It's frustrating when you spend hundreds of dollars -- sometimes even thousands of dollars -- on a new living room couch, recliner or sectional, only to discover an unsightly stain on the upholstery shortly thereafter. Maybe your dog jumped on it with muddy paws, or perhaps you accidentally spilled your coffee while lounging one morning. Regardless, stains have a negative impact on the aesthetics of your furniture, turning this otherwise attractive home furnishing into an eyesore. The good news, however, is that you can often clean minor stains off furniture upholstery.
Look for Label
Just like clothes have care labels, some pieces of furniture have them as well. You may discover the care label underneath the cushions of your sofa, for instance, revealing the best way to clean and care for the upholstery. And even if it doesn't provide this information, it should reveal the materials from which it's made. With this information in hand, you'll have an easier time cleaning and removing the stain.
You should always vacuum your furniture upholstery before attempting to clean it. The average home is riddled with dust and airborne pollutants. Over time, these elements will accumulate on the upholstery, creating a layer of debris. Failure to clean this layer of debris may worsen any stains on your furniture's upholstery. As the debris becomes embedded in the fabric, the stain becomes more difficult to clean. So, vacuum the upholstery using a wand attachment device, paying extra attention to the stained area.
Not all stain-removing products cost an arm and a leg. Sometimes the cheapest product is the best. Available for just $1 a bottle, white vinegar is a powerful stain-remover that's safe on virtually all common furniture fabrics. Place a small amount of the vinegar on a lint-free microfiber cloth and gently blot the stained are. With its acidic properties, vinegar will eat through most stain-causing compounds but without damaging the actual upholstery fabric. As the stain-causing compounds come to the surface, you can blot them off.
You can also use a steam cleaner to remove stains from furniture upholstery. Steam cleaners work by covering the stained area with hot water (steam) and then extracting that water, with the stain-causing compounds, into a storage tank. It's a more laborious process than vacuuming, but it's far more effective at cleaning stains.