Tips for Protecting Your Fabric Upholstery

Let’s face it. 

Life is messy!

As hard as we work to keep our homes clean and tidy, the occasional spill still happens. From the kids’ pizza sauce to mom’s red wine, there are many things that may leave an unsightly stain on that beautiful couch. If you add in the dust, dirt and pet dander that build up over time, it’s no wonder our furniture starts to look a little tired and dingy.

It’s almost enough to make you afraid to sit down and relax, but never fear! Furniture isn’t meant to be kept under glass in a museum. It’s made to use in our everyday lives while enhancing the look and feel of our homes. 

The good news is there are many ways to protect upholstery fabric from stains and keep your furniture looking like new. Here are a few helpful hints you’ll want to follow. And we promise, none of these tips involves wrapping your furniture in plastic!

Look for Durable Fabric That’s Easy to Clean

Your first line of defense against upholstery stains is to shop for furniture made with stain-resistant fabric. 

For example, Lifestyles Furniture offers sofas and other furnishings with removable machine-washable fabrics in a variety of styles and colors. All you have to do is toss it in the washing machine, tumble dry and voila! You’ve just freshened up your furniture.

You can also find fabrics designed to resist stains for easy cleanup. Threads are treated to prevent spills, odors and moisture from penetrating. Simply blot stains away with gentle cleanser and a damp cloth to preserve the appearance of your furniture.

Invest in Stylish Slipcovers

Another way to add both style and protection is to purchase a set of fabulous slipcovers for couches and chairs. 

Slipcovers are ideal for protecting delicate fabrics like velvet. Washable and stain-resistant, you can machine wash and dry to keep them fresh or to clean up after a spill. You can also remove them whenever you’d like to show off the fabric underneath for entertaining.

Another bonus? You can switch out slipcovers for a whole new look every season! Go with bright florals or pastels during the summer and change to deeper earth tones for fall and winter.

Treat with Upholstery Protector

A spray-on fabric protector is a great way to keep your upholstery looking its best and make cleaning up spills a breeze. 

Fabric protectors work by creating a stain- and water-repellent barrier that stops liquids and odors from penetrating into the fibers. To apply the product, simply spray it directly onto the upholstery and let it dry. 

If you spill food, wine or another substance on the treated fabric, all you need to do is blot it with a clean cloth. When comparing fabric protectors, you’ll want to consider ease of application, compatibility with your fabric and environmental impact. 

Clean Upholstery Regularly

All upholstery fabric could use a little freshening up once in a while. Vacuum your couch and other furnishings  to remove dust, crumbs, pet dander and other debris. You can also use a lint remover between cleanings to keep your furniture looking like new. Clean weekly to monthly depending on how much wear and tear the item receives on a typical day. 

Treat Stains Promptly

Whenever that fateful spill occurs, time is of the essence. The sooner you treat it, the easier it will be to remove. If you have machine washable fabric, put it in the washer right away for best results.

Keep a quality stain remover close by at all times. You can also clean upholstery fabric with a solution made with four drops of dish soap for every one cup of distilled water. Wisk the mixture until it foams, then gently apply with a soft-bristled upholstery brush or microfiber cloth. Blot with a clean, dry microfiber cloth to absorb excess moisture, then finish drying with a fan.  Use a quality enzymatic cleaner for non-water-soluble stains such as grease or blood. 


By following these tips, you can save yourself time and stress the next time something spills on your furniture. 

And next time you’re looking for a beautiful new couch, chairs or other furnishings for your home, stop by Lifestyles Furniture. You can also reach out to us online or call us at 573-874-1550.

Jerome Rackers

Leave a Comment