No matter how careful you are in cleaning and maintaining your carpet and leather upholstered furniture, sometimes accidents do happen, and we are often left with unsightly stains on either carpet or leather furniture or both.
The cause can be anything from spilled beverages like coffee, soda, or wine, to something as mundane as mud or ink or spaghetti sauce. And then, of course, you have the biological accidents of pet pee, vomit, or even blood.
The basic advice on how to deal with stains is similar for both carpets and leather upholstery, which is to deal with the stain as quickly as possible in order to prevent stains from setting in and being doubly harder to remove. That said, the approach for handling stains is different when it comes to cleaning your carpet and your leather upholstery.
Before you try any of the following cleaning methods, however, always remember to test it out on a small, inconspicuous spot of either your carpet or leather upholstery, just to make sure that neither will react adversely to the cleaning solutions or methods you will be using.
Removing Stains from your Carpet
Another basic rule, at least when it comes to removing stains from carpets, is to blot, blot, blot, never to rub or to scrub out the stain. If you do manage, for instance, to deal with spilled coffee soon after your mug got knocked over from the table and onto the carpeted flooring, the first thing would be to remove as much of the spilled liquid as possible. Using clean kitchen towels or any absorbent cloth, blot the stain repeatedly to lift the spilled coffee from your carpet. Do this repeatedly until all the coffee has been removed. Rubbing at or scrubbing the surface of the carpet to remove the spilled coffee is not advisable because you will only be pushing the stain deeper into the fibers of the carpet. If you need to, spray on more water if the spot has dried before you can lift all the spilled liquid off of the carpet. Do the same for other type of stains.
If you are dealing with an older stain, however, or if the spill you are dealing with just will not go away completely even after blotting, you might need to use a cleaning solution.
There are some commercially available carpet cleaning solutions in the market which can also be used to deal with stains. Just follow the instructions carefully when using them.
Another option is to use some homemade carpet cleaning solutions instead of commercial carpet cleaners and stain removers. A typical homemade stain remover can be made using typical household ingredients such as vinegar, dish soap, and water. Place the mixture into a spray bottle and spray on the affected area. Let the solution sit for a few minutes before blotting again with a clean cloth or towel. Again, do this repeatedly until the stain is gone.
Removing Stains from your Leather Upholstery
When dealing with spots on your leather furniture, on the other hand, it is not advisable to use chemicals or other cleaning solutions indiscriminately. You might want to check the manufacturer’s warranty on your leather furniture again. They will usually carry a list of “don’ts,” including what substances or chemicals should not be used for cleaning. Unprotected or aniline leather, for instance, might not react well even to commercially available leather wipes or leather cleaners.
One difference between cleaning carpets and leather upholstery is that while spraying water or a cleaning solution on carpets may sometimes be advisable to help lift or remove carpet stains, the liberal use of water is not recommended for use on leather. Water on leather, especially if you end up saturating the leather, may cause the leather to shrink, become loose or fade from the application of too much liquid, or this may even result in an unsightly water stain.
When dealing with stains on leather, blot using clean towels or rags to lift as much of the spilled substance away from the leather surface of the couch. If you are using a commercially available leather cleaner and it has passed the small area test, go ahead and use it to clean the stain. Again, just remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. And above all, make sure that your use of any cleaning product does not go against the manufacturer’s warranty. Otherwise, you might void your warranty on your leather couch.
Carpet cleaners at are saying that ink or marker stains can be treated with a small amount of alcohol on a cotton swab. Use a leather wipe or a clean cloth dampened with conditioning soap to handle grease, coffee, tea, and wine stains. Never saturate the leather with water, but if you find yourself dealing with a water stain, dry the leather as thoroughly as possible. No matter what stain you find yourself dealing with, it is always a good idea to finish off with a complete recondition of the entire leather furniture, from seam to seam.
If you don’t have the time or simply don’t want to clean the carpets yourself you can always ask carpet cleaners who will leave your carpets looking like they’re brand new.