Q&A: Removing Odors from Leather Furniture

From our email bag…

I want use Leather Honey, but the used leather sofa I purchased smells strongly of cigarette smoke. How do I get rid of that smell?

You’re smart to tackle this first, because you always want to clean dirty leather – and treat issues like mildew and odors – before applying Leather Honey. Let’s get a quick disclaimer out of the way: Leather is a naturally sensitive material, and its properties can vary widely from item to item. So you want to always test any treatment, including Leather Honey and the methods discussed below, in a discreet area first.

There are two methods that may work here. First, start the way we always advise cleaning leather, with a good leather cleaner. Work it into the leather, working in one small area at a time, and then allow it to dry fully. If the odor remains, repeat the process using equal parts white vinegar and water.  White vinegar is a natural deodorizer and should help remove the remaining odor. 

Once the odor is gone and the leather is completely dry, apply Leather Honey in thin, even coats.

Note: Keep in mind that the cushioning material inside the leather casing may be holding on to this odor as well and will need to be treated and cleaned separately.

Do you have a question about leather care? Ask us in the comments or via email, here.

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