I purchased a upholstered chair from a garage sale for cheap, and cleaned all the dog fur and other debris from it, however there is now a lingering smell of smoke from the chair. It has been thoroughly vacuumed and cleaned with a foaming upholstery cleaner, even sprayed with Fabris but to no avail.

I've heard remedies such as baking soda, but is this a permanent solution? I don't want to pay for anything expensive, as the chair is not worth very much.

  • Sorry if this is outside the realm of home improvement, but I've come to trust the stack exchange network for providing real answers and not old wives tales.
    – Resorath
    Commented May 31, 2011 at 6:24
  • I'd say it's in scope - the same could apply for getting the smell out of carpet as well.
    – Doresoom
    Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 18:38
  • Can you place the funriture outside in the sun for an afternoon?
    – RSMoser
    Commented Jun 1, 2011 at 19:39
  • I'm currently in the process of baking soda'ing it, I'll try the sun method if this doesn't work.
    – Resorath
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 17:27

2 Answers 2


You could see if anyone you know has access to any upholstery cleaners, like "Bissell Little Green Multi-Purpose Compact Earth-Friendly Deep Cleaner" or you can try and find some place where you can rent a Rug Doctor with an upholstery attachment, you might be able to find one at hardware and some grocery stores depending on location. You'll probably want to use some odor neutralizer in with the water while cleaning which I think rug doctor sells a specific one to use with their machines if you go that way, but baking soda might be just as effective, I've never tried that method.


Sprinkle the baking soda on the chair, let it sit overnight, and then vacuum it off. The baking soda should absorb some of the odor.

You can also use charcoal the same way. Use charcoal for fish tank filters, NOT charcoal for grilling. The charcoal is black, though, so there's a chance you'd stain the fabric.

You can mist the chair with vinegar in a spray bottle. The vinegar will absorb some odor and then evaporate. The vinegar smell will go away. You might want to test on the bottom of the chair first to make sure the fabric doesn't stain or fade.

All of these are "permanent" solutions in that they will absorb the odor, not just mask it like a perfume would. Smoke is a tough odor to get rid of, especially if it's gotten into the chair's padding. You may never get it all out, but hopefully you can get it to a level that's livable. If not, at least it was cheap.

  • Trying now (padding)
    – Resorath
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 17:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.