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How to Clean a Microfiber Couch Cheaply and Easily

Pets, children, and daily wear and tear can make your couch look sad and dirty. Luckily, you can clean it so that it looks brand new once more.

Pets, children, and daily wear and tear can make your couch look sad and dirty. Luckily, you can clean it so that it looks brand new once more.

Clean Dirty Couches With DIY Vinegar or Alcohol-Based Couch Cleaner

A stained, crumb-and-grit-infested couch is not only unhygienic; it's an eyesore. It makes the entire room look less inviting and just plain 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.

Don't despair! You can make it look 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. The task is very easy to do yourself, and the cleaning chemicals are cheap and easily acquired.

Check the Label of the Couch

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 others, neither can be used—in which case you're pretty much done after vacuuming. Following these instructions is vital if you want to avoid damaging the fabric.

A label (usually found 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.

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

Mix the ingredients in the spray bottle and give the concoction a good shake when finished.

Mix Your Own Solvent-Based Solution

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

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

How to Clean a Microfiber Couch

You can use either a water-based or solvent-based solution. Below are the instructions for cleaning your microfiber couch.

You Will Need

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

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Water-based or solvent-based cleaning solution (see above)
  • A microfiber cloth
  • A soft bristle brush


  • Test the cleaning solution in an inconspicuous place. Pour a small amount of the solution directly onto 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.
  • 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 grease, but it should get rid of, or at least make the stains less visible.

Some Couches Require More Aggressive Cleaning

For a couch that has been stored away for a while, or even a secondhand 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.

How to Prevent Your Couch From Getting Too Dirty

Wear and tear can't be avoided. A couch is, after all, meant for sitting on; it's not an ornament. But there are a few 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 projects 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 are just some of the everyday items made out of this ultra-fine, versatile material: microfiber. Many people will be surprised to learn that it's only been widely in use 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.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


sarah on June 23, 2018:

is there anyway to do baking soda, water and baking soda withut creating a volcano effect. a warning about this would help!

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