Old furniture stains are hard to remove because the stain has set for a long time. Many common household ingredients may not completely eradicate the stain, just lift the surface, leaving a darkened spot that makes furniture look ugly and worn. A number of cleaners--sprays, detergents and astringents such as rubbing alcohol and distilled vinegar--can be used if one doesn't do the job. Removing stains can restore and beautify old furniture, making it unnecessary to buy expensive new pieces.
Things You'll Need
- Protective gloves
- Rubbing alcohol
- Cotton balls
- All-purpose cleaning spray
- Furniture cleaner
- Wood cleaner
- Color-safe bleach laundry detergent
- Club soda
Put on protective gloves. For glue residue stains, which look white and flaky, dip a cotton ball into rubbing alcohol and dab the stain. For tough cosmetics stains, such as lipstick, pour a cap-full of vinegar onto a soft white cloth and pat the stain.
For food stains, which have discoloration and possibly an odor, use all-purpose cleaning spray or furniture cleaner. Make sure the furniture cleaner is appropriate for the surface to be cleaned; wood, leather, etc.
For an ink stain, dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and squeeze out the excess. Dab the stain and check the cotton to see whether it's lifting before applying more.
If the alcohol is ineffective, mix one part vinegar and two parts water and apply with a cotton ball. If the stain begins to lift, repeat with a clean cotton ball until the stain is gone.
For red wine stains, put club soda on a clean cloth and blot the spot. You may add salt to the club soda for an abrasive mixture that's still safe for most furniture.
For grease stains, mix one cap-full of color-safe bleach laundry detergent with two parts water.
Soak a clean rag in the detergent mixture. Wring the rag out and wipe the stain, repeating if necessary.
Wipe away any excess cleaning mixture with a clean rag and water. Dry with a clean towel.
- Photo Credit upholstered furniture. image by Yuri Bizgaimer from Fotolia.com
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