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How to Get Dog Smell Out of Couch? [UPDATED 2021]

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How to get dog smell out of couch: Eliminate dog smells from furniture like sofas, couches, chairs, and even bedding and mattresses; natural cleaners, vacuums and chemical cleaners to get dog smell out of the sofa

Our dog is an old fella and because of that, I’ve been a bit lax in forcing him off our living room couch. I honestly never thought I’d be in my 30s and looking for how to get dog smells out of the couch – but alas, here we are.

Having a dog has been the single biggest challenge to keeping my house clean. I’m constantly laundering drapery, bleaching my slipcovers, and freshening my mattresses all because of the dog!

But the one question I’m consistently asked is how to clean a couch that smells like dog. That’s why I decided to create this in-depth guide on how to get dog smell out of couch or sofa!

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get dog smells out of the couch

What to do if your sofa smells like your dog

In this post, I’m going to explain ALL of the methods we’ve tried and tested to get that gross, musty smell OUT of the couch. And I’ve tried them ALL.

  • Using natural cleaners to get rid of dog smells
  • Using chemical and household cleaners to get rid of dog smells
  • The best vacuum and carpet cleaning machines for removing dog smells from sofas and rugs
  • Prevention for dog smells on furniture and rugs


Getting Dog Smells Out of the Sofa Naturally

Prevent Dog Odours on the Couch by Providing an Alternative

While we do use blankets all the time, his distinct doggy smell does permeate into the upholstery. So not cool.

If you’re looking to clean the dog hair off the couch first, check out this post I have about the best hacks for getting dog and cat hair off furniture!

Plus you might want to consider regular use of a lint brush on fabric upholstery (read more of my tips for how to use lint brushes).

I use one every once in a while to keep things looking fresh – though the lint brush alone will not cut it if the dog or cat consistently sleeps on the couch!

how to get dog smell out of a couch
Living Room Refresh

How to remove dog smell from couch (NON-CHEMICAL)

I didn’t want to use household cleaners and a bunch of chemicals to clean up after the dog if it wasn’t necessary. So my first line of defense is always to test out natural cleaning solutions.

Here’s the BEST, non-chemical solution I have found to get rid of pet smells on the couch! Fair warning, this definitely will not work for dog or cat pee – that’s a whole different ball of … well, stink.

This works for ridding that plain old dog odour from your sofa. On top it’s perfect when looking for a non-chemical solution on how to get dog smell out of a couch. This is also kid safe and once it’s dry, you’re totally fine to use your upholstery like normal.

how to remove dog smell from couch

Step 1

All you need is a spray bottle, some sort of measuring cup, water and Vodka. Yes, vodka. Drink up! Cuz your house isn’t gonna smell anymore! 🙂

Mix three parts water to one part vodka in the spray bottle.

Step 2

Disassemble the couch or chair and vacuum it out. Test first in an inconspicuous spot, but there was no problem with our dark grey micro fibre couch at all.

Step 3

Spray down the cushions, and the body of the couch and let it dry for about 30 minutes. Repeat.

You might want to repeat it a third time if it’s particularly smelly.

Step 4

Before putting it back together, vacuum it one more time to get dog smell out of couch.

Or you can actually just run your hand over the dirty areas and the dampness of the spray will pull all the dog hair and dirt right to the surface.

Yucky – but it works REALLY well.

To give you a sense of how much solution you’ll need, I used approximately 1/3 cup of vodka and 1 cup of water for one pass on our couch.

Even though the pillow covers and blanket are machine washable – I always spray them down too and let them dry out. It just freshens them that much more. 

Now, keep the dog off the couch until the guests come and go! 

Does this method work for getting dog smells out of carpets and rugs?

In short, yes. It should work for plush rugs and carpets. However, I would absolutely test this out in a small area first. If you have wall-to-wall carpet, you might want to consider investing in an at-home carpet washer, which will be more user friendly, effective and save you time in the long run.
I talk about my experiences will removing dog smells with my carpet washer at the bottom of this post.

More Tips for Eliminating Dog Smells Naturally

how to clean a couch that smells like dog

Seriously, Buddy is my first dog ever in my life. I never thought I’d have a dog, let alone a giant slobbery one who takes up ALL the space on the couch. 

Hence how to get dog smell out of couch is a question I ask myself ALL the time!

The FIRST thing I did was put one of these pet blankets on every floor of the house. It’s the best way to avoid that the couch smells like dog. – Check prices here

1. Natural dog smell prevention – air freshener

If you have a wafting odor of dog or cat that just sticks in a room no matter what (think rooms that house the litter box or maybe where the dog bed stays), you might want to try making your own simple DIY Air Freshener to Combat Pet Odors.

These work to absorb the overall odors that linger in the air and will help keep the smells at bay between cleanings.

2. Natural pet smell prevention – hard surface cleaner

I also make it part of my routine to regularly scrub the nose marks from the windows using this non-carcinogenic window cleaner.

I tackle dog hair with a simple set of rubber gloves! Just run your gloved hand over the mess of hair and it’ll ball right up and then you can either vacuum it up or just toss it into the bin.

3. Natural pet smell remover – manually cleaning rugs

If there are BIG messes – I’ll use a Scotch-Brite scouring pad to rub out the stain (I’ve used this on our synthetic rugs and our natural wool rugs in a back-and-forth non-circular motion) and a basic natural cleanser.

If it’s particularly bad, I will also pre-treat it with this bar of Sunlight Soap.

get dog smell out of couch
Click to read the ULTIMATE GUIDE now!

Using household cleaners to get smells out of the sofa

This method is my least favorite for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I tend to NOT like the smell of the cleaners that are strong enough to mask dog stink! Secondly, most of these cleaners are simply masking smells and not actually getting the dog stench out (which is what you want).

Nevertheless, this is what I have tried – with my honest feedback about what worked and what didn’t work.

  1. General pet smell cleaning spray from the pet store

Honestly? Giant waste of money. I used a generic odor eliminator with baking soda in it and it worked for about a day. Then I realized I’d need to cover my entire couch and chairs in the cleaner to keep all the smells away and that just didn’t sit right with me.

2. Spot removers

This is more if you have a dog or cat pee smell AND general animal stink. It can work to a point and I find these spot cleaners are best when used in conjunction with other methods – like the vodka method I mentioned above OR with the vacuum and carpet washer method.


My FAVORITE way to remove dog smells from my couch (and carpets)

(Updated in 2021)

So dear Buddy crossed the bridge in 2019 and we invited Banjo into our home in 2020. But the dog smells stayed! New dog, same smells!

This was also when we welcomed another baby into the house and I got real about cleaning and being efficient. We also invested in a new sectional couch for both the living room and the playroom and the last thing I wanted was the new furniture getting all nasty with dog and cat smells.

As much as I love the vodka spray method and the manual cleaning method (with a rubber glove, I explain how to do that below if you are totally desperate)…. This year, we invested in a Hoover SmartWash with the Pet attachments and it has been life changing.

Note- this NOT a vacuum cleaner. It is a carpet and upholstery WASHER that pulls so much gunk out of your soft textiles, it’s incredible. Along with all of the dog hair and debris that builds up in your couches, sofas, arm chairs, carpets and rug – this machine CLEANS your house of all the smells.

If you are multi-animal household, like we are and you are SERIOUS about keeping your floors and upholstery clean and clear of dog smells – then I HIGHLY recommend the Hoover SmartWash.

Here’s a quick video of me using the SmartWash on the playroom couch, dining room rug and in the living room.

Preventing dog smells to begin with

How to protect couch from dog smell

1. Use covers and pet shields

The best way to get the smell out of the couch, and presumably the easiest, is to keep your furniture shielded from your pet by keeping it covered.

The sound of that may bring recollections of plastic covers like grandmother used to do, however, there are a ton of modern-day choices. You can cover your furniture with washable covers, slipcovers, or tosses.

Your pet most likely has a most loved spot to lay. Ensure that spot is pleasantly covered with something that is not difficult to keep up and wash.

It is helpful to use a lot of covers and tosses at home. It’s a lot simpler to throw a cover in the washing machine than it is to vacuum your seat. If you like a professionally cleaned look, you can get a few slipcovers.

They come in practically every tone possible. If you are wondering how to get the dog smell out of the sofa, prefer covers as the simplest.

2. Maintain a strategic distance from bare wood if your dog chews.

Evade the dissatisfaction of getting back home to bit up seat legs by dodging wood furniture. Not all pets bite on furnishings, yet for some young pets, wood can be overwhelming.

And chewed furniture has a bad odor. To control a pet not to bite is actually quite difficult, particularly if they’re doing it while you’re away. It is also one of the ways of how to get the animal smell out of the couch.

If your pet has effectively bitten on your furniture, wood can be fixed if the bite marks aren’t excessively extreme.

3. Pick Pet-Friendly Materials For Your couch

To keep the couch safe from dog smell, you can use pet-friendly materials. The two most well-known choices for pet-proof furniture materials are cowhide and microfiber.

Cowhide is a well-known option since it’s not difficult to clean, and the microfiber is famous because of its sturdiness. In case you’re not on the lookout for new furniture, simply get a pet deodorizer spray for furniture. It can remove the smell instantly.

Keeping your dog off the couch to stop smells

I know the best way to get the ‘smells out of the couch’ is to not let the dog on the couch in the first place LOL.

And we have been looking at all sorts of options for our sweet old Bud, including getting him his own Orthopedic Pet Sofa

This orthopedic pet sofa isn’t bad looking and the price point seems to be decent at under $70. – Check reviews here

You can also invest in pet blankets (I have them rolled up in baskets all over the house!). – Check prices here

But I know that dogs will go on couches and beds when we aren’t around and that it’s still an issue even if you have the best dog bed ever made. 

This means keeping dog HAIR off your upholstery and carpets is also an issue. I’ve got an entire guide on hacks to keep your home pet hair-free.

Read my ULTIMATE GUIDE: How to Keep Your House Clean When You Have Pets

Final Thoughts: How to get dog smell out of furniture

best way to get dog smell out of 

Some of the most easy ways to get dog smell out of your furniture doesn’t necessarily imply buying products.

For example you should regularly wash your dog’s bed and air out the house. Open those doors and window in the morning and in the evening!

If you use filters, make sure that they’re clean and bust out the blacklight.

Another way to make sure that your house is smelling nice is by decorating it with fresh-smelling things.

If all of this doesn’t work, invest in an air purifier and freshen up your room with Febreze once a day.

Short FAQ: How to get dog smell out of Couch

My couch smells like dog! What to do?

There is a very easy DIY trick when you find out that your couch smells like dog! It involves actually vodka!

How to clean furniture that smells like dog?

One of the easiest ways to clean your furniture that smells like dog is by using baking soda. Sprinkle it over the furniture and the fabric and let it sit during the night. The day after, vacuum your couch. By now, the dog smell will have lessened or even gone totally!

How to get wet dog smell out of couch?

The best way to get wet dog smell out of couch are these easy tips:
1. Remove all blankets and pillows: wash them throughoutly!
2. Wash couch covers.
3. Vaccum every day
4. Vacuum While Using Baking Soda
5. Use a my vodka DIY solution


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