Blue sofa next to a christmas tree

How to deal with 4 common seasonal sofa stains at Christmas

28th November 2023

As the old song goes: it’s the most, wonderful time, of the year! Unless you’re cleaning stains out of your sofa, that is. Your sofa tends to be at the centre of all the activity when the friends and family are round for Christmas, which means that it can often be first in the firing line when it comes to spills, stains and debris. 

Don’t worry though – that’s where we can help here at Cover My Furniture! We supply an extensive range of fitted sofa covers designed to make Christmas hosting a little less stressful with their machine washable design. If you’re dealing with a stain that’s already happened though, we’ve collected a couple of tried-and-tested techniques for some of the most common seasonal stains and debris, to help you get your sofa back to its original pristine state. 

We should add though, before you embark on any kind of cleaning action – even one with a proven track record – don’t forget to check your furniture’s cleaning instructions. A method that’s worked on a previous sofa might not necessarily work on your newest one, and the cleaning instructions will often specifically mention what you need to avoid. Always defer to these, and if there’s any ambiguity at all, don’t take the risk!


One of our favourite seasonal treats seems a whole lot less sweet when it’s smudged into your sofa fabric. The first thing to do is carefully scrape away the chocolate with a dull item – we’d suggest a butter knife. Now, as we’ve touched on above, before you do anything else, you’ll need to make sure you know how delicate your sofa fabric is before you use any kind of detergent on it, because it could even end up damaging it. 

Then, for more standard sofa fabrics (e.g. not silk), mix one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent with two cups of cold water, and dip a cloth into it. Rub the stained area carefully, making sure to work from the outside to inside. And of course, take a break every few moments to dip your cloth into the clean solution, otherwise you may just end up spreading the stain. Repeat these steps until the stain is gone. From there, you just need a dry cloth to blot away the remaining moisture, and then finish with a quick dab of water before leaving it to air-dry. 

Red wine

This is a particularly common stain that countless homeowners often find themselves contending with – and with the number of tipples that make the rounds during the festive season, it can be a particularly prominent risk! The good news is that because it’s so common, there are lots of well-proven ways to tackle it.

One of the most effective involves pouring baking soda over the stain, and coating it with vinegar. Then, give it a few moments for it to work its magic. You’ll probably see it bubbling quite a lot, but don’t worry – that means it’s working! From there, take a damp cloth and gently dab the area until the stain has been removed. Just as with the chocolate, make sure to work from the outside in. Remember, blot – don’t scrub!


Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas – there are lots of events that can be perked up by the unmistakeable sparkle of glitter. Annoyingly though, it can be notoriously hard to remove, especially if it’s managed to embed itself into your sofa. One good solution might seem a little left-of-field – it’s a lint roller. (You might already have one handy if you’re a pet owner!) Just run the lint roller over the affected area, and peel off the adhesive paper as necessary. 

You may hear some other people recommend duct tape or masking tape for this, but it’s not an option we’d personally recommend here at Cover My Furniture – there’s too much of a risk of you damaging your furniture. 

A handheld vacuum on a lighter setting can also help to get the worst of it up, especially if you’ve already “swept” the majority of it into one place with a lint roller. Once you’ve got the majority of it up, you can then use a microfibre cloth to tackle the rest, lightly dampening it as necessary. Once again though, just make sure you first check it before you use it on an upholstered sofa, as certain fabrics can be damaged if you clean them too vigorously with water. 

Pine needles

Pine needles can embed themselves in much the same way that glitter can, and they’re certainly an unmistakeably festive issue. For these, it might seem like your vacuum cleaner is the natural go-to choice, but because the needles are sticky, they can sometimes build up in the tube. In the best case scenario this can cause blockages, and in the worst case scenario it can even damage your vacuum. 

To be honest, a handheld sweeper is probably your best option for cleaning up pine needles on your furniture, as the bristles are ideal for coaxing the pine needles out onto a dustpan. You might find again that a lint roller can help you do the job at least partially, depending on how many needles you’ve got scattered about. 

You’ll note a common theme running throughout this post – namely, always use your judgement and don’t risk a certain technique unless you’re absolutely certain it won’t harm your sofa. If you’re not, sure, it’s generally best to turn to professional cleaners. It might seem like an irritating expense, but it’s better than making a mistake which causes permanent damage to your sofa. 

And of course if you’re looking for the best ways to protect your sofa in future, you’re in exactly the right place. Fitted sofa covers are perfect for doing just that, because they’re machine-washable, thereby taking the stress and hassle out of dealing with a wide variety of spills and stains. 

As a family business with more than 60 years of experience to our name here at Cover My Furniture, we provide a comprehensive range of fitted sofa covers to choose from, encompassing a huge range of shades – from cooler colours like blue and green to warmer tones like orange and yellow, and everything in between. That means whatever your interior style, we’ll have something to suit you. Why not take a look around our site, and see what you can find?

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