How It Works

Select the work to be done
Let us know what project you need help with and when you need it done - we'll match you with the right pros for the job.
Compare matched pros
Verify pro credentials, read reviews, ask questions, discuss availability, and request project estimates.
Complete your project
Hire the pro that's right for you and your budget. After the project is complete, let your community know how it went.
Powered by

The Home Depot

Home Guide to Upholstery Stains

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Upholstery > Home Guide to Upholstery Stains
Home Guide to Upholstery Stains

In a home with toddlers or pets, it doesn’t really matter how hard you try to ensure that your upholstery remains stain-free! While you can do your best to ensure that your upholstery remains clean and free of stains, accidents do happen. Your toddler might end up dropping juice on the furniture and leaving ketchup stains made by his/her tiny hands; and then promptly forget about it but the glaring marks on your precious upholstery will always cause a pang of anxiety and regret in your mind. In such a situation, what you need is a quick guide to help you deal with stains effectively!

  1. 1.Timely Help

    Before you start out with any upholstery cleaner or home remedy for stain removal, ensure that you have vacuumed the area thoroughly so that the dirt around it does not cause more stains.

    Fabric Link advises urgency when dealing with fabric stains. In general, the longer a stain is given to seep through your upholstery, the more tedious it will be to get it out of there for good. Deal with stains and spills immediately! Blotting out the liquid will help keep the staining to a minimal level.


    Upholstery can be made of a variety of materials. Every material can be treated but the treatment techniques vary. One important thing to remember before trying any home based do-it-yourself techniques is that the care instructions and warnings presented with the upholstery are very important. Read them thoroughly because you might have a piece of upholstery that needs to be dry-cleaned only or may be flammable when exposed to certain chemicals. Natural fibers are often used to create the most elegant upholstery; these will need to be dealt with delicately. Some dyes and finishes may require the immediate aid of professional upholstery cleaners.

  2. 2.Cleaning Your Upholstery

    Before you start out with any upholstery cleaner or home remedy for stain removal, ensure that you have vacuumed the area thoroughly so that the dirt around it does not cause more stains. Whatever home remedies you may try, it is important to understand that you are taking a risk while doing so. You may end up with damaged upholstery if the technique doesn’t work.


    The method you ought to use to clean your upholstery depends on the upholstery furniture tags. These tags can be found in out of the way places such as the sides of the furniture or under cushions.


    1. If the tag says ‘W’, it simply means that the upholstery fabric needs to be cleaned with a detergent that is water based.

    2. ‘S’ tagged upholstery can be made free of stains by using a water free cleaning product akin to a dry cleaning solvent.

    3. ‘WS’ tags offer you more flexible options as both types of cleaners, that is water based and water free, can be used on this upholstery.

    4. If the upholstery is tagged ‘X’, steer clear from any home remedies and simply call the professionals. Don’t try to clean the upholstery yourself as you will end up damaging it beyond repair. While you can vacuum and brush it down, leave stain removal to the professionals.

    5. There is a chance that you have misplaced the upholstery tags and have no code to follow. It is best to seek help in such a situation since you can never be sure if your home remedies are making matters better or worse.

  3. 3.Upholstery Cleaners for You

    When in doubt, seek help. Cleaning your upholstery and ensuring that it is free of stains is of importance to you. Choose the best possible products and follow all the instructions based on the upholstery codes. If you wish to be cautious and don’t want to end up turning over cushions to hide the stains of a botched up home cleaning job, call the upholstery cleaning professionals.

Find Pros

Get your home project started today with help from Pro Referral’s qualified network of pre-screened and background-checked professionals available in your neighborhood.

Get Expert Advice

Submit your toughest home improvement questions to our knowledgeable experts and receive free personalized solutions, product recommendations, how-to advice, and more–all within 48 hours or less.