How to Make Leather Smell Better

by Steve Brunolli ; Updated September 28, 2017

Leather is a very common material used in everything from furniture to clothing accessories. Unfortunately, it is also difficult to clean and has a bad habit of retaining unpleasant smells, such as smoke. While most serious stains require the expertise of a dry cleaner, minor odors can usually be eliminated by a few days outside. For bulky furniture and more soiled items, however, you can make your leather smell better with the help of a few over-the-counter products.

Items you will need

  • Hanger
  • Leather brush
  • Saddle soap
  • Febreze spray
  • Newspaper

Leather Clothing and Smaller Furniture

Step 1

Spray the lining, if applicable, of your leather item with Febreze or another odor eliminator. This will remove any smells that have lodged themselves into the cloth.

Step 2

Brush the outside of the leather with a leather brush to remove surface dirt.

Step 3

Rub the outside of the leather with a liberal amount of saddle soap. This will remove minor stains and help eliminate odors.

Step 4

Hang the leather outside in a cool, dry place for two days, or until the odor is gone.

Leather Furniture

Step 1

Rub the leather with saddle soap. This will clean the leather and eliminate some of the smell.

Step 2

Rub darker leathers lightly with castor oil and lighter leathers with white Vaseline to restore moisture to the leather, after cleaning with saddle soap.

Step 3

Open the windows to allow as much air flow as possible into the room -- this will help remove odors and make your leather smell better.


  • Saddle soap is a mineral soap safe for use on leather. It can be found at any leather shop, and most larger department stores/pharmacies carry it.

    Any nylon brush will work for removing surface dirt, even a hairbrush.

    You can use various oils on the market to condition and add fragrance to your leather.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images

About the Author

Steve Brunolli specializes in the areas of personal finance, history and health. He holds a Bachelor of Science in economics from San Diego State University.