The secrets to cleaning a microfiber couch

April 24 | Guest post by Carrie

I will start this post with a disclaimer: I am not a professional couch cleaner or an expert on microfiber. I am an owner of a 10-year-old second-hand microfiber couch and I have tried and succeeded at keeping my couch looking relatively new by using this particular cleaning method.

First of all, for over-all cleaning of my cushions and pillows, I have the luxury of unzipping the padding from the covers and throwing them in the washer and then hang them to air dry.

I hang them on clothes hangers to dry. They look almost like new afterward.

I understand that some are not able to do that with their cushions and that you require another method of cleaning which tends to leave water spots. This is how I deal with that.
Here is a spot in the middle of the ottoman.

I use a damp rag with a bit of dish soap on it and scrub the spot.

Next I come in with my trusty shoe shining brush — I know that this sounds weird but this is what I use and it works. I brush the wet spots aggressively every 5-7 minutes until it completely dries. This seems to "feather" out the wet spot enough that it doesn't leave a water mark.

I use this same approach on the arms of the loveseat.

I use that same shoe shining brush to brush my couch every day to make it look neat and have nice lines on it.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, this is what has worked for me — this already-old couch has continued to serve my family well!

  1. This is great — we've got a microfiber couch that's getting on in years and my giant dog really loves it… I'll give these a try!

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  2. We have a microfiber couch that we do not love, but don't yet have the budget to get a new one (lesson learned, don't buy a new couch online, no matter how great of a deal it seems).

    I think I'll go and get a shoe brush too as yours seems to works so well. :)

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  3. Your microfiber couch is doing better than mine (they're about the same age). Mine is lighter, tho, and can't be unzipped (the cushions are annoyingly sewn into the couch).

    However, the best cleaning trick I found (via Pinterest, of course) is this: spray rubbing alcohol on and rub off with clean cloths.

    I've had the patience to do a few spots and it works. It's also hard work (there's years of grime on my couch, ewwww!). But it looks better, so every once in awhile I get out the rubbing alcohol and work on it some more.

    I think I'll try using a shoe brush, too, great idea!

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  4. What great ideas! I can't even fathom doing a brush touch-up on my couch every day though — maybe (*maybe*) when company is coming over, and that would be it!

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  5. we have a white microfiber couch (ohh husband, what were you thinking?), and we've had luck with renting a steam cleaner and cleaning it that way.

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  6. Ohhh thank you!! My couch is 3 years old and with two cats, it has gotten a weird color to it. I'm going to use these tricks to see if it cleans out.. And wash my cushion covers like you suggested. It should look amazing!!

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  7. I work at my in-laws furniture store with the whole family and absolutely love microfiber! It's by far the easiest to maintain. That being said, not all micros are created equal.
    Champion and Bella microfibers are my personal favorites. We clean our Champion upholstered sectional with Lysol Every Surface wipes about once a week (2 cats, springer spaniel & basset hound in Pacific NW) and it's amazing how much dirt comes off!

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  8. Great tips! Will have to try it on our couch. I'm having issues with the cushions losing their resilience/fluffiness (as my husband abuses the heck out of them). Anyone have any tips on how to get that back, or is it even possible? I have the kind of pillows that zip.

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    • Seat cushions? You might be able to order replacements from the manufacturer. I think you can buy cushion cores (density is usually between 1.5-2lbs) online pretty easily. Just measure and get the dimensions. Or go to a furniture store and ask if they could order replacements for you (some stores are happy to help, keep searching until you find one that will…and then shop with them when you need more furniture!).

      Back and accent pillows are primarily filled with Dacron, Joannes and Michael's sells bags of it. You'll probably have to cut a few stitches to get it in there.

      Hope this help!

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  9. I got a microfiber futon mattress because I heard they were the best material to have with pets and for some reason my dog's hair just STICKS to it – I can vacuum it and vacuum it and it's just like a magnet :| but the one thing I have found that does work is a slightly damp rubber glove run over the surface, that will pick up all of the hair when nothing else will – it's just bizarre! I had to share that in case any one else was having the same problem because I was just about at my wit's end with the thing until I figured that out. I am going to have to try this shoe shining brush for water marks now because it does have a few spots here and there – thanks for this post!

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  10. My microfiber has wet looking spots all over it. I just tried your idea and it seems to help. Do u put a spray to protect your couch from getting more spots or do u always have to scrub the spots. I seem to get a lot of wet spots with 4 children in the house. I am also a stay at home mom with 4 children and homeschool. I love it.

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  11. Great tips! Thank you! Has anyone had problems w/ the pillows you sit on sliding? They drive me nuts having to push them back into place several times a day!

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  12. I have 2 sets of microfiber couches (my husband had his own set when we moved in together) and I have 3 kids, a great dane, a mastiff and tons of little kids @ my house. My couches look horrible! I tried to clean a spill (or drool) and it turns into an even worse spot! I'm about to buy slip covers!! They are sooo comfortable but look so dirty!!! HELP!!!

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  13. Sounds fairly simple, I never would have thought to use dish soap though I would think that would leave spots or. Thanks for tip, gonna try this tonight when everyone's asleep and not sitting on it!

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  14. When I recently purchased a microfiber couch they told me to wipe spots with rubbing alcohol. :)

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  15. My microfiber couch does not have removable cushions. I tried everything to keep it clean, but ended up caving to a more traditional plan of attack: I use a spot shampooer designed for pet messes and shampoo the heck out of it a few times a year.

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  16. I have two sets of microfiber couches. I adore them they are very comfortable. Unfortunately we have many pets and they are getting grungy. One of our cats is old and has a tendency to get sick. He just so happened to throw up on our couch. Luckily I was able to get the stain out with rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth. I will have to see if my couch covers come off for the wash. Thanks for the idea!

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  17. I found that hot water and a washcloth work great on microfiber. When we bought our sofa and loveseat new, the salesman took a ball point pen and scribbled all over an area and then took a wash cloth rung out with just plain hot water and it came perfectly clean!

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