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How To Clean A Microfiber Couch So It Looks Brand New

A chair with a bottle of cleaning spray on it, demonstrating how to clean a microfiber couch.

In order to learn how to clean a microfiber couch properly, it’s important to understand how microfiber differs from other upholstery, as well as how those differences affect its cleaning and care needs. In this post, you’ll find out everything you need to know about cleaning and caring for microfiber furniture, and be ready to restore your microfiber couch to its original glory!

Microfiber upholstery has quickly become one of the most popular choices for furniture, thanks to its affordability, durability, and moderate resistance to stains. It’s also fairly easy to clean, especially with the help of all the great cleaning tips you’ll find throughout this post!

Your microfiber couch will have a cleaning code on it letting you know whether to use a solvent or water to clean it.

Microfiber Cleaning & Fabric Care Basics

Before you can clean your couch, you’ll need to determine the best way to clean it. You may be able to find that information in the form of a cleaning code printed on a tag attached to the furniture. Here’s a quick look at the four main cleaning codes for microfiber and what they mean:

  • W – Use water-based cleaners
  • S – Use solvents or solvent-based cleaners
  • S-W – Use either a solvent- or water-based cleaner.
  • X – Vacuum clean only, avoid using any cleaning solutions

If your microfiber furniture has a W code, you’re in luck — most cleaning products are water-based cleaners, so you have plenty of options to choose from! Feel free to use whatever store-bought upholstery cleaner you have on hand, or try the homemade microfiber cleaner recipe included in the cleaning tutorial below.

Many microfiber couches and sofas either have an S code on their tags, or no code at all. If your furniture calls for a solvent-based cleaner, rubbing alcohol is an ideal option — it’s cheap, readily available, effective, and dries quickly. (If you can’t find a tag or cleaning code on your microfiber sofa, using a solvent like rubbing alcohol is a safe bet and can help you avoid water stains.)

Basic items like a spray bottle and clean microfiber cloths are what you need to clean a microfiber couch.

How To Clean A Microfiber Couch, Sofa, Or Chair

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 2 cups warm water (distilled, if you have it)
  • 1 Tbsp dish soap
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloths
Spray the soiled areas of the microfiber furniture with the proper solution first.

1. Vacuum & Spray

Start by gathering an appropriate cleaning solution for your sofa (see below) and a small stack of clean cloths. (It’s also a good idea to vacuum the couch to remove surface dust and dirt before applying any cleaners!)

  • W/S-W code: Combine 1 cup of rubbing alcohol, 2 cups of warm water, and 1 tablespoon of dish soap in a spray bottle. (Alternatively, my homemade granite cleaner is perfect for cleaning microfiber, as odd as that might sound!)
  • S code: Pour some rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle, and you’re all set!

After you vacuum your couch, lightly spritz the soiled fabric with your cleaning solution — you’re just aiming to dampen the fabric, not soak it. (Depending on how dirty it is, you may not need to clean the entire sofa, but that’s your call!)

After spraying and rubbing the couch, get any leftover solution off with a microfiber cloth.

2. Blot With Clean Cloths

Blot the dampened areas with a clean cloth to lift dirt and stains out of the fabric, gently rubbing in a circular motion if necessary. Continue spraying and blotting until the fabric is clean and no soil or stains remain. (If using a cleaner containing soap and water, dampen a cloth with clean water and use it to “rinse” any lingering soap residue out of the fabric.)

After Cleaning microfiber furniture, fluff the fibers up with a dry brush or a soft scrubby sponge.

3. Brush The Dry Fabric

After you clean your microfiber couch and the fabric dries, it may feel a bit stiff to the touch, but it’s nothing a soft brush can’t fix! Just gently brush the fibers to soften them up and restore their original look and feel.

Cleaning a microfiber couch is easy with the right solutions.

How To Remove Stains From A Microfiber Couch

Grease Stains

To spot clean grease stains, use an enzyme cleaner for code S and use it according to the manufacturer’s directions. For code W, saturate the stain with 90% isopropyl alcohol, then rub with a clean cloth in small circles. You should be able to tell pretty quickly when the stain is gone, thanks to the quick-drying alcohol.

Pet Urine

Need to clean a microfiber sofa after a pet urine incident? For code W or W-S, the easiest option is to remove the affected cushion cover and toss it in your washing machine. If the urine has soaked into the cushion form, absorb as much of the urine as you can by blotting it with towels, then sprinkle baking soda generously over the area and let it sit for an hour or two before vacuuming it up.

You can also use vinegar and baking soda on pet stains — just spray white vinegar on the stain until it’s saturated, then sprinkle baking soda generously over the top. Cover the area with a bowl and let it dry completely, then vacuum up the baking soda.

For S codes (or if your cushion covers aren’t removable, stick to the cleaning method outlined earlier in this post.

Ink Stains

For tough stains like ink stains, alcohol or hand sanitizer usually does the trick! Just use a clean cloth to dab it on and blot until the stain is gone.

Mystery Stains

When you’re not sure where a stain came from or what caused it, grab your box of baking soda. Combine baking soda with enough plain water to form a thick paste, then apply the paste to the stain using a small brush or damp cloth. When the stain is gone, dampen a clean cloth and use it to blot up the baking soda residue.

When the stain and residue are gone, let the microfiber fabric dry, then fluff with a brush.

A white nightstand with a lamp and a bottle of cleaning spray sits next to a microfiber couch.

3 Ways To Deodorize Microfiber Furniture

More worried about odors than stains? Try these odor eliminating tips:

  1. Give it a good, deep clean. Cleaning the upholstery is one of the easiest ways to eliminate furniture odors!
  2. Put baking soda in a shaker bottle (adding essential oils like Simple Clean, if desired) and use it to sprinkle baking soda all over the affected areas. Let it sit there for half an hour or so, then vacuum it up.
  3. Use a DIY linen spray made from distilled water, alcohol, and lavender essential oil to freshen the fabric.
To clean pet stains off a microfiber couch you'll need to deal with an odor as well.

4 Tips For Removing Pet Hair From Microfiber Furniture

Speaking of pet hair, microfiber sure can be a magnet for it! Here are a few tips for keeping the fur situation under control:

  1. Use a rubber tool, whether a window squeegee, rubber brush, or even a cleaning glove to gather pet hair in one area so it’s easier to pick up.
  2. Use a lint roller — you can make a great DIY lint roller from duct tape and a paint roller!
  3. Vacuum the hair up with the help of your upholstery brush or crevice tool.
  4. Brush your pet(s) regularly! Daily brushing with a Furminator or a slicker brush can help keep shedding to a minimum.
A woman using a vacuum cleaner on a microfiber couch.

Keeping Your Clean Microfiber Couch, Well, Clean!

After you deep clean your microfiber couch, you owe it to yourself to keep that couch looking its best! These tips can help:

  • Make sure you’re not guilty of any bad habits that could be ruining your sofa. Your furniture will thank you!
  • Aim to vacuum the entire couch, including under the cushions, around once a week.
  • Flip and rotate the cushions regularly, if possible.
  • If you’re in a hurry, “dry cleaning” your couch with a dry microfiber cloth can go a long way! Wipe the fabric in long strokes in one direction to get rid of pet hair, dust, and stray threads. Fluff your throw pillows and you’ll be ready for company!

How do you keep your microfiber couch clean?

Cleaning Microfiber

How To Clean Microfiber Couches (Step by Step)

Jill Nystul
Microfiber furniture is versatile and easy to maintain, as long as you understand the right way to clean it! Follow these steps to get the job done in no time.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Drying Time 30 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes

Equipment

  • spray bottle
  • Clean cloths
  • Soft brush

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp dish soap

Instructions
 

  • Spray the soiled areas of your sofa with undiluted rubbing alcohol (or a solution of alcohol, water, and dish soap, if the fabric is rated as safe for water-based cleaners).
    Cleaning Microfiber
  • Blot the dampened areas with a clean cloth to lift dirt and stains out of the fabric. Repeat until the soiled areas are clean and there are no remaining stains on the fabric.
    Cleaning Microfiber
  • Once the fabric is dry, brush the material with a soft brush to restore its soft, fluffy texture.
    Cleaning Microfiber

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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    • Barbara, if the couch is not microfiber, I would not recommend alcohol. This is what the W code means:
      “W”—Code W stands for ‘Water based cleaner’ and these are the easiest fabrics to clean. This is not the same as being machine washable, however. This code means that you can spot clean your fabric with a water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. You can use a brush to agitate the cleaner or even an upholstery attachment on a carpet cleaner. Be careful to avoid over-wetting the stain.

  • Hi Jillee! I tried this on the arm of my microfiber couch today…the arm that my chocolate lab has drooled on! I had tried a few different cleaners before and nothing worked. The microfiber arm was always left feeling stiff instead of soft. I was shocked at how quickly the alcohol worked and restored the softness to the arm of the couch. My husband came into the room saying that he smelled alcohol. I showed him what I did and he was amazed too! I love your blog and it is changing our home!

  • Thanks for the helpful hint, Jillee. I have had microfiber furniture for years now and will NEVER have it again. I think our furniture is beyond help-wish I had known this information years ago. What is it about microfiber furniture that makes dogs want to lick it?! Everyone I know who has a dog and microfiber furniture complain about this habit. Will give your tips a whirl and see if I can improve a “lost cause” while I shop for something new.

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