Accidents do happen and sometimes your upholstery can fall victim to a wine stain, a doodle from a younger member of the household or, the worst, grease. Many people are under the misconception that you have to have your upholstery cleaned professionally but this isn’t always the case. We are going to help you decide if you can clean it yourself and offer some tips to help.

DIY or professional cleaning job?
You need to look at the fabric type, size and location of stain and the type of stain to decipher the answer to this question.

  • If the fabric is synthetic you can usually clean it at home as synthetics were designed to be easy to maintain.
  • Be more careful with a synthetic and natural mix as they may be more sensitive. It is a good idea to test a small patch here first.
  • If the fabric is 50% cotton then you want to call in the cleaning company, as it isn’t worth the risk of you ruining your sofa or chair.

If the stain is relatively new it will be easier to treat so you could remove this yourself. Stains that require professional attention are large stains or grease and oil stains and they will require additional products and attention.

Tips for DIY upholstery cleaning:

  1. Water: You do not want to use very much water when cleaning your upholstery. Try a spot remover first and if that doesn’t work, use the water cautiously.
  2. Upholstery sprays: These types of products work well on easy stains but will not shift the harder stains such as grease.
  3. Baby wipes: Baby wipes can be surprisingly effective when removing stains from your upholstery. They have the correct amount of water and shampoo, they are very gentle and they evaporate quickly, so no soggy seats.
  4. Coffee stains: There is a special concoction you can make to help get rid of those pesky coffee stains. Mix together washing up liquid, water and vinegar and dab the stain very economically until the coffee stain has disappeared.
  5. Red wine: Combine stain remover with washing powder and some hot water. Dab the stain with this mixture until damp and then pour mixture directly onto the stain. Leave for 20 minutes until the stain has disappeared. Wipe with a damp cloth and, viola, no red wine.
  6. Mould or Mildew: Another formula you can create that is great for mould is hydrogen peroxide and colour safe bleach. Lightly dab the stains with a clean cloth that has been dipped in this solution. Follow this solution with some fresh water and leave to dry. Remember to use the water sparingly.
  7. Crayons: If your upholstery is water-safe then you can try to use non-gel toothpaste to remove crayon marks. Rub it in gently to the stain and wipe with a damp cloth.
  8. Grease or Oil: An upholsters nightmare is oil or grease but you do have a chance of removing this stain with salt, cornstarch or talcum powder. These products will encourage the grease to lift off the fabric and once you think most of the grease has been absorbed, wipe with a damp cloth.