How to Repair Cigarette Burns in Cloth Upholstery

Updated February 21, 2017

Cigarette burns, no matter where they are located, can be very embarrassing. If they are in the car, they can ruin the resale value or cause buyers to turn away. If they are in the cloth upholstery of a couch or in curtains, they can be very noticeable and completely unattractive . . . not to mention expensive to get fixed. Although the following method can take a long time, it can be pretty effective, not only for fixing the problem, but also for alleviating the embarrassment of cigarette burns.

Did you know you can use mayonnaise to repair holes caused by cigarettes? Dab 1 tbsp of the mayonnaise onto the cloth where the burn mark is. Gently rub the mayonnaise into the top of the burn; do not let it soak to the bottom of the burn. The mayo will help bring out the burnt spot.

Let the mayo set in for 7 to 10 minutes. Once time is up, gently wash off the mayonnaise. The mayo should help "wash" off the black cigarette burn without bleaching the fabric. With the razor, gently cut away any black burn mark that was left behind.

If the hole is small enough, using the utility knife or razor, scrape some fibres from an unseen area of the fabric (the side of the cushion or the back of drapes, for instance). Using fabric glue, put a dot of glue over the burn hole and carefully glue on the fibres over the burn mark. Use tweezers to place the fibres perfectly over the cloth. The fibres will have to be placed one piece at a time to ensure that the hole is covered properly. Use the tweezers to adjust the fibres so they match perfectly.

If the hole is slightly larger, use the knife/razor to remove a small piece of fabric from the cloth (again, in an unseen place). Make sure the piece of fabric cut is about the same size/shape as the burn hole. Dab on a bit of fabric glue on the burn hole and use the tweezers to place the cut-out fabric over the hole. With the razor, trim the fabric piece if it is slightly too big for the burn hole.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • Razor or utility knife
  • Fabric glue or extra-strength fabric glue
  • Tweezers
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About the Author

Andrea Griffith has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been published by the "Western Herald," Detroit WDIV, USAToday and other print, broadcast and online publications. Although she writes about a wide range of topics, her areas of expertise include fashion, beauty, technology and education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Western Michigan University.