A Guide to Removing Stains from Upholstery Fabric

The idea of having stains in your upholstering fabric is dreadful, and it is something that most of us are afraid of just by thinking about it. It can be incredibly frustrating and challenging to get a stain on your sofa, carpet, or clothes to remove.

These bothersome stains often call for methods of unorthodox cleaning. But fret, not because the following are some tips for removing some of the most difficult stains from your upholstery or other fabric surfaces. There are a variety of different factors to making a stain, and we will dive into it one by one.

Blood Stain

For all we know, accidents happen anytime. If the bloodstain is fresh, wipe up as much moisture as possible with a white paper towel. To stop getting the stain deeper, keep shifting to a clean region of the towel as the blood is absorbed. Use a smooth, bristled brush to loosen the dried blood and vacuum away before treatment if the stain has dried.

Never use warm water if you are dealing with bloodstains, as it burns the protein into the fabric, making it extremely difficult to clean. We suggest using preventive gloves when cleaning your upholstery fabric, such as plain contract fabrics. Also, consider asking the help of your trusted profession when dealing with a larger bloodstain.

Ink Stain

Probably, this is one is a common stain that we encounter every time. For your upholstery, an innocent-looking ballpoint pen might mean trouble. Regardless of what colour the ink is, it makes a mark in your upholstery fabric.

With rubbing alcohol or a dry cleaning cleaner, dampen a clean, white cloth. With the cloth, blot the ink stain, adding more solvent as required. Do not rub because it can disperse the stain or drive it deeper into your sofa’s upholstery fabrics.

If you need other solution for cleaning the ink stain, we recommend using glycerin soap and hand dishwashing products. Combine the two of them with water, then blot the stain until it is finally gone. Apply two to three drops of ammonia to the mix to help it lift the stain if the soap solution does not work.

Urine Stain

The urine of your children or pet will stain the fabric of your upholstery. It’s essential to remove even tiny urine stains as soon as possible to minimise odour and discolouration. The longer fabrics and fibres are in contact with the acidic urine, the harder it is to clean.

With a dry white paper towel, blot the stained surface until the moisture is absorbed. Sponge using a clean wet white cloth on the stain and then blot to dry. If the fabric is silk, do not add extra water because the stain will grow larger and be more difficult for the dry cleaner to remove.

Furthermore, the urine will leave acids in the fabric, that with time will damage the fibres. When using a dry cleaning kit at home before you place the fabric in a dryer container, ensure that you treat the spot with the stain remover.

Grease Stain

If you are wondering what type of stain is the hardest to deal with, then the answer will be grease and oil stain. You can commonly acquire stains like this from car engine oil, and other grease stains may come from beauty products and hair oil.

When grease stains your furniture, regardless of the cause, you will need a cleaning product that can eliminate the oily stain. A heavy-duty detergent or stain remover based on the enzymes and the hottest possible water that does not harm the fabric may be used to remove the grease and oil-based bleach from any fabric.

If the fabric is a polyester-like synthetic that would not usually be washed in warm water, spread the fabric’s pretreated stained region over a bowl and pour a steady stream of hot water directly onto the stain, then wash it in cold or hot water.

Wood Stain

Due to the pigment, oils, and chemicals found in the product, wood staining products can be hard to remove from cloth.

However, though large stains, especially those that have completely soaked through the fibres, are almost impossible to remove, there is the hope of removing small drops or an accidental smear on clothing, carpet, and upholstery.

If it just shows dry cleaning on the box, take the fabric to your trusted dry cleaner. To help your competent cleaner select the best treatment, you should point out and describe the stain.

Furthermore, before placing the garment in the dryer bag, be sure to treat the stain with mineral spirits or the supplied stain remover if you want to use a home dry cleaning kit. If you bring the item to a cleaner rather than with a home kit, you are the best result.

Do not dry your upholstery fabrics in the clothes dryer because if you do, then the stain will dry permanently.

Coffee Stain

It can be tricky to remove stains, whether you have a hot cup of tea, an iced coffee, or a fancy Irish coffee. You not only lose the vital ounce of caffeine for yourself, but you are doomed to stain the carpet or upholstery that catches the liquid.

When you spill coffee in your fabric, the best thing to do is to act fast.

The sooner you act, the deeper your coffee can flow into your carpet or your upholstery fabric, making it harder to remove.  Gently blot the stain using a paper towel. Remember, do not scrub because it will cause a quicker absorption of the oils.

Furthermore, never apply a natural soap bar or soap flakes on the coffee stain, as the soap can make it harder to extract tannins. It will need to be handled with bleach if the tea or coffee stain is older or has not been completely cleaned. By following product instructions, chlorine bleach can be used on natural fibre white garments and linens.


Let’s face it, dealing with stains, regardless of what the cause is, is quite an intensive task. If circumstances like this arise, we hope that the information we compile will help you somehow.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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