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The majority of homeowners want a clean house—or at the very least, one that does not look visibly dirty or cluttered. Sometimes, though, messes are inevitable. When you have children, for example, there are bound to be spills of all kinds. Mealtime is an especially messy time. Even homes without toddlers aren’t impervious to stains, either; just ask someone who has had to clean a wine spill or pizza grease from the carpet or a sofa. 

Stains can be difficult to remove, but it can be managed if you know what cleaning products interact well with which materials. Some manufacturers include a legend that can help people identify the type of cleaning suitable for the fabric. 

Removing stains from sofas, pillows and other fabrics at home

A typical system uses ‘W,’ ‘S,’ ‘SW’ and ‘X.’ W means wet or water cleaning, S means dry solvent cleaning, SW means you can use both wet and dry methods, and X means you must have it professionally cleaned. Manufacturers may use different legends, so make sure to check the manual or the company website.

If the website does not provide the legend either, it’s time to resort to home remedies like the ones we have listed below. Do note that before attempting to remove the stains, you must vacuum up any stray crumbs or residue. You’ll find that vacuuming the stain often helps to eliminate the majority of it, leaving you to deal with a lighter or smaller spot.

Here are a few professional cleaner-approved methods to remove common household stains:

1. Food, especially non-greasy ones

For this type of stain, all you need is warm water and soap. Most food rubs off a fabric if you just wash it normally and you’ll find that there’s no need to use stronger cleaning agents on them. For particularly strong stains that are not coming off with just soap, you can use liquid detergent. Let the cleaner sit for about 30 minutes before blotting it with a wet sponge. This will help the enzymes in the detergent break down the stain.

2. Fruit-based stains

Sparkling water usually works with wine or berry stains. If it does not, four cups of cold water with a teaspoon of detergent and a tablespoon of vinegar should do the trick. Dab this mixture into the stain with a cloth and blot it with water afterward.

3. Greasy or oily stains

Baking soda and water are particularly effective against grease. Make a baking soda paste by combining it with water. Spread the paste generously on the stain. Let the mixture sit for ten or more minutes, which will help the baking soda get as much oil out of the fabric as possible. After this, you can vacuum the baking soda away, and scrub the remaining stain with dish soap.

4. Beer, coffee or other acidic liquids

Beer and coffee stains can be dealt with using liquid detergent and warm water. If you’re dealing with beer, be sure you rub the mark with an ice cube before rubbing detergent into it. After this, you can put warm water on the stain and blot it with a paper towel. For coffee stains, skip the ice and go straight to the detergent and warm water.

5. Ink stains

Rubbing alcohol or dry-cleaning solvent should remove ink stains. Remember though, to dab or blot the cleaning materials inward, towards the center of the stain. Avoid rubbing the ink back and forth as doing so causes the ink to spread. 


Stains are an inevitable part of life, so homeowners should prepare for them by knowing which types of stains go away with which materials. For tougher stains that need cleaning and restoration services, contact us today. We have provided Greenwood, IN and surrounding areas with top-quality cleaning services since 2015. Get in touch with us today to know our other offerings.

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