When you spill something on your nice upholstered furniture, the panic can set in just as quickly as that spaghetti sauce. Apart from covering all your furniture in clear plastic like it’s 1955, can you prevent upholstery stains?
While there’s no fool-proof way to stop stains from happening, there are ways to remove them once they’ve happened. In a few quick steps, the stains will be nothing but a brief unpleasant memory. Keep reading to find out how.
Check the Tags
There is not a one-size-fits-all method for how to remove furniture stains. The method will depend on the type of upholstery you’re dealing with.
Upholstery, like all fabrics, should have a tag with care instructions attached. Check the bottoms of chairs or the seams of couch cushions. The tag will let you know if you can use water (W), solvents (S), both (W/S), or neither (X) on the fabric.
Solvents can include a wide variety of materials, but liquids like white vinegar or vodka are best. They are colorless and are less likely to damage your furniture than a chemical cleaner.
If you’re working with a piece of vintage furniture or a piece that’s been reupholstered, there might not be a tag. You can look up the type of fabric (velvet, leather, brocade, etc.) and see recommended cleaning solutions.
Regardless of whether the tag is there or not, always test your cleanser on a hidden part of the upholstery before going all-in. You want to make sure the cleaning doesn’t do more damage than the stain!
Before you start on your water or solvent cleanser, get as much of the stain up as possible using a vacuum and a stiff brush. This will help you avoid pushing more of the stain into the upholstery.
Scrape the stain with a stiff brush. A clean dish brush or a clothing brush will work. This is an especially effective tip for how to get rid of stubborn stains. The bristles will loosen up whatever the stain is, whether it’s red wine or a pet stain.
Next, using the upholstery attachment, run the vacuum over the furniture to suck up the stain you just loosened. Once that’s done, you’re ready for the wet treatment.
If the fabric allows, a wet treatment is the best way to finish up a furniture stain removal.
Spray a white cloth or white sponge with your water or solvent. White works best because there’s no risk of the cloth transferring color onto the upholstery while you work.
Gently rub the stain in circular motions with the damp cloth. It should start lifting off onto the cloth or sponge. Re-wet the cloth as necessary and rub until the stain is gone. Then, let the fabric dry, and your upholstery should be as good as new!
If you are still having trouble getting the stain off yourself, consider calling professional upholstery cleaners before looking up how to replace the upholstery.
Wave Goodbye to Upholstery Stains
Upholstery stains are frustrating, but they aren’t the end of the line for your beloved furniture! With the right information and a little elbow grease, you can keep your upholstery fresh and clean for years to come.
Chances are, furniture isn’t the only thing you’re trying to keep clean! For more cleaning tips and tricks, check out the rest of our lifestyle blogs.