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.
Mrs. Danny Zuko
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.
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.
Send your household questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.