Managing stains

With furniture comes the possibility of stains from spills, dirty hands, and messy pets. The good news is, there are several ways to remove stains from your furniture. Here’s how to remove six different stains from your furniture and avoid them altogether.

Pet Stains

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Our animal companions bring us so much joy but can also be messy. As much as you try to avoid it, chances are good your furry friends will get onto your furniture – and they can bring urine and feces with them on their paws or by having an accident.

Don’t stress if you find a smelly mess. There’s a way to remove the stains with items you likely have around the house, letting you avoid the harmful chemicals that would make you want to stay away from your furniture.

  1. Mix equal parts white vinegar and cool water before pouring it into a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the stain thoroughly but without soaking the area.
  3. Use a towel, sponge, or cloth to blot the stain away, beginning with the outer edges and moving inwards.

Repeat these steps until the entire stain is gone.

Red Wine and Berries

Wine is notorious for creating deep stains on carpet, clothing, and upholstery, but don’t fret. Removing it, and other dark berry juices is easier than you might think.

  1. Pick up the excess liquid by blotting the stain with a cloth. Don’t rub it, or the stain can spread and get in deeper.
  2. Pour small amounts of carbonated water on the stain and blot it dry until it’s faint.
  3. Mix 1/8 cup of water with 1/4 cup of baking soda to make a paste. Spread the paste onto the stain and let it sit for several hours until it’s dry.
  4. Vacuum the paste off.

Once you’ve vacuumed the paste away, the stain should be gone. If not, you may have to use a chemical cleaner to complete the removal process.

Food Stains

Food stains are some of the easiest stains to remove from furniture, but there are some things to remember:

  1. Dampen a soft sponge or a clean cloth and add warm water and dish soap.
  2. Cold water may work better if it’s a dairy product since it avoids curdling milk proteins.
  3. Gently scrub the stain away and blot dry.

If the soap doesn’t work, try using a detergent with enzymes instead. Let the detergent soak for 30 minutes before blotting away with a clean, damp cloth.

Coffee or Beer Stains

Many people enjoy both of these beverages, but it can be a pain when they stain your furniture. Thankfully, you can remove these stains in just a few steps. For beer:

  1. Gently rub an ice cube onto the stain.
  2. Apply 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent mixed with warm water.
  3. Blot the mixture with a paper towel.

You can handle coffee stains the same way, skipping the ice cube step.


Ink is one of the most common – but also annoying – stains you can get on your furniture, and you need to be careful when you attempt to remove it:

  1. Combine 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol.
  2. Use a clean, dry cloth to blot the solution onto the stain.

Be sure you don’t saturate the stain, or the ink could spread even further.


Remove oil stains

Grease and oils are easy to get on your furniture and lead to frustration when even a small amount leads to an impossible stain. If you find an oil stain, work quickly to eliminate it:

  1. Sprinkle the area with baking soda or cornstarch and let it sit for around 20 minutes to lift the oil off.
  2. Vacuum the powder off the area before using a soft brush and a small amount of dish soap to scrub the remaining stain.
  3. Once the stain is gone, blot the area dry with a moist paper towel.

One of the best ways to avoid oil stains is to wash your hands after handling greasy food and to change your clothes after being in a greasy environment.

Choosing Stain-Resistant Furniture

If you have kids, pets, or a knack for making messes, your furniture could become a victim of staining. To avoid needing to deep-clean your furniture frequently, choose pieces that are easy to wipe down if a spill happens.


If you’re sick of cleaning upholstery, consider wood. Wood doesn’t stain easily – and with regular care, adds a beautiful addition to your home.


Polyester is a synthetic fabric made with particles of plastic that’s great at resisting stains. Thanks to the low absorption of plastic, stains stay near the surface, making them easy to clean.


Microfiber is an excellent upholstery material because it’s tight-knit, encouraging liquids to bead at the surface instead of soaking in. This makes wiping up spills a breeze without much risk of staining.

Dark Colors

You could always hide stains by choosing darker upholstery that can disguise them. When you choose dark colors, many stains will blend in, requiring less work to clean up.

Removable Covers

Many modern furniture brands produce items with removable covers that you can throw into the washing machine, making for easy cleanup and stain prevention.

Removing Furniture Stains Like a Pro

When messes happen on furniture, clean it up as soon as possible to avoid staining. If a stain does happen, don’t stress about it. Instead, try one of these methods to remove it from your furniture quickly.

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