Learn the best ways to clean a microfiber couch, including how to remove stains and protect the fabric.

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Microfiber furniture is known for its supreme stain resistance, making it a top upholstery choice in homes with kids and pets. The fabric has a velvety texture, but it's much more durable for everyday use. Often found in neutral colors such as brown and gray, a microfiber couch can also make colors pop and look rich in their vibrancy. When treated properly, microfiber couches can last years longer than other fabric options, but when spills or stains happen, it's important to know how to get the upholstery clean again. To keep yours comfortable and looking great, follow these simple steps on how to clean a microfiber couch.

Porch with striped rug, two couches, and wooden table
Credit: Nathan Kirkman

How to Clean a Microfiber Couch

Clean your microfiber couch regularly with a quick vacuum, using your vacuum's upholstery attachment. You can also use a stiff fabric brush ($10, Amazon) to loosen dirt and restore the fabric. Do your best to keep the surface free of crumbs, dust, and anything that might harm the fabric. Take care of your microfiber couch as you do your carpet; a good rule to follow is to vacuum the couch every time you vacuum the floor. If possible, try to enlist a "no pets on the couch" rule to help control pet hair.

Treat the occasional stain as quickly as possible with a microfiber cloth, slightly dampened if necessary. Small spills typically won't sink into the fabric, so these are easy to wipe away. Alternatively, baby wipes offer an easy household solution to clean a microfiber couch. This self-contained cleaning product is easy to use and fairly inexpensive to purchase. Keep these in a closed storage container or drawer in the living room so you can have some on hand right away.

Eclectic style living room
Credit: Annie Schlechter

How to Remove Stains on a Microfiber Couch

To find out the best way to remove set-in stains on a microfiber couch, look for its cleaning code, which is usually marked on the tag or under the seat cushions. "W" means it can be cleaned with water, while "S" means it shouldn't be treated with water. In this case, use a solvent, such as rubbing alcohol or a consumer dry-cleaning solution ($60, Amazon). "S-W" means you can use either a solvent or water to clean the microfiber couch.

If you have a "W" code, and your cushion covers are removable, launder according to the manufacturer's instructions, or gently in cold water. Hang to dry, and brush to restore the smooth texture. If your cushions aren't removable, start by using a small amount of soapy water and brushing the spot with a stiff-bristled brush as it dries. If the stain persists, move on to an upholstery cleaning product, such as Woolite Carpet & Upholstery Foam Cleaner ($4, Walmart).

For an "S," "S-W," or no code, try using straight rubbing alcohol. Spray it on lightly, then blot with a clean white cloth or sponge. Be sure to test it in an inconspicuous spot first. Continue blotting as the stain lifts. Let dry completely (this shouldn't take long, since alcohol evaporates quickly) then brush the fabric with a natural or white stiff-bristled brush ($7, Amazon).

cozy family room with tan storage bins and blue and white walls
Credit: Brie Williams Photography Inc

How to Protect a Microfiber Couch from Wear and Stains

Once you've cleaned your microfiber sofa, treat it with a spray-on fabric protector, such as Scotchguard ($10, The Home Depot), to keep it spot-free for longer. Protection length varies based on use and care. Be sure to apply the protectant product according to the manufacturer's instructions.

If you notice that your microfiber fabric feels stiff or tough after cleaning, the fibers might be tangled together. Fix this by running a fine-tooth comb or a dry sponge over the surface until it's back to its soft state.

Comments (2)

Better Homes & Gardens Member
September 20, 2018
Tried the baby wipes. They worked!
Better Homes & Gardens Member
July 16, 2018
If I cleaned the sofa with water like I always used to do, how do I recover the messed up surface?