take it from us : removing stains from furniture

Egads! It's happened to you! You find that your friend, your kid, (you), has spilled something on your couch. The panic sets in. Gone are the days when you can just turn that cushion over because, hey, you got it off the curb anyway. You are an adult now. You have to do something about it.

When Hawk and I took the plunge and recently purchased a new rug, two new lounge chairs (they are seriously cool) and a new sofa, we said no eating, drinking, coloring, painting, or shoes allowed in the living room. And two weeks later, we had 2 marker events and one lunch-that-didn't-stay-down. Yikes.

Most recently, the little guy brought his dry-erase markers from the kitchen play area into the living room. I heard no no no dawing and knew that at that very moment, he was doing the very thing he told himself not to do. (What a parody of the human soul!) I rushed in to find that the painted wood window seat was covered in orange marker, and yes, heavens fall down, one of the couch cushions.

Hawk was going to kill me. Slowly.

Mom Hawk has said time and again that if we get spills on furniture to do the following. I can now say that having performed the remedy 3 times, it is entirely successful. We have removed marker, vomit (just a wee bit, friends who-come-over-and-sit-on-our-furniture) and coffee (mea culpa) in the last three weeks. Let me tell you how it's done.

you need:
a FRESH stain -- can't be allowed to set, so break out the goods while the guests or there or plan to explain that stain later, like THIS:
1 cup lukewarm-to-slightly-cold water, container w/ pourable spout a plus
a Shop-Vac
a sense of humor and humility
buns of steel (just kidding, it came to mind so I wrote it)

1. RESIST the urge to wipe/mop/press on the stain. Walk away now. Count to ten. Resist.
2. Get the shop-vac
3. Remove the bag (or it will get water inside and will mold and rip)
4. Put it back together (sounds obvious, but hey, you never know)
5. Get some water in that snazzy container

6. Pour a very small amount of water over the stain, just enough to cover the surface, and not enough that it will soak beneath the first layer.

7. Shop-vac the water/stain area.

8. Repeat with 6 & 7 until the stain is gone. If it's not out after 3 dosings, you're stuck with it. What did you spill???

Also, I found one set of dry-erase marker on the back of the couch days after it must have happened. It's still there. Shucks. So the #1 step is the most important--catch it while it's fresh!

So there you have it friends, a tried and true way to remove stains. We've used the same method on our new rug (coffee...) and it was spiffy. Just spiffy.

Let me know if you have to apply the method. I will both commiserate and give you made props.

Happy Thursday!



  1. 1) Seriously awesome post. Our new ottoman thanks you.

    2) Hilarious picture. So good to see you all (almost all--sorry Hawk) yesterday! We need to get together more. Obviously.

  2. mad props!!! I'm happy for your ottoman; those items take a beating! Great to see you too:)

  3. Sweet! Good to know!! For laundry stains I do a dawn, baking soda, H2O2 mix that is awesome!

  4. Cute baby picture. can you send it to me?


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