How to Remove New-Leather Smell

leather bag

Rose asked: How do I get rid of the leather smell on my purse.

While many people enjoy the smell of leather, it can be overwhelming at times. The hide is treated with chemicals and colorings that can produce a strong scent. The smell of leather can be removed with washing, but the oils will need to be replaced to keep the leather piece from drying out.

You Will Need:

  • OdorZout
  • Vacuum with attachment
  • Plastic bag (optional)

Steps to Remove the Smell:

  1. OdorZout is a natural product that removes the odor from any surface. The product comes in a variety of options, for this purpose, we will use the all purpose granules.
  2. Sprinkle a thin layer of the granules over the surface of the piece. If it is a purse or bag, sprinkle the interior as well. It may be easiest to place the purse or leather piece inside of a plastic bag and then apply the granules.
  3. Allow the granules to sit on the piece for 24 hours
  4. Use a vacuum with the attachments to vacuum the granules away.
  5. Repeat the above process until the odor is removed.
  6. This same application and removal method can also be completed with baking soda if the OdorZout cannot be found.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Leather can also be washed with saddle soap or a mild soap to remove the odor. Apply a leather conditioner or oil after cleaning to replace the oils that were removed during the cleaning process.
  • It is believed that washing the piece with tomato juice will remove the odor, but be aware that the tomato may cause some staining on certain types of leather.
  • For a quick fix, store the item in dry newspapers. The paper will absorb the odor of the leather.
  • Ammonia and vinegar can be mixed with water and applied to the leather, but use caution not to dry out or discolor the leather. Always test a small area first before applying any acidic cleaners to the surfaces of the leather. When completed, apply a quality conditioner to the leather.


  1. Thanks for this excellent advice. I am going to use the baking soda procedure to remove the strong leather smell from my new car, which is making me sick and giving me asthma. I suffer from chemical sensitivities, but never before have I been affected from leather smell. The use of chemicals in car interiors are out of control.

  2. Angel, did you try it with your car and if so, did it work?

  3. Yes, Don’t leave us hanging Angel! We are all looking for useful information on what works, not just diary entries! 😉

  4. Has anyone tried the baking soda procedure? I have just bought a lovely leather, but it reeks. The leather smell is extremely overpowering. The jacket is glazed leather, so I’m guessing that’s the cause of the bad smell. I’m going to get a bin liner and put the baking soda in a bag and tie it up for 24 hours. Will let you know how I get on.

  5. Bought a leather bag from Morocco and the smell is too much to handle. Hope this procedure works…

  6. I bought leather slippers from Morocco that have unbearable smell. I tried the baking Soda for 5 days. Though smell improved, but is still too strong. I will try washing the leather with soap, and maybe a deodorant afterwards…

  7. Have exactly the same problem with a leather hold-all bag I bought online for X-mas. It stinks and is now in the garage!!
    Will try a number of the methods I have found on the Internet and let you all know the results.
    Fingers crossed as it wasn’t cheap!

  8. Try 3 or more tbsp of white vinegar & 3 tbsp of water; mix & wipe the jacket, and dry it with a paper towel. It works. But the best way is to hang it out
    in the sun. Good luck.
    As always, Mark Jr.

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