Ben asked: How do I clean perished rubber stains from upholstery? There were some rubber feet on a piece of equipment that had gotten sticky through old age. Inadvertently, this was placed on the upholstery arms of an armchair, leaving small, black rings. How do I clean these off?
Perished rubber is simply old, gummy or otherwise broken-down rubber. Infamous for leaving black marks, streaks and rings, perished rubber can make a real mess on contact. However, there is a solution. If your upholstery had an unfortunate run-in with this substance, these steps should have it looking good as new.
You Will Need:
- Butter knife or spoon
- Goddard’s Dry Clean Spot Remover (or upholstery cleaner recommended by the furniture manufacturer)
- Soft cloths
Steps to Remove the Rubber Marks:
- Before you begin, test a hidden spot for color fastness to both the water from the ice and the solvent from the dry clean spot remover or upholstery cleaner.
- Apply the ice directly to the stain. Wait several moments for the rubber residue to harden.
- Use the blunt tip of a butter knife or spoon to gently scrape solid residue from the upholstery.
- Next, following the label directions, use the dry clean spot remover to work on the remaining stain. Goddard’s comes with a built-in brush to aid in spot removal. If you use another cleaner, you may need a soft brush to help with the job. A toothbrush should do the trick.
- Wipe away any residue with a clean, soft cloth.
- Once the rubber is removed, allow the area to dry completely.
Additional Tips and Advice
- Dry clean spot remover should be safe for most fabrics, but any product that’s safe for your upholstery should remove the residue.
- Many types of oils will also remove rubber residue. Make sure you spot test before using oil on upholstery however, because it may stain. After removing as much of the solid pieces as you can, try orange, eucalyptus or tea tree oil. Use a soft cloth and a bit of elbow grease to work the stain out.
- True rubber solvent is an industrial product, so if your initial cleaning efforts aren’t met with success, it may be time to call in a professional.