How to Get a Stain Out of Your Upholstery

Life can get messy sometimes, which means that stains are simply a part of life. That is a pity, because stain removal can be quite a challenge, especially on fancy upholstery. It is always best to try to stop the stains from happening, but homeowners should also know how to get the stains out once they do form. The core process is fairly simple, but it can take a little bit of research or trial and error to make sure that you use the right tools for the job at hand.

Blot Fast

This step only applies if you discover the stain while there is still liquid on the upholstery. It is the most important one in the entire step in that case, but you can skip it if everything has dried out by the time that you notice the problem.

You should start getting rid of the liquid as soon as you notice it. You will probably need several paper towels, so it can be a good idea to bring the entire roll to the mess so you don’t need to run back and forth to get more. Take one and press it down directly on top of the liquid, then remove it. Do not wipe, since that will spread the liquid around and make the stain bigger. Repeat this process until you have gotten rid of all of the liquids.

This will do a lot to prevent the stain from forming. After all, less liquid means less staining! It may even be enough to prevent a problem on its own. If it is not, you will need to move on to the other steps. Do it as quickly as you can to prevent the stain from setting and getting harder to remove.

Start by Vacuuming

The cleaning process starts with vacuuming. While that won’t get rid of the stain, since stains for when fluids soak into a porous material, it will get rid of any loose dirt or debris that is on top of the stain. Ideally, you will vacuum your upholstery regularly to prevent problems, but you should also do a pass on it right before you start on the stain.

This is important because dirt can get into the fabric and make things worse if it is present while you are cleaning. It can also make a stain look much worse while it is just sitting on the fabric, so cleaning it off gives you a clear impression of the job at hand. This is a fairly quick and easy step, so there is never a reason to skip it. Do this even if you think the upholstery is probably free from dirt, just to be on the safe side.

Choose Your Cleaner

There are a lot of different cleaning solutions that you can use to get stains out, so you need to pick with care. You should start by checking the tag on your upholstery, since many will include cleaning instructions. If that is the case, follow those instructions to the letter. If you don’t have the tag or it does not have any guidance, you will need to use your own judgment.

A little bit of soap and cool water, followed by a cool water rinse, will often be good enough. If it is not, you may want to soak the stain in some citric acid, which is available from lemon juice. That will work faster if the stain is exposed to sunlight while it works. It needs UV lighting, so a simple lamp is not going to work.

A steam treatment right before cleaning can also help. That will magnify the effects of your cleaner, but it is inconvenient to apply. Use it for the big or stubborn stains, but understand that it is rarely worth the effort to add steam to small ones.

Repetition Helps

Applying the cleaner is easy. Just soak, blot, and rinse. If that does not work the first time, you may need to repeat the process. It is common for stains to get smaller each time you try to clean them until they finally disappear after two or three repetitions. Simply be patient, keep at it, and get professional help if you are unable to get rid of the stain on your own.

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