How to Remove Stains from Upholstery
Everyone has managed to stain the upholstery on a sofa or chair at one time or another. Therefore it is important to know exactly how to remove particularly stubborn stains. In order to do so, simply follow the easy steps below:
Look at the Fabric Label
The first thing you should do when you want to remove a stain from upholstery is to look at the fabric label. This will advise the most suitable cleaner for the specific fabric using a letter code.
- W – Spot clean with a water-based solution or mild detergent. The foam produced by the solution will do the majority of the work.
- S – Spot clean with a solvent in a well ventilated room, any water stains made while using solvents will most likely stain.
- SW – Spot clean with either solvent or water-based foam.
- X – This is vacuum only and unlikely to get most stains out.
Remove Any Excess Residue
As soon as you notice the stain on the upholstery, remove any excess. This can often be simply swept off by hand or perhaps using a vacuum, spoon or table knife. If the stain is caused by a liquid then remove any left-over liquid using an absorbent material such as a paper towel.
Test the Cleaner
Test the cleaner in a spot where any mistakes will not be noticed, for example, behind the cushions.
Upholstery Stain Removal
Once you’re ready to begin the upholstery stain removal process, first determine if the stain can be removed by a water based cleaner. If the stain is removable by a water-based cleaner then use a solution of approximately 4 litres of cool to warm water with 5 teaspoons of everyday washing up liquid. If the stain is greasy or contains caramelised sugar then a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water would be better.
Be sure that not too much water is applied to the upholstery, using mainly the foam of the solution. Blot the stain and rub from the outside to the centre in order to avoid rings.
Providing you are not using solvent, you should now use clean water and a clean sponge to remove any remains left over from the cleaning solution.
- Ballpoint pen – Apply a very little amount of dry-cleaning solvent, followed with neutral detergent (1 teaspoon) and lukewarm water (1 cup).
- Candle wax – remove with a heated iron into an absorbent paper towel or napkin. Sponge with a little dry-cleaning solvent and follow with a neutral detergent and water solution.
- Earth/dirt – Apply a neutral detergent and water solution, follow with a solution of ammonia (one tablespoon) and water (1/2 cup). Use the detergent solution again and sponge with a clean sponge.
- Nail polish – Apply nail varnish remover or acetone, blot with a solution of neutral detergent and water.
- Wine – Remove wine by making a solution of neutral detergent and water, blot the stain with this and then with a solution of white vinegar (1/3 cup) and water (2/3 cup), using the first solution again and sponge with clean water.