Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to Clean Your Microfiber Couch

Keith and I have had our couch and arm chair for over eight years. To be honest, we bought these because we liked the way they looked. We didn't realize how durable microfiber is. Most spills wipe off very easily. Rocky, our little dog once got ahold of a bottle of red food coloring and got it all over the couch. Amazingly, that wiped off too! However, after eight years of kids and dogs eating, playing, jumping and sleeping on it, the couch is starting to look a little worn and dirty. The covers of the cushions do come off, but I have always been a little nervous about washing them in the washing machine.

This one cushion is Rocky's favorite place to sleep! It's also the dirtiest spot on the couch!

I ws so excited when I stumbled onto Chris and Robin's Nest. They shared this great method for cleaning your microfiber furniture. Instead of using water to clean your couch, you use alcohol. Water can make watermarks, but the alcohol evaporates so fast that it doesn't.

You will need:

* 99% Isopropyl Alcohol - I used 2 - 16 oz bottles
* a clean, dry, spray bottle
* new scrub sponges - one half a scouring pad and the other side a sponge. I bought a 3 pack because I had a large area to clean.
* a clean, dry, soft scrub brush - the bristles shouldn't be any harder than a toothbrush. A clean shoe brush might work well too.
* a toothbrush (optional) for areas like the binding
* paper towels or white rags for really dirty spots



Make sure you do this in a well ventilated area.

First pour the alcohol into your spray bottle. My sprayer actually fit on the alcohol bottle. They spray a small area of the couch. A 2ft x 2ft area should be the biggest area at a time. The alcohol will evaporate too fast if you spray a larger area. So spray and then wipe with the sponge side. After you wipe way the dirt, rub the area with a circular motion with the scrubby side. This will help refluff the fabric. Pay careful attention to the binding.

Look how much dirt came off!!!

Let the couch completely dry! I think my couch was completely dry within an hour. The fabric may feel a little stiff still. This is where the scrub brush and toothbrush come in. Rub the fabric with the dry brush in a circular motion. The toothbrush may be helpful to refluff the binding.

Now for my results:

This was Rocky's favorite gross!!!

This was Rocky's favorite spot after washing!!! I am sooo amazed! For this area I did use several paper towel after spraying. It was too dirty for just the sponges. I kept spraying and wiping until I got off the dirt.

This was one of the seat cushions. As you can see there were several watermarks on it.

After, the watermarks look better, but they are not completely gone. But, it is definitely a huge improvement!

The arms were also really dirty from everyones hands toughing them. The microfiber was slick and shiny. Yuck!

Ta-da! It now looks like new!

No sooner had I put the couch back together, when Rocky was right back in his favorite spot! Oh well, at least I know how to clean the couch now! Ha ha!


  1. this is awesome I need to clean the back and didn't know how, I do put the cushion covers thru the washer and dryer and they work great, we have a dog named Rocki who loves to also sleep on our couch he is a bit larger so not on top, thanks for the idea for cleaning.

  2. I have been looking for this information for years! Thank you!!!!!! Thank you thank you!!!

  3. Love this! I can't wait to try it out.

  4. I am so excited to try this! Right now, I use my steam cleaner with just the water but I am so freaked out the whole time I'm doing it that I'm going to ruin my couch! Thanks so much!

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  6. Every microfiber is different...some can be cleaned with water, some with NO water (alcohol ok) and some dry clean only. The furniture should have a tag with a cleaning symbol on it. I believe W=water, S=solvent only,no water, SW=water or solvent, x=dry clean

  7. Thanks for commenting ! Couch Cleaning Couch Cleaning .

  8. Enjoyed your article.. I also originally read Chris and Robins Nest...great info, thanks for sharing..
    If your cushions need some fluffing after cleaning, open them and add more " Batting "...Sofa will look brand new...

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  10. An X doesn't mean dry clean, it means vacuum only. All our cushions are attached anyway and it seems impractical to attempt to dry clean and couch

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  13. What helpful information! I have a microfiber L shape sectional in beige like yours. I also have a little Shitzhu like Rocky! (I'm guessing that's what he is) He curls up exactly like your little. My couch isn't ready for a cleaning yet, but I Pinned this for when it's time. Thank-you!