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Your Stain Removal Guide: Upholstery and Fabric

Posted by Josh Kennedy

Jun 19, 2014 3:26:00 PM

bigstock-Cleaning-Coffee-Stain-from-Car-52901593Getting a stain on your couch, carpet or clothing can be extremely frustrating and difficult to remove. Sometimes those pesky stains call for unconventional cleaning methods. The following are some tips and tricks for removing some of the most difficult stains from your upholstery or other fabric surface. 

  • Blood

    • If the stain is still wet, soak in cold water immediately and then thoroughly rub the stain with a bar of soap. If the stain is dried, spray with a stain removal solution and allow it to soak in. Once you have treated the wet or dry stain, apply a small amount of diluted ammonia to the area. Wash the fabric in your washing machine with an enzyme-based laundry detergent. If the stain is still not lifted after 1 wash, do not put the fabric in the dryer because heat forces stains to set in.

      • Tip - A common stain removal for blood is a mixture of equal parts cold water and meat tenderizer.

  • Chewing Gum

    • Freeze the gum by placing ice cubes on it. This makes removal much easier. Once hardened, scrape off the gum. Wipe down with a warm, soapy towel (or stain remover for fabrics), rinse off the spot and dry.

  • Chocolate

    • Remove all excess chocolate, flush with club soda and then apply stain removal to spot. Remember - chocolate can sometimes leave an oil stain behind so be mindful of this possibility while waiting for the spot to dry.

  • Coffee

    • Blot off all excess coffee. Saturate the fabric with white vinegar and rinse the item with cold water. Dry and repeat steps as needed.

  • Cosmetics / Lipstick

    • The cleaning solutions will vary based on the type of makeup you are trying to clean

      • Lipstick - rubbing alcohol

      • Mascara or eyeliner - dishwashing soap

      • Liquid Foundation - Hydrogen peroxide

      • Blush, eye shadow, powdered foundation - mild laundry detergent

    • First wipe the spot with a dry paper towel and then apply specific cleaning solution to the stain. The best way to scrub the stain is with a nail brush or toothbrush in a circular motion. Allow for the spot to air dry and repeat as needed.

      • Tip - Blotting a minor stain with a baby wipe immediately after it happens may be all you need to remove the spot.

  • Crayons

    • Place an absorbent material like a towel on the stain and gently press the tip of a warm iron on the material. Continue to move the cloth around so the stain is always being absorbed by a clean area of the towel. If the stain still exists, sponge the spot with a dry cleaning solvent.

  • Fruit Juices

    • Mix 1 tablespoon of dish washing detergents and 2 cups of cool water (or 2 cups of warm water for carpet stains) and blot up the stain with a sponge or cloth until the stain disappears. If the fabric is washable, you can then proceed to wash it as normal.

  • Grass

    • Use a solution that is equal parts water and rubbing alcohol. If the fabric is white, bleach may be all you need to do the trick. if possible, soak the fabric in a solution of water and laundry detergent before actually washing it.

  • Gravy

    • Sprinkle baking soda, corn starch or another stain-removal absorbent on the stain and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Remove excess powder (vacuum if dealing with carpet or upholstery) and blot with a dry-cleaning solvent until the spot disappears.

  • Grease / Oil

    • Cover the stain in baby powder or cornstarch and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Carefully remove the powder so it doesn’t get anywhere else on the fabric. Place a few drops of dish washing liquid use a toothbrush or small brush to rub the stain with water in a circular motion. Continue until stain is gone and allow the fabric to air dry.

  • Ink

    • Surprisingly enough, hairspray or sanitizer can do the trick! Apply whichever substance to the stain and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Then, continue to wash normally with hot water.

  • Mustard

    • Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid hand dish washing soap with 2 cups of cool water (or 2 cups of warm water for the carpet) and scrub with a sponge or cloth until the stain disappears.

  • Pets / Pet Odor

    • Clothing, Sheets, Towels, etc: Machine wash the materials as usual but include a one-pound box of your usual detergent to the wash. If the smell or stain is still present, repeat until it’s gone. Allow the material to air dry once clean.

    • Carpet and Upholstery: If a reputable carpet stain remover isn’t enough to remove the stain, use a wet vac - not a steam cleaner. Apply a pet odor neutralizer once the area is completely clean.

  • Red Wine

    • Blot, do not scrub, any excess wine working from the outside of the stain to the center. Sprinkle salt completely over the stain, allow the salt to dry and scrape it off. Rinse the spot with club soda or a mixture of equal parts dish washing soap and hydrogen peroxide. If you are cleaning immediately after a stain occurs, you can try cleaning the spot with a white wine.

  • Sweat

    • Crush up 3 aspirin pills and mix the powder with a half cup of warm water. Put the stained clothing/material in the solution and allow to soak for 2-3 hours then wash normally.

  • Tea

    • First clean the spot with cool water but be careful not to spread the stain. Then proceed to blot the stain with a white vinegar/water solution and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Gently rub the stain with cold water.

If you are unsure of how to remove a stain or think you need a professional cleaning service to step in and help, give us a call today at 904-383-7721. 

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Topics: Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning, stain removal

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