Leather is one of those materials that have a peasant natural smell – especially when it is new. This smell inevitably wears out but it takes a little while to do so because of the way leather’s pores and strands are tightly knit. Due to strands being closer together compared to other textile, when leather gets in contact with odor-causing items, it also takes a while for the odor to go away. Luckily, there are a few home remedies you can do to aid in removing the unpleasant odor. (how to get rid of leather smell)
Air out the leather
Whether it be a piece of furniture that was put in storage for a while, a leather coat that was exposed to smoke or pollution at the same time being wet, or shoes that were dipped in muddy waters – basically anything made of leather, the first thing you should try is exposing it in the open air.
Just make sure that all surfaces are dry by wiping it with a clean rag. Your best shot is to this during a sunny day when the air dry.
Just leave the leather exposed to the sun and open air and let nature work its magic. Do this as long as there is daylight, and put the leather back inside at night because the humidity of the night can work against your cause. Repeat the process the following day as necessary. If the odor persists, look into doing any of the other techniques discussed as follows.
You Might Also Like: The Complete Guide to Treating & Preventing Sweaty Smelly Feet and Foot Odor
Apply distilled vinegar
If air-drying the leather alone did not do the job you are eyeing, you can try suing distilled vinegar. The vinegar’s acidity not only has cleaning properties, it can also prevent allergens from developing and cause unpleasant odor. Combine equal parts of distilled vinegar and water then put it in a spray bottle. Spritz the mixture directly onto the leather and let it air dry for 10-15 minutes in an open are with good ventilation. Wipe the mixture away with a clean piece of rag and repeat the process until the desired smell is achieved.
Pro tip: you can substitute the vinegar with household ammonia but you have to use less ammonia as it is a lot stronger than vinegar.
Use baking soda
As you probably know, baking soda can do a lot of wonders when it comes to keeping things clean. It is very simple to use to rid leather of unpleasant smells. Just sprinkle a generous amount of the soda all over the leather.
If you are cleaning a piece of furniture like a chair or couch, remove all the cushions if possible and sprinkle away on that area where the cushions go. If the cushions are not removable, put a sheet of newspaper on the small openings and crevices between the pieces and pour a generous amount of baking soda in it.
The combination of newspaper and baking soda should do wonders but you will need to leave it for a few hours or even overnight. Use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the baking soda once you are done.
Additional tips - How to get rid of leather smell
Mold and mildew
If you see small specks or spots on the leather, you might be looking at developing mold or mildew, especially if these spots are accompanied by a musty smell. Get rid of these spots by wiping it down with a cotton ball or clean rag soaked in rubbing alcohol. Once the spots are gone, put the leather under direct sunlight to avoid redevelopment and keep other allergens from breeding.
Maintain the leather
Never put a piece of leather too close to a heat source, e.g. fridge condenser, campfire, radiator. Leather exposed too close to a heat source can cause flaking, chafing, or cracking. If you want to dry a piece of leather, your best shot will be to use the sunlight and airing it out to avoid harming the leather. Once completely dry, it is a good idea to apply leather-care product available in the market to keep the beauty, shine, and moisture feel of the leather.
If you tried the steps above and still cannot get rid of the funky smell that bothers you, or you simply do not want to mess with the piece yourself, you can always have professionals work on your leather. IT is a bit pricier but at least you can rest assured that your piece is in good hands. Ike and share this article if you think it was helpful. For any questions, suggestions, or clarifications, hit us in the comments section.