Skip to main content
Central/East Central (320) 251-5174
West Central/Metro (320) 260-5395
Upholstery SOS How To Tackle Tough Stains and Keep Furniture Fabulous

Upholstery SOS: How To Tackle Tough Stains and Keep Furniture Fabulous

TL;DR: Upholstered furniture adds style and comfort but is prone to stains and marks. This article covers how to tackle common stains like food and beverages, bodily fluids, and miscellaneous messes with proper techniques and cleaners. Quick actions and the right solutions prevent permanent blemishes. For stubborn stains or deep cleaning, contact Jacobson’s Carpet Cleaning in Hutchinson, MN, for eco-friendly and effective upholstery cleaning. Keep your furniture looking fabulous by scheduling an appointment today!


Upholstered furniture remains a timeless addition to any home. The style and comfort it brings to any room will never become outdated. Who doesn’t enjoy a plush sofa and soft accent pillows? And we know everyone has a favorite armchair that feels just right.


Because these beloved pieces are such a big part of our lives, they see regular use. That makes them more susceptible to marks and stains from everyday activities or accidental spills. If we ignore these incidents and don’t clean up immediately, we risk leaving a permanent blemish on the fabric. But using the wrong type of cleaner can also damage the upholstery, so what are you to do?

Don’t worry! In this article, we offer some upholstery SOS: How to tackle tough stains and keep your furniture fabulous. Let’s look at some common upholstery stains and see how to remove them without worry.

How To Remove Common Stains From Upholstery

Studies show that most people spend the bulk of their time in the living room, whether to entertain, relax, or work from home. This means the furniture in that room gets dirty more often. To keep their upholstered pieces looking fresh and clean, homeowners need to know how to tackle different stains.

Food and Beverage Stains

Every household is closely acquainted with stains left by food and drinks. You might enjoy afternoon coffee while lounging on the couch or hosting pizza parties for friends and family. If you have little kids, they might wipe their sticky hands on the nearest piece of furniture. Some common food and beverage stains include:

  • Coffee and Tea: Their dark pigments can quickly seep into fabric fibers, making them difficult to remove if not addressed immediately. To remove a coffee or tea stain, try to absorb as much liquid as possible by bloating the area with an absorbent cloth. Mix some water and a gentle dish soap, then dab the stain.
  • Wine: Red wine stains are impossible to clean once they dry. Slowly blot with a towel to soak up as much wine as you can. To absorb the remaining liquid, sprinkle some salt over the area and vacuum it up. Use some water and white vinegar to blot the stain gently.
  • Grease and Oil: These stains can come from pizza, chips, or even lotions and creams. Pour some baking soda or cornstarch into the oily area to absorb the oil. It must sit for 15-20 minutes to be effective. Then, you can vacuum it up. Use a dash of rubbing alcohol to remove any stain remnants.
  • Chocolate: Chocolate stains can be particularly challenging due to their combination of sugar and fat. First, allow the chocolate to harden, then scrape it off gently. Take care of the remaining stain with a simple mix of dish soap and water. Rinse with a damp cloth and repeat until no chocolate is left. Don’t use hot water because it sets the stain.

Bodily Fluids

Sometimes, homeowners themselves are the source of the staining. Many people like to plop down on the sofa after coming in from a run, or a toddler might have an unexpected accident while running around with the diaper off. The most common stains from bodily fluids include:

  • Blood: If you don’t clean them immediately, blood stains can turn the upholstery an unpleasant brown color. The key to removing them is acting quickly. Absorb the excess blood with a clean piece of fabric and remove the stain with a mix of cold water and a little dish soap. Again, never use hot water so the blood doesn’t set into the fabric.
  • Urine: Whether from pets or small children, urine stains can significantly damage your upholstery. Use paper towels to soak it up, and apply a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water for odor removal and breaking down the stain. Dust some baking soda to absorb any remaining moisture and odor.
  • Sweat: To remove sweat stains, lightly spray the upholstery with a water and white vinegar mix and blot. If the stain persists, spray the furniture with a suitable upholstery cleaner and let it sit for a bit.

Miscellaneous Stains

Life is messy, and that mess can sometimes spill over onto our favorite upholstered furniture. To keep it stain-free and looking new, you must know how to handle even the most stubborn mess. Some other common stains you may encounter are:

  • Ink: These stains tend to set quickly, so you must remove them immediately. Start absorbing as much ink as possible with a clean towel, and don’t rub it so you don’t spread the stain. Use some rubbing alcohol or a specialized ink remover on a cloth and dab the stain gently. Continue doing this until the stain disappears, and then blot the area with water to eliminate the residue.
  • Mud and Dirt: To remove these stains, let the mud dry completely before cleaning it. Once dry, gently scrape off as much as possible. Vacuum the area to remove loose particles. Use a detergent dissolved in water and dab with a clean towel to remove any remaining dirt.
  • Pet Stains: Pet messes can discolor your upholstery and leave unpleasant odors. Dab the affected area immediately with paper towels to absorb the offending liquid. Use an enzyme-based cleaner to break down the proteins in the urine or vomit. Follow the cleaner’s instructions carefully and rinse the area thoroughly with water afterward.

General Tips To Remove Stains From Upholstery

Stains can occur anytime from various sources, such as food spills, pet accidents, or even everyday dirt and grime. The only way to prevent these stains from becoming a permanent mark on your upholstery is to remove them as soon as they happen. Having a few reliable upholstery cleaning solutions at hand can save you from wondering what to do when a stain appears. Here are some general tips to effectively remove stains from your upholstery.

Homemade Cleaning Solutions

You don’t need to break the bank on expensive store-bought cleaners. Several homemade cleaning solutions can effectively tackle stains. One popular mix involves vinegar and baking soda. Another option is a simple mixture of dish soap and water. Hydrogen peroxide can be very effective for more stubborn stains.

Fabric Protection Treatments

The best way to eliminate stains is to prevent them altogether. Applying fabric protectors to your upholstery creates a barrier that repels stains and makes cleaning easier. Apply the fabric protection spray to clean and dry upholstery. Hold the spray six inches from the fabric and coat it evenly.

Professional Cleaning Services

Professional cleaning services are the most effective solution for larger or more stubborn stains. These specialists know how to deal with difficult stains that homemade solutions can’t handle. Scheduling an annual expert cleaning can maintain the appearance and longevity of your upholstered furniture.

Keep Your Upholstery Pristine in Hutchinson, MN

We can’t avoid messes, but we can learn to make them disappear. A few homemade spot-cleaning treatments and timely reactions can make most stains disappear, extending the life of your upholstery.

But if that isn’t enough and your upholstery needs a deep clean, you can turn to Jacobson’s Carpet Cleaning in Hutchinson, Minnesota, for a permanent solution. We use eco-friendly products and state-of-the-art equipment to restore your furniture’s vibrancy. Our team is prompt, professional, and dedicated to customer satisfaction.

Keep your furniture fabulous for years to come by scheduling an appointment today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *