Whether it is spilt coffee on the couch or chicken grease on the dining chair, upholstered furniture will get stained when used at home.
The good news is stains can be removed, and you can revitalize your upholstery back to its clean state.
One of the top things to consider during stain removal is the type of fabric the upholstery is made of. Whether it is cotton, linen, or nylon, different fabrics are cleaned differently.
Besides, the kind of stain is also taken into consideration. It could be ink, mud, or chewing gum stains. All these stains have different methods of removal.
Let's take a look at the best way to clean upholstery stains!
Most Common Types Of Upholstery Fabrics
There is a wide array of fabrics that are used for upholstery, ranging from natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, and wool to synthetic materials like polyester, nylon, and acrylic.
Many natural and synthetic fabrics are blended to improve their abilities.
Understanding the upholstery fabric goes a long way in cleaning and managing it successfully.
Cotton is a popular upholstery material because it is soft and comfortable on furniture.
There are different types of cotton that can suit your budget.
However, cotton absorbs moisture easily, so spills tend to soak in quickly. It also wrinkles easily.
Silk is a luxurious and robust fabric, making it an excellent choice for furniture that is not used regularly due to its delicate nature.
It is expensive and requires professional service to clean off stains. Silk is not recommended for areas with children and pets.
This is also another lavish material that is durable and long-lasting. It is a soft and comfortable choice for your furniture.
Additionally, it is resistant to stains. On the flip side, wool is costly and can get an odour that is difficult to get rid of when something spills.
No other upholstery looks as luxurious and elegant as leather.
It is a fantastic upholstery fabric because it is easy to clean – simply wipe it with a cloth when liquid spills on it.
Unlike wool and other materials, it does not absorb spills or smells, and therefore, it’s not susceptible to foul odours.
Leather is a very durable material that lasts longer when it’s well maintained.
Although it is expensive, this material is great for heavy use.
From the flax plant comes the classic linen fabric.
It is soft and smooth to touch; it breathable and comfortable on furniture.
Linen is a very strong material, and therefore its furnishings are durable. It is affordable and resistant to soiling.
However, it is not recommended for everyday use and requires professional cleaning services to avoid shrinkage because it wrinkles easily.
Polyester is a popular synthetic fabric because of its tenderness and comfortability.
Besides, this fabric is easy to clean and resistant to abrasion, making it very durable.
Also known as Olefin, Polypropylene is made of melted plastic and is, therefore, water-resistant.
It is equally long-lasting with a similar feel as wool, and its furniture is suitable for heavy use.
Often blended with another natural or synthetic fabric, nylon is easy to clean.
It is also durable and great for heavy use upholstery. It tends to fades when exposed to extreme sunlight.
Acrylic is considered a great fabric for outdoor upholstery because it does not fade easily.
Besides, it is easy to clean and dries quickly, making it perfect for heavy use.
Rayon was created as an imitation of silk, linen, and cotton. It is soft, comfortable, and resistant to mildew.
It is prone to wrinkling and not a durable fabric for upholstery though newer varieties have improved on these characteristics.
The Best Way To Clean Upholstery Stains For Most Common Stain Types
The trick to saving upholstery from ugly smudges is to know how to get rid of everyday stains. Whichever the stain, quick action presents the best chance of restoring the upholstery.
1) Red wine
When a glass of wine accidentally spills on the couch;
- Quickly grab an absorbent cloth and blot (do not rub) as much of the wine as possible.
- Mix a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing cleaning solution with two cups of cool water and sponge the stain with the solution.
- Blot with a soft absorbent cloth until the liquid is absorbed.
- Rinse with clean water to finish.
Alternatively, sprinkle sparkling water on the stain and dry the spot gently, working from inside, with a dry cloth.
2) Fruit Juice
If fruit juice spills on your fabric;
- Blot as much juice as possible using paper towels until no more juice can be absorbed.
- Mix two teaspoons of dishwashing detergents with two cups of warm water
- Dip a clean cloth and wipe the surface, working from the outside in to avoid spreading.
- Blot the spot with a dry cloth to absorb the solution and rinse the spot with clean water.
An ink pen explosion or children may extend their drawing games to the couch, leaving an unsightly stain.
- To remove the ink stain, start by blotting it out with a clean towel until no more of the stain can be seen on the towel.
- Test the upholstery fabric for colour fastness by applying vinegar on the part of the upholstery that cannot be seen.
- Mix one tablespoon of liquid washing detergent, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of water in a small bowl.
- Light dab the solution on the stain using a soft cloth and let the solution sit for 30 minutes.
- After every five minutes, blot the spot with the vinegar solution using a clean cloth.
- After that, clean the surface with cold water until the solution is no more.
- Use a fresh dry paper towel or microfiber cloth to absorb the moisture.
4) Oil & Grease
To get rid of cooking oil or automotive oil,
- Start by sprinkling cornstarch or baking soda on the stain and gently pat it on the stained surface.
- It will take 15 minutes for the cornstarch or baking soda to absorb the oil from the smear.
- Vacuum to remove the powder, then using a clean cloth, sponge the stain with a dry cleaning solvent.
- Blot the surface with paper towels until no more oil can be transferred from the fabric to the towel.
- To remove the sweat stain, mix two cups of cool water, one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid, and one teaspoon of ammonia.
- Before you begin, test the upholstery fabric for colour fastness by applying ammonia on the part of the upholstery that cannot be seen.
- Sponge the solution on spots using a clean cloth.
- Blot the spot repeatedly with a dry cloth until the solution is completely absorbed.
- After, use clean cold water and a clean cloth to remove the cleaning solution, then blot dry.
- To get rid of blood stains, quickly dab the surface with cold water.
- Lukewarm or hot water will only set the stain, so the colder the water, the better.
- Next, grab a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and pour a small amount on an inconspicuous part of the upholstery fabric to test for colour safety. Hydrogen Peroxide is a mild bleach though it is safe even on the most delicate fabrics such as silk.
- If the fabric holds, pour a small amount on the bloodstain.
- After the stain disappears, wipe the surface with cold water to remove any residual peroxide.
- Blot dry.
Get rid of lipstick stain on your furniture, spray hairspray directly on the upholstery.
Soak it for five minutes, then wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth.
8) Hot Beverages
Mix a cleaning detergent with cold water and clean the surface, blotting it with a clean towel until the stain is gone.
Rinse the upholstery with clean water.
- When the dog settles on the couch with muddy feet, blot out the wet stains with a dry cloth.
- Use a brush with a non-bleach detergent to work on the stains.
- After 10 minutes, mix equal parts water and vinegar and a clean cloth to wipe out the soap.
- Lastly, blot out the surface with a clean, dry towel.
10) Chewing Gum
To remove chewing gum stuck on your couch, put ice cubes in a sealable bag and place it on top of the gum until it is solid.
Scrape off as much gum as possible from the sofa using a blunt object.
- To remove chocolate stains, scrape off any particles that may be remaining.
- Using a mix of liquid detergent and water, use a clean cloth to wipe the upholstery.
- Rinse it off with clean water and cloth and then blot it with a dry cloth to remove moisture.
- Apply a couple of drops of dry-cleaning solvent on the surface
- Blot it with a towel until the stain disappears.
While staining the upholstery cannot be prevented, the best way to avoid smears is to soak up the spill as quickly as possible. Then follow this guide to clean the couch, sofa, or dining chair back to its clean state.