How to Get Stains Out of Couch Cushions

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By CleanersWithLove

Do your couch cushions have stains? Spilled beverages, pet, human urine, and other stains are prevalent on sofas, particularly if you often entertain visitors, small children, or pets. Some upholstery or couch cushions often have detachable covers that can be hand or machine cleaned. However, the coverings are only sometimes removable. Some cushions may be branded as only suitable for spot cleaning.

Generally, sofa cushion coverings should be hand-washed in cold water or machine-washed on a gentle cycle. Most stains may be cleaned using dye-free washing detergent, but certain spills can be removed using commercial spot removers or even a homemade remedy. Significant, deep, or ancient spills may need a professional steam cleaner. Most essential, before washing, allow cushion coverings to air dry and zip tight.

This article will help you learn how to clean couch cushions, especially detachable cushion covers, and what to do if a cover is not removable. Continue reading to know the best ways to get stains out of couch cushions.

Before You Start

When cleaning up a spill, speed is your greatest chance. The earlier you respond to a spill and blot it up with a microfiber cloth before it inserts into the fibers, the less effort you’ll have to do to remove the stain. Don’t scrape or push too hard since this can set the stain. A set stain is far more difficult to remove.

Before you start cleaning your couch cushions, you should evaluate if the covers are detachable, whether they can be washed by hand, if they can be machine washed, or if they can only be spot cleaned. If you know or can establish the brand and model of the sofa, browse online for cleaning instructions from the furniture manufacturer or look on labels just on the upholstery to aid you.

If the cushion label reads “W,” you may use a water-based cleaning; if it says “S,” you can use a solvent-based cleaner; and if it says “WS,” you can use either. If there is an “X,” you should only clean the upholstery professionally. Removable upholstery coverings must pass two tests to be machine washable: preshrunk and colorfast. Colorfastness testing: Apply a moist white cloth to the fabric in an inconspicuous area. If the color falls off the material, your upholstery is likely, not colorfast and should be cleaned by a professional.

Proper Way to Clean Couch Cushions

how to get stains out of couch cushions

Rather than merely wanting to clean, the inspiration to clean your cushions is sometimes inspired by accident involving any of your favorite sofa cushions. Fortunately, most high-quality cushions come with a detachable cover, making it much simpler to address these situations.

?Use Gloves to Remove Dust and Hair

Use a pair of rubber gloves and run them over upholstery to remove any pet and human hair or dust, which will make vacuuming simpler.

?Vacuum the Upholstery

Move your vacuum’s upholstery attachment in short, overlapping lines from left to right. Vacuum between seams and beneath the cushions using the crevice nozzle.

?Remove Any Stains

Depending on the care directions for your fabric, tackle spots with water or even a solvent-based cleaning. Allow the solution to soak before blotting the stain with a microfiber towel. Scrubbing the stain may cause it to spread into the upholstery or harm the fabric. The number of applications of cleaning required will depend on the kind of stain. Tougher stains, such as oil, ink, or blood, may need many rounds of washing.

Use an enzymatic cleanser to eliminate pee stains if you have them. You may also manufacture your cleaner using 1 cup of water, 1 cup of vinegar, and two tablespoons of dish soap. Blot the spot with a clean white cloth dipped in cleaner. Then, using a separate towel or sponge, clean the place with plain water and allow it to air dry.

?Clean the Upholstery

In a small bucket, combine a half teaspoonful of dye-free dishes soap and warm water, foaming the mixture to generate suds. Dip an upholstered brush into the suds and carefully massage it over the upholstery, being careful not to wet the fabric. Finish by wiping the fabric clean with a moist towel. Allow the upholstered furniture to dry fully before sitting on it.

Getting Stains Out of Couch Cushions

how to get stains out of couch cushions

?️Do Not Rub

If you have a stain that has to be removed, the best procedure depends on what produced the stain and the material of the cover. When you spill anything on your sofa cushions, you should first absorb any extra liquids with a paper towel or cloth. Do not massage the stain now, as you may do more damage than good. Instead, use an absorbent towel, rag, or sponge to soak up as much as possible.

?️Spot Cleaning Stains

If the stain isn’t too terrible, you may spot-clean it instead of washing your couch cushions. Begin with a solution of warm water & white vinegar for the mildest approach. Soak a cloth under this mixture and gently apply it to the stain.

If the stain persists, you may proceed to an upholstery cleaning. Read the label instructions carefully since they often need you to conduct a spot test, and some of them need the cleaner dry before you wash them off. Most of the time, this will be sufficient to remove a stain, mostly from couch cushions. After eliminating the stain, use a clean towel and warm water and rinse the upholstery cleaner off the cover.

?️Stubborn Stains 

You may need to take more serious methods if the stain is stubborn. You may either fully wash the material with a steam cleaner or remove the cover entirely and soak a stain in your washing tub. If you choose the latter option, you must first choose the material of your couch cushions. Read the label inside the cover to find out what material they are and whether they can be washed.

In the best-case scenario, your sofa cushions will be machine washable, and you may run them through a light cycle. If not, you may have to hand wash them, which is usually the gentlest approach to cleaning your covers.

?️Urine Stains from Cushions

It occurs. Especially if you have pets or young children at home, some things are just peed on. Please let us assist you if your cushion cover has acquired a pee stain. If at all feasible, remove a cushion cover and throw it in the washing machine. Wash in cool water on a moderate cycle. If your cushion covers aren’t detachable or the stain isn’t too terrible, you may try removing it with water & white vinegar.

Mix one part vinegar to three parts water and gently clean the discoloration with a towel. After you’ve cleaned the stain, sprinkle baking powder over the affected area and allow it to dry. Then, using a vacuum cleaner (with an upholstery attachment if feasible), remove the baking soda and wash it off with a moist towel.

We strongly advise against using a steam cleaner for urine stains since the heat seals the stain, making removal difficult. Not the kind of scent you want lingering on your sofa cushions.

?️Removing Coffee Stains

Coffee stains are unavoidable in a living room, and it is not uncommon to discover your gorgeous sofa cushions with a terrible coffee stain. If you’re prone to coffee spills, you may want to invest in certain black or dark pillow coverings to make any stains less noticeable. If you’ve already had a whoopsie, use these techniques to remove the coffee stain:

✔️Remove the cushion cover as soon as possible to prevent the coffee from soaking into the cushion insert.

✔️Blot the coffee stain with a paper towel to remove as much extra liquid as possible. Avoid rubbing the discoloration, as this might exacerbate the situation.

✔️Wet a cloth with warm water and sponge the stain on the wrong side;

✔️Apply a professional stain remover to both sides of a stain and let soak for 5-10 mins. If you do not have a professional stain remover, mix cold water, white vinegar, and mild detergent in a dish. Apply this mixture to both sides of the stain and allow it to soak for 5-10 minutes.

✔️If your sofa cushions are machine washable, wash their coverings in cold water on a moderate cycle in your washing machine. Otherwise, you may have to hand wash the garment.

✔️After washing the item, ensure the stain is entirely cleaned since drying might cement a stain. If the discoloration has not been entirely removed, try soaking the items in stain remover or the paste mentioned above to see if you can dislodge it further.

Upholstery Cleaning with a Machine

Confirm that the cushion cover can be machine washed.

If you know a cushion cover is washable with a label with the letter “W” for water-based cleaning, you may remove it and wash it separately.

Stains Must Be Removed

Use a stain remover and spot treatment solution to handle your specific stain. Take the cover off immediately if you have a pee stain. Using a microfiber towel, blot up as much liquid as possible. To set the stain, do not scrape or push too hard. Run a cycle using cold water or a cup of vinegar on the lid. Then, using the hottest water that the cloth permits, wash this with detergent and hang this to dry.

Make use of dye-free laundry detergent.

Even if your upholstery is colorfast, use a dye-free washing detergent to prevent dye from accidentally transferring to your upholstery coverings.

Make use of cold water and the delicate setting.

Cold water is gentler on materials than warm or hot water. Use the gentle cycle to expose your cloth to the least agitation on your first wash. You can examine how it stands in the wash cycle to determine its durability for future washes. Also, shut the zipper to prevent it from being twisted or damaged.

Allow the cushion cover to air dry.

Drying a sofa cover in the dryer may cause it to Fade or shrink. Drip dry within the shade instead; avoid direct sunlight, which may bleach certain materials. To eliminate some moisture, use the tumbling or fluff settings without heat and air dry the garment.

How to Get a Stain Out of a Couch

Cleaning a couch stain takes a bit of science and many basic household or pantry products. While there are plenty of commercial cleaners on the market, time is of the essence when you have a stain, so many of these are ideal when you’re in a pinch and can’t run out to the store.

?️Dishwashing liquid and water

If your upholstery tag has a “W” or “S/W,” the dish soap & water approach will work. Most typical food stains and dirt may be removed with diluted dish soap. The solution is mild enough for spot-cleaning sofas and has a high enough pH to dissolve basic stains.

➥Add a few drops of clear dish soap to a glass of cold water. Colored dish soaps may include dyes that might damage sensitive materials.

➥Wet a microfiber cloth & dab the stain until it is gone.

➥Blot away damp with a dry cloth, careful not to rub any stain in deeper.

➥Allow it to dry completely before using.

?Baking Soda

To absorb oily stains, we sometimes need something a little more basic. Here’s what to do if you spill food on your sofa, such as french fries, sauce, or butter.

➥Sprinkle baking soda on top of the stain.

➥Allow the baking soda to absorb the stain for at least 20 minutes.

➥Vacuum up the remaining baking soda & repeat until the stain is gone.

➥If your sofa permits water-based cleaners, use soap and water to remove the remaining stain.


If your sofa can withstand water, steam cleaning is another fantastic alternative. Steam cleaners often utilize water or very light cleaning solutions to break up and eliminate stains than blotting by hand. Follow the directions on your steaming to cover the discolored area, then consider refreshing the remainder of your sofa after the stain has been removed.

?️Dish Soap and Vinegar

There are several unexpected ways to utilize vinegar around the home, even on certain sofa stains, as the hero of DIY cleaning materials. This approach is suitable for water-based cleaning solutions and works well on stains such as Tea, coffee, Juice, berries, gum, & red wine.

➥Mix three parts of hot water or one part of white vinegar.

➥Dab the stain with the solution, careful not to wet the area & spread the stain.

➥Once the stain has faded, use a cloth dampened with plain water to remove it.

➥Finish using a dry towel to absorb any remaining water.

?️Dry-Cleaning Solvent

To begin, store-bought dry-cleaning solutions are not appropriate for all fabrics. Use these only if your sofa has the “S/W” sign on the tag. Because the chemicals might be harsh & abrasive, they aren’t always optimal. The essential suggestion is to follow the directions on your bottle, wear safety clothing, and allow for enough ventilation.


Go for the vodka bottle when removing stains off “S/W” or “S” labeled sofas. Vodka serves as a solvent, breaking down stains and evaporating them without leaving an odor. It’s an excellent choice for cleaning stains from grass, alcohol, or pet urine.

Vodka may even serve double duty by removing the nasty stain from your sofa. Remember that just plain vodka will do. The sugars from flavored vodkas may leave a sticky and stinky residue, so leave those fruit vodkas for your drinks.

Here’s what you should do:

➥Allow undiluted vodka to rest on the stain for a few seconds.

➥Dab up the remaining stain with a clean moist cloth.

➥Allow the area to dry naturally, or dab with a dry towel.

Cold Water and Ice

You can get a naggy wax stain if your sofa is next to a table and ledge with a dripping candle. Wax may not only burrow into the cloth, but it can also leave a black or oily stain. The key to removing wax from carpets or sofas is to harden and remelt it until it can be safely removed.

➥If the wax is still soft or melting, apply an ice pack covered with a towel to the stain to firm it. A dab of cold water will also work.

➥Using a butter knife, scrape off the solidified wax.

➥The leftover discoloration may be removed with dish soap, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol.

Olive Oil and Vinegar

Salads & your leather sofa pair well with olive oil and vinegar. The olive oil will dissolve grease spots on your leather, while a dash of vinegar will function as a solvent without fading the color.

➥In a jar, combine 1 part white vinegar & three parts olive oil.

➥Dab and spray the mixture onto the stained leather sofa.

➥Allow it to settle for a few minutes.

➥With a moist towel, wipe it away.

How to Keep Your Couch Stain-Free

While we want to minimize pet spills, splashes, and stains, we cannot always avoid them. If you don’t want to go back to using plastic sofa coverings, here are several alternatives to consider.

✔️Consider using Upholstery Protection Sprays.

There are several upholstery protection sprays on the market that you may spray on particular sofa materials to prevent them from stains. The products provide a thin layer of protection between your sofa textiles and stain-causing drinks.

✔️Remove Stains Quickly

Catching stains early is one of the finest methods to ease couch stain removal. When cleaning any rest of your house, check your sofa once a week. Vacuum the cushions thoroughly and handle any sticky or strange-smelling stains immediately away.

✔️Apply Pet Covers

Put a preventative pet cover on your sofa if you know it’s going to rain, and your dog will undoubtedly go tromping in the mud. In this manner, you should keep your pet happy while keeping your sofa stain-free.

Additional Cleaning Suggestions for Couch Cushions

If the discoloration lingers, rub it with club soda. Some people believe that carbonated water helps to remove stains. Although, the active element is likely water. The most efficient technique to respond to a stain problem is to dilute the stain & dab the spill as soon as possible. In a pinch, baby wipes are a great way to dab or mop up tiny spills like coffee drips.

If a stench comes from the cloth, put baking soda on it. Allow fifteen to twenty minutes before vacuuming the powder. Apply a stain-guard spray to clean upholstery to prevent stains. It will assist in protecting the cloth from stains.

The good news is that most foam washes if the cover is detachable and the liquids are deep in the sofa foam. In most circumstances, soaking the foam in a bathroom with a light dish detergent is sufficient. Squeeze out the soapy water, then rinse completely with clean water and air dry. Check with the furniture maker to confirm that your sofa foam is washable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can stains be removed from couches?

Couch stains may be eliminated by spot-cleaning them using a suitable solution. For the best spot-cleaning approach, go behind the cushions or under your sofa. You may also be able to take away the upholstery coverings and wash them on a moderate cycle in certain circumstances.

How do you remove old stains off couches?

Use the same ways to remove old stains from sofas for fresh ones. Based on the tag, choose the suitable cleaning solution. However, you may need to leave the cleaner on the stain longer than a fresh stain or make numerous passes over it. Get advice from a professional upholstery cleaner if the stain does not come out.

How can I dry the cushions on my couch?

Drying cushion coverings is not suggested since they may shrink or become deformed and no longer fit the cushion properly. The dryer also contributes to the fabric’s wear and tear. Allow the cloth to air dry in a well-ventilated room instead. You may hang it outdoors to air it out, but keep it out of direct sunlight to avoid fading.

How do you properly clean an upholstery couch?

The first step in deep cleaning a sofa or other upholstery is to properly vacuum it. Remove any detachable cushions and vacuum into any crevices using vacuum attachments. Then, depending on the fabric, determine if it can be machine-washed, spot-cleaned, and professionally cleaned.

How do you clean non-washable cushions?

If you are unable to machine-wash your cushion covers, you may be able to spot-clean the fabric using an upholstery cleaner. You may also sprinkle baking soda over the fabric, let it soak, and vacuum it. This method should absorb some of the scents in the cushion.

Final Thoughts

The procedures described above efficiently remove many stains from couch cushions and upholstered sofas; nevertheless, it is essential to be patient while carrying out these cleaning operations. If it doesn’t work the first time completely, try again or use a different procedure in accordance with the washing symbols on the label.

Don’t speed through the stain removal procedure; patience is essential! This implies allowing the material to dry completely before proceeding with the cleaning procedure. Hiring a professional for a reliable and safe clean on very filthy sofas or spots is essential.

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