Fire Recovery Realities

How To Remove Stain And Odors From Fabric Furniture Upholstery

by Matthew Fields

Your living room couches and chairs are subject to a lot of daily wear and tear, which often results in staining and unpleasant odors. If you have kids, pets or frequent house guests, you may need to deep-clean the upholstered furniture on a regular basis, such as weekly or monthly. 

There are several types of  upholstery fabrics, such as linen, cotton, cotton blends and wool. Synthetic fabrics include acrylic, polyester and rayon. Before cleaning any type of upholstery, it's important to test a small, inconspicuous area of the fabric, such as the underside of a cushion or the back of an arm. There are a variety of common household products that you can use to remove stubborn stains and odors. 

Here are some tips for keeping upholstered furniture looking and smelling fresh and clean:

1. Check the upholstery for its "cleaning code" prior to working on it. Codes include "W" for water, "S" for solvents or dry-clean only, and "S/W" for both. If you see an "S" code, leave the cleaning to the professionals or use a spot-cleaner specifically designed for that type of material. 

2. The most important thing you can do to prevent stains and odors is to soak up any spilled liquid, or clean up any dropped food, immediately. Press a clean sponge or absorbent cloth into the liquid, squeezing it out and repeating the process as much as needed. 

Use a handheld vacuum or the upholstery attachment on a regular vacuum to suck up any solid food or debris. Use a left-to-right motion on a fabrics such as suede or velvet, and use a low suction level for delicate fabrics such as silk.

3. After removing as much as the debris as possible, add a few drops of a mild, clear dishwashing liquid to a bowl of warm water. Dip a clean sponge or rag into the soapy solution, wring it out and dab it onto the soiled spot. You can repeat the process if necessary, but be careful not to saturate the upholstery. Allow the area to thoroughly air dry.

4. If a stain still remains, pour a small amount of distilled white vinegar onto a rag or cloth, and gently blot it onto the spot. Although it will smell strong at first, the odor will dissipate as the vinegar dries. 

5. To remove strong pet or other odors, sprinkle an even layer of baking soda, which is known to absorb smells, all over the upholstery and allow it to sit for at least a 1/2 hours. Then, vacuum it up and the odor should be gone. 

For more tips, contact a company like Amer Carpet Cleaners.