The Toughest Stain Removal for Upholstery Cleaning

Stain Removal

When you have nice furniture, it is one of your worst fears as a homeowner that they will get stained and worn with age. You are, after all, a proud homeowner and have probably spent considerable money and effort in choosing the furniture that best suits your house. How nice would it be if we didn’t have to worry about that ever happening if we could just prevent spillage and stains from ever occurring? But we live in the real world, right? Accidents happen from time to time, especially if you’re a family with young children. The best we can do is arm ourselves with the knowledge and know-how on how to best handle stains to our upholstery, particularly soft fabric upholstery.

When a spill or mess does happen on your favourite soft-fabric sofa or armchair, your first initial instinct may be to rush and grab your expensive bottle of “professional” upholstery cleaner. Don’t! Before you do, it might be worth knowing that one of the most effective cleaning solutions is water. That’s right, just plain old H2O. Dampen a clean cloth, preferably microfibre, and gently blot (don’t rub for Heaven’s sake!) the stain for a few minutes. If this fails to have the desired result, then move onto an upholstery cleaning solution. The best upholstery stain remover will depend on the type of stain. Follow these three simple steps for the best results.

  1. Remove any excess ASAP!
  2. Use a spoon or butter knife to scrape off any solids as soon as possible to prevent your spill from turning to a permanent stain. If there is liquid, grab a white absorbent cloth and blot the stain, starting from the outer edges and moving towards the centre. This helps prevents further spreading of the stain.

2.  Apply an upholstery stain remover

Once you’ve removed the excess use an approved upholstery stain remover agent, make sure to follow the manufacturers instructions. But if you don’t have one on hand and you can’t afford to lose time the team at Empire Upholstery have a tip to DIY your own. Stir one teaspoon of dishwashing into 1 quart of warm water and a ¼ of a teaspoon of white vinegar. Whichever solution you end up with make sure not to over-wet the stain. Let it sit for around 10 minutes.

3.  Blot away the stain

Using a clean absorbent cloth blot from the outside in. Keep doing this over and over with a dry part of the cloth until the stain is no longer transferring over to the cloth. Blot with cold water and then blot dry again. For an extra tip cover the damp area with a thick layer of paper towels. Apply pressure and hold for 5 minutes.

How to Tackle the Worst Upholstery Stain Offenders

●   Wine – If you spill red or white wine, or a type of dark coloured juice such as beetroot juice, start by spritzing with soda water. Blot with a clean microfibre cloth and repeat until the stain is gone.

●  Chocolate – Everyone loves chocolate, right? Until it gets on your expensive sofa though. Use a spoon to scrape as much of the chocolate as you can. If it is melted, then place a resealable plastic bag filled with ice over it to harden the stain and then proceed. Mix ¼ teaspoon of detergent with a warm cup of water and use a clean cloth to apply to the stain. Leave for 5 minutes and blot away with a dry cloth.

●   Coffee – Mix 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide with a tablespoon of detergent. Blot the spill dry and then apply the solution. Rinse the stain with water, blot dry, and then repeat the whole process until the stain is gone.

●   Dirt – Allow the dirt to dry completely. Scrape off as much residue as possible and then vacuum. Apply a detergent solution (¼ detergent + cup warm water). Let the solution sit for 15 minutes and then blot dry. Again make sure to spot from outside in.

●  Greasy stains – Using baking soda as an upholstery cleaner for fatty, greasy stains. Sprinkle the stain with baking soda and walk away. Leave for 6 hours at least (you have to allow time for the baking soda to absorb as much as possible). Vacuum and then blot with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol.

●   Urine – Accidents happen. A lot of us have pets. For these kinds of accidents apply an enzymatic cleaner. These types of cleaners you’ll need to purchase from pet stores.