3 Ways to Remove Beer Stains From Upholstery

How to remove beer stains from upholstery?

Who doesn’t enjoy a beer at the end of a very long week, or as an addition to a party with friends? Beer comes in so many variants these days that most people will find one they love. However, one downside of beer is that it tends to leave pretty annoying stains.

The problem with beer, like most liquids, is that it swiftly permeates upholstery. This means that it becomes harder and harder to extract with time. Beer also has a distinctive smell that is nice when you drink it, but not so nice when it lingers on your furniture. Fortunately, both fresh and dried stains are entirely possible to remove. Read on to find out how.

Before you begin

For the sake of your safety as well as not damaging your upholstery, please read our safety tips.

  1. If you are using any type of detergent, please do not clean around children and pets.
  2. Before attempting to clean the stain, perform a safety test on a hidden patch of furniture. Apply the solution to it and wait around 10-20 minutes. If there are no stains or discoloration, the solution is safe to use.
  3. If using detergent, we recommend wearing gloves and airing out the room.
  4. Never scrub too hard when trying to clean upholstery, unless you know the material is sturdy.
  5. Do not attempt to dry the stain with hot air, as it might make it permanent.
  6. Be careful not to overwet the fabric. Too much moisture can damage some types of furniture.

Easy ways to remove beer stains from upholstery

Beer doesn’t differ from most other stains – it’s easier to clean when you act quickly. However, with fresh stains, you will want to be careful not to rub the alcohol further into the upholstery.

Whether you’ve just discovered an older stain or you’re trying to perform damage control on a fresh stain, we’re confident that our methods will help you. Read our tips to find out how to remove beer stains from upholstery using things found in your home.

Method #1: Using liquid dish soap

Time: >20 minutes

Required items: lukewarm water, white vinegar, liquid dish soap, clean cloth, a sponge

This is a method recommended for fresh beer stains.

  1. Start by soaking up any excess liquid using a cloth or paper towels. Be gentle.
  2. Soak a sponge in lukewarm water and blot the area thoroughly.
  3. Get rid of the moisture by blotting the stain with a clean, dry cloth.
  4. Next, mix a few drops of liquid dish soap with some lukewarm water.
  5. Apply the solution onto the stain and gently rub it in with a sponge. It should foam.
  6. Leave it to sit for about 10 minutes.
  7. Rinse with clear, cold or lukewarm water using a clean sponge or cloth.
  8. Repeat the steps if needed. Otherwise, leave it to air dry.

Method #2: Using turpentine

Time: >30 minutes

Required items: lukewarm water, clean cloth, a sponge, liquid dish soap, turpentine, white vinegar

This method is recommended for stubborn, older stains. Before using white vinegar or turpentine, test them on a small patch of upholstery first.

  1. First, sponge the area with cool water to freshen the stain.
  2. Mix equal parts white vinegar and liquid dish soap.
  3. Apply the solution to the stain and leave it to sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Rinse with clear, lukewarm water using a sponge or a clean cloth. Be thorough.
  5. If the stain remains, sponge it with turpentine. Keep your window open.
  6. Leave the turpentine for around 5 minutes, then rinse it very thoroughly.
  7. After blotting thoroughly to remove any traces of turpentine, leave the furniture to air dry.

Method #3: Using rubbing alcohol

Time: >30 minutes

Required items: paper towels, clean cloth, white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, a sponge

This method will work on both dry and fresh stains.

  1. If the stain is fresh, blot it with a paper towel to soak up as much moisture as you can.
  2. For older stains, sponge the area with cold water – it should be completely moist.
  3. Mix ⅔ of a cup of rubbing alcohol with a tablespoon of white vinegar.
  4. Soak a clean cloth in the solution.
  5. Press the cloth to the upholstery, allowing it to absorb the beer from the stain.
  6. Keep pressing. Change the cloth if needed, and keep reapplying the solution to it so that it’s always fresh. You may need to repeat this process several times depending on the severity of the stain.
  7. When the stain is completely gone, sponge some cool water onto the area. You can also use a cloth for this. 
  8. Blot several times to clean all of the solution.
  9. Using a clean cloth, blot the area dry, then leave the furniture to air dry further.

What’s next?

Beer stains, while problematic – also due to the smell – are not the worst stains out there. They’re water-based, which makes them easier to remove than, as an example, oily stains.

You can freely try out all of our methods and repeat them as necessary, as they have a very low risk of damaging upholstery. However, remember to always test them on a hidden part of your furniture first.

If the stain is a stubborn one, you can try to use liquid laundry detergent or a professional stain remover. There are stain removers that are dedicated to upholstery, and those may have the best success rates. If all else fails, consult an upholstery cleaning service to avoid damaging your furniture.

If you’ve managed to get rid of the stain, but the smell of alcohol lingers, we recommend using some baking soda. Mix it with water to create a thick paste and apply it to where the stain used to be, then weigh it down with something heavy. You can leave it for up to a few hours, then vacuum it up. Baking soda will absorb all odors.

The next time you run into trouble with a beer stain, just remember to act quickly. They’re the easiest to remove if you act fast, but even with older stains, if you’re persistent, you will be able to save your furniture.