How to Clean a Microfiber Couch in a Few Easy Steps

Keep your microfiber couch looking showroom-ready

Laura Hennigan
Written by Laura Hennigan
Updated May 11, 2022
A cat and a dog sleeping on a big couch
Photo: Elena Grigorovich / EyeEm / Getty Images
Difficulty

Simple

Flex your DIY muscles.

Time to complete

1 hour

30–60 minutes

Cost

$0–$50

Depending on what supplies you have on hand

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What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Vacuum with crevice and upholstery tools
  • Spray bottle
  • Soft-bristled brush or sponge
  • 2 large bowls or bucket

SUPPLIES

  • Liquid dish soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Spray bottle
  • Warm water
  • Microfiber cloth

Microfiber is a popular fabric choice for couches since the material’s thin strands give the appearance of higher-end suede or leather, but at a fraction of the cost. And while microfiber is durable, months of dropped crumbs and pet hair buildup can wreak havoc on your favorite furniture piece, and keeping it clean may feel overwhelming. After all, you can’t exactly pop your couch into the washer.

But don’t panic: We’ve broken down two simple ways to clean your microfiber couch, along with some tips to keep it looking great even with daily use. 

Note: Which supplies and tools you’ll need can vary depending on which method you choose, so before heading out to the store, read the steps below.

Start By Reading the Tag

Before determining what to clean your microfiber couch with, check out the tag. "W" will mean use a water-based solution (the dish soap solution below), while "S" means find a solvent-based cleaner. "S-W" means you can use either, and "X" means vacuum only. 

If you can't locate a tag, opt for a solvent-based cleaner just to be safe. Since microfiber is polyester-based, anything that works for polyester will work for microfiber, making rubbing alcohol a great choice for a solvent-based cleaner.

How to Clean a Microfiber Couch with Rubbing Alcohol

  1. Begin by Vacuuming

    First, remove all the loose pillows and cushions from the couch, then do a deep dive with your vacuum. Be sure to cover all the upholstery and every crevice, along with both sides of the cushions you’ve taken off. 

  2. Lightly Spray

    Pour rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle and thoroughly spritz the entire couch, paying extra attention to stains.

  3. Gently Scrub the Couch

    After the couch is damp and visible stains are saturated, gently rub with a microfiber cloth until dirt disappears.

  4. Dry and Fluff

    The rubbing alcohol will leave your microfiber couch feeling a bit hard. Once the material is dry, take a soft-bristled brush and rub in a circular motion until the fabric feels normal again. 

How to Clean a Microfiber Couch with Soap

1. Begin by Vacuuming 

As outlined above, you should be sure to start this process by vacuuming the couch thoroughly as well. 

2. Make Your Cleaning Solution

In a large bowl or bucket, combine a quarter-cup of liquid dish soap with 4 cups of warm water, then mix them together. Once you have plenty of soapy suds, take a second large bowl or bucket and fill it with only water.

3. Scrub the Microfiber 

Using a soft-bristled brush or sponge, begin gently scrubbing the soap suds over the entire couch. Be sure only to use the suds, and avoid getting too much soapy liquid on the fabric. Rinse the brush in the clean water as needed, then continue lightly scrubbing, paying particular attention to any obvious stains.

4. Rinse and Dry

After cleaning with the suds, use a damp (but not soaking) microfiber cloth to wipe down the areas. Let everything dry out, then do another once-over with a scrub brush or wet-dry vacuum upholstery tool to get the couch fabric fluffed out again. 

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro to Clean a Microfiber Couch

If you don't have the time to tackle this project, or think your couch stains need some professional help, consider calling an upholstery cleaner near you. The cost of furniture upholstery cleaning will run you from $50 to $500, depending on how many pieces you want to be cleaned and their material.

Additional Questions

How can I maintain my microfiber couch after cleaning?

Use arm caps and rotate seat cushions to prolong the life of your microfiber couch. Remove dry soil spills using a vacuum and brush, and consider increasing regular cleaning if the sofa is heavily used or somebody in the home is sensitive to allergies.

What’s the best way to eliminate odors on my microfiber couch?

Try sprinkling the couch with baking soda if you’re dealing with pesky odors, and cleaning didn’t help. After gently rubbing it in with a soft-bristled brush, let the baking soda sit overnight, then vacuum the entire couch thoroughly the next day.

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