Kids make all kinds of mess. They color on the walls, scatter pieces of ripped paper, and spill their drinks. Different areas in your home inevitably suffer from stains and spills.
One of the biggest woes of parents is removing stains from their furniture. Grease, blood, and ink can be tough to remove, especially on furniture made from corduroy, velvet, and other hard-to-clean fabrics.
Here’s your ultimate guide to removing different kinds of stains on your furniture.
Before anything else
The first step is to check the cleaning codes of your furniture. You can usually find this on the underside of the cushions. The codes will tell you how to best clean your couch.
For vintage home furniture pieces that don’t have cleaning codes, you can do a spot test on a hidden area. Check using water and vinegar since these are the most common ingredients for removing stains.
Here’s a breakdown of standard cleaning codes:
- W: should only be cleaned with water-based cleaning agents
- S: should only be cleaned with a mild dry cleaning product
- W-S: can be cleaned with either wet or dry cleaning agents
- X: should only be cleaned with gentle brushing or vacuuming
Next, vacuum the entire piece of furniture. That helps remove any crumbs and prevents residue from further sinking into your couch. The stain can look slightly less intimidating after a quick vacuum.
Below are instructions for cleaning out different kinds of stains.
Sprinkle baking soda on the stain to soak the oil. You can also make a baking soda paste then spread it on the affected area. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes or more, depending on how old the stain is.
Vacuum the baking soda away. Lightly brush the remaining stain with a bit of dish soap and pat it dry. You can also use vodka to blot the remaining stain.
If the wine stain doesn’t clean out with sparkling water, mix a teaspoon of laundry detergent and a tablespoon of vinegar in four cups of cold water. Dab the solution onto the stain using a clean cloth then blot with clean, cold water.
Mix a teaspoon of liquid detergent with warm water and use the solution to blot the stain with a paper towel. Pat it dry.
Pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the stain. Blot at the stain starting on the outside then move inward. This motion is essential to prevent the ink from spreading. Don’t rub at the stain. You can also use a dry-cleaning solvent.
Water and soap can solve most food stains. Use warm water if the stain doesn’t have dairy. If you’re unsure what caused the stain, use cold water to be sure. Clean with a soft sponge or cloth to prevent the fabric from pilling.
If the stain doesn’t budge from simple soap and water, try using a liquid detergent. Soak it for at least 30 minutes before patting dry with a sponge. For bigger stains, start on the edges then working inward to prevent the food residue from spreading.
For all kinds of stains, remember to not rub at the fabric. That helps keep the quality and shape of your furniture.
If all else fails, bring the piece in for professional cleaning to make sure that you can remove the stain without damaging it.