How to Remove Stains From a Fabric Sofa

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Getting a huge, noticeable stain on your sofa is a huge bummer. Large pieces of furniture aren’t simple to clean, and professional couch cleaning can end up costing a lot of money. Still, you don’t want to let that stain sit. So how do you get rid of it, or at least treat it in a way that will be effective? Luckily, Upholstery Cleaning doesn’t have to be a huge issue as long as you know what you’re doing. Whether you’re dealing with an older stain that you just noticed, or a fresh stain that’s only just begun to set, with the right tools and the right information, you can curb any potential damage with a few handy tricks. Here are some of the best ways to treat a sofa stain in a snap.

Remove the Excess

If the stain you’re dealing with is of a thicker variety, you’re going to want to do as much damage control as you can before it fully sets into your couch. That means taking a blunt object like a butter knife and scraping away any debris into a paper towel, being extremely careful to keep your scrapings off the couch. After everything is cleared away, you’ll be better able to assess the actual damage. You’ll see how large the stain is, how thick, oily, or watery it is, and whether or not it has a smell. Using this information, you’ll be able to quickly find a way to stop your stain from setting or spreading any further.

Check for Instructions

Most sofas come with basic instructions for care. These can be found under a cushion or, if your sofa is a fold-out, under the mattress portion of your couch. Read these instructions carefully and follow them to the letter. For instance, if your tag says ‘dry-clean only,’ don’t risk using steam heat or hot water. If your couch is made of a sensitive material, be very selective about what cleaners you use. While some heavier cleaners are extremely effective at removing odor and bacteria, they can also easily end up leaving a larger stain on your already-sensitive couch. When in doubt, make an appointment with a professional and leave it at that.

Use Heat

In cases where your couch is okay with hot water or steam treatment, take this time to boil some water and do a light dabbing on the affected area. Let your moistened paper towel sit for a minute so that the heat can naturally break up the stain and dispel the odor. After you’ve done this and given the area time to dry down, you’ll be able to see how much of your stain is left and treat it accordingly. After you’ve treated your stain with a gentle cleanser, you might want to go back in with a bit of hot water to clear off any residue and prevent stickiness.

Use a Gentle Cleaner

Next, you’ll want to go for the simplest, gentler cleaner in your arsenal, like a dish soap or laundry detergent. Using a very small amount, keep dabbing your stain gently, being careful not to spread too much soap over the surrounding dry area of your couch. Give it a minute to set, and then reassess your damage. Depending on whether or not your gentle cleaner has done the job, it might be time to go back in with some heavier stuff.

Use a Heavy Duty Cleaner

If you’ve tried everything and you’re still seeing a spot, it’s time for the serious stuff. Using your best judgment, go for a conservative amount of one of your more heavy duty spray cleaners. Try not to overdo it on chemicals if you can, and be mindful of odors that could end up overpowering more sensitive fabrics and materials. For instance, anything with bleach or ammonia is to be avoided. However, if you’re dealing with a white or very light-colored couch, bleach might end up being the best option. Use a paper towel. Then, dab a bit of your heavy cleaner onto the stained area. Then, wait for it to dry. If you’re still seeing something afterward, it’s time to call a professional and make an appointment for a cleaning.

Go Professional

After you’ve tried everything else to treat a stain, the best course of action is to get your upholstery professionally cleaned. Most cleaners will be able to remove even a deeply-set stain without much trouble, and it will be worth to cost to able to look at your new, stain-free couch with satisfaction.