How to Clean A Microfiber Couch [4 Effective Ways]

If you take a look at almost any home cleaning article, it'll have a moment where it instructs you to get a microfiber cloth. Microfiber is famous for being able to pick up dirt and debris. It's a magnet for it. So, what happens when you have a couch made from this material? How do you clean a microfiber couch? To find out how to clean a couch made of the ultimate cleaning material, we decided to take a deep dive on the net.

There are several methods that are commonly used to keep a microfiber couch clean and sanitary, each of which has its own benefits and tools. The most regularly-used methods include:

  • Dry Brushing
  • Vacuuming
  • Using Water-Based Cleaner
  • Using Solvent-Based Cleaner

What most people don't realize is that each microfiber furniture piece has its own unique cleaning instructions that need to be heeded in order to keep the item looking (and feeling) decent. This guide will fill you in on the basics. So be sure to keep reading.

A brown microfiber couch in an orange room, How to Clean Microfiber Couch [4 Effective Ways]

How Often Should You Clean Your Microfiber Couch?

Though microfiber is regularly cited as a material that can catch dirt and grime, it's actually a fairly high-performance material for a sofa to be made from. This means that you shouldn't have to clean it too often, as long as you don't smoke inside your home. You should expect to clean your microfiber sofa three to four times a year. 

Of course, if you just spilled soda all over your couch, you probably should diverge from that schedule. But other than those quick spill-cleanups, there are common cleaning practices to stay consistent with.

Understanding Your Microfiber Couch's Cleaning Ratings

Cleaning leather sofa with vacuum brush

If you take a close look at the tags on your couch, you will probably see an S, a W, an S-W, or no rating at all. Each of these letters comes with its own instructions. Here's what you need to know:

  • S means that you should use a solvent-based cleaner for heavy stain removal. 
  • W means you need to use a water-based cleaner for heavy stain removal. 
  • S-W means you can use either. 
  • No code means that you probably should stick to rubbing alcohol as a stain remover.

Now that you know the important ratings necessary for your couch's cleaning, let's talk about the most common ways to keep your couch perfect and presentable. 

Dry Brushing

All microfiber couches can do well with a quick dry brushing. Dry brushing removes the grit and dust from your couch by loosening it up from the cushions. To do this, take a soft-bristle brush and run it over your couch's upholstery in long, slow strokes. Then, just follow it up with a vacuum cleaning session. 

Click here to get a microfiber brush from Amazon.


By and large, vacuuming is one of the biggest staples of the microfiber couch cleaning methods. Vacuuming is simple. Just use a high-powered handheld vacuum with a brush attachment to get rid of all the dirt, crumbs, and grime that your couch has picked up. 

Click here to get a hand vacuum from Amazon.

Using Sprays N' Solvents To Clean Your Microfiber Couch

Beagle dog on the couch

It's worth noting that you will occasionally have to use solvents to get common stains and smudges off your couch. Here's what you need to know about each type of solvent commonly used to sanitize a microfiber couch, as well as common questions that you may have about what to use. 

Can You Use Windex To Clean A Microfiber Couch?

Believe it or not, the answer is yes. Windex tends to be a very good choice for almost all couches. Windex is really easy to use as a cleaner, too. Just lightly mist your couch and then use a soft bristle brush to wipe it down.

You do not need to go heavy-handed when it comes to using Windex, so don't soak the fibers. A light dampening will suffice. If you want to cut down on cleaning time even more, try Windex flat pack cleaning wipes. They work wonders on glass dining tables, too!

Click here to get Windex wipes from Amazon.

Can You Use Rubbing Alcohol To Clean A Microfiber Couch?

Surprisingly, rubbing alcohol is considered to be the best solution to clean a microfiber couch, regardless of what the rating happens to be. Like with its Windex counterpart, the best way to use rubbing alcohol is to lightly mist it on or use a cotton swab to dab at a particular stain. Once the stain is saturated (but not soaked), use a light-colored sponge to soak up the stain.

What's A Good Water-Based Solvent To Use On Microfiber Sofas?

The easiest water-based solvent to use on microfiber sofas is a mixture of warm water, a couple of drops of dish soap, and a teaspoon of white vinegar. Just mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle and wipe down your sofa. You should see a marked improvement in your sofa's texture.

Click here to get a variety pack of dish soap from Amazon.

Of course, if you're just trying to get a quick clean, you can also use plain water to get it done. 

What's A Good Cleaning Solvent To Use On Microfiber Sofas?

If you found your tag has an "S" on it, a water-based solvent will not work on your sofa. You will need to get a solvent that's specially-made for microfiber. Most of the time, you can find these solvents in automotive stores or at specialty fabric care stores. 

Click here to get microfiber solvent from Amazon.

Special Situations

A person cleaning dirty stains on the sofa with yellow fabric

Though microfiber couches are fairly low maintenance (despite their reputations), there are still some issues that regularly annoy their owners. If your sofa is looking a little under the weather, these important tips and tricks will help. 

How To Clean A Grease Stain From A Microfiber Couch?

Grease stains are terrible for microfiber, but that doesn't mean you will need to give up on having a clean couch. Here's how you can get rid of grease on that sofa:

  1. Begin your stain removal by taking a rag and blotting up as much of the oil as possible. 
  2. Once you can't blot anymore, take a new clean rag and put a couple of drops of dish soap on it. (Note: This only works if you have S/S-W sofas)
  3. Massage the stain with the dish soap until the stain is removed. It may require repeat treatments. 
  4. If you have a W-rated microfiber couch, your best bet is to treat it with rubbing alcohol, using it to pick up the grease.

If you do not notice any improvement in your grease stain, make a call to a professional cleaner who works with microsuede. Some sofas just need more care than others. 

How To Remove Odor From A Microfiber Couch?

Microfiber, if nothing else, is a remarkably absorbent material. It's so absorbent, it'll absorb odors and smell to high heaven if given the chance. Amazing, right? Well, here's how you can get rid of the stink:

  1. Begin your microfiber deodorizing with a thorough couch vacuuming session. Make sure to get in the cushion creases too, since many odor particles can get trapped in there.
  2. Grab a box of baking soda and sprinkle it over the entirety of the sofa. Use your hands to work it into the seams and into your material deeper. 
  3. Let the baking soda sit for anywhere from 15 minutes to a full day, depending on the intensity of the odor. Mild musty odors will only need a 15 to 30-minute sitting time, while something along the line of having your couch sprayed by a skunk may need 24 hours. While it's sitting, don't allow pets or kids nearby, as they can often disrupt the absorption process by jumping on the couch.
  4. Grab a vacuum and vacuum up all the baking soda. You might need to change out your canister, but it will still be doable. Once you've finished vacuuming up everything, you should be able to notice a huge difference in the smell of your sofa. 
  5. For extremely pungent sofas, you may need to do this entire process more than once.

How Do You Protect A Microfiber Couch?

Much like with other sofas, you probably already know that preventing stains and odors is the best way to keep your couch looking photo-ready. But, how do you do that when you have a couch that's microfiber? It basically picks up everything, right? Well, these tips can help you significantly.

Purchase A Couch Cover

No, they are not exactly the most attractive look on the planet, but couch covers work. They are moderately comfortable, prevent staining, and also are generally easy to clean. You can find one to match your carpet or find one that has the same fabric as your curtains. If your couch is in high use or is the place where you eat your dinner, you should probably invest in covers to extend the life of your sofa.

Click here to get a sofa cover from Amazon.

Consider Using A Protective Spray

If you've ever had a professional carpet cleaning, you might've heard that they offer Scotchgard services. Scotchgard is a brand of fabric protectant spray that keeps stains from taking hold. While it's most commonly used on carpeting and shoes, it also happens to be fairly useful for protecting microsuede sofas, too. 

To use it, all you have to do is clean your sofa and spray it on the suede after you're finished. There's no need to work it in, at least with most formulas. Once every six months, give your sofa another spray-down to ensure it can still protect your fabric. 

Click here to get Scotchgard from Amazon.

Keep Pets Off The Couch, And Don't Eat On It Either

Obviously, common sense comes into play here, too. The less action and less exposure to grime that your couch gets, the less likely it is that you will have stains, spills, and more. This means you should avoid eating and drinking on the sofa, and that you should also avoid smoking nearby. By keeping certain rules in place, you get to enjoy your couch for a longer period of time. 

In Closing

While microfiber may have a somewhat bad reputation for being able to "snag" every type of stain imaginable, the truth is that it's a fairly reliable fabric in terms of cleanability. The problem that most people have when they are trying to clean a microfiber sofa is that they don't pay attention to the codes on the sofa's tags. 

It's important to pay close attention to the type of solvent that you want to use on your couch. Unlike other materials, there are different types of microfiber, each with its own requirements. If you aren't sure whether or not you should use a particular solvent, stick to rubbing alcohol, or just call a professional cleaner. 

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