Salvaging Stained Sofa Cushions

Tis the season to protect your furniture from stains created by visiting house guests, holiday partygoers and kids on Christmas break.

Unless you plan to cover your sofa with plastic wrap or hermetically seal your loveseat and recliner to keep them stain free, then you should arm yourself with the following tips on how to erase marks from upholstery:

Step One: Do a rough cleaning by vacuuming the entire couch to remove crumbs, lint and dust. If you have pets, you are better off investing in a product that is designed to remove fur from fabric upholstery.

Step Two: To eliminate minor stains, spot clean first. For fresh stains, do not rub the mark into the fabric; rather, blot at the stain until it lifts from the furnishing. For older stains, use a commercial cleaner, such as Woolite for fabric upholstery. Once the stain lifts from the fabric, use a clean rag to gently rinse the affected area.

Step Three: If you are dealing with a stubborn stain, then consider bypassing the blotting method and try steam cleaning instead. If you have removable cushions that are machine washable, then you might consider that option. However, if you are going to machine wash sofa cushions do so on gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. Also, read the washing instructions very carefully as most warn not to place cushion covers in the dryer as they tend to shrink. If they do, the chance that you will be able to place the covers back on your cushions is slim to none.

Step Four: Washing cushions is a pain, unless you have an extra-large washing machine and dryer. If you don’t have an industrial size washer and dryer, the safest way to wash couch cushions is to put them in the bathtub with regular laundry detergent or vinegar and wash by hand.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.