The couch is one of the most loved spots in any house – you lie on it, you relax on it, you sleep on it, and you eat on it. And with so much time spent on your couch, you know how easy it is to drop food on it. Whether it’s battered fish, a crunchy hot chip or cheese that’s dropped off a pizza, there’s one thing these favourite foods all leave behind – the dreaded oil stain.
While some stains are easily removed, an oil stain can be harder to budge. Once it hits the spot, it can be there to stay unless you know the right techniques. So how do you get oil out of upholstery? Next time you drop a fatty fry on your fabric sofa, instead of cursing yourself, try some of these tricks below – and restore your upholstery to its former self!
Dab, don’t rub!
One of the most common mistakes when trying to quickly remove an oil stain is rubbing too hard. We all know that feeling when a hot potato wedge ends up on your clean, white couch instead of in your mouth – you panic! Instinct kicks in. You grab the closest paper towel and rub the stain as hard as you can.
However this can actually make the problem worse. Instead of reducing the stain, rubbing will only add to your woes and expand it further. Even worse, you can end up pushing the oil further down into the fabric. Then the stain really is here to stay!
The trick on how to remove an oil stain from a couch is to dab, not rub. Still reach for the trusty paper towel, but go gently. Each soft dab will initially help absorb excess oil, applying only minimal pressure, and will do less damage to your fabric in the long run. In the case of dabbing vs rubbing, less really is more!
Detergent is your best weapon
After soaking up the initial oil with a paper towel, the next tactic in your battle is detergent. It may be an everyday kitchen cleaner, but its power is how it breaks down oil. Just like on your dirty dishes, water is not enough to get rid of grease – you need detergent to add the firepower.
However you don’t need too much detergent on an oil stain. While it can be tempting to lather it on, you only need a drop or two to get the job done. It depends how big the stain is, but most experts recommend mixing just a few drops in a cup or two of warm water. This will create a mild soapy solution, which you apply with a sponge. Too much detergent can cause damage, particularly to more delicate fabrics.
Once you’ve made your solution, it’s simply a matter of dabbing it onto the oil stain. Use the same gentle dabbing approach as mentioned above.
Bicarbonate of soda works too!
We’ve talked about how to remove an oil stain from your sofa, but what do you do if you realise you’re out of detergent? You still need to break down that grease. Luckily the answer is in another common household item – bicarbonate of soda! (or bicarb soda).
Bicarb soda works in two ways to help your fight. Firstly, it soaks up excess oil and secondly, it breaks down the oily compound in the same way detergent does. Once the bicarb soda has absorbed as much oil as it can, simply dab it away with a damp cloth. Remember your mum saying “bicarb works on just about anything”? Well she was right!
Go easy on the water
Like the other steps above, there’s a key to how to use water when you come up against a pesky oil stain – don’t use too much! While water is critical in the fight, you don’t want to saturate your stain. Too much water can backfire on you and can end up damaging some types of upholstery, in particular leather.
Make sure you have warm soapy water handy, but don’t pour it on the stain in your gusto to get rid of it quickly. Simply dip the sponge and squeeze it out before you dab.
Call in the experts!
Our tips above will help you remove an oil stain from your couch. But what if you’re still having trouble lifting that stain? Maybe it was left a bit too long and it’s set in. Maybe you only just found it under a carefully placed cushion. Or perhaps it’s an aggressive type of oil. If you’ve tried our steps and there’s still a reminder of that last piece of pizza on your sofa upholstery, don’t despair! That’s when you call in the professionals.
Upholstery professionals, like our team here at Lounge Guy Repairs, are experts in removing extra tricky stains. With special techniques, a secret toolkit and a wealth of knowledge, we can help you get rid of that nasty oil stain once and for all.
For all your upholstery repairs, get in touch with Lounge Repair Guys today!