We know how hard it is when you just spent money on a new couch and a glass of wine gets spilled on it, or one of the kids drips ketchup all over and forgets to tell anyone.
Don’t worry, though – hope is certainly not lost. We have a few general tips for handling stains, as well as a process that can hopefully remove the worst of them, whether they just happened or have had some time to really sink in.
Vacuuming will not completely remove a stain; however, you’d be surprised at how well it can fade the mark. Getting up any dried bits and crumbs will give you a better idea of exactly what you’re dealing with. It’s a good rule of thumb to vacuum your upholstery on a regular basis anyway, as it helps prevent dust and crumbs from settling into the crevices and cushions.
Check the Tag
Most furniture pieces will come with cleaning codes. Each fabric or material has different methods and requirements – for example, some pieces can be cleaned with water, others you need to move directly into solvents.
Tip: If your furniture doesn’t have this code—like an antique piece—you can do a test on one of the hidden parts. Common testing methods are using water or vinegar.
Steam the Area
If you’ve read the tags or done a patch test and water works, then it could help to steam the area you’re about to clean. Steaming can loosen the stain and make it easier to treat. An easy way to do this is to take your iron and flip the “steam” button on. Voila; instant steamer. After you’ve steamed, it’s time to actually treat the stain.
The cleaning process:
- Mix some clear dish soap (or other mild detergent) with cool water. Use a sponge to dab the stain with this mixture (if the cleaning code says water is okay to use). It’s essential you dab, not rub as that can set your stain, rather than lift it.
- Rinse the sponge thoroughly and use water alone to clean away the soap mixture, remembering to dab not scrub.
- If the cleaning code says water won’t work, use vodka or vinegar on a a cloth to dab clean. The scent shouldn’t linger once the upholstery is dry.
- Use a cloth or paper towel to press the area dry, or let it air dry.
If Water, Soap, and/or Vinegar Did Not Work:
Deep breaths, there’s still more we can try. You may have to use a more heavy-duty cleaning product (if you don’t have one already, here’s a list of best-reviewed products on the market). Just replace the soap with the product and go at it again.
Sometimes all of this isn’t enough. If that happens, it’s fine! Many are shocked that just doing it a second or third time can actually work the magic and remove the stain wholly.
Time for a New Sofa? Come into Broadway Furniture
If your couch gets so stained and bruised that you feel it doesn’t fit the room anymore, it might be time for a new one. At Broadway Furniture, we have a great selection of sofas for you to peruse.