How to clean a microfiber couch cheaply and easily


Is your couch letting the rest of the room down?

A stained, crumb and grit infested couch is not only unhygienic, its appearance is aesthetically irksome. In addition to looking awful in its own right, it makes the entire room look less inviting and just plain --in a word--shabby.

You can diligently scrub, polish and vacuum the rest of the room, exhausting yourself in the process, but it'll all be in vain if the couch is looking worse for wear.

But don't despair. You can clean that grimy old thing and have it looking as good as new; it'll have that newly purchased sparkle and smell once again.

And you needn't break your back -- or the bank for that matter -- to make it so. It's very easy to do and the cleaning solutions are cheap and widely available.

First things first

Before you get started, you must first check to see whether you can use a solvent or water-based solution. some couches can be cleaned using both.
And for the occasional one neither can be used, which means you're pretty much done after vacuuming.

Following these instructions is vital if you want to avoid damaging the fabric.

A label(usually under the cushion) should indicate the type of solution you should use.

  • W Means that you must use a water based solution
  • S Means to use a solvent based solution
  • S-W Means that both can be used
  • X Means that you can vacuum only.

Why not make your own water based cleaning solution?

Rather than buying an expensive cleaning product, why not avoid the expense and make your own?
You probably have most of the ingredients already.

All you'll need is:

  • Vinegar
  • Lukewarm water
  • Baking soda
  • A spray bottle
  • A funnel(preferable but not essential)

To make the solution, simply:

  • Add Two cups of white distilled vinegar
  • Add Two cups of warm water
  • Add four heaped tablespoons of baking soda

To make the task easier, mix the ingredients in the spray bottle and give the concoction a good shake when finished.

Need a solvent based solution?

For a solvent based cleaner, the task is simpler yet again. Simply use isopropanol Alcohol, more commonly known as rubbing alcohol. A 70% proof solution should suffice.

Just pour it into the spray bottle as it is and you're good to go. It's often possible to buy it in the spray bottle.


Cleaning instructions

Before you get started , you'll need the following:

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Cleaning solution(see above)
  • A microfiber cloth
  • A soft bristle brush

  • First, test the cleaning solution in an inconspicuous place. It's possible that the cleaning solution may be too corrosive and damage the fabric, so it's important that this is done before you start. Pour a small amount of the solution directly on to the fabric at the chosen location and leave it for several minutes. If the fabric doesn't appear to be discolored, then you're good to go. If it is discolored, then you'll need to use something weaker.
  • Remove all cushions and vacuum every nook and cranny, making sure that all the heavy bits of dirt are removed.
    (Hard bits of plastic, stone or metal can get stuck to the cloth and tear the fabric of the couch; so be especially diligent at this stage.)
  • Spray the couch and scrub with the cloth as you go along.
    Spraying a small area at a time(about the area of a cushion) before scrubbing is best practice.
  • Re-spray and use a soft bristle brush over the more stubborn stains.
    This will require a little more elbow greese, but it should get rid of, or at least make the stains less visible.

Need to do a more rigorous job?

For a couch that has been stored away for a while, or even a second hand one, a more aggressive cleaning approach might be required. In such instances, the steps involved are similar to the above instructions. But rather than using a small spray bottle, a large one with a hose attachment will be used instead. The featured video demonstrates one such method.

While this method is likely to be a case of overkill for most couches, sometimes it may be necessary.


From now on...

Wear and tear can't be avoided. A couch is, afterall, for sitting on; it's not an ornament. But there are a few common things you can do to avoid getting it overly dirty in the first place.

Avoid placing footwear on top of it, or resting your feet on it while wearing shoes. Work clothes or anything worn while doing DIY or gardening should probably not come into contact with the couch. Even the smallest bits of dirt can add up over time.

Great care should be taken when you paint or wallpaper the room. A dust sheet should be used to prevent any paint from splattering onto and destroying the couch. A plastic covering can also be used but it should be sufficiently thick so that it doesn't tear. Use duct tape to ensure that the cover doesn't fall off.

Giving the couch a regular touch up every few weeks is advisable. A quick few minutes spent every six weeks or so should be enough to keep it presentable. Other than that, enjoy the improved addition to your living room.

Microfiber trivia.

Clothing, accessories, cleaning cloths, mop heads, wallets, jackets and furniture coverings -- just some of the many everyday items made out of this ultra-fine, versatile material. And I'm sure many people will be surprised to learn that it's only been widely used since the early 90s.

The diameter of its threads is 0.7 of a denier(an industry measurement); to put that into perspective, that's one fifth the thickness of a human hair!

As a material, it's both easy to clean and easy to clean with. In furniture, its ability to mimic suede cheaply is one of its major selling points. Being lightweight, durable and relatively water repellent, it's ideal for use in clothing and accessories -- hence the reason it has largely replaced the use of leather for many of these items.


Do you prefer microfiber covered furniture to other materials?

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