Microfiber fabrics are durable and affordable, yet like most materials, they can get stained and dirty. Our comprehensive guide shows you just how to clean your microfiber couch.
Cleaning a microfiber couch can be a bit of a challenge. Microfiber is generally made with polyester or a blend of polyester fibers and is prone to watermarks. Polyester is oleophilic (has an affinity for oil), which is why high-touch areas of the couch or chair quickly appear dirty or soiled—this is where the oil from your hands or hair makes the most contact with the fabric.
Always check the manufacturer's care label so that you know which one of the two methods below to use. But with these steps and tips, you'll learn how best to clean a couch upholstered in microfiber and be able to tackle removing gum, grease stains, and odors too.
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How Often to Clean a Microfiber Couch
Regular maintenance will help keep a microfiber couch looking its best and smelling fresh. The couch should be vacuumed weekly to remove surface dust and dirt before it is ground into the fibers. This is particularly critical if pets have access to the upholstery. Spills and stains should be treated as quickly as possible for the easiest removal.
The couch should be thoroughly cleaned at least seasonally or monthly if it receives heavy use from pets and kids.
Equipment / Tools
- Vacuum with crevice and upholstery tools
- Spray bottle
- Soft-bristled brush or sponge
- 2 Buckets or large bowls
- Microfiber cleaning cloth
- Upholstery brush (optional)
- Whisk (optional)
- Liquid dishwashing soap
- Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
- Baking soda (optional)
- Upholstery or carpet cleaner (optional)
How to Clean a Microfiber Couch With Soap Suds and Water
If your couch has a W or W-S tag, it can be safely cleaned with soap suds and water.
Vacuum the Couch
Always begin your cleaning session by vacuuming every surface of the upholstery (don't forget the underside of cushions). Pay particular attention to crevices and stitched seams that can collect soil.
Mix the Cleaning Solution
Place four cups of warm water in a bucket or large bowl. Add one-fourth cup of liquid dishwashing soap. Use a whisk to create lots of soapy suds. Fill a second bucket with plain water.
Dip and Scrub With Soap Suds
Carefully dip the scrubbing brush or sponge in just the soap suds (not the water). Starting at the top of a cushion or the couch back or arms, evenly spread the suds and scrub well. Starting at the top and working your way down will prevent dirty suds from dripping onto already cleaned areas. Rinse the brush or sponge frequently in clean water and make sure it is as dry as possible as you repeat the steps with fresh soap suds.
Rinse and Fluff
Once an area has been cleaned, slightly dampen a microfiber cleaning cloth with plain water and wipe down the area. Allow the fabric to air-dry completely. Use a vacuum or upholstery brush to fluff any matted fibers.
How to Clean a Microfiber Couch With Rubbing Alcohol
If the care tag shows an "S," it must be cleaned with a solvent like rubbing alcohol, dry cleaning solvent, or a solvent-based upholstery or carpet cleaner.
Before using your solvent, carefully vacuum every fabric surface on the couch.
Apply the Cleaning Solution
Place the rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and lightly spritz the fabric, starting at the top of a cushion or section. If using a commercial product, follow the label directions.
Scrub Away Soil
While the fabric is damp with the rubbing alcohol, use a sponge, soft-bristled brush or white cloth to remove soil. Rinse the sponge in plain water to remove soil and wring to remove as much moisture as possible before continuing to clean.
Dry and Fluff
Allow the upholstery to air-dry and then use a vacuum or upholstery brush to lift any matted fibers.
How to Tackle Tough Stains and Odors
Sprinkle grease stains with cornstarch and work it in with an old toothbrush. Allow it to sit for at least one hour and vacuum away. Repeat if needed. The cornstarch will absorb the oil. Spot clean the area with either the soap suds or rubbing alcohol method.
Place ice cubes in a sealed plastic bag and put them on top of the chewing gum so it will harden. Use a dull knife or your fingernail to break away the hardened gum. Work slowly and refreeze the gum as needed. Remove any remaining stain with either the soap suds or rubbing alcohol method.
Before bedtime, sprinkle the entire couch with plain baking soda. Use a soft-bristled brush to work it in lightly. The next day, vacuum away the baking soda and the odors.
Bedding and Upholstery Regulations. Department of Labor and Industry, Government of PA.