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Upholstery Cleaning & Stain Removal Tips

How to clean and remove stains from upholstery

New furniture can be very expensive. If you have a lounge suite, chair, loveseat, or some other type of upholstered furniture that is in good condition but just heaps of stains, these cleansing 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 and sometimes pets sit on furniture, it is no wonder it gets dirty. Even simple aged furniture can benefit from a good cleaners.

The key with upholstered furniture is choosing the appropriate type of cleansing 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 stuff cleaners tips to make the job easy and worthwhile.

Getting the 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 couch, 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 stains in your upholstery and looks 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 is to consider the fabric. If you are unsure, you can check with the manufacturer’s information. Then, before you start in 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 most common stains found on upholstery and methods for removing them.

Butter Stains

The family sits around to watch TV and in comes the hot, buttered popcorn. Although everyone is careful, pieces can fall and then you have a grease stain. 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. Next, mix one tablespoon of a mild, ph-balanced detergent with one cup of 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.

Oily Cheese Stains

Cheese is another food that is seen spilled on upholstery. Again, things like nachos are a favorite snack food but they leave stains. For cheese, mix one teaspoon of mild, ph-balanced detergent with one cup of warm water. With a clean, white towel, blot at the cheese stain. Then mix one tablespoon of regular ammonia with one-half cup of water, again blotting the stain. Finally, blot the stain with clean water to remove any detergent or ammonia and let the area dry.

Ink Stains

Coming home from work 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 cleansing 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 hairspray onto a clean, white towel and then 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 for stain.
  • 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 remove 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.

Upholstery clean tips are important since dust settles onto fabric more than hard surfaces. Therefore, regular clean to keep your upholstery looking and smelling clean is essential. In fact, we recommend you clean your upholstery furniture once every two months. Typically, you can use your regular vacuum clean with the appropriate attachment to keep it clean. Just keeping the dust off will help your furniture last much longer. Then when necessary, use the above tips for removing stains. With this, you can enjoy your favorite sofa or chair without having to spend hard-earned money on new furniture

Published by Graeme Stephens of Auckland Steam ‘n’ Dry carpet & upholstery cleaning where you can find more helpful information including international carpet cleaning newsletter.

Auckland Carpet Steam ‘n’ Dry has proudly been providing professional upholstery cleaning services since 1987