Solutions for Headboard Stains from Oily Hair?

updated Mar 8, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Q: A few years ago I DIYed an upholstered headboard for our queen-sized bed. Since then, we’ve moved into our own house and are looking at finally upgrading to a California king, as my partner is 6’5″ and has never slept on a bed that his feet didn’t dangle off of. In looking for a new mattress, we’ve also started considering a new headboard. Unfortunately, my man tends to produce a lot of oil on his skin and hair, and the DIY headboard is stained pretty badly…

I’m not sure how to clean it and I’m not certain if we even want to bother in the first place, since we’re not going to have a queen-sized bed very shortly, but I have no idea how to move forward with finding a headboard that will work. I’d love to get another upholstered headboard, but I’m worried that if we do, cleaning it will be a losing battle—how even do you clean tufted linen? I thought about wood and leather, but some cursory Google searches indicate that the finish might be damaged, and I’m really not interested in wrought iron or anything like that. Are we destined to just not have a headboard? -Sent by K Elle

Editor: What a great question! I love the look of fabric headboards, but am always flummoxed by how you could possibly clean them regularly. A friend of mine created a paint-by-numbers headboard—featured on Design Sponge—to protect her bedroom wall from discoloration; perhaps something similar might work? Readers, please weigh in!

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