8 tried and tested upholstery & fabric cleaning tips and stain removal tricks.
Just in time to properly prepare your home for Pesach
Things are crazy at the moment. You've washed the walls, the windows, the curtains, the floors - everything is sparkling. You stand back to admire your work and you notice how grubby the lounge furniture looks. Oy vey!
Here are a few sofa and furniture cleaning tips:
If you can remove the cushion covers, then it's easy to wash them. You can usually pop them in the washing machine, on a gentle cycle, with a good quality detergent. Make sure the fabric is colorfast and washable first. You might want to avoid a disaster and have the covers dry-cleaned instead.
If you are dealing with fully upholstered furniture then:-
- Vacuum the furniture to get rid of dust, crumbs and other surface dirt.
- Spot clean! A mild solution of vinegar and water poured onto a clean, strong microfiber cloth, applied to any obvious stains and wipe gently. (Some recommend using baby wipes to wipe up small spills and stains without saturating the material).
- Before you start, test your cleaning products on an inconspicuous area.
- Do not saturate the material with your detergent – use a small amount.
- If possible leave your furniture to dry naturally; open the windows and let the breeze in. If you're in a hurry, you can dry a small stain with a hairdryer.
Home Remedies to Remove Common Stains
1. Remove chocolate stains with milk
- First, remove any excess chocolate by putting the fabric in the freezer and then scrape off the hardened chocolate.
- Then, run hot water down the back of the chocolate stain to melt it and push it through to the front.
- Rub washing up detergent into the stain and then soak the fabric in milk for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Wash as normal and repeat if necessary.
2. Remove berry stains with lemon juice
- It's berry season in Israel. Wash the berry stain as normal and leave it out in direct sunlight for some time to benefit from the bleaching effect of the sun’s rays.
- If it’s a tough stain, rub lemon juice over the top, or lay a slice of lemon on the stain.
- Rinse, dry and repeat if necessary.
3. Remove tomato stains with vinegar
- Soak the tomato stain for 30 minutes in neat white vinegar (1 to 2 tbsp).
- Rinse, and then rub detergent directly into the stain before washing on a cool cycle.
- Repeat as necessary.
4. Remove ink stains with hairspray
- An ink stain is tricky. Soaking the area in an alcohol-based product, like methylated spirits or hairspray, will give best results
- Dab the stain with an absorbent cloth until it fades.
- Wash as normal.
5. Remove oil stains with dishwashing liquid
- Oil and any form of greasy stain can benefit from a squirt of good dish-washing liquid directly and rubbed in. (Yay, finally a solution for those hummous and tehina stains)
- Wash on a hot cycle, and repeat if necessary.
6. Remove blood stains with salt
- Work quickly – the sooner you can treat the blood stain the better the outcome.
- Create a paste with salt and cold water.
- Rub this paste directly onto the stain
- Rinse with cold water (not hot) and repeat as necessary.
7. Remove coffee stains
Blot the spilled coffee with a paper towel. Try and remove any excess liquid, but do no scrub. For black coffee stains, take some mild liquid detergent and place directly onto a damp sponge. Gently rub the stain with the sponge in a circular motion.
8. Remove red-wine stains
After drinking 3 cups of wine on Seder night, spilling the 4th is likely to cause havoc. This is a 'must-know' and time is of the essence
- Rubbing table salt into the stain is the best option for a quick solution. Leave to stand for one hour. Later in the evening, put the table-cloth into soak overnight and then launder as usual.
- On a white table-cloth: Mix one part hand dishwashing detergent with two parts hydrogen peroxide. Sponge on; blot off. Rinse well. (add hydrogen peroxide on your Pesach shopping list)
- Soda water. Pour the soda over the stain. Let the liquid bubble up. Continue pouring the soda over the stained area until the color fades away.
These are other alternatives
- Milk. Pour a generous amount of milk on top of the stain, let it soak into the fabric, blot the stain with a tea towel or paper towel. Do not rub, as this will settle the stain. The stain should be gone in an hour or less. Launder as usual
- Kitty litter - a small mount of kitty litter, rubbed onto the stain, should help to absorb the wine. Brush off the kitty litter when the wine has been absorbed and then launder as usual.