Oops! How to Clean and Remove Couch Stains |

Picture this: You’ve got friends over for a socially-distanced gathering. You’re enjoying a nice cheese plate and some gorgeous red wines. Suddenly, you move too fast, and you watch in horror as your wine sloshes over the side of your glass and right onto your white couch. You cringe inside, as you just know that it’s going to leave a stain that will mock you for as long as you have the couch. There’s no need to despair any longer, as we have several tips that will show you ways you can remove couch stains like a pro!

Step One: Vacuum

It might seem counter-intuitive, but your first course of action when you notice a stain on the couch should be to vacuum. However, you shouldn’t only give it a cursory vacuuming.

You should go into each and every crevice of the couch with the brush attachment of the vacuum. Vacuum your couch like you’d vacuum your apartment before moving out. That will get rid of the dirt, dead skin, oils, and pet hair, as well as loosen some of the elements in matted-in stains.

Step Two: Purchase or Mix Your Lifting Agent

Once you’ve given the couch a thorough vacuuming and can get a better look at the stains in question, you’ll need to either purchase or mix your stain lifter. While you can purchase many stain-lifting solutions from the store, these often have harsh chemicals that can damage the fabric on your sofa. So, ideally, you’ll want to mix your own.

However, before you start mixing, you should take a moment to examine the tag for your couch. This will help you determine the type of upholstery your couch has, and how best to clean it. The codes, and what cleaning methods you should use, are as follows:

  • W: Can be cleaned with water
  • S: Only compatible with dry cleaner detergents
  • X: Vacuum only, no water involved
  • WS: Mild detergent and steam cleaning or a dry cleaner detergent work best

Once you have this information in hand, mix or purchase away, then move on to the next step.

Step 3: Apply and Work in the Stain Remover

Once you have your stain lifter mixed, it’s time to apply it and work it in. Below, we have a guide for how to remove couch stains from various upholstery materials.

To Lift Stains from Fabric Upholstery

If you haven’t purchased a couch stain remover from the store, you can mix a tablespoon of Castille or dish soap, 3/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup vinegar together. Place the mixture in a spray bottle, then mist the area with the stain.

Once the area gets thoroughly coated with mist, then scrub it with a soft cloth until the stain starts lifting. Use another water-moistened cloth to get rid of the soap, then towel dry the area.

To Lift Stains from Leather Upholstery

Cleaning leather is a different beast from cleaning fabric, especially when it comes to getting rid of stains. If you want to get stains out of leather upholstery, you’ll need to either purchase a leather cleaner from the store or mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/2 cup of olive oil and mix them into a spray bottle. Spray the cleaner onto the couch’s surface, then buff dry with a soft piece of cloth.

To Lift Stains from Synthetic Upholstery

The process for lifting couch stains from synthetic upholstery is very similar to lifting stains from regular fabric. Either purchase a sofa cleaner from the store or mix a cup of water, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1/2 tablespoon of dish or Castille soap together in a spray bottle. Then, as with fabric upholstery, you mist the stained area and scrub it with soft fabric until the stain lifts.

Step 4: Let Dry and Re-Examine

Once you’ve finished the initial cleaning process, you’ll need to let the couch dry. You can use a towel to speed up the process and prevent the build-up of mildew. If your house trends towards the humid side, then you may want to use a box fan or throw your ceiling fans on full blast to speed things along.

After the sofa has a chance to air-dry, re-examine it. If you still see any signs of the stain, then it might be time to give it another thorough scrubbing.

What to Do When the Couch Stains Won’t Leave

If you’ve tried everything on this list and scrubbed at the stain with all your might, and it still won’t go away, it might be time to seek professional help. Getting rid of that annoying stain on the couch will be well worth the expense, especially since cleaning pros have access to tools that you might not. A clean couch, and a clean space in general, can give you great peace of mind.

Getting Back to Basics

Removing couch stains can be a tricky prospect. This holds especially true when the stain is something difficult, like wine, or the couch’s material is tough to work with. However, no matter your couch’s material, if you follow the steps above, you’ll see at least a little bit of relief from your stain-based woes.

Just remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and take care when drinking so you won’t have another wine stain on the couch!

We here at Hubbard’s Maid Service believe that a clean home is a happy home, and would like to help you get your space sparkling. Contact us today about our specials, and see what we can do for you!