Dealing with spills
The quicker you attend to a spill the less likely it is to cause a permanent stain. As many substances dry they “cure” this means that they undergo chemical changes that permanently bond them to the fabric.
STEP 1: Soak up any liquids using a paper towel or clean, white cloth.
STEP 2: Carefully remove any solids using a blunt knife or spoon. If the solids have dried, they can be gently brushed or vacuumed off.
STEP 3: Identifying the stain and remove it using the appropriate products. The Problem Solver will help you to select the right product.
The Golden Rules of stains removal
- Deal with the spill first. Always remove any liquid or solid spills before you start trying to remove the stain.
- Clean from the back, when possible. If the stain is on a cushion cover with a zip, or any other area of the upholstery that can be easily removed, remove the fabric from your furniture. Before you begin cleaning, turn the cushion cover inside out so that you are working on the back of the fabric, and place sever layers of paper towels underneath the stained area to prevent liquids from spreading to other areas of the fabric.
- Avoid rings. To avoid leaving rings or watermarks, it helps to create a protective ring around the stain. To do this, dampen a sponge with water and dab it onto the fabric about 2-3cm from the edge of the stain, keep dabbing until you have a complete ring of damp fabric around the stain.
- Use a sponge, not a cloth, and never rub or scrub. Using a sponge rather than a cloth will help prevent damage, wear and matting, all of which can be caused by the friction created when you rub one piece of fabric against another. If you have to use a cloth, dab, don't rub. Even when you are using a sponge you should always dab the fabric, never rub or scrub.
- Don't over wet the fabric. Stain removal products are usually strong and concentrated, you only need to apply a small amount. Do not pour the product directly on to the fabric. Use a cotton bud or sponge to dab the product onto the stain, working inwards from the edge of the stain. You are aiming to dampen the area, not to saturate it. Applying too much product may cause the stain to spread, it also makes it much more difficult to rinse the fabric.
- Rinse well. It is important to rinse the stained area well after you have finished cleaning, but you do not want to over wet the fabric. First, dab the area with a paper towel until you have absorbed as much of the stain removal product as possible. Use a sponge dampened with warm water to rinse the area (remember you only need to dampen the area, not saturate it), then dab the area with a paper towel to soak up the liquid. Repeat until the stained area is well rinsed and the surface no longer feels soapy.
- Select products carefully. Only use products specifically designed for fabric upholstery. Never use strong detergents, chemicals (e.g. rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover), or washing detergents on upholstered furniture. Always test products on a hidden area of your furniture before use.
- Use the right stain removal product for the stain. Each stain has its own unique properties, stain removal products are designed with this in mind. Using the product, or combination of products, best suited to the stain you want to remove will allow you to remove the stain quicker and easier. Not sure which product to use? The Problem Solver makes removing stains as easy as 1-2-3.
- Always test products before you use them. Always test the product on a hidden area of your furniture before you use it.
- Know when to call a professional. If your furniture is made from linen, silk, wool, or a blend containing one of these fibres, we strongly suggest that you have stains removed by a professional upholstery cleaner.
Identifying the stain and select the appropriate product and method.
Each stain has its own properties. To give yourself the best chance of removing a stain you will need to identify the cause of the stain and select stain removal products designed to treat that particular kind of stain. You can use the Problem Solver work out which product is best for you.
Before You Start
- Always test the product on a hidden area of your furniture before you use it.
- If possible, remove the cover and clean from the reverse. This helps to prevent damage to the surface of the fabric, and makes it easier to rinse the area.
- To avoid rings, use a sponge dampened with water to create a ring around the stain at a distance of 2-3cm before you start cleaning.
- We do not recommend attempting to remove stains from wool or silk yourself. If your furniture is upholstered in wool or silk, we suggest that you have the stain removed by a professional upholstery cleaner.
Removing the Stain
STEP 1: Apply the product Working from the outside edge in, using a sponge to dab a small amount of product onto the stain. For small areas, apply the product using a cotton bud. Do not rub or scrub. You don’t need to scrub – this works on pots and pans, but on fabrics it just drives the stain in deeper, and damages the fabric. The secret to effective but gentle cleaning is to select the right stain removal product and let it do all the work. The product dissolves the stain then you just need to use water and absorption to lift the solution out of the fabric. Do not over saturate the area with product. This will make it difficult to rinse. It is best to apply a light application of product and then rinse and re-apply if necessary.
STEP 2: Leave the product to act Stain removal products need time to dissolve the stain. This will take about 5 minutes. Don’t leave it so long that the area dries out.
STEP 3: Rinse thoroughly Working from the outside edge of the stain into the centre, use a sponge dampened with a little water to rinse the stained area. Take care not to soak the area, this will allow the product to soak into the furniture’s filling, making it more difficult to remove. Use a clean, white cloth or absorbent paper to soak up as much moisture as possible. Repeat several times to ensure that all traces of product is removed.
Note: When cleaning natural fibres, such as cotton and linen, it may be necessary to clean the entire cushion or panel from seam-to-seam with a textile cleaner, after removing the stain. It is difficult to prevent rings from forming on natural fibres. Cleaning from seam-to-seam is the easiest way to prevent rings. How to clean furniture
STEP 4: Allow to dry Allow the furniture to dry completely before you use it. If you use while it is wet, you risk causing a new stain.