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How To Remove Old Stains From Upholstered Furniture

Date Written: 28 Jan 2019


Homeowners know too well that spills and stains on their upholstered furniture need to be cleaned immediately and with all due haste. It’s the best way to ensure that we stand the best chance of successfully removing the stain.


But, as time-sensitive cleaning stains may be, it’s not always the most convenient option. As a professional upholstery cleaning services provider in Singapore, we believe that there are ways to revive a stained upholstery even if it seems that the stains have already settled permanently and nothing will ever be of good use in removing them.


In this article, let us share with you a few tips on how to remove old stains from your upholstery.


The Cleaning Codes

The first step in determining how to clean your upholstery is to figure out its cleaning code which you should see on the tags. It will identify what would be the best cleaning solution for it.


W: Water-based cleaner

Upholsteries labelled with W are basically those made of synthetic materials including acetate, herculon, nylon, olefin and polyester.


S: Solvent-based cleaner

S-labelled furniture, on the other hand, often use materials such as cotton, damask, denim, linen, rayon, velour and wood.


S/W: Water- or solvent based cleaner

Upholsteries made with blends of natural and man-made fibres are often labelled with an S/W code. It indicates that the cleaner should be based on the type of stain. Clean water-based stains with water and oil-based stains with solvent.


X: Professional cleaning is needed.

A rare code typically found on delicate furniture, it recommends limiting your cleaning to brushing and vacuuming, and leave the rest to professional cleaning services.


How to Remove Old Upholstery Stains

When working to remove old stains, it’s essential to pay attention to these codes otherwise, you are running the risk of using the wrong cleaner and make the stain worse before.


But, cleaning codes aside, there are particular steps to remove stains from just about any upholstered furniture. All stain removal processes follow a certain method and work around the same principles.



First comes control. Vacuum the furniture to remove any debris to make sure that no excess dirt is in place. It should always be the first step in dealing with old stains as you’ll never know how it can help in fading the stain.


Check for Cleaning Instructions

Next, you need to identify what you can and can’t use to remove the stains. As mentioned, most upholsteries are included with care tags that inform you on how to best clean the stain. However, if your furniture lacks a cleaning code, which is often the case with vintage and antique pieces, try doing a spot test on a hidden spot of the furniture.



If your furniture allows a water-based cleaner, steaming off the stain will help it loosen up and make it more responsive to treatment. A steamer or an iron steam should do the trick.



This is the stage where you hope that a basic solution is all that is needed. If your furniture is labelled with W, prepare a mixture of liquid dish soap and cool water and blot this solution to the stain using a sponge. Avoid rubbing at the stain as the pressure can weaken and pill the fabric. Rinse the sponge and use water to blot out the soap mixture. Press the spot dry.


On the other hand, if your furniture needs a solvent-based cleaner, you can try using vinegar or vodka to blot the stains. Repeat the process and do it all over again until you achieve the result you’re looking for.


Book a Professional Upholstery Clean

If at this point the stain is not removed, then you are dealing with one stubborn stain.


But, don’t worry, there’s one more thing you can do and that is to call for professional upholstery cleaning services in Singapore to safely and effectively handle the job.


Here at Clean Care, we offer effective cleaning services for all types of upholstery as well as carpets and rugs. You can count on our highly-trained technicians to take care of your old upholstery stains and restore your furniture to its former glory.


Get in touch with us today!

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