How We Get Rid of Smoke Smell From Leather Sofa

I have a friend who just got a free Leather Sofa and has run into a problem with it. It seemed like cigarette smoke!

Not wanting to get rid of it because of how nice it was, he came to me asking what he could do to get rid of the nasty smoke smell from it. Now, this is a first for me, never had a couch that smelled like smoke before, but I’m willing to help.

I’ve written down what I did to help eliminate the smell from his leather sofa.

Vacuum It Off

The first thing I did was vacuum the sofa with a soft bristle brush. The goal is to get any heavy tar or grime from the couch. When I was vacuuming, I moved in circular motions; this is how you clean leather.

Baking Soda

Some people don’t like to use baking soda on leather, which is understandable, but its how you use it. I like to remove the cushions and sprinkle it on places where it’s not in direct contact with the leather.

The leather is not the main culprit when it comes to absorbing smoke odors. Its the fabric parts of the couch that holds the smoke odors in. So under the cushions and even under the sofa itself is where you can find the smoke smell the most. And people never really clean this area and get mad when their sofas still smell.

After that, I like to let it sit for a few hours and re-vacuum it again. You’ll want to remove all the baking soda as it has absorbed the smells into itself.

Let it air Out in the Sun

The Sun is a fantastic cleaner. Having the leather sofa left in the open air and in the Sun will do it some good. Don’t keep it too long in the Sun; its the fresh air on a windy day is what you’re looking for.

Don’t leave it out too long as to let the rain get to it. The storm will do you no good.


Vinegar is the mother of things cleaning. You can use it for a lot of things like getting rid of cigarette odors for your furniture. Works well with leather couches, too, but you need a particular ratio.

I like to do 75% water and 25% white distilled vinegar. You want more water than vinegar as vinegar is not the best for leather. So its best to test it out in a small area where no one will see to make sure it won’t hurt your leather. Also, wipe dry after every swipe with the vinegar and water mix if you have to add more water to dilute the vinegar even more.

But the vinegar will be the strongest and the most natural cleaner for getting rid of the tar and odors.

Always dip a rag into the vinegar and water mix and thoroughly ring it out before touching the sofa. Avoid a dripping wet rag. Also, use Microfiber rags on leather.

You can use more vinegar than water mixes on the hard parts of the sofa like the legs or underneath it.

Good Old Leather Cleaner

Sometimes you can’t beat the good old leather cleaners meant for sofas. 

The thing about leather cleaners vs. all the other cleaners is that they can open the pores of the leather, which allows them to more deeply clean.

Do be careful with this stuff on soft leathers, from what I hear it’s not the best. So always try any cleaner in a small spot you can’t see to make sure it doesn’t hurt anything.

Extra Tip

Here is another tip I’ve learned later. You can use Vaseline to clean and maintain leather furniture.

Just clean with warm soapy water and a cloth. Just place some Vaseline on the cleaned area and rub it in with a rag. Wipe dry with another rag.

It makes sense; leather is skin so so a skin product should work on it.