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How to Clean Microfiber Couches in Easy Steps

Jennifer L. Betts
Girl jumping on sofa

When you got the microfiber couch, you swore to yourself that you wouldn't let your children take their sippy cups on it. Now it's months later and your couch is covered in little stains and spill marks. However, all hope isn't lost if you have the right tools for this house cleaning chore.

Finding Your Fiber

Before you even start on your cleaning journey, you need to understand what type of fiber you are working with. Check out your codes by flipping a seat cushion first.

  • W means water. You can clean with water and water-based cleaners.
  • S stands for solvent. This is a dry-clean only type of situation. You need a solvent to clean your couch.
  • SW means both. You can use dry cleaning methods or water-based cleaners.
  • There is also an additional X, which stands for vacuum only, but this isn't typically seen on microfiber couches.


Do-it yourself upholstery cleaning isn't going to require much. It just takes some elbow grease and a few supplies you're likely to already have, including:

  • Vacuum with upholstery attachment
  • Rubbing alcohol (for solvent cleaning)
  • 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons baking soda solution (for a water-based cleaning)
  • Spray bottle
  • Scrubbing brush
  • White sponge or towel (Using a white or neutral colored sponge will ensure that you don't get color transfer)

Step 1: Vacuum

Vacuum the entire couch. Give it a good vacuuming, trying to remove as much dirt and grime as you can before getting to the deep cleaning.

Step 2: Spray With Solution

Pour the rubbing alcohol into the spray bottle or mix your vinegar solution in the spray bottle (what you use will depend on your fabric). Saturate one area at a time. For example, start with the arms of the couch since these are some of the areas that get the dirtiest.

Step 3: Clean Heavily Soiled Areas

Grab the bristle brush. Gently scrub the area in a steady circular motion. You are trying to loosen up any dirt or grime that is imbedded into the fabric rather than hurt the material. However, this material is very durable so giving it a little strength will be okay. In lightly soiled areas, you can skip this step.

Step 4: Clean With Sponge or Towel

Once you have loosened up the dirt in the area, you'll want to take the dry sponge or towel and give a gentle rub over the area. You'll notice that the sponge will start to absorb the dirt.

Step 5: Remove Residue

Continue the steps until your whole couch is clean.

  • If using the vinegar solution, you'll want to rinse or vacuum up any remaining residue.

Steam Cleaning

If your microfiber couch has a W code and have a carpet cleaner with an upholstery cleaning attachment, you can use your steam cleaning attachment and an appropriate water-based upholstery cleaner to clean your couch. If you use this method, plan to do the whole couch at once rather than spot cleaning as there may appear to be a difference between the steam-cleaned spots and the rest of the furniture if just spot cleaned.

Spot Cleaning

Sometimes your entire couch doesn't need a cleaning, just a small area.

Spot Cleaning With Dish Soap

Dish soap (preferably Dawn) and water can work for a new or old stain on a cushion that can be cleaned with water. Add a few drops to a bucket or bowl of water. Using a sponge, gently scrub the area. Rinse with plain water and allow to dry.

Cleaning Pen Marks

Pen on the couch can be carefully scrubbed away with alcohol and a bristle brush. Start by soaking the pen mark in alcohol, then use gentle circular motions with the bristle brush over the pen to get it off. Use a microfiber towel or sponge to get any remaining residue.

Cleaning Coffee or Wine Stains

For coffee or wine stains, you'll want to look to vinegar and baking soda. Simply mix the two into a nice paste and apply it to the stain. Allow it to sit for about 10-15 minutes. Wipe the area clean. This may take several applications. As with any fabric, make sure to test this on a small area to ensure it doesn't affect your fabric.

Foam Cleaners

If home methods really aren't cutting it, you can try store-bought cleaners like Woolite Fabric and Furniture Cleaner Foam. This cleaner comes with a scrubber and works well on most colors.

What Not to Do

If your microfiber couch is white, it would seem like bleach would be a great way to get it sparkling again. However, bleach is too harsh for this type of fabric and should be avoided. Bleach will break down the fibers, essentially destroying the fabric. Vinegar can be harsh too; you never want to use full-strength vinegar when cleaning your couch. For this fabric, more isn't better.

Cleaning Your Couch

There are different ways that you can clean the entire couch or just a small area. Depending on the type of fabric you have, either alcohol or vinegar will be your best friend. Use these simple techniques to get your couch looking as good as new.

How to Clean Microfiber Couches in Easy Steps