Tips & Tricks: How To Spot Clean Upholstery

Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies

There is nothing worse than a spill on your favorite sofa or chair, especially in the middle of a party when you are trying to act cool, calm, and collected. Here are a few tricks to keep in mind for the next time something is spilled on your upholstery.

It is easy during a party to brush off a spill and plan to deal with it the next day; however, this is the worst thing you can do for a stain. Any spill on upholstery needs to be handled right away, within the first 15 minutes for maximum impact. Here's what to do:

Blot: Immediately start blotting with a white cloth. Never rub, as this sets the stain in. The idea is to absorb as much as you can to lessen the damage before treating the spot.

A Trick For Grease Stains: sprinkle a bit of cornstarch on the stain and let sit for 30 minutes to absorb the oil and then vacuum it up.

Treat: Mix a solution of mild dish soap and water and, with a clean cloth, apply just enough to cover the spot. (Before using any cleaner, test the product on an inconspicuous part of the fabric.)

Brush: Allow the spot to dry completely, and if the upholstery fabric has a higher pile, use an upholstery brush to brush the fabric fibers in the correct direction.

Vacuum: This is a simple step that doesn't involve any special cleansers, but a very important step for the maintenance of your upholstery. A weekly vacuuming of your upholstery can help keep the fabric in its best condition. Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum and work in left to right short strokes to suck up surface dust before it settles into the fabric. For tight crevices such as button tufting, use a can of compressed air to blast away dust.

(Image credits: Claire Bock)