Man doing professional home cleaning service, removing stains from upholstery.

Ultimate Guide to Removing Tough Stains from Upholstery


Upholstered furniture is a staple in our homes, providing comfort and snugness. However, over time, they can amass stubborn stains that compromise the appearance and cleanliness of the space. In this article, we’ll present the ultimate guide to removing tough stains from upholstery. Armed with practical and effective tips, you’ll be able to restore the beauty and hygiene of your upholstery, leaving it looking pristine. Get ready to discover techniques and products that will help you conquer the challenges of upholstery stains.

Front view woman brushing sofa fabric.

1 - Identify the Fabric Type

Before you jump into treating a stain, it’s crucial to identify the fabric type of the upholstery. Check the labels or the manufacturer’s manuals to determine if it’s safe to use particular cleaning products or techniques. Some fabrics may call for special care and specific products.

2 - Act Quickly

When dealing with a stain, act as swiftly as you can. The longer the stain lingers on the upholstery, the tougher it’ll be to remove. Use a clean, absorbent cloth to blot up any excess liquid or solid residue before commencing the cleaning process.

3 - Test in an Inconspicuous Area

Before applying any cleaning product or technique to the entire stain, give it a test run in an inconspicuous area of the upholstery. This will help ensure that the chosen product or method won’t cause any damage or discoloration to the fabric.

4 - Remove Liquid Stains

For liquid stains like coffee, juice, or wine, start by blotting up as much of the liquid as possible with a clean cloth. Then, apply a solution of warm water and mild detergent to the area, using a soft-bristle brush to gently scrub the stain. Rinse with clean water and make sure to thoroughly dry the upholstery.

5 - Tackle Grease Stains

Grease stains like oil or sauces can be eradicated using an appropriate solvent. Mild detergents, baking soda, or specialized products for grease stain removal can be directly applied to the stain. Let the product sit for a few minutes and then remove it with a clean, damp cloth.

6 - Deal with Ink Stains

Ink stains can be quite the challenge, but not an insurmountable one. For fresh ink stains, use an absorbent cloth to blot up as much of the ink as possible. Then, apply a specific ink remover or isopropyl alcohol to the stain, gently rubbing with a clean cloth. Repeat the process until the stain is completely gone.

7 - Seek Professional Help

In the case of stubborn stains or delicate fabrics, it’s advisable to seek assistance from professionals who specialize in upholstery cleaning. They possess the knowledge, products, and proper techniques to handle tough stains without causing harm to the fabric.


Removing tough stains from upholstery demands patience, know-how, and the right methods. By identifying the fabric type, acting swiftly, testing in an inconspicuous area, and using specific methods for each type of stain, you’re on the path to restoring the beauty and cleanliness of your upholstery. Keep in mind that in more complex cases, it’s always wise to rely on professional assistance.

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