Stain removal guide

We know, life’s messy. From a spilled cup of coffee on a rushed morning, or some foundation or mascara that end up on a piece of furniture, to the salad dressing or a glass of red wine hitting your light coloured rug or couch, accidents are part of our day to day life. Before even thinking to say goodbye to your favourite cuddle chair, or rearranging your living room to hide a nasty spill on your carpet, try our tips and tricks for removing stains. While some fabrics, such as silk or velvet, require special care and professional cleaning, most of the other type of materials are suitable for DIY cleaning methods, and stains could be treated at home using a few common ingredients: vinegar, baking soda, dish soap and other stain removers.  

Before applying any DIY cleaning solution on your furniture or carpet, make sure you read the label carefully, so you don’t end up with completely ruined sofa or rug. Take a look at the care tag, to see what is safe to use on the type of fabric your items are made of:

W– means water based cleaners are safe to use;

W/S– both water or solvent based cleaning solutions are safe to use;

S- only solvent based cleaning chemicals are safe to use;

X- only hoover or brush the fabric;

Read our stain removal guide below to find out how to deal with the most common spills and smears, in order to keep your carpets, furniture or mattresses cleaned and free of stains and odours.

Coffee stains

coffee stain

Coffee stains are one of the most common type of stains, no matter we’re talking about carpets, sofas or even clothing items. A rushed morning, a clumsy pet, or some super excited kids, accidents do happen. And when they do, the first thing you need to remember is that the faster you act, the better. The only difference between a spill and a permanent stain is time. So grab a clean towel, and blot as much coffee as you can. After that, for carpets, prepare a cleaning solution using ½ tsp of dish soap, ½ tsp white vinegar, and two cups of warm water. Dab the stain with the mixture, using a clean, white cloth (to avoid colour bleed). Apply little by little, blotting frequently with a dry towel. Once the stain disappears, sponge with cold water and blot dry.

If the spill occurs on your fabric sofa, you can use a DIY cleaning solution made out of ½ tsp dish soap and two cups of cool water. The same as with the carpets, add a little bit at the time, and blot continuously with a clean cloth. Repeat until the stain is removed, and sponge once more with cold water and blot dry.

If this mixture doesn’t work, you can try using some baking soda, which is great in removing almost any type of stain, either a fresh spill, or a set-in stain. For upholstery, just sprinkle some baking soda directly on the stain, and let it sit until dry. Then it can be removed using a brush, or simply vacuum it off.

For carpets, the powerful backing soda and white vinegar duo, can help you get rid of that nasty coffee stain. Using a spray bottle, coat the spill generously with straight vinegar, and then add the baking soda. Allow it to sit for 15 to 20 min, before vacuum it off. Repeat the entire process until the stain is gone.

Soap and vinegar are great for leather as well. After you blot most of the liquid, use a clean damp towel and some soap, to gently rub the stain following the grain of the leather. Rinse clean at the end. If the stain is still holding up, mix ½ a cup of vinegar, with a cup of warm water. Apply the solution on a white cloth and clean the spill of your sofa. Remember to test the mixture on a hidden area, just to make sure it doesn’t harm the furniture. Finally soak up any excess moisture and buff the leather.

There is also the option of using peroxide, however, you need to be very careful, otherwise you might damage your carpets. So how does it work? Fill a spray bottle with equal parts water and peroxide, and spray the stain. Take a wet towel (make sure is very wet) and lay it over the area. Place a heated iron (medium temperature) over the towel for 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat the steps, until the stain is removed. For darker carpets, test the peroxide on a hidden area, to make sure it won’t discolour the fibres.

In case you spill coffee on your mattress, the same rules apply as for carpets, or sofas. Place a clean towel on the spill to remove as much liquid as possible. With a damp cloth (use warm water) blot the stain starting from the edges to prevent spreading. With a clean towel, apply a mix of white vinegar and dish soap. Resist the urge to scrub, as this will only make it worse. If your coffee had sugar or cream in it, then dab a mixture of laundry detergent and warm water on the stain and let it sit for 5 minutes. Use a fresh clean cloth to rinse it, and blot dry.

Any of these DIY methods might be sufficient, however, if you’re dealing with an old, stubborn coffee stain, you might need some professional help. At Happy Clean, all our agents are professionally trained and can deal with a variety of carpet or upholstery stains.

Wine stains

wine stains

A wine stain goes hand in hand with an evening with friends, however you don’t need to worry. There is nothing that a few household products can’t solve, when paired with tenacious blotting and re- blotting.

No matter you spilled some red wine on your carpets, or on your sofa, the key to get rid of it is to act fast. Grab a clean towel and blot as much liquid as possible. The most common DIY cleaning solution you could use in this situation is ½ tsp of dishwashing detergent, mixed with 2 cups of cool water. Sponge the stain with the mixture without scrubbing. Then use a clean cloth to rinse the area with cold water, and blot dry. For more effective results, add a tablespoon of white vinegar to you cleaning solution.

One of the easiest way to deal with a wine stain is club soda. After you have removed as much liquid as possible from your carpet, gently pour club soda on the affected area and start blotting. Repeat the steps until the stain vanishes.

If you don’t have access to any of the ingredients highlighted above, there is another option to help you remove the nasty wine stain from your carpets- hydrogen peroxide. It can cause discolouration, so don’t forget to test it on a small, out of sight area. Once test it and proved safe, mix two parts hydrogen peroxide with one-part dishwashing soap and gently apply it on your carpet. Blot and repeat until there are no marks left.   

If the accident occurs on a mattress, remove your bedding immediately. Treat stains on your sheets with a laundry stain remover and then throw them in the wash. First use a clean cloth to soak the liquid up by gently blotting the area. If it happens to have some Borax in the house, it will come in handy, since it contains boric acid, and is great for removing red wine stains. Mix the detergent with enough warm water to make a paste, then spread it over the affected area. When dry, use a brush to get rid of the powder residue. If the spot is still a bit visible use the method described on the second paragraph. Allow the mattress to dry completely before putting on sheets or mattress covers.

If spills and stains are a common occurrence in your treat, it might be a good idea to apply a protector on your items. Happy Clean can help you stainguard your carpets and sofas, so you enjoy their good looks for longer. Stainguard acts like a protective seal, that doesn’t allow dirt and grim to attach themselves to the fabric fibres. More than that, this defensive layer keeps spills from absorbing into the material, which means it gives you enough time to grab a clean towel and soak up the liquid.

Blood stains

blood stains

Like any other type of stain, you need to clean blood as quickly as you can “stomach it”. With a clean cloth absorb as much liquid as possible, and then use a detergent solution to remove the stain. So mix two cups of cold water (the colder the better) with one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent and use a sponge/ towel to apply it on the affected section. Dab the spill gently and don’t scrub it, as you will spread it on a larger area.  If the stain is still visible after cleaning, you could try removing it with a mix of warm water and ammonia (1 tbsp. ammonia and ½ cup of warm water). Sponge the spot with the solutions and blot until the liquid is absorbed. Rinse the carpet with cold water and pat dry.

We know that hydrogen peroxide has the bad reputation of damaging the fibre, however, if properly used and in small doses, it won’t. Remember to always test it on a hidden area of your carpet before using it, and rinse it off with cold water. For blood spots apply the hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain. You could use a cotton swab for a more precise application. This method could be used for mattresses as well. Blot the spill with a clean towel and some cold water (warm water might set it in), then dab the area with some hydrogen peroxide. Rinse with cold water and let it dry.

If the blood stain needs to be removed from a sofa, you can use the same detergent solution and method as for carpets. Make sure you check the label of your furniture, so you don’t use water on a couch that is solvent based cleaning only.

For old blood spots you can try brush them of first, and then apply any of the methods above accordingly. If they still don’t go away, maybe is time to call a professional cleaning company. At Happy Clean, we work 7 days a week and we are available for emergencies, so in case of an accident on your furniture, floorings or mattress, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Vomit stains

vomit stain

When comes to a vomit stain, backing soda is your ally, no matter you need to clean a sofa, mattress or carpet. It will help you lift away any leftover bits, and does a great job in removing the odour. Sprinkle the baking soda directly on the stain. After you let it sit for a few hours, use a wet/dry vacuum to remove it. Spray a small amount of water and sprinkle the area again. Allow the second coat of baking soda to sit for another few hours. After vacuuming again, if the stain is still visible, you could dab some club soda on it. Use a clean, damp cloth to rinse it and blot dry at the end. To loosen dried vomit and make it easier to remove, spray a small amount of water directly on it, before the first layer of baking soda.

Vinegar is another ingredient that will help you remove a vomit stain. Helps with the odour as well. You can make a 50/50 vinegar and water cleaning solution to wet the affected section. Do not saturate the carpet. Let it sit for 30 seconds, and then blot the stain with a clean towel or use a wet/dry vacuum. Repeat the steps until no spill is transferred onto the cloth. If it’s a really stubborn one try dabbing it with a DIY mixture of 1 teaspoon dish detergent and 1 cup of water. Rinse the detergent from the stain using a damp clean cloth, and blot dry at the end.

Urine stains

urine stains

There are various situations when a urine stain might occur. Either you’re potty training a toddler, or your pet had an accident on the sofa, or on the carpet, dealing with this type of spots it’s not a pleasant thing to do. Urine contains around 95% water, and the rest of 5%, the ones that are causing the stain and sometimes discolouration, are proteins, salts, uric acid, minerals, and ammonia. As mentioned before, the only difference between a spill and a permanent stain is time. Therefore, act quick and effective.

As soon as you noticed the accident, use a cloth to blot as much liquid as possible, to prevent it from absorbing into the fabric. Two cups of cold water mixed with 1tbls of dish detergent will do the trick of lifting the spot. You could add 1tbls of white vinegar, for more effectiveness and to help with the odour as well. Sponge the area working from inside out. Be mindful that urine tends to leak down into the carpet and spreads for several inches. So it’s best to spray or sponge a larger section of the carpet or the sofa. Blot dry before reapplying the cleaning solution. You can repeat the steps 3 or 4 times, until the stain is no longer visible.

In case this method doesn’t work or there are still a few marks left, mix 10 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, 3tbls of baking soda (not powder), and 2 3 drops of dish washing detergent. Mix well until the baking soda is dissolved, and pour into a spray bottle. Test the solution in an inconspicuous place of your carpet or sofa (wait until dry). Once is proved safe to use, spray the stain and let it rest for an hour. Rinse the cleaning solution from the area by dabbing with a damp cloth and blotting with a dry towel. This is such an important step, as over time, the detergent attracts dirt, and the hydrogen peroxide could bleach and weaken the fibres.

How do you remove a pee stain from your mattress? First things first, remove the bedding and throw it in the washing machine. You can add a cup of vinegar, just to make sure the smell is gone. After that, use a clean cloth or paper towels to absorb the liquid from the mattress. In a spray bottle, mix a solution of two parts cold water, one-part white vinegar, and a small amount of laundry detergent (a few tablespoons for a standard spray bottle; more if your bottle is larger). Spray the stain liberally — don’t be afraid to really soak it! Allow it to rest for 10/15 minutes, before blotting the area with a clean towel. After that, cover the entire soiled surface with baking soda for about 10 hours. You can use a wet/ dry hoover to remove the damp powder. If necessary, repeat the process to eradicate any lingering odours or stains you can

As you can see, getting rid of a urine stain is quite a complex process. If you don’t have the time or disposition to go through all the steps, call in the professional cleaners. They will do all the hard work for you, in a quicker and efficient manner. More than that, at Happy Clean, we use the water extraction method, which is the only one that guarantees the complete removal of all the dust, debris, bacteria and allergens, from deep inside your carpets, sofas, or mattresses. That means, your items will not only be clean and stain free, but also sanitized. That is a very important aspect, especially when dealing with a body fluid stain.

Pet stains

pet stain

If you’re a proud pet owner, then you know that sometimes they have accidents on our best home furnishings.  While we all love our furry companions, pet stains are not a pleasant think to deal with, that’s why it’s good to know what you can do to avoid a permanent mark. Remember to act fast, because accidents left untreated can cause permanent discoloration of your carpets or sofas.

Remove the solids using a dull knife or spatula, and soak up the liquid pressing firmly into the stain. You can also use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to get rid of as much liquid as possible. Cool water and distilled vinegar (one part each) should do the trick in cleaning both the stain and the odour. For easy use, pour the solution into a spraying bottle and saturate the stained section. In case the spill occurs on an area rug placed over wooden floors, remove the carpet or place a thick towel under it, to keep it from damaging the flooring. Use a soft bristle brush to work the solution deep into the fibres. Blot it away with clean towels and allow the area to dry.

The next step is to sprinkle some baking soda over the spot and spray it with a solution made of half cup of hydrogen peroxide and two cups of cool water. Use the brush again. With a wet dry vacuum cleaner remove the residues, and allow the carpet to dry. Repeat if necessary.

Ink stains

ink stains

This type of stain might be a bit more difficult to deal with than others, because ink is made of dyes. In addition to these, ink also contains solvents, pigments, resins, lubricants, surfactants, and fluorescents.

There are three different types of ink, each creating a different type stain: water based ink, permanent, or ballpoint ink. Each has its own requirements when comes to cleaning.

Water based ink stains include rollerball pens and washable markers, and are the easiest to remove from your carpet or sofas. One teaspoon of dish wash liquid and some lukewarm water should be enough for getting rid of it.  Remember to gently blot the stain, and not scrub it, because you risk spreading it on a larger surface. Repeat this process until stain has disappeared.

One of the oldest method for removing ball point ink stains is using hairspray. Blot the lacquer with a clean cloth (do not scrub) until it disappears. Allow the area to dry and then use a brush or vacuum to lift away any leftovers. While this is an old trick, these days’ hairspray doesn’t contain as much alcohol as before, so it’s not as effective, as it used to be. This is good news for your hair, but not for your carpets. J

Rubbing alcohol should be used for removing permanent ink (such as Sharpies and gel pens) stains, and whenever the detergent cleaning solutions does not work. Test the alcohol on a small, hidden area of your carpet or sofa, to make sure it doesn’t damage it. If safe, blot the spot gently until the ink starts transferring to the cloth. When there are no marks left, dab the area with a towel moistened with lukewarm water. If this doesn’t work, or you don’t have rubbing alcohol in the house, you can use the same method, replacing the alcohol with non-acetone clear nail polish.

Food stains

food stains

Food stains are very common in every house. Sticky fingers, a dropped fork or spoon, a splash of beer or juice, all find their way onto the couch cushions or carpets. While not fun to deal with, some of these stains could be treated with simple homemade remedies, that are often surprisingly effective.

White cloths or plain paper towels are the right cleaning material to use, as they will keep dyes from transferring onto your carpet or upholstery. When removing the spill remember to blot only. Scrubbing the area will only push food deeper into the fibres and spread it around. Begin blotting from the outside of the stain and work toward the center. No matter what cleaning solution you are using, do it moderately. You don’t want to get the carpet any wetter than necessary.

When the accident happens, soak up what you can with a clean microfiber cloth, to prevent the liquid from setting up into your sofa or rug. In case of a tomato sauce spill, or any other foods with similar consistency, you could use a spoon to remove the excess, and only then a towel or cloth. Prepare a mixture from 1 teaspoon dish wash detergent, 1tbls white vinegar and 2 cups lukewarm water and spray the affected section. Then blot firmly and repeat as many times as needed. For dried stains, you might want to leave the solutions to rest for about 30 minutes before blotting it out.

Many cleaning techniques rely on water, but if the food you spilled contains oil, you need a different approach. Remove the excess with a paper towel. If the grease is dried, scrap it off with a plastic spoon or spatula. After that, sprinkle generously baking soda or corn-starch on the affected area and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the powder. To remove any remaining stain, apply any of the following to a clean, microfiber cloth: grease-cutting dishwashing soap, isopropyl alcohol, 1:1 solution of water and ammonia, or water mixed with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Blot continuously onto the stain until it lifts. Test the solutions in an inconspicuous section of your carpet or furniture, and at the end use cold water to rinse it off.

Chocolate stains

How you clean a chocolate stain depends on whether is melted or in solid form. For melted chocolate stains, place a sealed plastic bag filled with ice over it, and let it sit for ten minutes. Once solid, use a spoon or dull butter knife to gently pick as much of the chocolate as you can. You can vacuum any residues left on the carpet or upholstery. A cup of lukewarm water mixed with ½ teaspoon liquid dish soap will help you get rid of any marks left behind. Rinse the area with a clean towel dipped in cold water. Blot dry at the end.

Another option for removing a dried chocolate stain is using an iron. Place few paper towels on the affected area. Using the lowest, non-steam setting on your clothing iron, move it slowly over the towels until the chocolate starts to stick to them. Repeat as necessary. If any dark spots remain, use the cleaning solution mentioned before.

For other sticky food stains, such as honey or syrup, use 2 cups of hot water (if the fabric permits) mixed with 1tbls of liquid hand soap. Blot the area until all the spill is removed, and rinse it with fresh water.  Use a cloth to dry the surface.

Juice stains

What is the first thing you do in case you dropped juice on your carpet or sofas? Grab a clean towel and blot, blot, blot. It’s very important to remove as much liquid as possible, before it absorbs into the fibres. Work from the outside of the spill toward the center to prevent spreading juice and making the stain larger.

In case of citrus juice, remove all the pulp solids from your carpet or couch using a spoon or spatula. After that, dip a clean white cloth in plain cool water and saturate the stained area to dilute the citric acid. When comes to your upholstery, make sure you don’t over wet the fabric, as this can cause problems with mildew in the cushion filling. Allow the upholstery to air dry away from direct heat and sunlight. If the citrus juice is combined with any other ingredients, you should clean it using a DIY solution made of 1tbls liquid dishwashing detergent and two cups of warm water. Sponge the spill until there are no marks left. It is very important to rinse the carpet properly, as the soap can attract soil. After blotting away the moisture, allow the carpet to air dry away from direct heat. When dry, vacuum to lift the fibres.

If you’re dealing with a more stubborn and colourful stain, such as a grape juice stain, mix ½ cup rubbing alcohol and two tablespoons of white vinegar. Dip a clean cloth in the solution and dap the stained area, working from the outside edges. Work slowly and methodically in a small section at a time. Keep treating and blotting the stain until no more colour remains. Rinse by blotting with a cloth dipped in plain water.

If this doesn’t work either, you could use oxygen bleach and water following package directions. Don’t forget to check your carpet or sofa’s label and test the mixture on a small hidden area. If not sure this method is safe for your items, better call a professional cleaning company and let them to the work for you.

Chewing gum stains

Remove as much of the gum as you can using a metal spoon. Place a sealed plastic bag filled with ice over the remaining gum for ten minutes. Once the gum is frozen, scrape it up with a spoon or non-serrated butter knife.

To remove the remaining stickiness, spray the stained area with a DIY solution made of liquid dishwashing detergent and white vinegar. Use a soft-bristled brush to work a very small amount of the solution into the stain. Let the solution sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then blot it up with a clean white cloth dipped in plain water. Keep blotting with a clean area of the cloth until no more solution or residue is transferred to the cloth. For upholstery, apply a dry cleaning solvent to spot-treat the stain following the manufacturer’s directions. Be sure to test the solvent on the fabric in a hidden area to make sure it doesn’t remove any colour from the fabric.

Liquor and beer stains

The more flavoured and colourful the liquor, the nastier the stain. Not to mention all the mixers that could be used, from cranberry or tomato juice, to heavy cream. With beer, things are a bit more simple, as no dye has been added in composition.

When comes to removing drink stains from carpet or upholstery, the cleaning solutions and techniques are very similar to the ones used for wine or juice spills. You start by blotting as much liquid as possible. You can press the towels on the stain until no more colour is transferred. After that, using a clean cloth apply a mixture of 2 cups of warm water, ½ cup of distilled vinegar, and 1tbls of liquid dishwashing detergent. Sponge the stain, working from the outside edges, toward the center. Rinse the area with plain water, to remove all the soapy residues.

If the stain is still visible, mix a solution of oxygen bleach and cool water following the package directions. Using a soft bristled brush work the mixture into the carpet. Allow it to sit for at least an hour before blotting away the moisture with a dry cloth. Repeat until the stain is gone.

Make up stains

Makeup has become an undeniable part of our lives, no matter you own just a few basic products, or you always have the latest eye shadow pallets or lipstick in your bag. And with so many options available on the market, the race to have the most pigmented formula, blinding highlighter and the blackest mascara is in its full swing. But what happens when some of this super high quality, pigmented eye shadow or blush drops out of your hand, on to the carpet or on your sofa? This is nothing short of a nightmare. However, no need to panic, as we’ve put together a list of DIY methods that might help you get rid of the mess. And if these don’t work for you, there’s always the option of calling a professional carpet or upholstery cleaner.

Foundation is probably one of the most popular make-up product. There are thousands of foundation brands on the market, and they all have one thing in common: they’re liquid and easy to spill. If it happened for you to drop some product on the carpet or on a couch, tend to the spill as quickly as you can. You will need a spoon or butter knife to scoop all the excess. Next, make a cleaning solution of dishwashing liquid and cold water and sponge the area with a clean towel. Dab the stain until no colour is transferred to the cloth. Rinse it with plain water and blot dry the surface. Using a wet/ dry vacuum cleaner you can hoover the carpet or sofa to get its shape back.

The eyeliner is another staple make up product. While the pencil or gel versions are not necessary a treat for your carpets, the liquid eyeliner can really cause a spillage nightmare. If you have accidentally knocked over the bottle, is time to act fast. Half cup of lukewarm water and a teaspoon of vinegar should do the trick. Blot the stain with a clean towel dipped into the cleaning solution until the stain is lifted. This might require a few rounds of cleaning and blotting, but the results are great. Dry the area with a clean microfiber cloth and vacuum at the end.

For removing eye shadow stains, you’ll need hydrogen peroxide, some water and clean towels. Hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties, so it works best on light carpets or sofas, so make sure you spot test it before using it. Apply a few drops on the stain, and you can spread it with a clean cloth. Don’t rub too hard and let the solution sit for a while. Use plain water to rinse the affected area and clean the hydrogen peroxide. Blot dry at the end.

In case of a mascara stain, all you need is some good quality make up remover cream or wipes. If you have a liquid form of the remover, apply it on a microfiber cloth and use it to dab the stain. Next, soak a clean towel in cold water and blot the carpet or sofa, to remove any remnants.

Last but not least, let’s talk about nail polish stains. Now, these are not fun to deal with. If the spill is still damp, use a dull plastic edge to lift as much liquid as possible. After that, using an eyedropper or a cotton swab apply few drops of acetone to a small area of the stain. You will want to be very careful, as there is a high risk of spreading the nail polish on a larger section. After each drop of acetone, blot the spill with a clean cloth or paper towel.  Repeat the steps until most of the spill is lifted. If colour remains, allow the spot to dry and after that treat the area with either rubbing alcohol, or dry cleaning solvent. Sponge the stain with either of this two, until there are no marks left. Make sure you keep the room well ventilated during the process, and spot test in a hidden section of your carpet (sofa), all of the cleaning solutions you want to use. When the nail polish stain is gone, rinse the area with clean water, and blot dry.

Hair dye stains

Removing hair dye stains from your clothing is an easy job, as the items can be soaked for hours or simply tossed in the washing machine. However, when these spots show up on your carpet or sofa, require a bit more patience and effort.

Begin by lifting up any hair dye solids from the affected area. Use a spoon or dull knife, and be careful not to scrub it, as this will only push the dye deeper into the fibres. Prepare a DIY cleaning solution made of two cups of cool water, one table spoon white vinegar, and one tablespoon dishwashing liquid. Depending on the size of the stain, you could use a towel, a sponge or a cotton swab, to blot the surface with the mixture. Work from the outer edges to the center, to keep the spot from spreading larger. If the stain is older is best to leave the solution rest for 10 to 15 minutes before blotting. Do not over wet the carpet or the sofa.

If you follow all the steps and there are still some marks left, dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol, and apply directly on the carpet or sofa. With a clean cloth blot it away, and repeat as many times as needed. When the accident occurs on a white rug or piece of upholstery, you can try to get rid of the spill using hydrogen peroxide. Apply a few drops on the spot, and sponge gently without scrubbing it. Let it rest for a few minutes, before blotting the stain again. Don’t forget to rinse the carpet with a towel dipped in plain cool water. Blot dry at the end. Both rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide should be tested on a hidden side of your sofa or flooring. If you don’t notice any signs of fibre discoloration, that means are safe to use.

Paint stains

Paint stains are very visible and do not look pleasant to the eye. Before trying to remove them from your sofa or your carpets, you need to know with what type of paint spot you are dealing with, either is water or oil based paint. The first type is also known as latex paint, and it dries fast and is relatively easy to clean. Once you have removed any excess paint with a spoon or a butter knife, moisten the affected area using a clean cloth and hot water. Add a drop or two of mild dish soap to the wet stain, and if the fabric permits, use a brush to scrub the paint off. Otherwise, dab the stained section with a sponge, until the paint stain starts to dissolve.  Rinse it with plain water and blot dry at the end. If you need to remove a dried paint spot, alcohol is your best option. Rub the stained area with cotton having alcohol absorbed in it. You can also try scrapping it off with a sharp knife.

Compared with water based paint, the oil based one, is more difficult to deal with. Use a clean wet towel to absorb as much of the paint as possible. Don’t rub to harshly as the stain will go deeper into the fibres. It’s recommended to use a paint thinner, such as alcohol or acetone. Once the stain is finally removed, gently blot the area with a damp paper towel and then a dry one. If none of the methods work, you should contact a professional cleaner to remove the paint stain from your carpet or sofa.

Wax stains

As any other stain, the faster you deal with it, the better. However, you must allow the wax to harden before removing it, or you will spread it around. Place a bag filled with ice over the spill and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Once the wax has become solid, use a dull knife to scrape it off your sofa or carpet. Get as much as you can. To remove any leftovers, you need a brown paper bag and an iron. Place the bag over the wax stain and gently press the heated iron over it. Repeat the process with a clean section or a new bag until all the wax lifted away. In case you’re dealing with coloured wax, use a dampen cloth with rubbing alcohol. Gently dab the stain until there are no marks left. Finally, a DIY cleaning solution made of water and dish soap will remove any residues. Don’t forget to rinse the area with plain water.

Mud stains

Either your furry friend ran straight from its walk on your living rooms’ carpet, or your little ones jumped on the sofa without taking their boots off, mud stains do happen. And when they do, you need to act fast. First remove any solids to prevent them from being tracked deeper into the fibres, and then allow the mud to dry. As soon as the soil dries, vacuum the excess and then clean the area with a cleaning solution made of two teaspoons of liquid dishwashing detergent and two cups of cool water. Use a clean cloth, sponge or soft bristle brush to work the solution into the carpet or sofa. Blot away the mud as it is lifted. Use plain water to rinse the stain and remove any soapy residues. If there are still marks left mix some oxygen bleach and water, following package directions. Saturate the affected area with the mixture and let it rest for at least an hour. Finally, blot away and rinse with plain water. Allow the carpet/ sofa to dry away from heat or direct sunlight. You can use a vacuum cleaner to lift the fibres.

In case of upholstery make sure you don’t over wet the fabric, as this can cause mould problems. The bleach should always be tested on a hidden place of the carpet or sofa, just to make sure it doesn’t discolour it. 

Slime stains

Slime might be funny to play with, but slime stains are not. It leaves a gooey mess that clings to clothes, carpet, furniture, and pretty much on everything that touches. The easiest way to get slime out of carpet is with warm water and vinegar. Use a spoon to scrape away the excess and work the solution gently into the carpet or sofa, using a soft bristled brush. Scrub lightly until the slime loosen up. Blot the area with a clean rag, and repeat if necessary. Vacuum to remove any leftovers and restore fluff to your carpet.

One of the most important thing to remember when removing slime from your furniture is to avoid rubbing the stain in. What you should focus on is lifting it off. The same as on carpets, you could use a spoon to do that. If your sofas are made of polyester or polyester mix, this might be the only thing you need to do.  After that, use a white towel and some distilled water to blot the mark until all the slime is lifted.

Oil/Grease stains

No matter what type of oil or grease stain we are talking about, car oil, cooking oil, butter or margarine, they are all difficult to remove. This type of stain should be treated promptly by lifting away any oily solids using a dull knife. Do not scrub as this will only make things worse, pushing the oil deeper into the carpet and make the stain larger.  Sprinkle corn-starch, baking soda or talc powder over the spill. This will absorb the liquid. Let it rest for at least 15 min, and then vacuum the residues.  Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent with 2 cups of hot water, and 1 tbsp. ammonia. Wet the stain with a sponge or soft-bristled brush dipped in the cleaning solution then blot with a dry paper towel until the stain is removed. Rinse the area with a cloth dipped in plain water to remove any soapy residue that will actually attract more soil. Repeat the cleaning steps until no more stain remains.

The same cleaning techniques and products recommended for carpet can be used to remove oil stains from upholstery.  If you’re not sure that’s the right cleaning technique for the type of fabric your sofa is made of, call a professional upholstery cleaning company.