Does your microfiber sofa (or microfiber couch) look like a battlefield?
Orange juice, pet hair, and maybe a few tiny handprint stains are splattered all around. Don’t worry! You’ve come to the right place.
Microfiber sofas (also spelled ‘Microfibre’ depending on where you hail from) can be beautiful pieces for your house, as long as they’re cleaned well and properly maintained.
As this furniture style is quickly growing in popularity – knowing how to clean a microfiber sofa is now an ‘in-demand’ question for many – and this guide aims to walk you through everything you need to know!
What is Microfiber?
Microfiber is a human-made synthetic fiber comprised of polyester or polyamides (also known as nylon).
Each fiber is thinner than a strand of human hair and finer than silk.
The fibers’ small size allows them to be intertwined tighter, which creates a net-like, moisture, and stain-resistant surface.
Many manufacturers produce this material for cleaning fabrics, as nylon makes it electrostatic which helps absorb oils, dust, and bacteria.
Microfiber fabric is known for its softness, breathability, and cooling effect. It also prevents moisture from accumulating on the surface – perfect for repelling spills and preventing stains on a sofa.
This material is used in many products from makeup removing cloths and table linen through to athletic wear and yep, you guessed it – microfiber furniture!
Don’t Start Cleaning Until You Know Your Code
There are various types of microfiber materials, many of which require different cleaning methods.
Before you start to clean, you need to check the cleaning code information on the care tag (generally found attached to the frame or underside of the cushions).
These letters are located on the tag and indicate what type of cleaner you should use on your couch:
- W – means water-based cleaning only
- S – solvent-based cleaning only
- S-W – solvent-based or water-based cleaners
- X – X – means you should only use dry cleaning methods, such as a vacuum or light brush
No matter what the codes say, you should always spot test too. Pick a small and inconspicuous patch of your furniture and apply your chosen cleaning method to see if there is any unwanted reaction.
A Great Pre-Cleaning Tip
Nearly all microfiber furniture is good for cleaning with a vacuum cleaner so this is usually the perfect first step. As always, double-check your codes first but with a good upholstery attachment, you can easily remove all of the loose particles, dirt and dust -as well as achieving a deeper clean too.
Water-based solutions are often the easiest, safest and most-effective ways to clean your microfiber upholstery.
Cleaning With Water-Based Solutions
Total time: 1 hour
How to Clean a Microfiber Sofa With Baking Soda and Vinegar
Baking soda (or powder) and distilled white vinegar are two of the best natural and home DIY cleaning agents available – and most people usually have them already in the pantry and ready to go!
Baking powder is a simple and incredibly effective cleaning solution that dissolves dirt and grime as well as eliminates odours. Combine this with vinegar’s natural bacteria-killing acidity and this is a powerful furniture cleaner!
If you’re tackling your entire couch, add around four tablespoons of baking powder, two cups of warm water and two cups of white distilled vinegar – mixed well in a spray bottle.
Start with just a few small areas at a time and spray the mixture directly onto the couch. Brush gently with a scrub brush and let dry.
You may need to repeat this process a few times for best results.
How to Clean a Microfiber Couch With Soap and Water
This would have to be the easiest way to clean your microfiber upholstery – nothing is simpler than soap and warm water!
Fill a clean container with warm water and add a few drops of mild liquid soap. Mix well until you get suds.
Submerge a white cloth (or any light-coloured cloth) or sponge into the soap suds and wring out well. Be sure you wring out the warm water well as any standing water will eventually soak in and damage the fabric.
Gently rub the designated area (or entire couch if you prefer) in a circular motion across any stained patches or odours.
Pat dry with a dry, clean cloth, and repeat as necessary.
Once all areas are dry, take a dry, soft-bristle brush and rub it in circles across your couch or the section you’re cleaning. You can also vacuum it. This will lift the nap and give your sofa a refreshed look!
Cleaning With Solvent-Based Solutions
If you have some seriously stubborn stains and odours that water-based cleaners won’t do the job on, it’s time to consider ‘solvent-based cleaners‘. Cleaning microfiber upholstery with solvents is easy but requires care.
Follow the steps below for the best results:
How to Clean a Microfiber Sofa With Rubbing Alcohol
Before using solvent cleaners it’s extremely important to check your couch of sofa codes and make sure your furniture is suitable for these type of cleaners.
If your furniture is ‘solvent-friendly’ then start out with rubbing alcohol – this is the most commonly used and effective solvent-based cleaner.
All you’ll need to do is:
- Fill a clean spray bottle with rubbing alcohol.
- Spray a liberal amount of rubbing alcohol onto the stain or desired areas of the couch.
- Blot the alcohol areas with a white or light-coloured sponge or white cloth and let dry completely.
- Finish the job brushing with a soft-bristled brush.
This excellent video below by Aimee Nadow gives a quick and easy walkthrough on exactly how to use rubbing alcohol to clean your microfiber fabric:
Dry Cleaning Methods for Microfiber Furniture
Dry cleaning methods (such as a vacuum or bristled brush) are the only methods that are safe for upholstery that is marked with the ‘X’ cleaning code.
We won’t go into how to clean your couch with a vacuum or brush here, but it’s good to know that baking soda, used as powder, is also a safe and effective dry solvent that can clean and remove odours from microfiber products.
- Dust your couch with baking soda.
- Use a clean, dry, soft scrub brush to brush it into the fabric.
- Let the baking soda sit for at least one hour.
- Vacuum up the remaining powder.
These are the most commonly asked questions when it comes to cleaning microfiber fabric and furniture.
What Home Remedy Can I Use to Clean a Microfiber Couch?
You can easily create your own water-based solution at home. Mix a couple of drops of mild liquid soap, water, a capful of vinegar, and a little bit of baking powder.
For homemade solvent-based solutions, you can fill a bottle halfway with water and then mix it with a commonly-used solvent like rubbing alcohol or ammonia.
What is the Best Cleaner For Microfiber Couches?
It all depends on your sofas cleaning code. Most microfiber fabric has a solvent-based cleaning code though, so a solution like rubbing alcohol is often the most effective and cheapest cleaning solvent.
How Do You Clean Microfiber Suede Couches?
Cleaning microfiber suede is a little different to regular microfiber.
First, check the tag for the cleaning code. Fill a spray bottle with the correct solvent and spray the solution without soaking the couch.
Scrub softly with a scouring pad and then wipe with a wet, light-coloured towel and let dry.
Finally, scrub the suede back and forth using a scrub brush.
What Should I Avoid When Cleaning Microfiber Sofa?
You might have a few ideas of your own when it comes time to clean your microfiber couch, but don’t risk it. The damage isn’t worth it!
Here are a few things to avoid:
– Do not use any sort of bleach, as it can damage the fibres.
– When machine-washing microfibre upholstery, do not use fabric softener or wash with other items prone to lint.
– Do not use dark-coloured cloths, brushes, or sponges, as colours can transfer to the couch fabric.
– Make sure to use clean, lint-free cloths to remove microfibre stains.
– Never use a cleaning solution on X-coded microfibre couches.
Can You Shampoo a Microfiber Couch?
Yes, you can. But only use this method if your couch’s cleaning label reads W or S/W and if you do not have a microfiber suede sofa.
Using a steam or carpet cleaner can also be an effective way to deep-clean your sofa.
All you need to do is vacuum up dirt beforehand, fill the cleaner with the proper solvent or soapy water (depending on the cleaning code) and slowly move back and forth.
Go with the grain of your couch for best results.
Other than your bed, the sofa or couch should be one of the most comfortable and inviting spots in your house, but that’s only the case if it’s kept clean and in top condition.
Maintaining microfiber furniture can be intimidating as you don’t want to damage it – but if you follow the cleaning tips in this article we are confident you’ll be fine!
Hopefully, we’ve helped ease your mind around the possible complexities of cleaning your microfiber sofa.
P.S. – We have great cleaning guides for all sofa types, so if you have a few different sofas or are planning on getting another – you check them out below: