Being the center of family gatherings in most living rooms, fabric sofas should be properly taken cared of as they can easily be damaged from the constant use.
Imagine how much a fabric sofa endures during the festive seasons and school holiday periods when loved ones gather and sit on the sofa throughout the day.
It is therefore inevitable that sometimes your fabric sofa will have stains from food and drinks, sweat, make-up, and even from ink pens and markers.
While it is obvious that fabric sofas need to be regularly cleaned, it is often ignored and sometimes dismissed as an inconvenient chore.
Having children and pets is also a reason why sofas need special attention and care especially when it comes to cleaning procedures.
Fabric sofas provide comfort to you and to your loved ones but they can also harbour hard-to-spot mildew, mould growth, allergens and viruses that cause serious diseases for young children and the elderly.
With a mountain of reasons why stains can happen and how they can affect your fabric sofas, what does a homeowner need to know about how to properly clean a stained fabric sofa?
The very first thing to remember before cleaning a stained sofa is to read the cleaning tags or the manufacturer’s booklets that come with the purchase and warranty information for fabric sofas.
These contain vital information on the kind of materials that make up your fabric sofa and more importantly, what kind of cleaning agents are safe to use with those materials and fabrics.
W – Water; this means that water and water-based cleaning agents can be used to clean the fabric sofa
S - Solvent-based Cleansers; Water should never be used to clean the sofa and only solvent-base cleansers such as alcohol-based liquids are allowed.
WS – Both of the above can be used on the material.
X – No cleaning agents can be used on the fabric sofa and generally only vacuum cleaning is okay.
However, when in doubt, it is always safe to do a spot test.
Using your choice of cleaning product, dab gently using a soft and clean cloth with a small amount of the cleaning agent to an inconspicuous spot to see if any colour fading will result. In addition, when a stain happens, attend to it as soon as it happens as some fabric sofas’ fibres absorb liquids in such a way that once a stain dries up, it is nearly impossible to remove it.
Below is a list of the most common kinds of stains that can befall your fabric sofa and how to deal with them. Think of it as a first aid kit and inside are tips and tricks on how to deal with a stained fabric sofa.
Tea and Coffee
Who does not love to drink a hot cup of tea or coffee while lounging in a soft fabric sofa? Almost everyone who has had tea and coffee spilled on their clothes know that the stain can easily spread and soak the linings inside the cloth.
But unlike a shirt, one cannot easily bring a fabric sofa to a dry cleaner. Baking soda can be used to clean stains from tea and coffee spills.
Sprinkle some of the powder on the stained area and wait for a few minutes. Rinse out the baking powder with a damp clean cloth and use a soft bristle brush with a small amount of liquid detergent to gently scrub away the stain.
Rinse out the stain again and make sure to not touch the area with your bare hands. Baking soda and soap creates a fizzy reaction so use gloves if you use this process.
Sweat and Other Bodily Fluids
Napping on a fabric sofa is inevitable for many people but sweat contains salt and body toxins that could form yellow to blackish mould spots on a fabric sofa.
Having dogs and cats who are not house-trained can cause unpleasant and visible stains plus unpleasant odours to permeate into a fabric sofa.
Spot clean the sofa with an enzymatic stain remover after blotting the wet areas with paper towels.
It may be tempting to use bleach to clean sweat and other fluids from a fabric sofa but refrain from doing so as that can fade the colour and affect the pattern of the material.
Mud and Grass
Families with kids who love to play outdoors can wreak serious havoc to a beautiful fabric sofa.
Mud and grass stains can stick to clothes and easily transfer to a fabric sofa before anyone can notice.
When it comes to mud and grass stains, patience is the key. Wait for mud stains to dry out and with the use of a plastic spoon or knife, scrap off the dry bits of mud carefully without creating tears.
With a solution of equal parts vinegar and distilled water inside a spray bottle, be careful when you saturate the stain.
The vinegar will help in dissolving the mud and grass stains so there is no need to vigorously scrub the stain away. Remember to perform a spot test before using vinegar on a fabric sofa.
Grease from Oily Food
Everyone enjoys eating their favourite comfort while relaxing on a sofa at the end of the day. Most comfort food items are greasy and oil spills from pizzas, sauces, dips, and chips can stain a fabric sofa that sometimes it makes you think it would be nearly impossible to remove them.
First, grab a soft toothbrush or bristle brush and a small amount of gentle dishwashing soap or grease remover.
Then with small circular strokes, try to scrub the area for a few minutes until you see that the oil has been broken down.
Do not rush or the dishwashing liquid can seep into the material of the fabric sofa and may cause a water mark.
Clean off the affected area with a dampened cleaning cloth. This tip also works for stains from make-up products as most cosmetic items contain oils.
Ballpoint Pen Inks and Markers
Carelessness cannot be avoided and sometimes, ballpoint pens and permanent markers can be left uncovered and they create highly visible stains on a fabric sofa.
If the stains are not that massive in size, rubbing alcohol is known to remove ink stains. Using a sponge or white cloth and 70% isopropyl alcohol, blot the area until you see that the stain transfers.
Hair spray is also known to be able to remove some forms of ink stains but use paper towels if you use hair spray.
Stains from permanent markers can be a real nightmare for homeowners as the word permanent evokes thoughts that the stain will be there forever.
It is best to act as fast as you can when a permanent marker stains your fabric sofa. Get the affected area damp first and spray a non-oil-based hair spray on the stained spot.
Blot with a paper towel until you see the colour transfer from the material to the paper towel. If your fabric sofa has a cover, remove the sofa cover and do this process on a flat surface so that the inner layers and linings of your sofa will not be stained as well.
There are people who claim that a bowl of milk will work wonders on removing marker stains. By soaking the stained area in a bowl of milk, some permanent marker stains will transfer their colours or dyes to the milk and the fabric will be cleaned in this manner.
This is experimental so you need to be careful as milk can still cause yellow spots and wet marks even after the fabric has been rinsed off.
For larger stains and with deeper and darker colours, it is best to seek the help of professional sofa cleaners as they are still the ones who know what cleaning solutions are best to be used for your fabric sofa.
This is probably the most dreaded kind of stain that can destroy the beauty of a fabric sofa. Hydrogen peroxide is effective in removing blood stains, but some types of dyes can be faded out by hydrogen peroxide so it best to try using this trick in a small and hidden area of your fabric sofa first before saturating the entire stain.
Refrain from using strong laundry bleach to remove blood stains even if you think that it can completely remove the spot because of the same reason; strong chemicals can destroy the colours and patterns of fabric sofas.
In addition, delicate materials can disintegrate over time if bleach and hydrogen peroxide are used on them.
After you have tried the tips and tricks mentioned above, you may now feel happy that you were able to clean your stained fabric sofa.
The visible stains may have been diminished but how about the invisible dust, grime, mildew and mold that could be settling inside your fabric sofa?
Allergens and pollutants that have been trapped in the upholstery could not be removed by regular vacuuming and spot cleaning alone.
Professional cleaners who are experts in deep-cleaning fabric sofas are still the best source of help when it comes to ensuring that your home is a safe, healthy and hygienic environment for you and your loved ones.
Call us at 67881788 if you need any help, feel free to look at our transparent prices.