Things You'll Need
Vacuum with attachments
White distilled vinegar
New furniture often emits odors left behind from packaging materials and chemicals used on fabric and furniture frames during the manufacturing process. Sofas and other upholstered furniture may cause health reactions in certain individuals who are sensitive to the odor, due to off-gassing of chemicals such as formaldehyde. It is not difficult to remove the odor from furniture, although it may take a few days for the smell to dissipate.
Open the windows of your home. Turn on the ceiling fans or place a window fan in the room to ventilate the area. Place the window fan so that it blows air outside the home. Open a window opposite the fan or in another room of your home to help with the ventilation process. Do this at least for 24 hours or until you no longer notice the smell.
Place the sofa outdoors for several hours a day for a few days. Do not leave it out overnight because you do not want the morning dew to collect on the fabric or have to deal with a soggy couch if it rains unexpectedly. The fresh air and sunlight helps to remove the factory odor. If possible, place the sofa on a covered patio or porch to help keep it clean as it airs out.
Sprinkle baking soda over the sofa seat after removing the cushions, if it has any. Otherwise, just sprinkle it directly over the upholstery. Let it sit overnight and then vacuum the sofa thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner attachment. Sprinkle baking soda on removable cushions as well, over both top and bottom sides. Vacuum the cushions.
Set out small bowls of vinegar in the room near the sofa. Make sure the bowls will not accidentally spill on the fabric. Vinegar is a natural deodorizer. If possible, shut the door of the room and leave it for a couple of days. Remove the bowls of vinegar and ventilate the room by opening the windows or running a fan.
Over time the smell from new furniture usually dissipates on its own. These methods hasten the process.
Check the care tags on the sofa cushions -- some may be machine washable. If the cushions are machine washable, wash them following care tag instructions to remove a good deal of latent odor.
You can use a commercial fabric refresher or deodorizer, but test it in an inconspicuous area on your sofa, such as the back or underneath a seat cushion first. This ensures the product will not discolor or damage the fabric.
Chelsea Fitzgerald covers topics related to family, health, green living and travel. Before her writing career, she worked in the medical field for 21 years. Fitzgerald studied education at the University of Arkansas and University of Memphis.