The internet is full of great advice on lots of things. When it comes to removing stains from upholstery, however, you might get the impression that there’s very little you can do. This is not the case at all. Instead, there are plenty of easy steps you can take at home to minimize the appearance of stains or even remove them entirely. Here are the best tips and tricks for removing stains from your favorite upholstery.
Step 1: Vacuum The Upholstery
Vacuuming is an important part of cleaning your upholstery, period. With stains, it’s especially helpful. You’ll frequently remove surprisingly large amounts of colored particles with this simple step and find that your stain isn’t anywhere near as bad as you thought.
Step 2: Look For Cleaning Codes
Carefully examine the stained object for a tag or label. It should contain a set of cleaning codes that tell you what’s safe to use on your upholstery. Usually, there will be one of four letters: W, S, S/W, or X. Here’s a quick run-down of what they mean:
W means that you can clean your upholstery with water. This is the easiest type of upholstery to clean at home.
S means that you’ll need to use chemical solvents only, no water. Your stain removal options will be somewhat limited, but you can often get stains out of this type of upholstery on your own.
S/W is a complicated marking that means you should spot-clean your upholstery with a mild solvent. This marking is fairly rare and can be a pain to clean on your own. Experts recommend that you use a cleaning solution as soon as possible and that you call a professional if the stain doesn’t go away.
X means that you shouldn’t get your upholstery wet at all. Limit your stain removal efforts to vacuuming and brushing.
Step 3: Clean!
Before you begin this step, consider using an iron to steam your stain for a little bit. Upholstery that can be cleaned by water will really benefit from a quick application of the steam button. It’ll help loosen the stain and make the rest of your job easier.
Once you’ve got that out of the way (or once you’ve skipped that step, if your furniture isn’t water-safe), blot the stain with a sponge. For W-marked furniture, use a sponge that’s been wrung out in cold water with a touch of soap. If your furniture has an S, use vodka or vinegar instead. The smell will go away on its own once your furniture dries.
Try not to rub the stain while you do this. You won’t deepen the stain or spread it, but you may weaken the fabric around the stained area. You don’t want your stain removal efforts to make your furniture look worse.
When your blotting efforts aren’t doing anything anymore, it’s time to move on to cleaning solutions. You can use any commercial cleaning product you like here, but be sure to spot test anything you use on a hidden part of your upholstery before you apply it to anything visible and follow the directions carefully.
Step 4: Repeat
It’s pretty common for stains to survive this process intact. When that happens, the best thing to do is wait a little bit and repeat the process. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how effective two full passes are at removing even the toughest stains.
Consider Calling The Pros
If you’re not making any progress at all after the second pass or you just don’t have the time to clean your upholstery yourself, there’s nothing wrong with calling a professional. We recommend Standish Cleaning Services. Not only will you save yourself a lot of time and effort, but the professionals will also be sure to get the job done much more quickly, effectively, and safely than you’ll be able to. Stain removal isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s best to let someone with plenty of experience do the job.
The Best Way To Remove Upholstery Stains
By following the tips and tricks above, you’ll be able to wear down tough stains on your own. First, vacuuming will remove loose particles. Then, you’ll determine what types of cleaning solutions to use. Last, you’ll gently use them on your stain and break down as much of the pigment as possible. Tough stains may require multiple cycles of this process. There’s nothing wrong with calling the pros, however, so if this sounds like a lot of work or you’re having trouble getting your stain out, give Standish Cleaning Services a call.