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Household cleaning hacks: Removing stains from your couch

Couches can be expensive and hard to clean; you can't just throw it in the laundry machine. We found some things you probably have around your house that could help.
Couches can be expensive and hard to clean; you can't just throw it in the laundry machine. We found some things you probably have around your house that could help.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – I’m not going to call out any of my family members by name, but let’s just say I have one who tends to drip and drop food on my couch while watching Jaguars’ game. So, I needed some help removing stains from my new couch. I know I’m not alone.

Kids can be messy too. Here’s what I found in Real Simple magazine’s Secrets to a Clean Home edition for removing stains from upholstery.

RELATED: Stain removal hacks: Getting salad dressing, blood and ink out of your clothes

Spilled milk

To remove the odor when it dries, sprinkle the area with baking soda or cornstarch and let it sit for 15 minutes. Vacuum up the powder and then apply a stain remover. Next, Real Simple Magazine recommends treating the area with Puracy Natural Carpet and Upholstery Shampoo. We found it at Walmart for about $21.

Jelly stains

Mix 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and a ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol. Soak a sponge in the liquid and then apply it to the area where the milk was spilled. The rubbing alcohol helps break down the stain and the vinegar makes it easier to remove. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then blot it dry with a clean cloth.

Slime stains

Slime is a favorite homemade project for kids, but the food coloring in it can cause dark stains on an upholstered couch and the glue is sticky. If it has already dried on your couch, use a credit card to scrape off the residue. Then, mix mild laundry detergent with warm water and put it on the stain with a white cloth. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to scrub it lightly to remove any of the remaining residue. If there’s any oil remaining, sprinkle the spot with baking soda, let it dry, and then vacuum up the powder.

Chocolate stains

Try removing the stain using dish soap and a damp towel to gently rub in the direction of the fabric to work away the discoloration.

Before attempting any of these stain-removing hacks, Real Simple Magazine recommends you test them on a small, less seen area of the couch just in case the products cause any discoloration.


About the Author:

Jennifer, who anchors The Morning Shows and is part of the I-TEAM, loves working in her hometown of Jacksonville.