No matter how careful you are with protecting your couch from food stains, inevitably there will come a time when your furniture has something spilled on it.
Now cleaning expert Melissa Maker, the author of Clean My Space has revealed to US-based magazine website The Kitchn how to remove even the toughest of stains from any type of couch, from leather to linen.
And there are very specific cleaning rules for each type of fabric.
1. COTTON OR LINEN
For cotton or linen, use vinegar and rubbing alcohol – not water – to treat a food stain
Melissa’s advice is to use a specialist stain remover – but you can also make your own at home, she says.
Simply mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with two thirds of a cup of rubbing alcohol, and sponge the solution onto the stain.
Blot dry with a clean cloth until all the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until the stain disappears.
2. UNTREATED LEATHER
Sprinkle a bit of baking powder, cornstarch or cornflour on the stain and let it stand for 15 minutes.
Vaccum it, using a fabric brush attachment if you have one.
Unfortunately, if there’s still a stain, you will have to call in a professional.
3. COATED OR FINISHED LEATHER
Use the fabric brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner for leather couches
Blot as much of the stain as you can with a clean cloth or paper towel, and then wipe with a damp microfiber cloth.
It should remove the stain, but if there’s any left, use a specialist leather cleaner or conditioner product.
Microfiber couches are more complicated to clean, and how you remove stains will depend on the type of microfiber you have.
If there is a ‘W’ on the label, you’ll need to use a water-based cleaning solution, so remove the stain in the same way you would for a cotton or linen sofa.
If there’s a ‘S’ on the label, don’t use a water-based solution. Instead dab the stain with rubbing alcohol or vodka.
If it has both letters, you can use either cleaning solutions.
But if it has a X on the label, you can only remove stains by vaccuming. Scrape and blot as much as you can. Melissa’s tip is to use an old toothbrush to break up and remove stains.