How to Clean Stains on Your Sofa

Got a stain on your sofa? Don't panic!  Whether it's brand new or more set-in, we're breaking down ways to tackle them so you and your family can keep on enjoying your favorite sofa for years (and years!) to come. 

Below you'll find our tried and true hacks for even the most stubborn upholstery stains. Follow them in order for best results. 

1. Blot, baby!

Not the snazziest of tricks, but as soon as a stain happens, blotting with a clean cloth (or paper towel) can really help to prevent a stain from getting worse. Gently blot, blot, and blot some more until the cloth comes up dry.

2. Consider vacuuming 

Under-utilized and surprisingly effective, sometimes lifting a stain is as simple as vacuuming it up! Really! Especially with older set-in stains, a gentle vacuuming can actually dramatically fade them. For fresh stains, vacuuming is helpful to lift any easy-to-remove particles. 

3. Get steamy 

Assuming your furniture can be cleaned with water, gently applying steam to a stain can loosen it and make it more likely to respond to stronger treatments following. 

4. Start gentle 

Again, assuming your piece is water cleaner-safe, start with baby steps and blot the stain with a sponge dabbed in a simple soap and (ideally distilled) water solution. And when we say dab, we mean it! Don't rub in the stain as it can actually further dig it into the upholstery or cause the material itself to pill. If water is not an option, you can likely follow the same steps with vodka or vinegar to start. 

Once the stain is dampened (and hopefully gone), gently dry the area by dabbing the spot lightly with a fresh paper towel. 

Also, if a water ring appears, it's okay! You'll just need to wet the entire area up to a seam to remove the water ring.

5. Up the oomph as needed 


If the stain is still there (bummer), you've still got options. This is where whipping out your favorite green cleaner (we really like enzyme-based ones such as BioKleen) and following the instructions is worthwhile. If, after one application a stain is lifting but still not gone, sometimes it really is worth repeating to fully remove the stain. 

6. Get ahead of stains from the start 


OK so this step obviously takes some foresight, but if you're looking to buy a new upholstered piece of furniture and worried about pets or kiddos (or yourself - no shame!), we offer a plethora of stain-resistant and highly durable fabrics. Going with a fabric in our Texture, Southpaw, Macarena, Bennett, Haberdasher, Bella, Dreamer, and Fargo families ensures you will have an easier time when "oopsies" occur. 

P.S. if you need more guidance in selecting a sofa, our free furniture design experts are always happy to help.