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  • Everything You Need To Know About Removing Stains From Your Couch

    October 16, 2020

    A comfortable couch is made for living, but sometimes, life can get messy. At some point, everyone may have a spill on the sofa, from beverages like coffee or wine to snacks or meals. Removing the stain quickly is essential, but not every couch and not every stain cleans up in quite the same way. Not sure how to tackle furniture stains? This information is a crash course in stain removal, so keep reading to see how to clean your couch after an unwanted mark appears.

    Time Is of the Essence

    An upholstered couch needs immediate attention to remove a stain, just like you would do for your favorite t-shirt. The longer the staining culprit sits on the material of your sofa, the more likely it is to set and leave a permanent reminder. In fact, some of these tips for spot cleaning can work almost immediately. When it comes to stains, do not leave until later what is best handled now.

    Maker Knows Best

    Sofas are available in a myriad of materials, from natural or synthetic fabrics and upholstery to microfiber and leather. Each material may have its own cleaning needs, and the best way to know what works best for your furniture is by reading the manufacturer’s instructions. Look on the bottom of your cushions to see if you have a tag with cleaning directions.

    If the tags have been removed or you do not have any of the original paperwork from your furniture purchase, check online to see what guidelines the manufacturer recommends. If you still cannot locate information, you may want to spot test a part of the cushion’s underside to see if your cleaning method is appropriate for its material. This extra effort is worth it because using the wrong cleaning method could result in a permanent stain just as bad if not worse than the one you want to remove.

    Secrets Revealed

    Let’s talk more about the cleaning codes that are on the cushion tags or the manufacturer’s instructions. These are the letters you may see and what they mean:

    • X – Vacuum only for best results
    • W – Clean fabric with water or water-soluble products
    • S – Requires a solvent-based cleaner and may stain with water
    • WS – Either water or solvent-based cleaners can work

    Before you take any solution or sponge to your sofa, however, start with the vacuum. You may be surprised at how many stains are just resting on the surface and easily removed with suction. Vacuuming also eliminates crumbs, dirt, or particles left from a spill. If the stain remains, then you can try one of the products or home remedies that works best based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

    Identifying the Culprit

    Now that you know the general cleaning instructions for your sofa, you can be more specific about your approach. Different kinds of stains respond better to different cleaning products and methods, so it is best to know what type of stain you are dealing with before you try to get it out of the fabric. Here are some of the more common stain causes and how to remove them:

    • Wine – Blot the wine spill with a dry cloth, then douse it with sparkling water. Use another cloth to blot the excess away, and it should prevent the tannins and pigments from the red wine from leaving a permanent reminder. The same technique can work for berry stains.
    • Beer – Rub the spot with an ice cube to dilute the beer, then use a soap and water mixture to blot at it. Follow with a cloth damp with warm water to remove the soap solution.
    • Grease – The trick to a greasy stain is to absorb the oil, and the best way to do that is with baking soda. Sprinkle some onto the oily spot or make a paste of water and baking soda and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for about ten minutes or so to work its magic, then vacuum it away. It the spot is still visible, blot it with vodka or use a solution of gentle dish soap and water and a soft toothbrush to lightly brush it away.
    • Other food stains – Water and a gentle soap work best. Apply it with a clean cloth or soft sponge, then blot it with a damp cloth or rinse lightly with cool water. An upholstery cleaning product with enzymes should work if soap and water does not.
    • Coffee – That same soap and water mixture should take care of your spot of java on the couch. Just use a gentle hand when blotting or rubbing to avoid setting in deeper into the fabric.
    • Ink – Use rubbing alcohol to tackle this one. Pour a small amount onto the ink stain, then blot at it. Work on a little at a time, and whatever you do, avoid rubbing it, which make cause it to spread.
    • Pet – Accidents happen, even on your good furniture. You should blot any moisture away before cleaning it with a pet-specific enzyme cleaner or baking soda. Let the fabric dry, then use more baking soda to reduce any odor. Let it sit overnight before you vacuum again, and the odor should dissipate.

    Caring for Leather

    Leather couches clean up well with a vinegar and water solution to remove most stains. Be sure to vacuum it first! The baking soda trick still applies to grease stains on leather, although you may want to leave it for a couple of hours before you vacuum it away. Condition the leather after it has been cleaned to keep it soft and prevent dryness.

    More Tips and Tricks

    Here is the key to successful stain removal: less is more. Do not saturate your sofa with too much liquid, which can cause other problems, such as mold or mildew growth. If your stain is large, work from the outside in, and whatever you do, use a light touch. Resist the urge to scrub or rub hard to remove any spot because you may inadvertently make it worse. You may have to do some of the cleaning steps more than once, and that is okay.

    Also, dry your couch thoroughly after you have spot treated or cleaned the fabric. Whether you use a clean, dry cloth to continue to blot away liquid or set a fan nearby to improve air circulation, do what you can to remove any moisture.

    Help Is on the Way

    If your DIY methods do not do the job, call in reinforcements. Safe-Dry Carpet Cleaning of Cypress has the know-how to protect your furniture and keeping it looking its best. Call us at (281) 746-6055 or visit us online when you want professional help to remove stains or thoroughly clean your couch.

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