Bleach marks on sofa?
August 21, 2004 12:57 PM   Subscribe

Upholstory: a new sofa my girlfriend and I bought about three weeks ago seems to have gotten 'bleached' by small -- really, very, incredibly small -- quantities of water. Is this normal? Is there anything we can do about it? {MI}

So, we bought a nice sofa on sale from Crate & Barrel. Over the last few weeks we've noticed what look like bleach stains appearing on the cushions. Today we figured out that they're caused by water -- for instance, if you come out of the shower and rest your head on one of the cushions, even for a moment, a stain will result. These stains change the color of our sofa from a pleasant, neutral beige to a hideous, peachy orange!

The folks at C&B claim that the care instructions for the sofa said not to use 'water-based cleaning products,' and that we should've been on notice thereby that water could ruin the sofa. I say that this is ridiculous, because we've been using the sofa in a completely normal way; it is out of the bounds of reasonable expectation that small quantities of water can ruin a sofa. Certainly, large quantities of water cause water stains; small quantities of water, however, do not usually bleach fabric (right?). Furthermore, the sofa itself is stain-free; only the cushions are weird. To me, this spells "defective cushions."

Any knowledgeable MeFites know anything about upholstery or stains? Is this actually normal? Can it be undone?
posted by josh to Home & Garden (2 answers total)
You didn't mention the type of material the sofa's upholstered with.
If it's suede, here's some useful advice, courtesy of TipKing.
For poly/fiber blends and leather, a bit of XENIT is said to help,
though I'd check HowToCleanAnything's site first.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:32 PM on August 21, 2004

Hi :) Depending on the amount of minerals and what kind in your water, water can CERTAINLY "discolor" your upholstery.

Especially if your couch is in a sunny part of your home.

I *think* it's the alkaline content, but I am not SURE on that part. It could be really anything.

Also, you cannot "clean" that out. The upholstery has been discolored.

Also see here: for another list of stuff that causes this kind of damage.

Here's one last link for stain removal from fabric, which mentions water spots, but I am thinking that this is not the same thing - but just in case:

posted by erratic frog at 12:34 AM on August 22, 2004

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