How to Clean a Microfiber Couch: Easy Steps for Effective Cleaning

Last updated on April 2, 2024

This article will provide detailed instructions on how to effectively clean a microfiber couch, helping to preserve its beauty, increase its lifespan, and maintain your home’s hygiene.

Key takeaways:

  • Vacuum couch weekly to remove dirt and dust.
  • Spot clean spills and stains immediately.
  • Deep clean every 6-12 months based on code.
  • Use correct tools and cleaning solutions.
  • Take proactive measures to protect couch from wear and stains.

Table of Contents

How Often to Clean a Microfiber Couch

Regular maintenance of your microfiber couch ensures its longevity and preserves its plush appearance. Aim to vacuum the couch weekly to remove surface dirt and dust that can grind into the fibers over time. Incorporate a simple cushion flipping and fluffing into your routine to maintain the couch’s shape.

For households with pets or children, consider a more frequent vacuuming schedule to tackle extra dirt and pet hair. Spot-clean spills or stains immediately to prevent them from setting in.

A deep cleaning should be done every six to twelve months. This thorough process involves using a cleaning solution appropriate for microfiber upholstery, which will depend on your couch’s specific cleaning code. This code is typically found on the couch’s tag and indicates whether a water-based cleaner (W), solvent-based cleaner (S), or a vacuum-only (X) process is required for your particular microfiber.

What You’ll Need

Equip yourself with the following items before embarking on the cleaning process:

  • Vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment: To remove loose particles and dust from the couch surface.
  • White or light-colored sponges: They are less likely to discolor the fabric when cleaning.
  • Distilled water: This is preferable to tap water as it prevents water spots and rings on the microfiber.
  • Mild dish soap or a suitable upholstery cleaner: These are gentle options that effectively cleanse without damaging the microfiber.
  • Spray bottle: For an even application of your cleaning solution.
  • White microfiber cloths: For blotting and cleaning as they won’t bleed color onto your couch.
  • Soft-bristled brush: To fluff up the fibers of the couch after cleaning and drying.

By preparing these materials in advance, you’ll streamline the cleaning process and protect the integrity of your microfiber couch.


Before cleaning, always check the manufacturer’s label, typically marked with a code indicating the safe cleaning method: ‘W’ for water-based solutions, ‘S’ for solvent-based cleaners, ‘S-W’ for either, and ‘X’ for vacuum only.

Vacuum the couch using a soft brush attachment to remove crumbs and dust. This should be done weekly to maintain the microfiber’s condition and prevent ground-in dirt.

For ‘W’ or ‘S-W’ coded couches, use a spray bottle to lightly mist the surface with distilled water or a mild dish soap solution. Avoid saturating the fabric to prevent watermarks.

Gently scrub the dampened areas with a soft sponge or white cloth. Circular motions will help lift dirt and stains without damaging the microfiber.

Blot excess moisture with a dry, clean cloth. Press down to absorb the water; do not rub to avoid pushing the moisture deeper into the fabric.

Let the fabric air dry completely. If possible, use a fan or open windows to expedite the drying process.

Once dry, use a gentle, nylon-bristle brush to fluff the microfiber and maintain its softness.

For ‘S’ coded couches, apply a solvent-based cleaner to a cloth and dab the stains. Follow the cleanser’s instructions but avoid applying it directly to the fabric.

After cleaning stains, open windows to ventilate the area, allowing the solvent to dissipate quickly and safely.

How to Tackle Tough Stains

For stubborn stains on a microfiber couch, it’s crucial first to identify the type of microfiber and cleaning code recommended by the manufacturer. Common codes include W (water-based cleaner), S (solvent-based cleaner), S-W (either solvent or water-based cleaner), and X (brush or vacuum only).

If the code is W, mix a solution of warm water and mild dish soap. Dampen a cloth in the solution and gently blot the stain. Avoid soaking the area, as excess moisture can damage the microfiber.

For S-coded fabrics, use rubbing alcohol or a clear alcohol-based solvent like vodka. Apply the alcohol to a white sponge to prevent color transfer, and blot the stain until it lifts. The alcohol will evaporate quickly, reducing the risk of water marks.

For fresh spills, immediately blot with a clean, absorbent cloth to remove as much liquid as possible before it sets. Do not rub or scrub, as this can push the stain deeper into the fibers.

When dealing with grease or oil-based stains, sprinkle a small amount of cornstarch or baking soda on the area and let it sit for ten minutes to absorb the oil. Then vacuum the powder, and follow up with an appropriate cleaner based on the cleaning code.

In cases where there is no cleaning code or it’s an X-code, gently brushing the stained area with a soft-bristled brush or using a vacuum attachment may help remove surface dirt.

Always test any cleaner on an inconspicuous area first, and follow up with a fan or hairdryer on a cool setting to speed up the drying process and prevent rings. Regular maintenance can help prevent tough stains from forming and ensure the longevity of your microfiber couch.

How to Protect a Microfiber Couch From Wear and Stains

To extend the life of your microfiber couch and maintain its appearance, proactive measures are essential. Consider these tips:

  • Use Throws and Slipcovers: Decorative throws can add a pop of color and provide a protective layer. For full coverage, slipcovers are an excellent choice and can be easily removed for laundering.

Apply Fabric Protector: Treat your couch with a fabric protector spray designed for microfiber. This can create a barrier against spills and stains, facilitating easier cleaning.

Keep Pets Off: If possible, prevent pets from lounging on the couch to avoid scratches and stains from claws and fur.

Rotate Cushions: Regularly rotate and flip the cushions to distribute wear evenly and prevent sagging in frequently used spots.

Implement No-Food Rules: Consider making your couch a food-free zone to prevent crumbs and spills from causing damage.

By taking these preventive steps, your microfiber couch can remain comfortable and clean for years to come.


What is the best thing to clean a microfiber couch with?

The optimal way to clean a microfiber couch is by dampening a microfiber cloth with clean water, gently wiping the entire couch from top to bottom, allowing it to dry completely, and then vacuum the sofa once it’s dry.

Can you wash microfiber couch in the washer?

While most microfiber couch covers are machine-washable with warm water and mild laundry detergent, it is advisable to avoid using bleach or fabric softener due to the potential for fabric damage.

Does rubbing alcohol clean microfiber?

Yes, rubbing alcohol can effectively clean stains on a microfiber couch when applied using a spray bottle and lightly rubbed with a sponge.

Can you steam clean a microfiber couch?

Yes, it is possible to steam clean a microfiber couch to remove stains and kill germs.

How does a homemade vinegar solution affect the cleaning of a microfiber couch?

A homemade vinegar solution effectively cleans a microfiber couch by lifting dirt, stains, and odors, while also breaking down residual body oils, without causing damage to the fabric’s integrity.

Are there any specific vacuum attachments recommended for microfiber upholstery cleaning?

Yes, it’s recommended to use a vacuum brush attachment for effective cleaning of microfiber upholstery.

What are the steps to be followed when using a fabric cleaner on a microfiber couch?

To use a fabric cleaner on a microfiber couch, you should first vacuum the couch, apply a small amount of fabric cleaner on an inconspicuous area for a patch test, then gently apply and rub the cleaner on stains using a soft cloth, and finally, let it dry naturally.

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