How to Clean and Remove Stains From Upholstery

Upholstered furniture can be very expensive. If you have a couch, chair, loveseat, or other furnishings that is in good condition but just a little dirty, these upholstery cleaning tips will save you time and money.

Instead of going out looking for new furniture, you can clean an existing piece of furniture and be absolutely amazed at how incredible it looks. Even aged furniture can benefit from a good cleaning.

The main thing with upholstered furniture is choosing the appropriate type of cleaning method. For example, if you have an antique that has hand embroidered upholstery then it would require a different cleaning method than a sofa that was purchased from a store.

Here are a number of cleaning tips to make your job easy and get the dirt and stains out.

Get the Upholstery Stains Out.

Maintaining your furniture is just one aspect of having a clean and happy home. More families are moving away from the dinner table and eating on the sofa dropping bits of food and drinks that leave stains.

Then you have dirty feet and clothes that can leave the upholstery looking dirty and drab. As you will soon see, getting those stains out doesn’t have to be a pain.

When cleaning upholstery, it’s important to take into consideration the fabric. Check the manufacturer’s information if you are unsure. It is also important and we recommend you first try an inconspicuous area to make sure there is no discoloration or damage to the fabric.

Below are some of the more common stains that can be found on upholstery and the methods to clean them.

Butter Stains.

It’s movie night and the family is sitting on the couch eating hot, buttered popcorn. No matter how careful you are, pieces of popcorn can fall and leave a greasy stain.

For butter, the best solution is a dry cleaning solvent. This can be found at a grocery or retail store.

On a clean white cloth, apply a little solvent and blot the stain, don’t rub just blot. Next, mix one tablespoon of a mild, ph-balanced detergent with one cup of warm water, blot the stain. Using another clean cloth, wipe the solvent and detergent off with clean, warm water and allow the spot to dry.

Oily Cheese Stains.

Cheese is another food product that is frequently spilled on upholstery. Nachos are a favorite snack food but they leave stains.

For these oily cheese stains, mix one teaspoon of mild, ph-balanced detergent with one cup of warm water. With a clean, white cloth or towel, blot at the stain. Then mix one tablespoon of regular ammonia with one-half cup of water, blot the stain. Finally, with another clean cloth blot the stain with clean water to remove any detergent and ammonia and let area dry.

Ink Stains.

Coming home from school and doing homework on the couch or simply sitting on the couch with a pen in your pocket can leave behind an ink stain.

Ballpoint pens, especially blue, are very common stain makers but with this upholstery cleaning tip, they too will come out. However, the key here is to be patient and persistent. Ink stains can be stubborn. Make sure you only blot and don’t rub. Rubbing can cause the ink stain to worsen.

Here are the options available for ink stains:

* Spray hairspray on a clean, white cloth and dab at the stain. Follow this by blotting with a clean, dry towel.

* On a clean white cloth, apply isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Again, blot the ink stain, followed by a clean, dry towel.

* Again, using a clean, white cloth or towel, apply nail polish remover or acetone. Blot the ink stain from the outside edges toward the center.

* Using a clean, white towel, apply spirits of turpentine. Blot as with the other treatment options.

Coffee Stains.

For some of us, sipping coffee on an upholstered chair or sofa is everyday occurrence. To get rid of a coffee stain, mix one teaspoon of mild, ph-balanced detergent with one cup of warm water. Blot from the outside edge in toward the center.

Follow this with a mixture of one-third cup white vinegar and two-thirds cup water and blot the stain. When finished, use a clean, white towel to absorb any excess, allow the stained area to dry.

Because dust settles on fabric more than hard surfaces, keeping your upholstery clean is important. Regular cleanings will keep it looking and smelling fresh and clean.

As a general rule, we recommend you clean your upholstery furniture once every two months. Using the appropriate attachment from your vacuum makes this an easy chore.

By vacuuming regularly, this helps keep the dust off and will help your furniture last longer. When necessary, use the tips above for removing stains.