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Home » How To Get Fishy Smell Out Of Faux Leather? [Easily]

How To Get Fishy Smell Out Of Faux Leather? [Easily]

How To Get Fishy Smell Out Of Faux Leather

Eww, fishy smells are the worst, aren’t they? Yesterday, when I came home after a walk near the harbor, I faced that stinky situation with my favorite faux leather purse.

I couldn’t figure out where it came from – I don’t even eat fish! But my faux leather has picked up a serious fishy odor that just wouldn’t quit

I searched everywhere for solutions to get rid of the smell. After some trial and error, I discovered some handy methods that worked wonders. 

So, in this article, I’m going to share what caused the fishy smell and what I had to do to remove it so you don’t have to deal with stinky, stinky faux leather items.

So, let’s come together and kick this smell out of your faux leather items!

Why Does Faux Leather Smells Like Fish?

So I did research and found out these factors, due to which faux leather items have this fishy smell:

Absorption of odors

Faux leather is porous, and absorbs and retains odors more than real leather. And if they come in contact with something fishy smelling like seafood or fishing gear, they catch its aroma.

And this is what happened in my case, I had gone to visit the harbor where fish was being sold and due to coming in contact with it, this fragrance started coming from my Faux Leather Purse.

Manufacturing process

Most of the Faux Leather materials are made from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). So because of PVC, whenever a new material is produced, a fishy odor comes from it. In this case, this smell fades with time.

Treatment chemicals

Many times, chemicals have to be used on Faux Leather to make it durable, weather-resistant etc. In Some Cases, These treatment agents can impart a fishy smell in some cases.

Heat and humidity

When there is too much humidity and heat, faux leather smells like stale and stale fish. Because due to excessive heat, chemicals in the material start breaking quickly.

Ocean proximity

This smell can also occur when faux leather is exposed to ocean air for too long.

For Example: If you have gone on a beach vacation, the sea spray and salt will get stuck in the holes of your bag/purse and it will start smelling.

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How To Get Fishy Smell Out Of Faux Leather?

Although I tried many methods to remove the fishy smell from my faux leather purse, but only these 2 methods worked:

Method 1: Vinegar Solution

Step 1: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
Step 2: Spray the solution lightly onto the faux leather surface. Be careful not to over-saturate the material.
Step 3: Wipe the item with a soft, clean cloth.
Step 4: Let the item air dry in a well-ventilated area.

Method 2: Baking Soda | How To Get Fishy Smell Out Of Faux Leather?

Method 2: Baking Soda

Step 1: Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the faux leather surface.
Step 2: Let the baking soda sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight for best results.
Step 3: Vacuum up the baking soda or brush it away with a soft cloth.

Personal Favourite: I use this method to remove all sorts of smells from my home.

How To Deodorize Faux Leather Jacket?

I deodorized my faux leather jacket 2 weeks ago, using the method below, and it worked great! The jacket smelled like new again. So here is the step-by-step process:

1. Sprinkle baking soda over the inside and outside of the jacket. Pay special attention to the armpits, collar, and cuffs.
2. Place the jacket in a large sealable plastic bag or tub.
3. Let the jacket sit overnight. This will give the baking soda time to absorb the odors.
4. Remove the jacket from the bag or tub and vacuum up the baking soda.
5. Wipe down the jacket with a damp cloth to remove any remaining baking soda residue.

If you need a stronger deodorizing effect, mix the baking soda with a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender, lemon, or tea tree oil.

Note: Test the baking soda solution on an inconspicuous area of the jacket before using it to make sure that it does not damage the material.

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What Should I Do If My Faux Leather Item Gets Wet?

If your faux leather item gets wet, dry it as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth and damage to the material. Here is the step by step process to make it dry: 

1. Wipe away any excess water with a clean cloth: Don’t rub the faux leather.
2. Stuff the faux leather item with clean, dry towels
3. Place the faux leather item in a well-ventilated area to air dry. Avoid Placing the item in direct sunlight or near heat sources, as this can damage the material.
4. Check the faux leather item regularly to make sure that it is completely dry.

FAQS: Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if none of the methods work?

If you have tried all of the above methods and the fishy smell is still there, you have to take your faux leather item to a professional cleaner. They use their tools and expertise to remove the odor safely and effectively.

Can I use essential oils to get the fishy smell out of faux leather?

Yes, but test the essential oil on an inconspicuous area first.

Will airing out the faux leather item help remove the fishy odor?

Yes, but it may take several days or even weeks.

Can freezing faux leather items help in removing fishy odors?

Yes, freeze for at least 24 hours.

Can I wash faux leather in the washing machine?

No, wash faux leather by hand.


I hope this article has helped you eliminate the fishy smell from faux leather.

I know dealing with this smell is very frustrating, but it is definitely possible to get your faux leather smelling fresh again by using the methods above in the article.

The sooner you start treating the smell, the easier it will be to remove. 

IMPORTANT: Don’t use any random product to remove the smell. Not all cleaning products are created equal, and some can actually damage faux leather. 

If you have still any queries or suggestions about this article, feel free to comment down below!

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