Australia has some of the most stringent anti-smoking laws on the planet. There are a large number of beaches where you can't light up, and you can't even smoke on the outdoor Queen Street Mall in Brisbane. One of the few places where you can quietly enjoy a cigarette or two is in the privacy of your own home. If you smoke inside your home, sooner or later you will probably have to solve the problem of patching a cigarette burn on your upholstery. It's a common problem, and it might simply be from a small amount of hot ash slipping from the tip of your cigarette without you noticing. It's not the end of the world, but it can result in an unsightly stain, or even a hole with burnt edges. So what exactly can you do when you accidentally stain or burn your upholstery with a cigarette?
Ash stains on sofas and other types of upholstery usually look worse than they are. The ash rarely penetrates beyond the surface level of the upholstery so removal is rather straightforward. You will need some dry cleaning solvent and a clean cloth (a flannel works well, but you might need to throw it out afterwards). Dry cleaning solvent can be found at most hardware stores, and you will only need a very small amount. Be sure to check that the solvent in question is compatible with your sofa's fabric (since some solvents are designed exclusively for natural fibres). Dampen the cloth and gently blot the stain. The stain should disappear, but you might need to blot it again for deeper stains.
Small Burn Holes
You can repair small cigarette burn holes yourself if you have the right tools. Using small, sharp scissors (manicure scissors are ideal), carefully cut around the circumference of the hole to remove the burnt edges.You will then need to cut a small piece of fabric from underneath the sofa, or from its back, or from somewhere it won't be noticed. Cut a piece approximately 1.5 cm larger than the hole it will be patching. Apply a small amount of fabric glue into the centre of the hole and around its edges. Only use fabric glue, otherwise the fabric will become stiff as the glue dries. Place the replacement fabric onto the hole and gently smooth the edges. You might wish to use tweezers so that you don't get any glue on your hands. Place some baking paper on top of the patch and then apply a weight (such as a book). Wait a few hours, and then remove the weight and baking paper.
Large Burn Holes
When it comes to larger burn holes where the cigarette has broken the surface of the fabric and left a noticeable indentation (where some of the stuffing has burnt away), the hole will need to have a small amount of stuffing applied before it can be patched. In these instances you're better off having the hole patched by an upholstery repairs specialist from a company like Action Upholstery Services. The minute amount of stuffing needs to be applied very precisely and you're unlikely to have anything suitable on hand. You might wish to have small holes repaired by an upholstery repairs specialist as well if you don't want to remove fabric from another part of the sofa. The specialist is likely to have suitable fabric for the repair job so that no cutting is required.
Burn holes and ash stains on upholstery can be annoying, but fortunately they're easy enough to rectify.