how to get rid of new leather smell
Kristina Davis

I love shopping for new leather furniture, so I researched how to get rid of new leather smell without the help of professional cleaners.

The smell of new leather furniture is something I never liked, especially faux leather.

Why did I research this?

Because having it professionally cleaned is not only expensive, but it can also take a lot of time.

You can get rid of the smell of new leather by placing the furniture in a well-ventilated room, and then by putting baking soda on its surface. Then, shake excess baking soda off using a vacuum cleaner, then apply a scent to replace the smell.

Before I jump to it, though, do you know the reason why leather, primarily new leather, smells this way?

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Why Does New Leather Smell?

Whether you’re smelling mildew, mold, or chemicals on your newly bought furniture, it’s normal.

The reason why these odors are present is because of the chemicals (tanning agents) used in manufacturing them.

That and the natural smell of leather, which is usually tolerable.

The most common agents and chemicals used, as per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), include:

  • Alum
  • Man-Made Chemicals or Syntans
  • Trivalent Chromium
  • Glutaraldehyde
  • Heavy Oils

It’s important to note that not all leather furniture has the same properties. So, the smells don’t really disappear all at the same time.

That being said, let us discuss what the average time is in which the smell of leather lingers

How Long Does New Leather Smell Last?

leather smell on furniture

The leather smell of furniture usually lasts about two weeks when placed in a well-ventilated area.

Don’t fret, though, because this timeframe will definitely be a lot shorter if you decide to use deodorizing products; and of course, if you successfully perform any of the methods we’ll outline below.

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How to Get Rid Of New Leather Smell on Furniture? 3 Methods and a Bonus!

I managed to find some of the best pieces of information online about eliminating the leather smell.

And we’ll enumerate each of them so that you can test what the best method for you is.

Deodorizing Using Baking Soda

use baking soda

This method is pretty self-explanatory, for the most part. It’s the method wherein we’ll use the wonderful effects of baking soda to deodorize and get rid of the smell or the odor.

For this method, your baking soda won’t be used in the kitchen, but instead, it’ll be an important factor in getting rid of odors you never want to be a part of your home.

Step #1: Remove Dirt and Dust

So, place the leather furniture in an area that is well-ventilated. You can place it in your backyard, on the front porch, or even inside a room that is large enough for it to be placed.

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Then, remove all dust, dirt, and other types of debris on the surface.

NOTE: I recommend using a vacuum cleaner for this. It’s faster, and it’s able to take out even the smallest of the smallest dirt.

Step #2: Sprinkle Baking Soda on Leather Furniture

The next step is to sprinkle baking soda on the surface. It’s not necessary that you fill out the entire surface with baking soda, as long as it captures all areas, that’ll be fine.

Let the baking soda sit for about 30 minutes to an hour, and remove it completely.

Use the vacuum that you used for cleaning to take the baking soda off of the leather furniture’s surface.

Step #3: Mask and Cover with a New Scent

Lastly, you would want to mask the scent and replace it with a new one.

Apply scents or oil-based scents onto the surface of the material and let it sit in a well-ventilated area for a whole day.

NOTE: The choices for scents and fragrances include lavender, mint, citrus, eucalyptus, peppermint, jasmine, and many more.

Vinegar or Ammonia Spirit

use vinegar

Personally, I rarely use this method because of the pungent smell of vinegar. We all know how strong the scent is, and it’s not that it’s a bad smell, it’s just not pleasant to most people’s senses.

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Nevertheless, here’s how to get rid of new leather smell from furniture using white vinegar or ammonia spirit.

You want to make sure that the surface of the leather furniture you are about to deodorize is clean. Use a vacuum to remove all unwanted substances on it.

Step #1: Create the Mixture

Create a mixture of vinegar and warm water by mixing 3 parts of water with 2 parts of vinegar for better concentration.

You can do 1 part of vinegar with 3 parts of water if you think that the acidity of the vinegar is too strong.

Place the furniture in a well-ventilated area, and then apply a single layer of the mixture on the surface.

Leave it on for about 15 minutes, and then apply another layer again.

NOTE: I typically recommend a sprayer for this method because it can scatter well and more effectively.

Step #2: Remove the Vinegar

Before it acidizes, make sure that you wipe out what you’ve sprayed!

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Do this quickly so that before the solution soaks into the material, it’s completely dissolved and removed from the leather.

It’s pretty understandable that this mixture would more likely have a pungent smell, so, the next step you want to do is dry it out under the sun.

Step #3: Dry it Outside

For the best results, dry it out for more than six hours – even overnight if you want them to be drier and thicker.

Avoid overexposing leather to direct sunlight; putting it in a shade while it’s blazing hot will do. Allow the winds to do the drying.

Using Leather Cleaner and Deodorizer

use leather cleaner

Last but not least is by using the go-to material, a leather cleaner with a deodorizer. This is actually my go-to option; the baking soda method is my runner-up.

These are cleaners that have been specially formulated to clean leather objects, and at the same time, deodorize them.

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Step #1: Spray the Leather Deodorizer On Leather Surface

For this method, you simply just have to spray or apply the leather cleaner (with deodorizer) on three to four cotton balls.

Then, start applying it from the top part of your furniture, down. While applying it, gently squeeze the cotton so that some of the liquids drip out of the absorbent material.

NOTE: Don’t immediately rinse it clean; allow the solution to sit for about ten to thirty full minutes.

Step #2: Wipe it Dry

When it’s absorbed by the furniture effectively, wipe the solution dry using a microfiber cloth so that you don’t damage the leather.

You might have to run through it multiple times to dry it out completely.

Lay it out under the sun to dry. And since it wouldn’t be soaking wet, it’ll usually just take you about three to four hours to dry it all out.

NOTE: Avoid overexposing leather to direct sunlight; putting it in a shade while it’s blazing hot will do.

You can also do it overnight to be sure that no moisture will be trapped inside the leather.

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And those are the different methods and processes you can do to get rid of the smell of new leather on furniture and other items!

Bonus Method: Wrapping It In Newspaper

use newspaper

Here’s one extra bonus tip I have for you!

If the object or the thing isn’t that big and if you’ll be able to manage to wrap it, then wrap it in a newspaper for one whole day – you can even do it for two days for better results.

The newspaper will help absorb and neutralize the odors on the leather material, leaving you with odorless leather material.

We’re giving this as a bonus method so that you can add it as a step in case you really want to get rid of the musty, leathery smell on your furniture.

How to Get Rid of New Leather Smell on Shoes and Bags?

As easy as I want it to be, removing the scent of new leather on furniture is not usually similar to how you would remove the smell from accessories like shoes, bags, and even jackets.

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leather smell of shoes bags

So, if you’re constantly annoyed at the smell of new leather, here’s a method you can do to get clean it off and replace it with a luscious, pleasant smell:

  1. Wipe the surface of the product using ammonia.
  2. Then, apply citrus scent to the inner part of the jacket, shoes, or bag.
  3. For shoes and bags, wrap them in a newspaper.
  4. For jackets, hang them above a mixture of hot boiling water with acetic essence for 5 minutes.
NOTE: You can keep it in a hot, but well-ventilated area so that the air that passes through it is fresh.

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Final Verdict

Knowing how to get rid of new leather smell is something that you can use for life – you can even pass this knowledge down to your kids, and even the kids of your kids, when the time comes.

Save this tutorial to gain relevant information in case you experience this any time in the future!

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