Can I Use Febreze On Faux Leather? (Pros, Cons & Alternatives)

Can I Use Febreze on Faux Leather

Febreze is a household staple that helps to eradicate odors. It can be found just about anywhere and has an extensive list of uses. However, it’s not meant for every surface. In this article, we will discuss whether or not you should use Febreze on faux leather goods.

Can I Use Febreze on Faux Leather? The manufacturers of Febreze advise strongly against using Febreze on leather due to its sensitive nature. However, faux leather is not as sensitive so you could make it work.

You can use Febreze to remove odors from faux leather items but you have to do it properly by first dampening the surface of the faux leather and then spritzing a damp rag with the Febreze, then wiping the surface of the faux leather. Wait a few seconds and use a clean dry cloth to buff the faux leather surface.

It is important to add that, using Febreze on your faux leather if not done properly can result in damage to your faux leather. So keep reading this article as I share with you the best practices when it comes to using Febreze on leather items.

Also, if you find using Febreze too risky for your faux leather items and would want a safer yet cheaper alternative, keep reading this article.

The Cons Of Using Febreze On Faux Leather

Let’s get the downsides to using Febreze on faux leather out of the way so that you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Febreze Can Leave Waxy Residue

First, let’s discuss the ingredient list for Febreze. The main ingredients are water and alcohol-based perfumes. There are also other chemicals, but they are in very small concentrations.

Febreze has alcohol which is great for eliminating odors by killing bacteria and fungi. However, when applied to faux leather goods it can also leave behind a waxy residue.

Febreze contains alcohols that are supposed to act as drying agents when Febreze is sprayed onto porous material like fabrics.

But because faux leather is non-porous, the application of Febreze will only build up on the faux leather surface which is not a good thing.

This then makes the faux leather surface whether a couch, shoes, or bags to be sticky-feeling. This is certainly not how you would want your faux leather to feel.

Febreze Can Stain Faux Leather Goods

Another concern is that Febreze can potentially lead to staining of faux leather goods.

This is because faux leather is often made up of chemical colorants that could react with the numerous chemicals such as alcohols and surfactants found in Febreze.

This can be problematic because once you have stained your faux leather, it is difficult to remove the stain without damaging the material.

Another way Febreze could cause stains on your faux leather items is the perfumes in it. The perfumes used in Febreze may discolor faux leather goods and result in a yellowish hue on the surface of your faux leather goods.

The Pros Of Using Febreze On Faux Leather

Febreze Can Remove Odor From Faux Leather

If you’re able to use it sparingly, you would be able to use Febreze to remove any unwanted odors from your faux leather goods.

It has a pleasant smell that is not too overbearing, which means it won’t overwhelm the faux leather’s true odor.

Although Febreze has a lot more downsides to its use on faux leather than it does on fabrics, if you’re able to apply it right, it could be a good option to remove any unwanted smells.

How To Safely Use Febreze On Faux Leather

So, how could you possibly make Febreze work on your faux leather without you causing any damage to it?

Well just to be crystal clear, the Febreze company advice against using Febreze on leather, but I did an experiment on an old faux leather couch and found the method I’m about to discuss to work pretty well.

To use Febreze on your faux leather, here’s how I safely cleaned odor from my faux leather using Febreze;

Things Needed:

  • Febreeze
  • Microfiber Cloth


Step 1:

  • Wipe off any dust or dirt that’s on the surface of your faux leather with a damp cloth.

Step 2:

  • Wash and wring out the damp cloth.

Step 3:

  • Spray the Febreze onto the damp microfiber cloth.

Step 4:

  • While the faux leather surface is still damp, use the microfiber cloth dampened with the Febreze to wipe the entire surface of the faux leather.
  • Make sure the application is even and that neither the faux leather surface and the applicator cloth are too wet.

Step 5:

  • Once you’re done, quickly use another dry clean cloth to wipe off all the Febreze residue.
  • Buff off the faux leather surface and leave it to air-dry.
  • Enjoy your new beautiful faux leather smell.

Important Tips When Using Febreeze On Faux Leather

  • If you want to use Febreze on your faux leather, be sure not to spray it directly onto the faux leather.
  • Spray onto a cloth first and then wipe the surface as needed to remove odors, especially those that are tough like smoke smells.
  • Always test the Febreze application on an inconspicuous part of the faux leather first before you do it all over.

Best Odor-Removing Alternatives To Febreze On Faux Leather

If you’re really drawn to the idea of using Febreeze on your faux leather items but want to avoid the concerns listed above, you could try using other odor-removing alternatives. Below are some of my recommended alternatives:


Vinegar is a natural odor remover and I usually use it as my first line of defense. Vinegar contains acetic acid which can help cut through and remove tough odors like smoke smells, etc. Here is how to use it to combat odor from your faux leather goods;

Things Needed:

  • Vinegar
  • Microfiber Cloth
  • Water


Step 1:

  • Mix equal parts of vinegar and water. You can do the mixture in a bowl or a spray bottle.

Step 2:

  • Wipe down the faux leather surface with a damp microfiber cloth soaked in your vinegar-water solution.

Step 3:

  • Allow the application to sit for about a few minute but do not let it dry.

Step 4:

  • Now wipe the surface of the faux leather thoroughly with a damp cloth.

Step 5:

  • The smell should be gone at this point but if the odor you particularly have on your faux leather is not budging, do not dilute the vinegar with water.
  • Wipe the surface of the faux leather with undiluted vinegar.
  • Allow it to sit for a few minutes and wipe it off using a water-damp microfiber cloth.
  • The smell or odor should be gone by now.

Baking Soda

Using baking soda is also a great way to remove odors from your faux leather. Baking soda is a natural odor neutralizer and using it on your faux leather should help eliminate the bad smell. Here is how to use baking soda on faux leather;

Things Needed:

  • Baking Soda
  • Brush Or Vacuum Cleaner
  • Microfiber Cloth


Step 1:

  • Sprinkle some baking soda onto the surface of your faux leather.

Step 2:

  • Allow the baking soda to sit on the surface of the faux leather overnight.

Step 3:

  • Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the baking soda residue.
  • If the odor is really strong, replace the baking soda and allow it to sit for a few more hours or even another night.

Final Thoughts

Just because faux leather is a man-made material, doesn’t mean it’s not susceptible to damage from different types of odors.

In the event of tough odors like smoke, vinegar and baking soda are some very effective ways to remove the smell.

Febreze is not a very effective way to remove odors from faux leather because it is particularly made for fabrics.

As much as possible, try not to use Febreze on your faux leather items because it will do more harm than good and you’ll end up with a damaged faux leather surface.

However, if your only choice is to use Febreze on your faux leather, be sure to follow the tips and steps I’ve laid out in this article.

Thanks for sticking around and reading this article! I hope you’ve learned something new and useful.


Here are a few questions I receive frequently after posting this article.

Q: Can I use Febreze on faux leather to remove cigarette smells?

A: Yes you can. Febreze is a good odor remover and it should work well on cigarette smells too. Especially because faux leather is not a porous material so odor like that of cigarette smells will simply stay on its surface. So it should be easy to remove the odor from faux leather using Febreze.

Q: Can you use Febreze on leather?

A: The producers of Febreze strongly discourage the use of Febreze on leather items. One of the major reasons is that the alcohol content in Febreeze can dry out or discolor leather surfaces and leave a dull finish behind which will not look good.

Q: What is the best odor-removing alternative to Febreeze on faux leather?

A: The best alternative to Febreeze on faux leather is vinegar. Vinegar is a natural odor-removing alternative and has been used for decades in various ways. It is a safe and effective alternative.

But product-wise, I find Griot’s Garage and Leather Honey Leather Conditioner are the best.


Hi! I’m Kwabena, the owner and founder of Favored Leather. I’m a huge Leathercraft enthusiast and I’ve been that for almost 13 years now. I'm excited to share my experiences and all the new stuff I learn each day about leather craft, leather cleaning & care, and everything in-between!

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