If you’ve ever spilled beer in your house and not cleaned it up immediately, you know how quickly that heady yeasty aroma can turn sour. How do you get rid of the beer smell around the house?
When dealing with a beer spill, the most important thing you can do is clean it up immediately. Use a white towel to blot up as much of the beer as possible. To remove lasting stains and odors, apply a vinegar solution or commercial cleaner to the area then apply a thin layer of baking soda. Let the cleaners sit for 24 hours before vacuuming.
Read on for step-by-step instructions for getting that beer smell out of your carpet, couch, floors, and more. Learn different ways to treat each type of surface and remove any residual smell from the house.
Why does spilled beer make such a bad smell?
Pouring one of your favorite beers can be a great experience. The aroma of a freshly poured coffee oatmeal stout or a fruity Belgian Tripel can make your mouth water with anticipation. Why, then, does beer smell so bad after you spill it?
Yeast strains, hops, grains, and additives like fruit and spices can all contribute to beer’s aroma. These are the same culprits that leave that nasty sweet-ish, sour smell that hangs around your house after a beer has been spilled.
The longer you leave the spill without cleaning, the stronger the smell (and the stain) will get.
How long does beer smell last?
Once you have a sour beer smell in your house, it’ll certainly feel as if it’s going to be there forever, but how long will it really last?
The longevity of the unpleasant spill smell depends on how much beer was spilled, when it was cleaned up, and where it happened.
If you spill a full beer on your upholstered couch, for example, the smell is likely to be noticeable for several weeks.
If you attempted to clean the spill, but it still smells, it may only smell for a few days.
If you spill it on the carpet and don’t clean it, it could mildew eventually from the carpet padding being wet. This may cause your carpet to smell until it’s properly cleaned.
Will the smell of beer go away on its own?
It’s unclear from research whether or not the smell of beer would go away on its own.
Typically, people will give in by the second day because the smell is so bad they don’t want to try and wait it out.
It’s best to clean any spills as soon as they’re discovered to reduce the potential for a long-term odor problem.
What neutralizes the smell of beer?
To neutralize the smell of beer, you can use a couple of things. Vinegar is well-known to remove strong odors, but you also have to deal with the strong vinegar smell until it dissipates.
Baking soda is the better choice to remove the smell of beer from the carpet and furniture. It penetrates deeper into the fibers and to the floor under your carpet.
Since baking soda does have a saturation point, if the first application doesn’t remove the smell entirely, reapply it to the area. Wait 24 hours, then vacuum it up.
How to get rid of the smell of beer in your house
The key to getting rid of the smell of beer in your house is to first clean up the source of the smell.
Whether it’s on the carpet, furniture, tile, or hardwood floor, cleaning up spills when they happen will make the smell dissipate sooner. For a lingering beer smell, you can use air fresheners, light candles, use wax melts or put a few drops of your favorite essential oil in a vaporizer.
The key to getting rid of a beer smell in the house is quickly cleaning up any spills. The longer a spill sits on upholstery, carpeting, or clothing, the more likely it is to stain and smell. Clean up with water, detergent, vinegar, and baking soda is quick, easy, and effective for most spills.
You should always consult the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning spills from your furniture to ensure the best results. If you can’t do that, then test a small spot of the suggested solutions below in an inconspicuous area first.
Couches and chairs
It’s important when cleaning spilled beer on couches and chairs not to oversaturate the fabric. You should always use a white or light-colored rag or paper towels to blot spills and apply cleaning solutions.
Colored rags and printed paper towels can transfer unwanted colors onto light fabrics and carpets. If the spill is large and you have a small upholstery cleaner or shop vac, using those may make the job faster and easier.
To clean beer smell out of couches and chairs:
- Using clean white towels or rags, blot as much of the beer from the surface as possible.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with ⅔ cup of rubbing alcohol.
- Using a clean white towel dipped in the solution, sponge the area of the spill.
- Blot with another white or light-colored towel until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Repeat steps 3 & 4 until the stain and/or smell disappears.
- Sponge the area with clean, cold water and blot dry.
To clean a spill with a portable upholstery cleaner:
If you have a portable upholstery cleaner, your process will be very similar, but you’ll be able to use the appliance rather than spending your time blotting with a towel.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adding cleaning solution to the upholstery cleaner.
- Lightly spray the area with the cleaning solution being careful not to oversaturate the fabric.
- Using the wand attachment, suction the cleaning solution out of the fabric.
- Repeat steps 3 & 4 until the stain/smell is gone.
- Let air dry and re-check for any remaining stain or smell.
- Repeat the cleaning cycle if needed. Or sprinkle the area with baking soda, wait 12 – 24 hours and vacuum up the soda.
Beer spilled on leather needs to be cleaned quickly to avoid permanent damage. You should also avoid using too much water during the cleaning process as this can also harm the leather.
Blot liquids instead of wiping to avoid spreading the stain.
Note: this advice also works pretty well for getting beer smell out of leather car seats!
Steps to clean beer smell out of leather:
- Spread paper towels over the area to soak up the initial spill.
- Press additional dry paper towels or a light-colored rag into the area to blot as much liquid as possible from the leather.
- Combine equal parts of cold water and white vinegar in a bowl.
- Dampen a clean rag or sponge in the solution and wring out as much as possible.
- Gently wipe the spill area in a circular motion with the vinegar solution.
- Rewet/wring the rag and repeat the cleaning motion 2 or 3 more times to ensure the beer is lifted from the leather.
- Blot any excess cleaning solution and let the leather dry naturally.
Carpet and rugs
Cleaning beer out of carpet should also be done as soon as possible.
Always blot spills and stains on carpet and rugs to avoid damage to the fibers.
Steps to clean beer smell out of carpets and rugs:
- Using clean white towels or rags, blot as much of the beer from the surface as possible.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 2 cups of warm water.
- Wet a sponge with the solution and wring out leaving a little of the solution in the towel.
- Apply a little of the solution at a time to the spill/stain and blot with a dry towel until the stain and smell are gone.
- Place a fan blowing over the area to ensure the carpet gets dry to avoid mildew developing underneath the carpet.
- If the smell remains the next day, cover the area with baking soda and leave for 24 hours to absorb the remaining odor.
- Vacuum the baking soda from the rug.
- If you still have issues with staining or smells, it is probably time to rent a steam cleaner.
Cleaning beer smells out of hardwood flooring also has its challenges. Getting all the beer gunk out of the tiny cracks in natural wood is important to remove the funky beer odor and any residual stickiness from the sugars.
For this surface, it’s especially important to make sure the area is dried appropriately to prevent damage to the wood.
Steps to clean beer smell out of hardwood flooring:
- Wipe up any spilled beer from the hardwood with a clean towel as soon as possible.
- Make your cleaning solution.
- Dish soap – Mix a solution of two tablespoons of dish soap with ½ gallon of warm water.
- All-purpose cleaner concentrate – Dilute a small amount of cleaner like Simple Green in water.
- Use this solution to mop the area, or apply with a sponge or rag.
- Rinse with clean, cold water to prevent cloudiness from the cleaning solution.
- Dry the area well with a clean towel.
The best way to clean beer smells off of tile floors depends on the type of tile.
If you’re unsure of how to clean your tile, make sure you do some research before applying cleaner to it as you could actually end up doing more damage to your floor that way than the beer would.
For ceramic tile, a solution of vinegar and water can be used to remove odors and stickiness.
For marble or stone tile, you should avoid using vinegar or alcohol because they can damage these types of tile. Instead, just use warm water and dish soap to clean the area.
Steps to clean beer smells off of tile flooring:
- Wipe any spilled beer from the tile with a clean towel.
- Make a solution of 1 cup of vinegar and 1 gallon of warm water.
- Use a mop or sponge to apply the solution to the spill area.
- Rinse the tiles with clean water to prevent cloudiness from the cleaning solution.
Spilling beer on your clothing can create stains and a pungent smell pretty quickly.
If you can’t wash your clothes immediately, try dipping a towel or cloth into some water and blotting the area of the spill.
Try to get as much out as you can until you get home to wash it.
Steps to clean beer smells from your clothing:
- Mix a paste of baking soda and a little liquid dish or laundry detergent.
- Apply it to the stain and gently rub it into the fabric.
- Let the garment sit for 5-10 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.
- Toss the garment into the washing machine and wash as normal.
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