Removing Old, Set-In Stains From Fabric Upholstery

If you have fabric-upholstered furniture with old stains, you might assume there's nothing you can do about the stain at this point. They're set-in now, after all. The term "set-in" is a bit misleading, however. Often, stains that have sat around for a long time are harder to remove than fresh stains, but that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do to remove them or at least fade them considerably. So before you throw that stained chair in the trash or walk by that otherwise-gorgeous upholstered chair at a yard sale, try these tips for fading or removing that old, set-in stain.

Vacuum First

As a stain sits around, sometimes the staining particles separate themselves from the fabric. So, if you vacuum the stained area first, you might be able to actually remove some of the staining material. You'll also remove any dust and dirt from the fabric, which will allow the cleaning products you use later on to come in closer contact with the fabric itself. Use the wand attachment to ensure you vacuum the stained area thoroughly.

Introduce Some Steam

Steam helps loosen the staining material, making it easier to remove. An easy way to steam your stained upholstery is to grab an iron, put it on steam mode, and then hover it over the area while pressing the steam release button. Don't actually touch the iron to the fabric upholstery, as you risk burning it or setting the stain in further with excessive heat.

Apply Dish Soap and Vinegar

Few staining materials are impervious to dish soap and vinegar. The dish soap breaks apart any oils in the stain, while the acidic vinegar helps loosen up pigments. Fill a spray bottle with half water and half white vinegar. Add a generous squirt of dish soap, and then shake the bottle gently to mix it up. Spray the mixture generously on the stain. Then, use a clean towel to blot the stain, starting on the outside and working your way in. Once all of the liquid is absorbed, repeat this process.

Repeat if Needed

In most cases, you'll need to let the fabric dry in order to determine if the stain has been faded considerably. If you can still see the stain once the fabric dries, then try repeating the steaming, spraying and blotting steps again. You may not get the stain completely out, but in most cases, several repetitions of this procedure should fade it to the point that it's barely noticeable.

For more information, contact a company like Supreme Cleaners Inc.