Stains are a pain for all furniture owners. No matter how careful you are, sometimes accidents are unavoidable. Whether it’s your pets, kids, or morning coffee, you’ll learn all the upholstery stain removal basics in this blog.
Treating stains on your home’s upholstered furniture can be tricky. You want your method to be gentle enough to protect the material but tough enough to eliminate the unsightly stain. The experts at Professional Carpet Systems have your back!
Continue reading to determine the best way to remove any stain on all the common upholstery materials.
Upholstery Stain Removal Basics for Treating Upholstered Furniture
Even the cleanest of homes can have stains on the furniture. Spills and other accidents are simply a part of life. You could clean each day and still discover the occasional stain here or there.
When your most valued upholstered furniture pieces are covered with stains, it instantly makes the room look a little dirtier than it is. Plus, certain stains will even damage the fabric, not merely discolor it.
Before you take out your expensive stain remover, there are some things you need to think about. Is this chemical safe for this material? What solution is best for removing this particular stain? Soon, your questions will be answered!
5 Types of Stains
Before you know how to treat a mark on your upholstered furniture, you need to determine what kind of stain you are working with. Different stains require different treatment methods to be efficiently and entirely removed. First, get familiar with the five most common blemishes. Then, we will discuss the dos and don’ts of working with various upholstery materials.
1 | Oil-Based Stains
Oil-based stains are some of the most challenging to eliminate. Unfortunately, they are also some of the most common stains on furniture. Oil-based blemishes may include but are not limited to:
- Food grease
- Salad dressings
- Petroleum jelly
- Oil-based perfumes
The best way to get rid of an oil-based stain is to use mild dish soap and water. However, some upholstery materials react poorly to moisture. So, check the label of the furniture piece you want to treat before moving forward.
2 | Beverage Stains
Stains from drink spills are often water-based, like with:
- Coffee and tea
- Wine, seltzer, beer, and liquor
- Fruit juice
- Fresh fruit
If you’ve spilled your morning coffee or evening wine on one of your favorite armchairs, you’re in luck! Beverage stains are typically some of the easiest to get rid of. Ideally, treating the spot as soon as the accident occurs is best. Blot the affected area with a damp towel from the outside to the center. Then, add some diluted dish soap and repeat the dabbing. Allow the spot to dry completely before sitting on your cozy chair again.
3 | Food Stains
Most protein-based stains are from food spills or splashes. To remove a food stain, mix a couple of tablespoons of dish soap with cold water and use a spray bottle to spritz the area lightly. For some materials, it’s better to use ammonia, water, and dish soap. Then, absorb the stain with a clean towel or paper towel. Repeat the above steps with just water and let the spot air dry.
First, test this method on a hidden area of the upholstered furniture. If you don’t notice discoloration or damage, apply it to the stain from any of the following sources:
- Meat juices
- Sauces and dressings
4 | Dirt and Mud Stains
Mud and dirt stains are more common on the carpet. However, dirt on the sofa isn’t rare if you’re a pet owner or have little ones running around. The longer it sits, the further it buries into the fibers of the upholstery material.
Because dirt and mud are made of organic material, they are treated similarly to other protein-based stains, like food or bodily fluids. Start by vacuuming the spot to remove the loose debris. Then, carefully dab a damp cloth filled with a dish soap and water mixture. Allow the site to dry for a few minutes, then blot the area with a wet cloth with only water. Repeat these steps until the stain is eliminated.
5 | Stains from Bodily Fluids
If you have pets at home, you are likely familiar with stubborn stains from feces, urine, vomit, or even blood. It’s one of the most frustrating parts of caring for our furry friends. And no matter how well your animal is trained, the occasional accident is bound to happen.
Furthermore, stains from bodily fluids are possible if you have young children. The best thing you can do when blood lands on an upholstered furniture piece in your home is to treat it as soon as possible! Blood stains can be some of the most difficult to get rid of if they sit. Immediately after noticing the spot, fill a clean rag with cold water and squeeze out the excess. Then, dab the area from the outside to the center to absorb the stain. Repeat as needed and allow it to air dry once the blemish is eliminated.
You also want to act quickly with unsightly urine stains. These stains often permanently discolor the material it soaks into. Absorb as much as possible with a clean cloth, then mix vinegar and water for an effective DIY stain remover.
Upholstery Stain Removal Basics: Working with Different Materials
Now that you know the stain removal basics for the specific stain, it’s time to consider the material of the affected furniture piece. Then, you will combine the info from both sections to produce the best plan to eliminate the unsightly stains in your home.
1 | Leather
You’ll want to be extra cautious with leather furniture. First, try wiping off or vacuuming the material to remove the stain. If this doesn’t work, avoid using moisture on your leather piece and call in the professionals.
2 | Synthetic
Eliminating upholstery stains on synthetic materials is often the easiest. In fact, many furniture pieces made with synthetic materials can be removed from the main structure to toss into the washing machine. The most common synthetic fabrics include olefin, polyester, polyethylene, and nylon.
However, if you have an extra stubborn stain, use the following to make it disappear:
- Synthetic fabrics take moisture well, but you should still use it sparingly.
- Check the furniture label to ensure you don’t damage the material.
- It is safe to use a mixture of laundry detergent and water to eliminate a stain.
3 | Blended Materials
Most furniture is made from a combination of different fibers. The advantage of a blended material is that it looks more luxurious and pricey but acts like a low-maintenance fabric. For example, cotton or wool fabrics are often mixed with a synthetic material to make caring for it a lot less challenging.
Unfortunately, combined materials can be tricky to treat at home. While they may be more resilient to unwanted stains, they typically require specific treatment by experienced professionals.
4 | Natural
Natural fibers, like wool, silk, linen, cotton, or velvet, are a little more sensitive than synthetic fabrics. You’ll want to use caution when treating the more luxurious natural materials. Not only are they susceptible to damage, but they are often more expensive pieces.
To remove an upholstery stain on natural material, follow these helpful tips:
- Avoid using moisture, if possible. Natural fibers tend to retain water.
- Try steam cleaning to control the amount of water used.
- Always check the manufacturer’s care tag.
5 | Microfiber
If the stained furniture is made with microfiber, your job just got easier! Microfiber is durable because of the many tiny fibers in a small area. It helps to prevent dirt, food, and liquids from absorbing deep into the material. Typically, stains are removed from microfiber furniture by vacuuming the surface. If you’re facing a tough stain, try using a small amount of diluted dish soap and carefully dab the spot.
Is it Time to Hire the Pros for Upholstery Stain Removal?
If you can’t eliminate the stain on your own, don’t worry! There are teams ready to help with the toughest of Upholstery Stain Removal Basics! Here’s why you should choose the experts at Professional Carpet Systems to get rid of your upholstery stains for good:
- There’s no better way to DEEP clean your furniture.
- You’ll save money with routine treatments.
- Success is guaranteed, as opposed to DIY methods and trial and error.
- You eliminate the chance of damaging the material.
- You won’t have to replace your favorite furniture pieces.