Why Does My Couch Smell Musty? (2023 Updated)

Couches with a musty smell could make you and your guests uncomfortable. Not only this, but it can also be a leading cause of some more significant allergic problems. Many factors can cause a musty smell, but moisture is the most crucial cause.

Moisture causes mildew and mold, which automatically results in a musty smell. Mildew and mold can grow on couches if they are not dried quickly. So, it is essential to dry out quickly to prevent mildew and mold from forming. 

Also, the mildew on cushions and fabrics can cause the couch to smell musty. Therefore, you need to remove the decay and mold from growing.

Removing the musty smell from your couch needs patience and is a bit difficult. But don’t worry, we have enlisted some super guides and hacks for musty smell removal. Let’s get into it.

Why Does My Couch Smell Musty?

As your coach comes with soft padding and cushions, so during monsoon, the foam inside your cushions grabs moisture faster than the wood.

When this moisture and the cushion pads are not dry out quickly, these will result in mildew and mold growth. And then this mildew and mold automatically produce a musty smell.

The odor can often be easily removed if it is just an odor. The problem may become much more complicated to treat if mold has grown larger.

If anyone in your family has allergies to mold, then it will be more difficult for them to breathe. So, in this case, you need to make the environment refreshing.

How To Remove Musty Smell From Your Couch?

Many people are curious that they can’t get rid of the musty smell from their couches. But we have enlisted the top methods that you can use to remove the musty smell.

Method 1: Using Alcohol And Fungicide Spray

This method is one of the best methods that have effectively removed the musty spray from the couch.

Things You Need

  • Vacuum
  • Water
  • Soft cloths
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Fungicide spray
  • Spray bottle

Steps To Follow

To Pull out the mold pores and lose the dirt from the couch, use a vacuum cleaner. Secondly, mix equal parts denatured alcohol and water. 

Now, using the mixture, moisten a soft cloth and squeeze out the moisture until the fabric is just damp. Once the couch has been cleaned, wipe it with a cloth and allow it to dry completely.

Allow the couch to sit in direct sunlight for several hours so the sun’s UV rays will kill any mold spores present.

If the above method does not remove the mold, spray the couch with a fungicide spray.

Method 2: Using Vinegar And Ammonia

Here is another method that you can also use to remove the musty smell from your couch.

Things You Need

  • Vinegar
  • Ammonia
  • Water
  • Spray bottle

Steps To Follow

This is a simple step. All you have to do is make a solution of 1 cup ammonia, 1 cup vinegar, and 1 cup of water in the spray bottle.

Spray the solution over the mold and let it dry. Placing the couch in the sunlight will ensure more effective results.

If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can also wash your couch’s effective area with a duster or cloth.

Method 3: Using Ozone Generator

Using the Odor-free ozone generator to remove musty odors is a great idea. 

In damp, airless environments or with little air circulation, ozone will oxidize stale, unpleasant odors.

Steps To Follow

Place an Odor-free unit in the space to eliminate musty odors, then vacate the area for a few minutes. The treatment time depends on the size of the room and how deeply embedded the scents are.

It is recommended to allow at least an hour for the O3 to dissipate after treatment. The treatment may need to be repeated periodically if the moisture source has not been eliminated.

In small spaces with light odors, it can take less than an hour, but in large areas, with heavy musty odors, it can take several hours or more.

If you don’t have a spray bottle, you can also wash your couch’s effective area with a duster or cloth.
You can turn on the fan on the thermostat to circulate O3 and clear out any musty odor that has built up in the ducts. 

A window should be kept open about 2 inches for long-term treatment to ensure a constant oxygen supply to the unit for ozone production.

Related Article: How to deal with saggy couch

Hacks Of Removing The Musty Smell From Your Couch

Apart from the above methods, you can also try these fantastic hacks to eliminate the musty smell from your couch.

1- Camphor

Camphor is commonly used in religious ceremonies in India, but it effectively eliminates odors and fungal infestations, especially during the monsoon season.

How To Use?

Place 5-6 pieces of camphor in a simple steel plate. Keep it under that couch, which is smelling musty. Set it on fire and let it burn completely. 

After the embers are completely burned out, remove them. Finally, close the windows and doors for about 15 minutes. This will help you get rid of any foul smell emanating from the couch.

2- Lemons

The accumulation of mold and moisture in your cushions or seating is also unhygienic. You need a hack for your couch if it has a foul smell and is unclean for a long time.

The lemon’s properties can neutralize bad smells and leave a fresh scent behind. It is only suitable for leather furniture.

How To Use?

All you have to do is put 1/2 cup of water in a bowl and add 4-5 tablespoons of lemon juice. Rub the couch with soft foam, dip in the solution. 

Lastly, use a clean cloth to wipe away the solution. When you leave lemon on your furniture for too long and don’t remove it properly, it could bleach it and decrease the quality of the table.

3- Steam Cleaning

It can be a good idea to steam clean your couch during the wet season. Whenever you smell musty from your couch, add a pinch of baking soda while burning.

How To Use?

You have to sprinkle tiny amounts of baking soda over your upholstery and let it sit for an hour. 

The steam cleaner should be turned on by pressing the button, and then the water should be vacuumed up with the hose. The sofa, pillow, and cushions should then be allowed to air dry.

4- Borax

You could try borax as a cleaning product, which has been used for several decades. 

There are countless uses for this magical ingredient, from killing insects to getting rid of stains, mold, and mildew around the house.

How To Use?

The only thing you need to do is tuck in 2-3 stones of borax on your sofa. Wait a day or two. The borax will absorb all the moisture from the couch. 

Place the sofa near the sunlight to kill bacteria once you notice the musty is slightly gone.

5- Salt

Around the world, every household has salt. In addition to being highly effective, it is a gentle scouring agent. 

The ingredient sodium chloride is incredibly effective at removing stains and grime on three different levels. In addition, it can absorb water so that you can clean your couch with it.

How To Use?

In addition to salt, you’ll also need a cotton pouch for the hack. Make 2-3 pouches of salt and stash them under your sofa. 

Put a pouch in the covers of your pillows as well if you don’t feel like washing them. Leave them for a day. When you check them the next day, the salt will have gotten wet. 

Alternatively, you can use fresh, dry sodium chloride in place of the old salt. 

Steps To Prevent Musty Smell From Your Couch In Future

To keep the musty smell away from your couch, it’s highly recommended to follow these steps:

1- Dehumidify

When your couch is placed in the garage, basement, attic, or an old house, it will take in moisture and the smell of its environment, which automatically results in a musty smell.

Make sure to move your couch into the well-ventilated and air-conditioned room, which has comparatively low moisture because of airflow. Turn on the dehumidifier and shut the door.

Note: Repeat this for several days.

2- Put The Couch In The Sun

Exposing your coach to the sun is a great way to get rid of the musty smell. In addition to removing moisture from the sofa, sunlight also helps it dry.

Note: In winter, repeat the process twice a day.

3- Maintenance

Maintenance of the couch is very successful in removing the musty smell from the couch. It is highly recommended to clean your sofa once a week.

Using soap will remove the germs and bacteria. Also, cleaning the couch will prevent the mildew and mold from growing. Furthermore, it will increase the lifespan of your couch.

4- Use Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are also an excellent option for removing the musty smell from the couch. It’s a quick and straightforward way to eliminate odors if they aren’t too bad. The dryer sheets only need to be replaced every month or so.


What is the leading cause of the musty smell from the couch?

Moisture is the leading and the primary cause of the musty smell of the couch because humidity will lead to the growth of mildew and mold, which causes the musty smell.

How Sunlight Removes The Musty Smell?

Sunlight is very effective in removing the musty smell because it will dry the couch and remove the moisture. This will prevent the growth of mildew and mold and eliminate the odor.

Is Musty Smell Bad For Health?

Yes, the musty smell of the couch is terrible for those who have some allergic problems with a musty smell.


Hopefully, after reading the above information, you must understand that moisture is the leading and the main cause of the musty smell.

Moreover, we have discussed different methods and hacks to remove the musty smell from your couch very easily. Also, you can follow the above guide to prevent a musty smell in the future.

Related Posts:
Why Does My Couch Sink In The Middle

How To Soften The Look Of A Leather Couch

Why Is My Leather Couch Sticky?