The Best Way to Clean a Microfiber Couch
Microfiber couches look like suede, but the fabric is actually made of polyester and nylon fibers 100 times thinner than a human hair. Cleaning this space-age material can be a bit tricky, because microfiber is prone to watermarks. However, cleaning with solvents or laundering cushion covers gets the dirt out without the unsightly spots.
Vacuuming and Brushing
The tight knit of densely packed microfibers helps keep dirt and allergens from penetrating the fabric, but that doesn't mean you don't need to vacuum microfiber furniture regularly. Keep your microfiber couch looking good with weekly vacuuming -- you can't grind in dirt that isn't there. Use a bristled upholstery attachment to remove dirt and brush the nap of the microfiber at the same time, which helps keep it feeling soft. If you prefer to brush microfiber on the days you don't vacuum, use a soft, nylon-bristled scrub brush.
Although microfiber is designed to repel water, tending to spills quickly helps prevent telltale watermarks from forming. Blot liquid from your microfiber couch with a plain white cloth, pressing the cloth down and lifting straight up rather than rubbing. To get rid of stains and watermarks, fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol, spritz the stain lightly and rub with a white or natural-colored sponge. Allow the alcohol to air dry or speed up the process with a blow dryer on the cool setting. After drying, brush the spot with a dry, nylon-bristled scrub brush.
If your microfiber couch is water-safe, scrub it down with soap suds. Add a generous squirt of dishwashing liquid to a large bowl and fill it with warm water to make suds. Dip a clean white cloth or dye-free sponge into the suds, avoiding the water, and gently rub the couch in a circular motion. Blot the suds away with a dry white cloth. Work in sections to keep the couch from absorbing too much water. After scrubbing down the whole couch, brush it with a nylon-bristled scrub brush to blend and soften the nap of the fabric.
Before cleaning your microfiber couch, read its care instruction tag. Microfiber manufacturers use codes to indicate how to clean the fabric. "W" means the fabric is water-safe; "S" means to clean with a dry-cleaning solvent; "S-W" means both solvent- and water-safe; and "X" means to dry-brush only. Rubbing alcohol may work on microfiber furniture marked "S," but always test it first on an inconspicuous spot. Never use bleach, acetone, carpet cleaner or upholstery cleaner on microfiber couches. If you are unsure about cleaning your couch yourself, schedule a consultation with a professional furniture-cleaning service.