About a year and a half ago, my husband and I scored a $200 sofa and love seat on Craigslist. After thoroughly checking the couches for any signs of bed bugs, we hauled them off to our home. The sofa and love seat are both huge, comfortable, and durable. It was a great price for furniture that will last us for quite some time.
The only downside is that the sofa and love seat are microfiber. With two young children, that means that they tend to get dirty rather quickly. At one point, I thought the microfiber was wearing away but after rubbing my nail along the fiber, I realized the fiber wasn't wearing away at all. In fact, the fibers were simply covered in dirt and grime that had accumulated over the year.
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* * Always spot test an area before using any type of cleaner on any type of surface. I am not responsible for any damage you cause to your furniture.
It was quite a gross realization. I mean, look at all of that dirt and grime. Yuck!
DIY projects, you know that I rarely do things the conventional way. I like to make use of what I have and do what works for me.
So, to clean your microsuede/microfiber couches, here's what you'll need!
- Mild dish detergent
- Warm water
- Spray bottle (optional)
- Old towel or dish cloth
- Straight edge
To make your cleaner, just mix a squirt or two of dish detergent into a medium bowl. I prefer the original blue Dawn because it's mild and a small amount doesn't require rinsing. The possible uses for Dawn dish soap are virtually endless.
After you've added your soap to the bowl, fill the bowl with warm water. That's it. Seriously. Just dish soap and warm water. Mix well with a spoon or a whisk. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Just leave it in the bowl if you're not using a spray bottle.
For the wash cloth, I just use some old, torn up towels. If they get too dirty, they can just be thrown in the garbage or bleached.
For my straight edge, I use a protractor. It's easier to hold and it does the job very well. You'll find out why you need a straight edge later in this post.
So, let's get started...
Remove any cushion and pillow covers and throw them in the washer. Wash according to the instructions on the tags. Pull all of the cushions off of the couch and vacuum thoroughly. I find that a handheld vacuum is best for this purpose. Once everything is vacuumed, you can begin cleaning the back and arms of the sofa.
Spray your dish soap/water mixture directly onto the area of the sofa that you're cleaning. If you're not using a spray bottle, you can just dip your wash cloth into the water, wring it out, and apply it directly to the couch. Make sure the entire area is wet. It doesn't need to be dripping wet, but every area should be visibly darker.
Tip: Work in small areas. For example, start on the arm of the sofa and don't move to the next area until that spot is finished. I started on the inner arm of the couch because that was the filthiest.
Use your dish cloth to scrub the sofa. Make sure to really use a lot of elbow grease in those problem areas. Don't forget to scrub along the piping, too.
You'll probably notice right away that your towel is getting pretty filthy. You can rinse the cloth in the sink and wring it out if you'd like, or just replace it with another cloth once it looks pretty nasty.
After your sofa has been scrubbed, take your straight edge and using it like a squeegee, run it along the areas that you just cleaned. You'll find that lots of dirty water will gather around the edge of the protractor. Wipe this off frequently with your towel. Continue until you've covered the entire area.
Now, allow the area to dry. While you're waiting for one section to dry, you can begin working on the next section. Once everything is finished, you can decide whether or not you should go over them a second time. I usually find that one time does the trick, as long as I scrub enough.
Your sofa should look 85% better after cleaning. There are still some very small areas that are stained or could use some extra scrubbing, but they don't bother me too much.
It surely beats having to call a cleaning company to come out and do it! You can save hundreds of dollars by cleaning your microfiber sofa with soap and water.
Did this method help you clean your microfiber couches? Let me know in the comments!