When you bring beautifully upholstered furniture into your home, whether it is store-bought or you’ve had favorite pieces reupholstered to match your updated decor, the expectation is that these furnishings will serve you for years to come.
Unfortunately, life happens in your home, especially if you have kids and/or pets. And sooner or later, something is going to stain your upholstery.
Your dog might jump on the couch covered in mud (or something worse). Kids seem to trail food crumbs and other messes like a car leaking oil. And even you, enjoying a glass of wine on a Friday night, might suffer a spill here and there.
But there are ways to treat and even eliminate the stains that mar your textiles, especially if you take some precautions, get to them quickly, and have the right cleaning products at your disposal. Here are a few guidelines that every homeowner with upholstered furniture should follow.
First and foremost, you may want to institute rules that keep staining agents away from your furnishings. For example, you could enforce a “no food in the living room” rule.
Of course, this does you little good if your dining room chairs are upholstered. You can hardly stop your family from eating there, so only some of your furniture would be protected. Plus, there are bound to be occasions where eating in certain areas is allowed, such as during a party or when kids are sick and bunking in front of the TV.
Another strategy is to pre-treat the upholstery in order to protect it from future stains. And if you want to avoid the plastic cushion covers favored by your grandparents, it’s probably in your best interest to pick up a stain guard product.
These products are specifically designed to help protect your many textiles against stains. Now, it’s important to understand that they won’t leave some kind of coating on your furniture. In fact, most of these products are guaranteed not to change the look or feel of textiles.
What they will do is delay the onset of staining by repelling liquids and stopping staining agents from soaking into fabric. This will give you more time to blot up whatever has spilled, and you can treat the offending substance before it has a chance to set.
Stain guards also protect against the inevitable build-up of dirt, dust, grime, and even the oils from your skin, preventing stains from daily usage that you probably don’t even think about.
So pre-treating is definitely an important step when it comes to stopping stains. But it’s not like stain guards do all the work for you. When stains do make their way onto your upholstery, you’re going to need to clean them post-haste. And again, the right products are essential.
You’ll want to start by grabbing some plain paper towels (without colorful designs that could bleed into your fabric) or a rag to mop up the excess of whatever has spilled on your upholstery. Or if you’re simply treating the stains that come with regular wear and tear, make sure to vacuum thoroughly so you don’t accidentally mash particulates into the fabric while you clean.
Next, you should clean your upholstery with an appropriate solvent for the job. Some people like sprays, but you might want to try an easy-to-use wipe like the Carpet & Upholstery Wipes made by Tub O’Towels.
With this product, you won’t have to risk over-saturating your upholstery with a spray. You won’t even have to search for a suitable rag. All you have to do is whip out a wipe and start blotting and scrubbing the stain.
The cleanser in these wipes is specifically formulated to treat myriad stains, including food and drinks, pet stains and markers, and really difficult stains like blood and grass. It even works on crayons and shoe polish, amongst other things.
But it also features woven fibers that allow for intense scrubbing power. Unlike other, flimsier wipes, this one won’t fall apart. And it even has agents that help to prevent future stains.
Of course, you probably also want to refresh all of the upholstery in your home annually by renting a steam cleaner and going to town. And this is a great option for keeping your furniture looking clean and new in general.
When it comes to treating stains, you have only a few steps to follow. First, keep staining agents away from your upholstery in the first place. Second, pre-treat with a product that helps to prevent stains. And when stains do occur, use appropriate cleaning solutions like Tub O’Towels Carpet & Upholstery Wipes, or even a steam vac.
Caring for your favorite upholstered furniture will almost certainly require you to eliminate stains at some point. But you don’t have to wage WWIII in your living room. With some planning, forethought, and the right products, you can keep your furnishings looking beautiful for years.