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How to Effectively Treat the Most Common Couch Stains

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You finally have the furniture of your dreams. Its hue matches perfectly with the accent decor you’ve chosen. Not to mention how well it brings out that natural wood floor underneath. Joanna Gaines would be proud. Just as you recline your head and sigh, you hear a sound. Your darling toddler has just snuck in from the kitchen and overturned her juice cup onto the white cushion to your right. Panic ensues, as it so often does with the introduction of common couch stains such as this.

After the initial shock, you fly into the closet and slam 12 paper towels onto the offending liquid. As you catch your breath, you dread the stain this will leave. Perhaps guests won’t notice a few mauve splotches on the white fabric, you think.

Rather than junk your couch, seal it in plastic wrap, or become a total hermit, we’re going to pass along a few helpful suggestions for you to conquer your next couch stain.

5 Ways to Treat the Most Common Couch Stains and Preserve the Life of Your Furniture

Assess which treatment plan suites your fabric.

The best chance you have for restoring your couch after a spill is to apply the right cleaning product. A better way to say it is to avoid things that will ruin your furniture. According to, here are some examples:

  • Using water on most upholstery surfaces is fine, except leather. You’ll want to use something oil-wax or wax-based.

  • Spray the cleaning solution onto the cloth versus directly on the surface of the couch.

  • Baking soda works great against odors.

  • Baby wipes may do the trick on sensitive fabrics if the spill is minor.

Got old, set-in upholstery stains? Check out this step-by-step tutorial for removing the toughest, oldest stains by

Act quickly and thoroughly.

Obviously, the sooner you get to a stain the better your chances are of success. Another point to consider is the depth of the stain, too. Grime can get trapped in the surface fibers of the fabric, but it may seep into the actual cushion beneath. If so, completely remove the outer fabric, if possible, to treat the deeper stain with water and a cleaning product. Let it air dry thoroughly.

The specific cleaning solution for this will vary. For example, if your pet has an accident that leaks through a couch cushion, you’ll want something designed to neutralize enzymes like Nature’s Miracle Pet Urine Destroyer.

DIY can save the day.

There are a lot of great tips out there for treating stains with common household products. For example, DIYNetwork created a quick list of home remedies for fabric, leather, and synthetic upholstery. Their ingredients list includes things like:

  • Vinegar

  • Olive oil

  • Water

  • Dish soap

  • Spray bottle

Always test cleaning products in an inconspicuous place on your furniture first, just to be sure it won’t ruin the material.

Invest in washable or stain-resistant material.

This may not help you with today’s popsicle stain, but in the future, you may want to seek out fabric that can be machine-washed or is stain-resistant. Home Reserve has a great lineup of such materials. Here is a video showing you how this sofa responds to several spills at once:

Learn more about Home Reserve’s kid- and pet-friendly fabrics here.

Can it be replaced?

If a stain seems unliftable, or perhaps an odor has developed from a deeper spill turning moldy or acidic, then find out if that piece is replaceable. If so, the manufacturer may charge for the replacement piece, but it may be worth a phone call rather than scrapping the whole thing.

I have some good news, though. I can hook you up with a company that can replace any piece of their furniture individually, whether it's the foam, fabric, or wood. Any unrecoverable piece of fabric can be replaced without having to purchase an entirely new piece of furniture. Home Reserve’s renewability policy ensures that its furniture grows with each customer, no matter how many changes (or little additions) come along. Their 10-year frame warranty is at the core of their mission.

Plus, this might be just a great time to swap out your sofa’s old fabric for a fresh look. That’s one more feature Home Reserve would love to assist you with.

To see just how Home Reserve’s changeable fabric works, watch this video:

Each stain is different, and we certainly didn’t cover them all, but hopefully, these steps and resources will aid you in your next stain-fighting endeavor. May you be victorious, whether it’s with a cleaning product, a DIY blend in a spray bottle, or finding your next sofa with the best options that fit your family’s needs.

To learn more about Home Reserve’s 30-day, risk-free trial, click here.

Got a cleaning hack for common couch stains? Share it with us in the comments below!

--Laura Harris


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