How to remove stains on your sofa

stain on sofa

Before attempting to DIY to remove stains on your sofa, chair, mattress, carpet or upholstery, it is important to understand the nature of the stain and the material of your sofa before beginning to treat it to prevent potentially damaging the sofa.

Step 1: Identify the Type of stain

There are 2 common types of stains that we identify to customers:

  1. Loose stains
    Loose stains can be easily removed if treated immediately. It is generally also able to be removed if left on for a period of time.
    Examples include: sweat stains, drool stains, vomit stains, urine stains
  2. Tough stains
    Tough stains can be removed if treated immediately, but may be difficult to remove if left on for a period of time.
    Examples include: wine stains, coffee stains, blood stains, oil based stains
  3. Permanent stains (widely known as discoloration, mark, etching or pigmentation)
    This type of stain is difficult, if not impossible to remove if left on for a prolonged period of time.
    Examples include: paint stain, permanent marker


Step 2: Identify the Duration of the stain

If you identify a stain on your sofa, it is recommended to immediately treat the stain as a fresh stain is easier to remove than an old stain. A stain that has been on a sofa for 1 year is going to be extensively more difficult to clean off than a stain that has been on for 1 month, likewise a stain left on for 1 minute is going to be more likely to be able to remove than a stain left on for 1 hour.


Step 3: Clean it

Try this DIY solution that is safe for most sofas:

  • Mix a squirt of dishwashing liquid in a cup of warm water.
  • Use a cloth with the soap solution and gently blot the stain from the outer ring of the stain towards the centre. Keep blotting and buffing at the spot until your cloth no longer picks up any stain residue.
  • Take a cup of cold water and a new cloth, dab at the sofa until the soap residue is mostly taken out.
  • Leave your sofa to air dry.

Important: Whatever you do, do not use bleach. Bleach is commonly used to remove stains, but we strongly advise against using bleach on your sofa as it may cause the fabric to lose its color permanently and bleach residue left in your sofa may trigger eczema flare ups for people with sensitive skin.


Engage a Professional

Sometimes it may be easier to look for a professional sofa cleaning service to help you with removing your stain and odors on your sofa. Sofa cleaners are equipped with the correct techniques and equipped with safe chemicals to provide peace of mind that your sofa is left in safe hands and without the fuss of having to do it yourself.