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University of Illinois Extension

Upholstery Products and Tools

Product Process Special Notes Where to Purchase
Acetone/ nail polish remover
(without lanolin base)
  (DO NOT use acetone on acetate or acrylic fibers) Discount stores
Alcohol, rubbing   Also known as isopropyl Discount stores
Ammonia Mix one tablespoons clear, white non-suds ammonia in ½ cup of cool water (Caution: Never mix chlorine bleach and ammonia - fumes are hazardous) Discount stores
Baking soda or cornstarch   Used to absorb the stain Supermarket store
Bacteria enzyme digester Follow directions Used for pet stains Hardware stores- flooring department
Dry cleaning fluid - solvent
a nonflammable spot removal liquid, any brand
Apply first to a cloth and use the cloth to apply the fluid to the stain. Be sure to follow manufacturer's directions for use. (Note: Dry Cleaning Fluid cannot be purchase in all states.)
KR2, Aerosol version of Shout, or Spray'n'Wash
Woolite Spray Foam™
Discount or hardware stores.
Hydrogen peroxide Use an eye dropper to apply A mild bleach Discount and drug stores
Liquid dishwashing detergent 1 teaspoon of mild liquid detergent (with no optical brighteners) to 1 pint of cool water Examples of safe detergents are Dawn® and Joy®, Ivory® Discount stores
Paint thinner or turpentine     Hardware and Paint stores
Oxygen or non-chlorine bleach   Clorox 2, OxiClean®, Discount stores
Pre-wash stain remover, liquid laundry detergent or paste made of granular detergent and water   Shout, Spray 'n' Wash, Tide, Cheer, All Discount and Supermarket stores
Spot removal kit Detergent Solution:     Detergent and vinegar solution:   1 teaspoon of mild liquid detergent (with no optical brighteners) to 1 pint of cool water 1 teaspoon detergent; 1 teaspoon white vinegar; 1 quart water Oxiclean®, Power Kit, See Spot Go Discount and Supermarket stores
White vinegar 1 pint of water with 1 pint of white vinegar   Supermarket stores

For Upholstery Stains - Suggested Tools

  • Brown paper bag (grocery)
  • Cotton Balls
  • Dull table knife
  • Eye dropper
  • Iron
  • Pad of absorbent material, white cloth towels
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic bag for ice cubes
  • Sponge
  • Whisk to make suds