Abracadabra! Greasy Oily Stains Disappear Like Magic!

Have you ever gotten an oily, or greasy stain on a favorite shirt or, ::gasp:: on an upholstered piece of furniture and had to throw it out or in the case of furniture, try and strategically “hide” the stain with a throw pillow or by flipping a cushion? Well I sure have, lot’s and lot’s of times, so that is why I am seriously so excited to share with you this 10 Fitch Innsider Secret!

But first let me tell you about our red couch because I think you will have a greater appreciation for the “magic” that I’m going to share with you once I do. The couch is a super comfy, red sofa that is a focal point of Equestrian Suites living room. It looks great in the room and our guests love it.

The problem is that our guests also enjoy things like chocolate and cheese fondue, antipasto & cheese plates and entire dinners in their room while sitting on this couch so it does get pretty dirty and unfortunately, since it is all one solid color, with no pattern and no texture, ANYTHING you get on it sticks out like a sore thumb. To make matters worse, the fabric is such that the red color actually comes off and leaves a lighter area if you try and spot clean, even with just plain water and a clean cloth. Needless to say, keeping this sofa clean and fresh looking has been, well, shall I say… a challenge.

There are two loose cushions on the back and two on the seat, which the red covers zip off of so, early on in our new venture as innkeepers, after we discovered some pretty nasty looking grime on the cushions, we decided to try removing the covers and run them through the washing machine. I was terrified that they would fall apart or end up pink or shrink and not fit back on the cushions and I was soooo relieved when that did not happen but I have felt the same terror each of the 6 plus times that we have washed them since! The washings have faded them some and in the right light you can detect a slight color difference between the cushions and the rest of the couch so the last time we were forced to wash the covers I thought, “Well, I don’t think we are going to be able to do that again. The next step is to either have the couch reupholstered or buy a new one.”

So my heart sank the other day when I went into Equestrian and began cleaning after our guests checked out and on the arm of the couch was a very large, very dark spot from something obviously liquid. I felt it and couldn’t tell what it was but I was hoping it was just water and that when it dried it wouldn’t leave too bad a water stain.

I went about my business stripping the bed, starting the laundry and cleaning the bathroom and came back some time later to inspect the stain and it was still there, just as dark and as big as it was before. I realized then that this was not water. I felt it again and looked at my fingers. Hmmmm… I was guessing it was something oily. There was no way I could unzip the fabric from the arm of the couch and wash it in the machine so I didn’t know what to do.

Then I remembered reading somewhere, probably on Pinterest… btw, if you are not on Pinterest you might be interested to know you can find some of the most helpful DIY tips there, anyway, I heard that you could absorb oily stains on fabric and carpets with corn starch and I thought, “Ok, I guess we’ll give that a try.”

So, downstairs I trotted to the kitchen and retrieved the container of cornstarch and a teaspoon and back upstairs I headed to Equestrian and the offending stain then I proceeded to take a spoonful and dump it on the arm of the couch over the stain and then I smooshed the cornstarch into the fabric with the back of the spoon. I worked it in for a minute or two and then left it as I finished what I had to do in the rest of the suite. About an hour later I went back with the vacuum and a small brush attachment and vacuumed up the corn starch. I was completely amazed as the cornstarch disappeared and along with it, every trace of that oily stain! Just like magic!

Then I was upset with myself for not having taken photos to prove how great it worked! So guess what? A couple days later, as I was contemplating what Innsider Secret I would share in the October newsletter, I decided to re-create the magic trick and took the photos below 🙂

Isn’t that amazing!? I even tried this on some older stains but the cushion covers had already been through the wash at least once and the cornstarch didn’t remove them completely although it did seem to lighten them further.

So, I hope that if you ever spill something oily or greasy on a rug, furniture, or clothing that this Innsider Secret will come to mind so you can give it a try.

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10 Fitch, your romantic escape in NY states beautiful Finger Lakes region.

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