If there are children or pets in your household, you’re no stranger to spills. When a mishap occurs on your upholstered living room furniture, these tips can help you quickly and safely remove the stain.  

Look for Upholstery Tag

Before you attempt to remove a spot from upholstery, look for the cleaning code located on the furniture tag. This tag is usually found beneath a cushion or on the bottom of a piece of furniture. The following codes are used to describe the proper cleaning technique for your loveseat, sofa or other upholstered piece.


  • Code “X” means the upholstery should only be cleaned and treated by a professional.
  • Code “SW” means the upholstery can be cleaned with both water-based products and dry-cleaning products.
  • Code “S” means the upholstery should only be cleaned with a dry-cleaning product or waterless solvent.
  • Code “W” means the upholstery may be spot-cleaned with water-based products.

To stay on the safe side, test any cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area of the upholstery before using it to remove a spot located on a visible area.

Red Wine and Juice Stains

For a red wine, juice or tomato sauce stain, remember to dab up the excess liquid instead of wiping it. Once you’ve removed the excess liquid, follow these steps to remove the unsightly red stain from your upholstery:

  1. Mix together one half-tablespoon of white vinegar with one-third cup of rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the stain with the cleaning mixture until saturated.
  3. Dab up the liquid with a clean cloth. Continue dabbing until the stain is completely removed.

Although fresh stains are typically easiest to remove, this method may offer results on an older, deep-set stain, too.

Grease Marks

Dripping pizza grease, margarine and other oily substances leave spots on upholstery that seem impossible to remove, but don’t lose hope just yet. Try these steps to get your sectional sofa or upholstered armchair looking like new again:

  • Do not attempt to wipe away or dab up the grease spot.
  • Cover the grease spot with a liberal amount of cornstarch.
  • Allow the cornstarch to sit on the stain all day, if possible.
  • Using the hose attachment, vacuum up the cornstarch.
  • If the grease stain is still visible, apply a dry-cleaning product to it, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

These quick, economical tips can help you keep your beautiful upholstered furniture looking beautiful for many years to come.



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