How to Remove Stubborn Stains From a Recliner

by Andrew Smith| Last Updated: January 5, 2021

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Remove stains from recliner

Don’t you hate it when the ‘oops’ moments happen on your favorite recliner couch? Well, stains are not just a kids’ thing, but you can also accidentally spill or stain your chair. The general thumb rule states that all stains and spills need immediate cleaning to avoid permanence. However, that may deem challenging, especially if you are not around and the kids happen to make the mess.

When it comes to tough stains, the joy of your favorite couch can be short-lived. But worry not, there are known ways of cleaning several stubborn stains without professional cleaners.

Read on.

Table of Contents

First Things First

For starters, check the cleaning codes of your recliner. Usually, you will find them on the cushions or see more details on the manufacturer’s website. These cleaning codes will let you know if your chair has any special cleaning requirements. Believe it or not, some materials do not require water cleaning. Such codes include;

Always vacuum your recliner before any cleaning. When you clean, stains look better as it helps lift the loose dust and stains and any crumbs from the chair.

Furthermore, several cleaning agents respond to most stains. For instance;

  1. Immediately a stain happens, blot it out. Blotting a stain instantly enables you to remove it without much effort.
  2. The best way to spot is by pressing down and gently moving from the outward to inward. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the stain with the blot.
  3. It would be best if you tested a small patch of your fabric with your cleaning agent. This way, you won’t risk discoloring your material.

Related: How to Clean a Recliner? Easy Steps to Follow

Common Stains and How to Remove Them

1. Food Stains

It is the most common stains in upholstery. Luckily it’s the easiest to remove with just water and soap. With just warm soapy water and a soft sponge or clean cloth, wipe out the chair’s food stains. In case it proves stubborn, you can gently rub out the stain.

However, if the food stain has dairy products, it can pose a challenge in removing them. Water and soap can fail to do the magic hence the need for a liquid detergent with enzymes. Allow the liquid detergent to rest on the material for some time before using a sponge to blot it out. If the stains are large, minimize their appearance by working on them from the outside to the inside.

If you are unsure of the exact food stain, always use cool soapy water to remove the stain. Only exceptional cases will require warm soapy water or liquid detergents with enzymes.

2. Greasy Stains

You can either use the powder or paste form of baking soda. To make the baking soda paste, mix baking soda with water and spread it on the stain. The baking soda will suck out the stain’s oil, so allow it to sit on the stain for up to 10 minutes.

 Next, use a vacuum to remove the baking soda and apply vodka to the stain. In case you do not have the vodka, you can use dish soap and brush off the stain using a soft brush. Also, clean from the outside in.

3. Wine and Berry Stains

Immediately you stain your recliner chair with wine or berries, use water to dilute the concentration, and blot it out. However, do not feel wasted if the stain doesn’t seem to respond to your gentle approach.

White vinegar will always do the trick. You can use it directly or mix a spoonful with dish soap and vinegar with 4 cups of cold water. Use a soft sponge or clean piece of cloth and dab out the stain. To avoid any soapy residue when the chair dries, dab the cleaned area with water and allow it to dry.

4. Beverage Stains (Beer and Coffee)

Beer stains should not be as hard to remove. Use an ice cube first to rub the stain. Next, use a teaspoon of dish soap and warm water and blot out the stain with a clean cloth. Conversely, removing the coffee stain is a similar process minus the ice cube bit.

Ensure you repeat the process until the stain clears out.

5. Pet Pee

When your furry friend decides to help himself on your favorite couch, you have no option but to clean after the mess. It can be annoying and gross at the same time. If not handled immediately, pet pee can cause a foul odor to make you feel like dumping your chair. However, cleaning the pee is simple and needs to be hasty before it discolors your expensive fabric as well.

Use an equal ratio of white vinegar and water to dab the peed area thoroughly. Ensure the pee moisture is entirely over, and then sprinkle some baking soda to lift the odor. Allow the baking soda to dry, and then vacuum it to remove the residue. It will help if your pets stay out of your couch.

6. Make-up stains

Removing make-up stain successfully will need the combined effort of cleaning agents. Start by soaking the spot in a mixture of one-half teaspoon of liquid dish soap and a tablespoon of white vinegar in warm water. Allow it rest for 15 minutes, and then rinse it off. Repeat the process for as long as it takes until the stain clears as you pat dry between cycles.

You can also apply to rubbing alcohol to the stain from inwards out. If the color is still noticeable, soak the spot with a mixture of warm water and a tablespoon of enzyme detergent. Finish by rinsing with plain water.

7. Tomato Stains

These are common stains that toddlers put on your recliner. As tough as they look, they are pretty easy to remove.

They clean up with just ordinary soap and water combined with a few tricks. Avoid rubbing or pressing the stains and removing any pieces you can pick without damaging the fabric.

To eradicate the stain:

  1. Soak the area using lemon juice for about 15 minutes.
  2. Use white vinegar for white or bright colored fabric.
  3. Clean the entire area with soapy water by rubbing gently to clear the stain completely.
  4. Allow the area to dry away from direct sunlight.


Most stains pose a challenge, especially if they fall on an awkward or hard to clean yet visible area. The best way to avoid stains is by preventing them in the first place. But, accidents do happen. As we can’t stop them, we can only get better at cleaning them. Therefore, clean, soak, blot, or dab as soon as possible and always check your fabric’s cleaning requirements. Sooner than later, no stain will be a match to your cleaning tricks.


  • Andrew Smith

    Andrew Smith is the founder of CozySeating, is a father of 2, and an engineer from one of the leading furniture stores in the country. Due to his 10 years of experience, he has proved to be the best person to offer advice to clients regarding different seating furniture based on their needs and performance. Besides, he is a specialist in product reviews and always keeps up with the current trends in the market.

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