I am 34 weeks pregnant and in serious nesting mode. Today I was vacuuming my couch, just to satisfy a bee in my bonnet, and the stains were bothering me SO much. They needed to be fixed. Right then.
So I went back to Google. I found old posts that I had pinned on pinterest in the past and not had luck with. It seemed like there was nothing out there that I hadn't tried. So I decided to try those same things, again. Maybe I just needed to be more determined like I was this time.
This is what I was starting with. I am embarrassed to even post these "before" pictures.
They were so disgusting. But you need to see how terrible they were to start to appreciate the "after" picture.
So I started with the first set of tips that I had tried before. I sprayed the stains with rubbing alcohol, wiped at them with a rag to try to spread out the ring around the edge, and then let them dry. It was terrible. I just had new stains on top of the old stains. Every spot I had sprayed just left a new ring. That's what had happened last time I had attempted this, and that's when I had thrown in the towel on our couches.
But then I found a tip on another website to blow dry the cushions after cleaning them to speed up the drying process and reduce the chances of getting a ring. Ah ha! I decided to try that. So I sprayed the entire cushion pretty soaked with straight rubbing alcohol. I didn't want any of the sprays to leave new rings, so I sprayed the entire thing. Then, instead of using a lame-o rag that hadn't done anything, I used a fingernail brush (a potato brush would work too) and scrubbed that cushion, paying special attention to areas that had rings. When I was done, I used my hair dryer and dried the whole thing. This is how it looked:
It was definitely an improvement. But I wanted it to look better. I could still see some stubborn stains. I wanted to be really wowed by the results. So I tried another tip I found on google. Some people said that using baby wipes worked like a charm. So I scrubbed the entire cushion with baby wipes. It took a lot of baby wipes, because they kind of dried out pretty fast. They didn't really get up a lot of dirt, but they moistened the whole cushion. I scrubbed particularly hard where the water stains were. Then I blew the whole thing dry. This is how it looked:
I was pretty impressed. Especially when I compared the clean cushion to the dirty cushion beside it.
So I wondered... was it the combination of the two methods that worked, or was it just the baby wipes? So I moved onto my next cushion. This time, I did just baby wipes all over the entire thing. Blew it dry. This was how it looked:
Again, an improvement, but I felt like I could do better. There were still some stubborn stains. So I did my rubbing alcohol and fingernail brush over the top. It looked great. Especially next to the last dirty cushion.
So on my third and last cushion, I got the perfect combination. And THIS, my friends, is how I managed to successfully clean the water stains off of my couch:
- If you have removable couch cushion covers, take them off and wash them in your washing machine. Then you won't have to do any of this. Some people don't even realize this is an option.
- Vacuum your couch free of dirt and debris.
- Spray one area of your couch with rubbing alcohol. Work in small-ish areas so you can dry it before it starts drying on its own. I did half of a cushion at a time. Get the entire area equally wet with your rubbing alcohol. It smells, but it will fade when it dries.
- Scrub the entire wet area with a fingernail or potato brush, really focusing on the areas where you can see water stains. Approach the stains from different angles rather than just brushing along the same straight line for the whole cushion. I would scrub from different angles and then brush it all smooth to see if I could still see the lines of the water ring. If I could, I would keep scrubbing until they had faded. If I couldn't I moved on to the next spot.
- Using baby wipes, wipe the entire area. My baby wipes turned brown pretty fast. But when I used just baby wipes first, or when I dried in between the alcohol step and the baby wipe step, my wipes didn't really get that much dirt. Using it directly on the cushion that was freshly scrubbed really got off a lot of the grime, especially along the edges.
- Blow dry the area to help it dry evenly.
- Repeat if needed. I had a few stains that were really stubborn, but usually the second time through, they came totally clean.
- Continue, working through areas of the couch until you have covered them all.
- Step back and enjoy the fact that your couch almost looks brand new.
One last time, here is the before and after. Holy cow.