How to treat common furniture stains

How to treat common furniture stains

Furniture stains can ruin your day. We've all been there before: You're getting ready to binge your favorite TV show, popcorn bowl in one hand, drink in the other. As you approach the comfort of the sofa, your drink slips from your grip, and then, as if in slow motion, you see the liquid spill from the glass, hang suspended in the air for one brief moment and then your heart drops into your stomach.

The liquid splashes against the pristine material of your couch, the very centerpiece of your living room. A dark stain grows and spreads, first beading against the fabric, then soaking into a fatal reminder of your clumsiness.

Before you let the shame of your accident sink in, take heart; few stains are impossible to remove. Keep reading to learn more:

Spills happen - don't let them ruin your day.Spills happen. Don't let them ruin your day.

Removing stains from leather furniture

For the most part, leather furniture is easy to maintain. A spilled drink or some crumbs are easy enough to remove. But when a stain refuses to budge, don't worry. You can save your favorite sofa or chair from a blemished existence.

According to The Spruce, you need to treat water, grease and ink stains differently. Here's how:

  • Water stains: If you spill water on your leather sofa, blot it immediately. Do not scrub the stain, as this will drive the moisture deeper into the material. If the stain sets, use a slightly damp cloth to gently spread the stain outward. Then, use a dry cloth to wipe the moisture away from the center of the stain. It should disappear gradually.
  • Grease stains: Never use a damp cloth on a grease stain. Remember: grease and water do not mix! Blot the stain with a dry cloth, then sprinkle talcum powder on the spot. Let the powder set, and then gently brush the area with soft bristles.
  • Ink stains: For light stains from a pen, use a small amount of gentle soap mixed with equal parts water. Blot carefully and do not scrub.

Removing stains from upholstered furniture

Upholstered furniture is slightly easier to clean than leather, though a set-in stain will still prove difficult to remove. It's always best to clean a stain as soon as it happens – however, you should test your cleaning product on a non-noticeable area such as under the arm to make sure it won't discolor or damage the fabric. Always check the cleaning codes on the tag to see if the fabric should be cleaned with water or a solvent.

Apartment Therapy recommended vacuuming the fabric frequently to ensure that stains to not build up over time. If a spill occurs, gently blot it first. Then, use a solution of water and dish soap with a sponge to sop up the majority of the liquid. Once the stain has begun to dry, use a paper towel to soak up as much of the stain as possible. If that process doesn't completely remove the blemish, use a commercial stain remover. Stubborn stains may require steam cleaning to fully disappear.

You may want to consider purchasing additional protection to guard your furniture against stains and future damage not covered by the manufacturer's warranty. Speak with a sales representative at your local furniture store to learn more about specific coverage. 

Is your current sofa too old to save from a devastating stain? Head to Arwood's Furniture and Mattress! Family-owned and -operated Arwood's has the largest selection of Missouri furniture. Our knowledgeable staff  can help you find the best living room furniture for your needs.