Removing Upholstery Stains

Upholstered Furniture Cleaning Tips.

Upholstery Cleaning and Stain Removal Tips

If you have a sofa, chair, loveseat, or some other type of upholstered furniture that is in good condition but just dirty, these upholstery cleaning tips will save you money and time shopping for new furniture.

Most often, people will clean an existing piece of furniture and be totally amazed at how incredible it looks. Considering that people sit on it and sometimes our pets, it’s no wonder it gets dirty. Even simple aged furniture can benefit from a good cleaning.

The key with upholstered furniture is choosing the appropriate type of cleaning method. For example, if you have an antique chair that is hand embroidered then it would require a different cleaning technique than a sofa that was store bought. In this article, we will walk you through several upholstery cleaning tips to make the job easy and worthwhile.

Getting Upholstery Stains Out

Maintaining a clean home is part of having a happy home where people enjoy living. With furniture, upholstery is just one aspect but an important one. Think about all the times people have eaten on the sofa, dropping bits of food or drink that leave stains. Then you have the dirty feet, dirty clothing, and just everyday wear and tear that can leave upholstery looking dirty and drab. As you are about to discover, getting those stains out does not have to be painful.

The most important thing to remember when cleaning upholstery is to consider the fabric. If you are unsure, you can check with the manufacturer’s information. Then, before you start cleaning a large stain, we recommend you work first on an inconspicuous area to ensure no discoloration or damage is done.

With that done, the following are a few of the more common stains found on upholstery and methods for removing them.

Butter Stains

The family sits around to watch a movie and in comes the hot, buttered popcorn. Although everyone is careful, pieces can fall and leave little grease stains. For butter, the best option is to choose a dry cleaning solvent, which can be found at grocery and retail stores. Apply a little onto a clean, white cloth and blot at the stain, never rub or you can create a larger stain and possible damage the upholstery.

Next, mix one tablespoon mild, ph-balanced detergent with one cup warm water. Again, blot at the stain. Next, using another towel, sponge the solvent and detergent off with clean, warm water and allow the spot to dry. Cover with a clean cloth until dry.

Oily Melted Cheese Stains

Melted cheese is another food product that we’ve spilled on furniture. Again, things like nachos – when watching movies – are a favorite snack food but the cheese will leave stains behind.

For cleaning up the cheese:

  • First, carefully lift any melted cheese you can
  • Mix one tablespoon of liquid dish washing detergent with 2 cups cool water
  • With a clean cloth, blot the cheese stain with the cleaning mixture
  • Repeat until the cheese stain is removed
  • Finally, blot the stain with clean water to remove any cleaning solution
  • Cover with a clean cloth until the area is dry

Ink Stains

Coming home from work or school, you sit down with a pen in your pocket and before you know it, a stain is left. Ballpoint pens, especially blue, are common stain makers but as you will discover with this upholstery cleaning tip, they too come out.

The key, however, is to be patient and persistent, as ink stains can be stubborn. Just make sure you only blot. Rubbing could cause the ink stain worsen.

You have a number of options such as:

  • Spray enough hairspray to create a wet spot onto a clean, white towel and dab at the stain, followed by blotting with a clean, dry towel
  • Treat a clean, white towel with isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Again, blot the ink stain, followed by a dry towel
  • Again, with a clean, white towel, apply nail polish remover or acetone. Blot the ink stain from the outside edges toward the center
  • Using a clean, white towel, use spirits of turpentine, blotting as with the other treatment options
  • Commercial products that work well on ink stains include Carbona or Afta. With both, you would use a clean, white towel, dabbing the affected area.

Coffee Stains

Sipping coffee on an upholstered chair or sofa is everyday occurrence. To get rid of a coffee stain, mix one teaspoon of a mild, pH balanced detergent with one cup of warm water, then blot from the outside in.

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

Regular cleaning to keep your upholstery looking and smelling clean is essential. Typically, you can use your regular vacuum cleaner with the appropriate attachment to keep it clean. Just keeping the dust off will help your furniture last much longer. With this, you can enjoy your favorite sofa or chair without having to spend hard-earned money on new furniture.