·         Groom your dog and bathe it on a regular basis – become familiar with the breed necessities, as doing it too often could be harmful.

·         Brush your dog on a daily basis to get rid of the dirt and hair that might be left on the couch.

·         An air purifier can also remove dog scent from the room.

·         Slipcovers are widely diversified and great if you want to protect the couch and ensure easy maintenance.

·         Wipe the dog once you are back inside – you will get rid of the dust and smell from its paws or belly. It should take a few minutes – keep a few wipes by the front door.


Bottom line, learning how to get dog smell out of couches is relatively simple and does not require too much work. Obviously, maintenance is the best way to prevent such odors, but they may still kick in. With so many options to choose from, keeping the air around your couch fresh is only a matter of minutes. You may need to try out a few different techniques before figuring out what truly works for your couch.