How to Remove Stains From Scotch-Gard Protected Furniture

Jonae Fredericks

Scotchgard is the brand name for a product manufactured by 3M and invented by a chemist named Patsy Sherman. The chemical coating can be applied to upholstery, carpets and even clothing to successfully repel water and stains.

Under normal circumstances, you can simply wipe up a spill if the item it lands on has been protected with Scotchgard; however, some substances require a little more than just a wipe to prevent staining.

  1. Dab the stain immediately with a clean, dry cloth. If the spill has just occurred, act fast. Begin blotting immediately. If you are lucky, the Scotchguard will have inhibited penetration of the stain, which will just disappear.

  2. Blot the stain with a damp cloth if it has been allowed to set in. If you were unaware of a spill and are finding it hours later, blotting with the damp cloth should help to remove it. Keep blotting until the stain is gone.

  3. Use a specialty spot cleaner if the stain is stubborn. This is a likely scenario for stains that have become ground into the Scotchguard and ignored. Tackling a stain weeks or months later may require a little more elbow grease than a newer stain--and a few sprays of a spot cleaner. Lightly rub the stain with a clean cloth until it lifts away from the upholstery.

  4. Clean greasy stains off of furniture treated with scotchguard by first blotting the stain with a wet cloth, followed by a light rubbing with a spot cleaning agent. Continue alternating between the cleaning agent and the wet cloth until you have removed the stain.

  5. Ask a professional. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you just can't remove a stain—even if the furniture has been treated with Scotchguard. In cases such as this it is best to call in someone who can assess the stain and determine the best way to remove it. This is especially true with pet urine stains that can harbor an odor long after the stain is gone.

  6. Tip

    If you have a steam cleaner, use it to remove a harsh stain. But it is important to note that steam can remove Scotchguard coatings. You will need to reapply it once you have removed the stain.


    Never scrub an upholstery stain with a hard scrub brush or any other harsh cleaning agent. Not only do you risk wearing out the fabric, you could also tear it. Use an upholstery brush instead.