The #1 Couch Cleaning Mistake You're Making

Unless you're a rare breed who never, ever consumes any type of food or beverage on your couch, there's a good chance that you'll spill something at some point. Perhaps you slosh out a little dark roast in your morning pre-caffeine fog, you drop a kernel or two of buttery popcorn during movie night, or even have a child or pet that leaves some type of stain on your beloved couch. It's pretty much unavoidable — so you need to learn how to deal with those pesky stains when they arise.

Now, some couches are definitely easier to clean, as Overstock reports, with leather, vinyl, microfiber, and wool all being solid choices if you anticipate more than a few spills in your future. However, if you have a fabric sofa, there is one major mistake you might be making whenever you try to combat any stains — and it has nothing to do with the actual fabric your couch is upholstered in. Rather, it's all about the specific method you're using to get that stain out.

The moment you spot a stain, there's a good chance you grab your go-to cleaning supplies and start scrubbing away at that splotch of red wine or spaghetti sauce. Stop — according to Designing Idea, that may actually be doing more harm than good.

What is the big mistake?

Though you might have found the scrubbing method effective in the past, as Designing Idea reports, that technique actually has the potential to set the stain further into the fibers of a fabric upholstered couch. Additionally, all that scrubbing can lead to some serious wear and tear on your sofa, potentially ruining the texture or leaving unsightly splotches and marks. You may get rid of the stain, but you'll just have to face an unsightly patch of faded or damaged fabric that sticks out almost as badly as a stain would have, which certainly isn't what you want.

Instead of relying on elbow grease, allow your stain remover to do all the heavy lifting, and then simply blot the remover, gently wipe off any residue, and repeat until the stain is gone. While there are plenty of stain removers and cleaning solutions on the market, you can also hack your own solution with common household items such as vinegar, dish detergent, and baking soda. If you happen to have them on hand, baby wipes can also be effective.

As with any type of stain, it will depend heavily on the specific fabric your couch is upholstered in, and the specifics of the stain you're dealing with. A quick search should help steer you in the right direction, and by avoiding scrubbing and simply using the blot and wipe technique instead, you'll avoid damaging your couch.