What Is The Best Solution For Tough Stains On The Couch?

Couch stain removal can seem daunting, especially if you don’t know where to start. This guide will walk you through the various steps involved in removing tough stains on your couch, from pretreating stains to successfully cleaning your sofa itself. By following these simple steps and tips, your couch will look like new in no time!


Some laundry and couch stain removal experts suggest rubbing dry salt into a stubborn wet stain. The effect of salt water on soft tissues might seem counterintuitive, but many cleaning professionals swear by it—and science agrees. When combined with water, table salt forms an incredibly weak base that neutralizes oily molecules to dissolve both fresh and dried-on stains alike. As a bonus, because they’re so large, salt granules are better able to absorb fluids than standard dish soap or liquid laundry detergent.


If a stain has managed to set into your upholstery, all hope is not lost. Mix together one cup of vinegar, one tablespoon of baking soda, and two cups of warm water, and let it sit on any stains overnight. Then, take a soft-bristle toothbrush and scrub off any stain that remains in place. Voilà! Your couch should look as good as new.

Dawn Dish Soap

If you need to clean up a stain quickly, especially if it’s fresh and contains grease or protein, go straight to your kitchen. Most dishes are made with a grease-cutting soap such as Dawn—meaning your tea towel will probably work just fine in a pinch. Apply it directly to the fabric and allow it to sit for a few minutes before washing. Rinse well (so you don’t smell like an onion).

Baking soda + Lemon Juice

Baking soda, an all-natural product with no harsh chemicals, can be a great aid in stain removal. Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to create a paste that you can scrub into your stained fabric. Leave it to sit for about 5 minutes and then throw it in the washing machine. Make sure you check if your couch fabric is colorfast before trying out any homemade cleaners.

OxiClean + Baking Soda

When it comes to cleaning your upholstery, there’s no better combination than baking soda and OxiClean. Both of these ingredients are inexpensive and available at most grocery stores. Mix a little more than half a cup of baking soda with a tablespoon of an OxiClean product (OxicleanTM or any brand’s oxygenated cleaner), fill a spray bottle with water, and shake vigorously. Spray all over your stained couch cushion, let sit for about 10 minutes, then wipe clean with water.

Ice Cubes + Rubbing Alcohol

Ice cubes and rubbing alcohol can make quick work of really stubborn stains. Rubbing alcohol is a solvent, meaning it dissolves organic material, such as blood and juice. So if you spill juice or ketchup on your favorite sofa cushion (or you have kids and pets), grab a few ice cubes, place them in a ziploc bag and add some rubbing alcohol. Place them on top of the stain, cover them with plastic wrap or paper towels and wait about an hour.

White Wine Vinegar + Water

Mix 1 part white wine vinegar with 2 parts water and blot at the stain. Let sit for 5 minutes and then blot dry with a clean cloth. The acetic acid in white wine vinegar works to effectively remove some tough household stains, including coffee, mustard, tea, wine, and even blood. Be sure to spot-test an inconspicuous area before using white wine vinegar to remove a set-in stain on upholstery or carpeting. White wine vinegar can also be used as an effective laundry detergent booster!

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