Kitchen Grease: Not for Your Loveseat

Hello ladies!
I’ve asked my mom, I’ve asked my friends, and I don’t know why I didn’t ask you two first.

Here’s the skinny: we bought our first new furniture early last year; a couch and a recliner.  My husband works in a kitchen, so he comes home sweaty and covered with kitchen grease and steam and all that good stuff (Ivy, you know what I’m talking about).  After a year and a half of him coming home exhausted and flopping into his beloved chair, we’ve got a nice dark mark right where his head rests.

The chair is covered with regular upholstery but was sprayed with Scotchgard type stuff when it was manufactured.  Any bright ideas on how to get the kitchen funk out of our living room?  Other than covering it up with a towel, which I’ll likely be doing anyway.

Signed,
Mrs. Danny Zuko

remove grease from upholstery

Heather says:

After spending nearly ten years in restaurants, I do know the particular funk of which you speak. Before you do anything, I want you to look for your stain / warranty information.  There will probably be a phone number to call.  If you cannot find your paperwork, look up the manufacturer online and see if you can find care information.  If you have a warranty, you do not want to void it by improperly caring for your furniture.

My first suggestion is to try cornstarch.  Use a generous amount and rub it into the stain.  Work it in gently with either an old toothbrush or the brush attachment on your vacuum (while it is not running).   Vacuum the area thoroughly then wipe with a slightly damp rag.  You may need to repeat this process several times.  I have also heard of using this technique with salt, cornmeal, or talcum powder.  My only concern with salt or corn meal is they may act as an abrasive and weaken fibers.

If this is ineffective try using baby wipes on the affected area.

Your care tag will likely have some guidelines:

W – water based cleaners
S- solvent based
SW – Water or Solvent
X – Vacuum only

For tags marked W  try using diluted dishwashing soap.  Gently rub it into the area, use a dry cloth to soak up as much as possible before using clear water to rinse the area.  Blot, then blot some more.  Finally fold a white towel, place it on the armrest, and weight it with a large book.  Every hour or two change the towel for a dry one and replace the weight until the fabric is dry to the touch.   Use a fan in the room after the towel has been removed to further encourage thorough drying.

furniture care guide

Click the picture for more tips!

If your care tag is marked S, try an upholstery foam cleaner but please check it in an inconspicuous spot first and follow all the label directions.

Good luck.

Send your household questions to helpme@home-ec101.com.



2 Comments

  1. Gigi on June 15, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    I knew you'd have the answer, Heather!

    Last week, after changing out the dogs' food bin, I inadvertently left the empty (44lb – I have BIG dogs!) dog food bag sitting in an armchair for a couple of days, having forgotten that the bottom of the bag was greasy when I pulled it out of the bin. When I finally picked it up to throw it out, there was a grease stain all the way across the seat of the chair. OOPS. I remembered that powder or something might absorb it, but came here to look for the answer. I'm headed to the grocery right now to pick up some cornstarch! *Thanks!*

  2. Pam on November 14, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    This may seem a little harsh…..and you’ll need to test a spot first….but I have had great success with the Clorox wipes……I have even used them on clothes……God Bless, Pam, South Bend

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