How To Remove Stubborn Stains From Your Sofa

June 17, 2022

Most homes have sofas and couches to help people relax or just have a good time by lying down. It’s also an easy makeshift bed for guests who want to crash for the night. But if you think about it, sofas can get easily stained, seeing as many individuals commonly drink, eat, and do all sorts of things on or near these seats.

Besides, it’s not just human activity that can cause these stains. Pets can cause some staining on the sofas too from mud and dirt, especially if they’ve just come home from a walk. On the other hand, there are instances when the environment can be perfect for mould growth, especially in fabrics and furniture like sofas.

How To Remove Different Stains

Removing stains can be quite tricky because of what caused the stain in the first place. And the material of the couches might require different approaches, chemicals, and mixtures for a successful cleaning job. To understand more about how to get rid of different common sofa stains, continue reading below.

  • Mould Stains

People often wonder about how to remove mould from fabric sofas, curtains, and more. Oftentimes, mould can be some of the most stubborn stains to get rid of. So, it’s important to get to the stains early on before they multiply and take over the rest of the sofa.

To get rid of mould stains, use a mixture of equal parts vinegar and warm water. Use a spray bottle to apply the solution to the stain or you can also use a rag to apply it to the mould.

Leave the vinegar on the stain for thirty minutes; after that, use a clean rag and clean water to blot and get rid of the vinegar. Keep rinsing, blotting, and drying until it’s completely clean.

  • Wine Stains

Imagine this: you’re pouring yourself a glass of wine to finally relax after a long day. But you end up having a little too much and you start to pass out after a few glasses. Then you end up knocking the wine over and staining your sofa. Although it’s an accident, it’s quite a common occurrence for many overworked household heads.

Wine stains can be rather difficult to get rid of, especially if you have a sofa colour that’s lighter in shade. The key to avoiding stubborn wine staining is to act quickly and prepare a solution of ¾ cup peroxide with ¼ cup of dish soap. Make sure you also have a sponge or clean microfiber cloths to apply and clean up the stain.

The first thing to do is to blot gently to get rid of the excess wine. After that, use the sponge to apply the solution to the stain. Keep on doing this until you get rid of the stain completely.

  • Lipstick Stains

Lipstick stains are just as common and just as hard to get rid of. Since they’re pigmented and waxy, they can be a little more challenging to eliminate on sofa surfaces. But fear not because it’s possible with just a few steps.

Take the back of a teaspoon and scrape off the remaining lipstick on the couch. Never rub it in some more because the pigments can spread and make the stain bigger. After that, take the damp cloth and start blotting. Keep cleaning the cloth and reblotting until the stain starts to lift; it’s a slow process so try to be patient.

Once you get most of the staining out, add more water and use a cloth to rub it in gentle circular motions. Keep the motion in the spot to keep it from spreading even more. After that, if there’s still a bit of a stain, you can apply some soap, blot it out, and let it dry.

You could also try a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, just make sure that you let it bubble up before you blot it, rinse it with warm water, and let it dry.

  • Bloodstains

Next up are bloodstains, which you can remove in a similar way. Again, don’t rub on the stain, just blot. The difference is in the solution that you can apply. For blood stains, the solution should be two teaspoons of liquid dish soap and one cup of water. Don’t forget to rinse it out by blotting it with clean water, too.

  • Ink Stains

Ink stains are a nightmare to get rid of on any surface because of how dark the stains can get. For these particular stains, get ready with paper towels to blot the excess ink with. This is because the staining can stain towels and rags. Keep changing the paper towels until you get rid of all the ink, then mix a tablespoon of liquid dish soap and a tablespoon of vinegar.

Apply this solution to the stain and watch it lift the stain. Repeat the blotting, application of the solution, rinsing and drying until you get rid of the stain. If it isn’t effective, you might want to call in an expert furniture upholstery cleaner to take care of the staining for you.

  • Tea Stains

Tea has been used as a means of dyeing fabric, especially in the past. This is because it can penetrate and stain fabrics quite effectively. But if you accidentally spill the tea on yourself, you might end up with a nasty and stubborn stain.

The solution you’ll need to mix up for this is two teaspoons of liquid dish soap in a cup of cold water. Mix this up in a spray bottle, and then you can use this to blot the stain away with a clean rag or sponge.

  • Water Stains

Water stains are usually hard to see on darker sofas, but you’ll definitely see them if they’re on lighter fabrics. Usually, you’ll have to do the same dabbing and rinsing technique, but the solutions you can use vary.

The first solution you can use is two cups of vinegar and one cup of hot water. You can even use a soft bristle brush, especially if the stain is a little harder to get rid of. If you don’t have vinegar, you could replace the two cups of vinegar with two freshly squeezed lemons instead.

If you’re fresh out of vinegar and lemons, you could try this solution as well. Take a cup of rubbing alcohol and mix it in with half a cup of warm water. Use a spray bottle to apply the solution to the stain, and use a soft-bristled brush or a toothbrush to lift the stains.

Always Read And Follow The Manufacturer’s Tag

When it comes to upholstery, it’s important to make sure that you’re caring for it properly. This is because the material can be easily damaged, or the colour can be compromised if certain chemicals are applied to it. Whether you’re cleaning the sofa or getting rid of stains, always refer to the tag to see how you can clean it up.

Basic Symbols And What They Mean

When checking the manufacturer’s tag, you might also see symbols like W, S, or more. This will also help guide you on how you can clean up the sofa.

  • W – Stick to water and water-based cleaning solutions.
  • S – Use dry-cleaning detergent.
  • X – Don't get it wet; only use a vacuum.
  • WS – You can use a steam vacuum, mild detergent, and dry-cleaning detergent.
  • No Tag – If there’s no tag, stick to water-based solutions. You could also do a patch test for certain cleaning solutions.

Use A Steam Cleaner On Water-Safe Fabrics

If you want to thoroughly tidy up your sofa and not just get rid of stains, you could use a steam cleaner. But before that, you’ll want to thoroughly vacuum the sofa first to make sure that you get rid of dust and all kinds of debris.

You’ll also want to ensure that the sofa can be steamed because some materials can disintegrate or get damaged by steaming. If you’re not sure, you can test the steamer on a small section of the sofa that you don’t really see all that much.

After you steam the sofa, make sure that you keep it in a well-ventilated space as it dries. This way, you can prevent it from absorbing any bad or musty smells.

How To Prevent Sofa Stains

It’s helpful to know all these practical ways you can get rid of sofa stains. However, you’ll also want to prevent the stains so that you don’t have to deal with stubborn stains or even the risk of permanent stains.

To avoid staining, you could use a sofa cover, especially if you have pets. You could also use a waterproof cover if you like to drink wine, coffee, tea, or anything else that could cause staining.

Furthermore, if you’re aware that you’ll be eating and drinking around the sofa, you might want to get a couch that isn’t light-coloured or one that comes in a material that’s fairly easier to clean.


When it comes to sofas, getting dirt on them is inevitable, especially because people lay down, eat, and drink, while they’re on the seat. Even if you’re always careful, a couch or sofa is going to get dirty eventually. Thus, it’s important to know how you can clean it up properly and get rid of any stains.

Remember to find out what’s the proper way to wash the fabric and what chemicals and processes could be damaging. But most importantly, you’ll want to act quickly once you spill or mark the sofa. And you’ll also want to protect your sofa so that you can completely avoid any microbial infestation, stains damage, and the like in the future.



Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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