Your fabric sofa isn’t safe from some potential clumsiness on the part of your Airbnb & co guests and can end up with some pretty bad stains. Coffee, wine, makeup, ink, oil…, don’t panic, there are tricks to save your cushions. Here are a few tips and homemade recipes to removes those awful stains on your house’s sofa or chair.

Woman cleaning a sofaljupco/123RF Banque d'images


  • Coffee or Tea Stain

Rub some Savon de Marseille with a little bit of water on the stain and go over it many times with a wet soft sponge to rinse. You can also use soda crystals or dab the stain with a cloth dampened in a mixture of water/alcohol (50/50) and finish it off with white vinegar. Vegetable glycerin is another option due to its antibacterial properties. Cool some of the liquid and add it to the cloth, and then go over it with a damp cloth.


  • Wine Stain

Dab the stain with a cloth dipped in white vinegar or warm milk and rinse with a damp sponge.


  • Alcoholic Beverage Stain

Use a sponge that you’ve dampened in a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol in equal quantities. Rinse with a damp cloth.


  • Soda or Sugary Drink Stain

Wipe the stain with a cloth dipped in water and ammoniac, and rinse.


  • Oil or Makeup Stain

Put some gloves on and sprinkle the sofa with China clay. Rub the clay in with circular motions, let it take action for a few hours and then vacuum the area. If the stain is still there, you can use diluted ammoniac, turpentine or even soda crystals, but be careful not to alter the color of the fabric and make sure to wash your hands properly after use. A less harmful technique is to sprinkle a thick layer of talc on the cushion, add a few layers of paper towels and go over the area with a hot iron. Change the paper towel gradually as it soaks up the oil.


  • Chocolate Stain

A cloth dipped in clear water may do the trick. If that doesn’t cut it, try using white vinegar or room temperature glycerin with a dry cloth. Rub and rinse with warm water.


  • Ink or Marker Stain

Dab the stain with a cloth dipped in soapy water. If that doesn’t work, dampen the cloth in white vinegar or rub with lemon juice. Rinse with a cloth soaked in clear water.


  • Blood or Bodily Fluid Stain

Dip the blood, urine or semen stain with a cloth dampened in diluted ammoniac, tartaric acid or oxygenated water. Then thoroughly rinse the surface with clear water.




 A few recommendations…

  • Test the cleaning method on a part of your sofa that isn’t visible to see how the fabric reacts. Go ahead and use that method if the results are positive.

  • We recommend that you clean the sofa’s entire cushion instead of just the stain to avoid discolorations on the fabric.

  • When you’re unsure where the stain came from, start by cleaning it with cold water. If the stain is still there, mix baking soda with hot water and dab with a dry cloth. If that’s unsuccessful, the next step is to use turpentine, oxygenated water or benzine with a dry cloth. The final alternative is to use diluted ammoniac.



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