You can save your upholstery fabrics from most liquid spills if you treat them fast enough. Most upholstery fabric purchased today comes treated with a fabric protector such as Teflon or Scotchgard. A primary benefit of these protectors is that they prevent most spills from penetrating the fabric for at least 30 seconds. In those first seconds most spills can be easily absorbed with a cotton towel and a damaging stain thwarted.
Unfortunately, when spills occur most people are indecisive about the best course of action. By the time an absorbant towel is located and applied to the spill, it is too late.
In your living and family rooms place a small white cotton hand towel under a seat cusion to be used for emergency spills. Advise everyone in the family where the towel is located (for example, under the cushion). Have a practice “spill drill”. Let each family member imagine there has just been a spill on a chair. Go to the sofa, lift the center seat cushion and pull out the hand towel. Quickly take the towel to the spill and gently place it on top of the spill ( do not rub, smash or scrub). The towel will be far more absorbent than the protected fabric. In most cases this action alone can prevent permanent staining.
Hot spills such as coffee will penetrate the fabric protector much faster, so quick response is vital.
Fabric protector is essential for keeping your upholstered furniture looking good for a long time. Always ask if it has been applied when you purchase a new piece of upholstered furniture. The protector will not come off later during cleanings, but it will wear off in normal use. It should be restored periodically when you have the fabric professionally cleaned.