If you've been eating anywhere other than the kitchen, you may have noticed that your furniture's fabrics have accumulated a plethora of food stains. Here are a few tips to help with this dilemma.
Step 1: Use a clean, white rag to blot any immediate spills. The stain will most likely set and be harder to remove if you wait.
Step 2: Check the label to be sure how the article can be cleaned and what product will be best for the job. The codes may be water-based or "W," water-free with solvents or "S," or permitted either way with "SW." If the item has an "X," it must be cleaned with a dry-cleaning product or done by a professional, like Supreme Cleaners Inc.
If the label states water can be used, use distilled water, because water from the tap may cause fading or cause rings because it contains minerals.
Use a water-free agent that is known to be a mild cleaner.
Solvent and Water-Based
For these labels, use products that are also mild (usually in foam form).
This fabric should only receive light brushing or vacuuming to remove dirt, debris, or stains. It is best to use a professional cleaning service.
Step 3: If you are not sure what cleaner to use, you should test a small section that is not readily noticeable. For example, on a sofa, you could check on the underneath side or in the back.
What You Need:
- Dishwashing Liquid
- Clean, white rags
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cornstarch or Baking soda
- Dry-cleaning solvent
- Vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment
A cleaning foam can be made using a squirt of dish liquid and two cups of water. At a medium setting of an electric mixer, a foam can be made for the furniture. It cannot be stored, and must be used right away. It will work well with dirt and debris as well as most drink and food stains.
Berry stains can be removed using rubbing alcohol and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Blot this mixture on the stain with a white rag. Use another cloth with plain water to remove the solvent.
You can also make a paste out of cornstarch and baking soda mixed with water to remove many other stains. Let the mixture dry, and brush or vacuum the paste away.
These methods should work on most pieces of furniture or other articles that are upholstered. Take your time and be sure to check any labels on the item. You may be lucky with the do-it-yourself methods, and save a lot of money.