How Do You Get Smells Out of Leather

No matter how much you might love the smell of leather, there will come a time when it needs to be cleaned. It is important to know how do you get smells out of leather. Whether it’s because of an accident or just general wear and tear, getting smells out of leather can be a difficult task. 

How Do You Get Smells Out of Leather

But with the right tools and some patience, it can be done. In this blog post, we’ll outline some of the best ways to get rid of unpleasant smells from leather furniture, car seats, clothes, and more. So read on for all the details!

Materials you will Need

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • A clean cloth or sponge
  • Leather cleaner/conditioner

Why It Is Important to Get Smells Out of Leather?

Leather is a natural product that is highly prized for its durability and unique appearance. However, leather can also be susceptible to absorbing strong odors. This can be a problem if the leather is used for clothing or furniture, as the smell can quickly become overwhelming. 

Fortunately, there are a few simple methods that can be used to remove unwanted smells from leather. One popular method is to rub the affected area with a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water. This will help to neutralize the odor-causing bacteria. 

Another effective way to remove smells from leather is to place it in direct sunlight for several hours. The UV rays will help to kill any bacteria that are causing the smell. With a little effort, it is usually possible to remove even the most stubborn smells from leather.

8 Steps on How Do You Get Smells Out of Leather

Step 1: Start by Mixing a Solution

The first step is to mix a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water. You can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar for this, although white vinegar is usually more effective. Proper measurement is important, so make sure to use a measuring cup or spoon. You should take a cup of this solution and pour it into a bowl. You should take proper ingredients only.

Step 2: Rub the Solution onto the Affected Area

Once you have mixed your solution, take a clean cloth or sponge and rub it into the affected area. You may need to do this several times to remove the smell completely. Be sure to rub the solution into the leather in a circular motion. This will help to loosen any dirt or debris that may be trapped in the pores of the leather.

Step 3: Allow the Solution to Dry

After you have rubbed the solution into the leather, allow it to dry completely. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a day, depending on how thick the leather is. It is important to make sure that the leather is completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: Vacuum the Area

Once the area is dry, vacuum it using a low-power setting. This will help to remove any remaining dirt, dust, or debris. Be sure to go over the area multiple times to make sure that all of the dirt has been removed. If the smell is still present after the leather has dried, you can repeat steps two and three until it is gone.

Remove Any Remaining Dirt, Dust, or Debris

Step 5: Clean the Leather with a Cleaning Product

Once the smell is gone, you will need to clean the leather with a quality cleaning product. This will help to remove any residue from the vinegar solution and restore the leather’s natural oils. Various types of cleaning products are available for leather, so be sure to choose one that is specifically designed for use on this type of material.

Step 6: Condition the Leather

After you have cleaned the leather, it is important to condition it. This will help to keep it soft and supple and prevent it from drying out. There are many different types of leather conditioners available, so be sure to choose one that is right for your particular type of leather. Once you have cleaned and conditioned the leather, it is important to protect it from the sun. The UV rays can cause the leather to fade and become brittle over time.

Step 7: Store the Leather in a Dry, Cool Place

When you are not using the leather, it is important to store it in a dry, cool place. This will help to keep it in good condition and prevent the growth of mold or mildew. Cool places such as a basement or closet are ideal for storing leather. The dry place can be a bit tricky, but you can use a fan to help circulate the air and prevent the leather from becoming too damp.

Step 8: Consult a Professional

If you are unable to remove the smell from the leather, it is best to consult a professional. They will be able to identify the source of the smell and determine the best course of action. In some cases, it may be necessary to replace the affected piece of leather. However, a professional will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.

By following these steps, you should be able to remove any unpleasant smells from your leather. It is important to remember that leather is a natural product and should be treated with care. With a little effort, you can keep it looking and smelling great for years to come!

Keep It Looking and Smelling Great

Tips on How You Get Smells Out of Leather

  1. Clean the leather with a mild soap and water solution.
  2. Make a paste out of baking soda and water, and rub it into the leather.
  3. Mix equal parts vinegar and water, and apply it to the leather with a cloth.
  4. Apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a cloth, and rub it into the leather.
  5. Place the leather in direct sunlight for a few hours.
  6. Hang the leather in a well-ventilated area for a few days.
  7. Freeze the leather for 24 hours.
  8. Vacuum the leather with an upholstery attachment.
  9. Apply saddle soap to the leather, and buff it with a soft cloth.
  10. Hire a professional leather cleaner.

How to Keep Leather Smelling Fresh?

Anyone who owns a leather couch or pair of shoes knows that they can start to develop a musty smell over time. This is caused by the natural oils in the leather beginning to break down, as well as the accumulation of dust and dirt. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to keep leather smelling fresh. 

First, it’s important to vacuum regularly using the soft brush attachment. This will help to remove any dirt or dust that has become embedded in the leather. In addition, you should once a month clean the leather with a damp cloth and mild soap. 

Be sure to rinse the soap off completely, as any residual soap can cause the leather to become dry and cracked. Finally, it’s a good idea to apply a leather conditioner every few months to help keep the leather supple and prevent it from developing wrinkles. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy your leather furniture for years to come.

You Can Check It Out to Break in a Leather Vest

How to Prevent Smells from Forming in Leather?

Leather is a natural product that is extremely durable and has many uses. However, one downside of leather is that it is susceptible to absorbing smells. Whether it’s the lingering scent of perfume or the stench of body odor, leather can quickly become crammed with unwanted odors. 

Leather is a Natural Product

To keep your leather smelling fresh, there are a few simple steps you can take. First, avoid placing leather near sources of strong smells, such as smokers or cooking food. Second, regularly clean the leather using a mild soap and water solution. 

This will help to remove any dirt or oils that might be trapped in the pores of the leather. Finally, store the leather in a cool, dry place when not in use. By taking these measures, you can help prevent bad smells from taking over your beloved leather items.

How Do You Get Smells Out of a Jacket Made of Leather?

Anyone who has ever owned a leather jacket knows that it can be tricky to take care of. Leather is a natural material, and as such, it is susceptible to drying out, cracking, and fading if it is not properly cared for. In addition, leather is also known for holding on to smells. 

Whether it’s the smell of smoke from a bonfire or the musky scent of cologne, leather can retain strong smells for days, even weeks. Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to remove these unwanted odors from your jacket. First, try hanging your jacket in a well-ventilated room for a few days. This will help to air out the jacket and dissipate some of the odor. 

Leather Can Retain Strong Smells for Days

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does My Leather Smell?

Leather smells like a combination of sweat, dirt, and animal skin. The oils from the skin mix with the natural chemicals in the leather to create that distinct smell. Different types of leathers will smell different depending on the type of animal from which they were taken, and how it was treated while it was alive.

How Long Does It Take for Leather Smell to Go Away?

Leather smells like leather because of the oils and sweat that are produced while it is being worn or when it is in contact with other materials. Oils and sweat will gradually evaporate over time, which is why leather smells different after a short period of time than it does after a long period of time. Generally, it will take about two weeks for the smell of leather to disappear completely. If you notice that the smell of leather is still lingering after two weeks, it may be helpful to apply a leather-specific fragrance to the item or to try airing the item out in a warm, dry place for a few days. If the smell of leather is still bothering you, you may want to consider replacing the item or removing it from use altogether.

What is the Best Homemade Leather Cleaner?

There are many different types of homemade leather cleaners, and the best one depends on the type of leather you are cleaning and the specific needs of the cleaner. Some common types of homemade leather cleaners include:

1. Soap and water: This is the simplest type of cleaner, and it can be used on both soft and hard leathers. Simply mix soap with water and apply the mixture to the surface of the leather. Rub it in with a cloth or a brush, then rinse off the surface with water.

2. Wood conditioner: This type of cleaner is specifically designed for treating and preserving wooden surfaces, such as furniture. It contains ingredients that help to break down oil and grease build-up on wood, as well as other pollutants such as dust, dirt, and smoke. Apply wood conditioner to a cloth or a brush, then rub it into the surface of the leather. Allow the conditioner to sit on the leather for a few minutes before rinsing it off.

3. Alcohol: Alcohol-based cleaners are perfect for cleaning tough stains or scratches from leather surfaces. To use an alcohol-based cleaner, combine equal parts alcohol and water in a spray bottle or liquid soap dispenser. Mist the surface of the leather with the solution, then scrubbing with a cloth or a brush. Rinsing with clean water is necessary to remove all traces of the cleaner.

Can You Use Soapy Water to Clean Leather?

Soapy water can be used to clean leather goods, but it is important to avoid using too much soap. Too much soap can strip the leather of its protective oils, causing it to become dry and brittle. Instead, use a small amount of soap mixed with water to clean the leather in a gentle manner. Be sure to rinse the item thoroughly with clean water to remove all traces of soap before storing it away.


There are several ways that you can get smells out of leather, and the best way depends on the severity of the smell. You should determine carefully how do you get smells out of leather. If you have a light smell, you can try airing it out or wiping it down with a damp cloth. 

For stronger smells, you may need to use saddle soap or vinegar. If the scent is still present after trying these methods, you can take your item to a professional cleaner.

Photo of author

Matt Clark

Hi, this is Matt, and I am a leathercraft hobbyist. I have been working with leather for quite a bit of time. When I was a teenager, my father taught me the basics of leathercraft. Along the way I have learned a lot of things about leather work leather items, restoring leather, and creating leather accessories. I started this blog to share my knowledge of leatherworking with others and help people learn about this amazing craft. I also wanted to create a community of like-minded people who could share ideas and support each other in their leatherworking journey.

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