If the stain is fresh, the first thing you should do is try to remove excess grease from the surface of the fabric as quickly as possible. Use paper towels, napkins, or cotton cloths to do this. They absorb liquids well and prevent the grease from spreading deeper into the upholstery fabrics and filler. It is very important not to rub the stain, but simply press the absorbent material against it. Otherwise, you will only rub the grease deeper into the fabric and “stretch” it over the surface. And you don’t want that.

Then you can use special products to remove stains from the surface. There are more than enough of them for different types of upholstery: Vanish, Astonish, Dr. Beckman, and others. If the stain is old and the cleaning is not urgent, you have time to go to the store and buy the product or order it with delivery from an online store. However, if the grease stain is new, it is better to try to clean it as soon as possible. And at such a moment, you may not have the right product at hand.

In this situation, you can make your own grease cleaner from improvised means:

  • Baking soda and vinegar. Mix a tablespoon of baking soda and a glass of vinegar in a bowl. Apply the resulting paste 
  • Salt and lemon. Sprinkle a thin layer of salt on the stain and squeeze the juice of half a lemon on it. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes, and then brush off the salt with a brush or cloth. Repeat the procedure as needed.
  • Ammonia and soap. Dissolve a teaspoon of ammonia in a glass of warm water and add a little liquid soap. Soak a sponge or cloth in the solution and wipe the stain in a circular motion. Then blot the sofa with a clean, damp cloth and dry it.

But keep in mind that some upholstery materials are very sensitive to various chemicals and aggressive agents. Such materials include silk, cotton, linen, natural wool, acrylic, polyester and some others. If you need to remove stains from such surfaces, you will have to be especially careful not to use too aggressive compounds.


There are very non-standard methods for cleaning a sofa from grease, allowing you to remove even quite problematic stains. And these methods are completely safe for upholstery:

  • Milk (plain yogurt, whey). Suitable for removing greasy stains from natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk and velvet. Simply soak a cloth or sponge in milk and wipe the stain. Repeat the procedure until the stain disappears. Then rinse the sofa with clean water and dry it.
  • Starch and talcum powder. These powdery substances absorb grease well and help remove it from the surface of the fabric. Sprinkle the stain with starch or talcum powder and leave it on for several hours or overnight. Then wipe off the powder with a brush or vacuum cleaner.
  • Alcohol or vodka. Alcoholic beverages can also dissolve grease and clean the fabric from stains. Dip a cotton pad or cloth in alcohol or vodka and wipe the stain. Then blot the sofa with a clean, damp cloth and dry it.

But if you are not sure that you can remove the old stain and remove it from the sofa without consequences, we recommend that you do without experiments and contact a specialist. This is the only way you will know that all the work will be done correctly and your upholstered furniture will not be damaged.


When washing a sofa, it is quite easy to make mistakes that can result in damage to the fabric or deterioration of the furniture’s appearance. Let’s take a look at some of them so that you don’t make them:

  1. Washing the sofa without first studying the properties of the fabric.First of all, if possible, study the manufacturer’s recommendations on this issue. Next, you can try to test the fabric in an inconspicuous area for its reaction to moisture and chemicals. Remember that not all types of fabrics are suitable for wet cleaning.
  2. Use of hot water or steam.Hot water and steam can also damage the fabric or filling of the sofa by causing it to shrink, stretch or stick together. In addition, hot water can only set stains on the fabric, not remove them. Therefore, it is recommended to use warm or cold water to wash the sofa and avoid steam cleaners.
  3. The use of aggressive detergents.Many detergents contain alkalis, bleaches, solvents or other components that can destroy the structure of the fabric or filler, as well as cause allergic reactions in humans or animals. To clean the sofa, we recommend choosing neutral or slightly acidic products designed specifically for upholstered furniture.
  4. Washing without further drying.After washing the sofa, it is necessary to ensure its complete drying, otherwise wet fabric or filler can become a source of unpleasant odors, mold or rot. We do not recommend using a hairdryer, iron or battery to dry the sofa – they can damage the fabric or filler. It is best to dry the sofa outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, avoiding direct sunlight.

And these are actually just a few of the mistakes that upholstered furniture owners sometimes make when trying to clean it from grease stains. So let us repeat once again: if you are not sure that you can clean your sofa with high quality and without any consequences for the upholstery, it is better to trust the professionals in this matter. 

May 25 2024