Can You Make A Couch Stain Resistant? Yes, But There Are Some Mistakes To Avoid.

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Can you make a couch stain resistant? Yes, and this article will show five ways to do just that, including a surprising one (#4) that’s free.

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Can You Make A Couch Stain Resistant?

If you’re trying to figure out, “Can you make a couch stain resistant?” the answer is yes! If you don’t already have a stain-resistant couch, here are five easy ways to alter your sofa so you don’t have to worry about stains anymore.

1. Apply A Stain Guard To the Couch Fabric

Can you make a couch stain resistant?

The best way to get rid of stains is not to get them in the first place, so apply a stain guard ASAP.

How do you apply stain protection? Here are the six steps to apply stain protection:

  1. Give the can a good shake to make sure the contents are well mixed.
  2. Test for colorfastness. Find a hidden area on your fabric and spray it until it’s wet. Then, wipe it vigorously with a white cloth. If any color rubs off, you shouldn’t use the spray on that fabric.
  3. Don’t overspray so the fabric is sopping wet. If you do overspray by accident, quickly wipe it up.
  4. Assuming the colorfastness test goes well, start spraying the protectant. Hold the can upright about 6 inches away from the fabric and use a slow, sweeping motion. It’s better to use two light coats than one heavy one.
  5. Let the fabric dry between coats.
  6. Reapply the stain guard after every cleaning or once a year.

2. Address The Stain ASAP (But Don’t Scrub Or Use Hot Water)

A woman cleaning a white couch.

Take care of stains immediately so they don’t have a chance to sink into the fabric. Follow these steps to get rid of a stain:

  1. Vacuum up any crumbs on the sofa.
  2. Use a clean cloth to absorb as much moisture or oil as possible.
  3. Sprinkle the area with baking soda and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Vacuum away the rest of the baking soda.
  5. Mix ¼ teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with 1 cup of cold water and spray the solution onto the cushion.
  6. Blot the area with a clean sponge or white cloth.
  7. Rinse the area with water, blotting excess moisture with a microfiber cloth or sponge. Allow the area to air dry and repeat as needed.

Don’t use hot water because it can cause the stain to set.

Don’t scrub the stain because this can rub it further into the fabric. Gently blot the stain instead.

3. Get A Stain-Resistant Couch Cover

If you don’t have removable, washable sofa cushion covers, you can get a washable couch cover instead. Couch covers come in all kinds of styles:

4. Consider Banning Food From The Couch

A woman sitting on a blue sofa holding a book in front of her face. On the coffee table is a cupcake. Next to it are the words: "No cupcakes allowed! :("

This might seem extreme, but banning food from the sofa is a great way to prevent stains. Plus, studies show that eating a family meal at a table increases fruit and vegetable consumption.

5. Put A Mattress Protector Between The Cushions And Cushion Covers

You can find mattress protectors that aren’t crinkly and plasticky sounding under your cushion covers. Adding this protective barrier prevents stains from sinking into the cushions, where odors from stains can linger.


Now that we’ve covered whether you can make a couch stain resistant, let’s cover more specifics on how to do that.

How Do You Protect Leather Couch?

To protect a leather couch from stains, wipe it down regularly with a clean cloth and water. Then condition it with a leather cleaner.

Does Scotchgard Work On Sofas?

Yes, Scotchgard works on sofas. Just make sure to test it on a small, hidden piece of the upholstery first to ensure it doesn’t change the fabric color.

Is Scotchgard Safe For All Fabrics?

Scotchgard is safe on cotton, polyester, acrylic, silk, wool, nylon, and most other washable fabrics. Scotchgard is not safe on “X” coded fabric (look for this code on a tag sewn into your couch fabric).

How Long Does Scotchgard Last On A Sofa?

Scotchgard lasts roughly six months on a sofa. Then you should reapply it.

How Do You Clean A Couch After Scotchgard?

If you get a spill on a couch after Scotchgard, blot it up ASAP with a clean cloth or paper towel. That should be all you need to do.

What Is An Alternative To Scotchgard?

Vectra is a suitable alternative to Scotchgard if you want something with gentler ingredients. Vectra is fluorocarbon-free, silicone-free, and safe on all kinds of fabric, from microfiber to suede.

Why Was Scotchgard Discontinued?

The old Scotchgard was discontinued because it was made with perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). PFOS is a chemical compound that, according to the CDC, stays in the body for over four years. In 2003, 3M reformulated Scotchgard and replaced PFOS with perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS). PFBS stays in the human body for one month

Is Scotchgard Chemically Forever?

No, Scotchgard sold in the US is not chemically forever anymore.

Is Scotchgard Safe For Pets?

Scotchgard is considered safe for pets, but if your pet has sensitive skin or allergies, you may want to use an alternative like Vectra instead.

What’s The Best Non-Toxic Fabric Protector?

Vectra and RepelWell are two non-toxic fabric protectors worth considering.


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Lucy Henderson is a Seattle-based home décor expert and creator of Palladio Interiors. She loves writing about design trends, home-interior inspiration, and home-decorating tips. She's a fan of coziness and simplicity.