Upholstery Stain Removal Tips

Upholstery stain removalFollow these upholstery stain removal tips to guide you on your quest in cleaning upholstery stains. With upholstery, you face the same problem you have with carpeting: you rarely have a chance to get at both sides of the stain. Even if you can remove the upholstery material, most upholstery manufacturers warn against washing cushion covers separately from the cushions because of possible shrinking and other problems. The trick, as with carpeting and pads, is to remove the stain from the upper side without soaking the cushion beneath. Follow the steps for Removing Carpet Stains when dealing with upholstery items.

Upholstery fabrics contain a wide range of fibers. The list of commonly used fibers includes linen, cotton, wool, silk, acetate, acrylic, rayon, and polypropelene (commonly called olefin). These fibers may be used alone or in blends. Polyester and nylon are found in upholstery fabrics, too, but they are almost always blended with other fibers.

The bad news is that you have to be more careful about how you treat stains on upholstered items. With so many fiber possibilities, paired with the fact that many upholstered items have been around for a long time and are no longer or never were labeled for fiber content, it’s often impossible to know what you are dealing with. But there’s good news, too! An upholstered item usually offers more inconspicuous places to test a stain-removal technique than a carpet does. See Stain Removal A-Z to determine which technique to use on specific upholstery stains.

Upholstery Stain Removal Cleaning Codes

The furniture industry has developed voluntary codes that indicate the appropriate cleaning methods for upholstery. If the manufacturer of your furniture used these codes, you’ll find them printed on fabric samples, on a label under seat cushions, or on hangtags. Use these labels as a guide to removing upholstery stains and for overall cleaning. If no code exists, try a cleaning method on a hidden spot or call a professional upholstery cleaner for advice.

W: Clean the fabric with a water-based product, such as the foam from a mild detergent or an upholstery shampoo. Use sparingly and avoid over wetting.
S: Clean the fabric with a mild water-free dry-cleaning solvent. Check the list of contents on the label. Use sparingly, in a well-ventilated room.
WS: Clean the fabric with a dry-cleaning solvent, the foam of a mild detergent, or an upholstery shampoo, depending on the stain.
X: Have the fabric professionally cleaned. Clean this fabric yourself only by vacuuming it or brushing it lightly to avoid accumulation of dust and grime.

All upholstery benefits from a regular vacuum to remove dust and other debris that finds its way into crevices. Preventative measures, some more fashionable than others, include these:

Soil repellents and stain repellents work by making spills bead up rather than soak into the fabric.

Antimacassars are coverings thrown over the back of sofas and chairs to protect them from grease in the hair. Typically, these take the form of small lacy circles or rectangles.

Throws are particularly handy for protecting upholstery from the rigors of pets and young children.

Loose covers may be laundered.

Arm guards and back guards protect the most vulnerable spots on chairs and sofas.

Have you reached upholstery stain removal success? I hope so!

Related Articles:

Clothing Stain Removal Tips

Fabric Stain Removal Tips

Carpet Stain RemovalTips

Laundry Stain Removal Tips

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