Many types of microfiber fabrics cannot get wet or a watermark will remain. Obviously, this poses a particular challenge for cleaning. While microfiber fabric is stain-resistant, it is not completely immune to stains and dirt, which means it will need to be cleaned at some point.
Before You Begin
- ALWAYS look at the tag! If your furniture came with a care manual, READ IT! The tag and the manual will generally tell you what cleaning techniques you should or shouldn’t use. Sometimes, the tag is clearly marked with a “W” which usually means it is okay to use water. Otherwise, using water to clean the fabric may cause a problem with water marks.
- If you are unable to determine if the fabric is water-safe, it would be best to just treat the fabric as if it is not.
- When in doubt, call a professional! Contact either the furniture retailer from which you purchased your furniture to find out the best way to clean it, or contact a company specialized in cleaning microfiber fabric.
- ALWAYS test a small, inconspicuous area of the furniture with the proposed cleaning method FIRST.
- NEVER saturate the fabric with whatever cleaning solution you are using—always use it as sparingly as possible.
How to Wash Water Safe Microfiber
What you will need:
- Vacuum with soft-brush attachment
- Gentle soap, such as liquid DOVE or Woolite
- Clean terry cloth towel or natural sponge (avoid colored cloths/sponges as dye may run into fabric)
- Cold Water
- Hair Dryer
- Soft-bristle nailbrush
- Vacuum with the soft brush attachment to remove dust and loose debris.
- Mix a few drops of soap with the cold water.
- Dampen sponge or terrycloth towel and wring it out thoroughly to avoid excess moisture.
- Working one section at a time, gently wash the surface with the dampened sponge or towel (making sure each time that the sponge or towel is not saturated—only slightly damp).
- Immediately upon finishing a section, dry with hair dryer on lowest (coolest) setting.
- When the area is dry, brush lightly with the nail brush to restore texture.
How to Wash Non-Water Safe Microfiber
What you will need:
- Gentle, dry detergent (i.e. Ivory Snow or Dreft)
- Soft-bristle brush
- Vacuum Cleaner with soft brush attachment
- Dry Cleaning solution (optional)
- Vacuum with soft brush attachment to remove dust and loose debris.
- Working one section at a time, sprinkle a small amount of dry detergent on the area to be cleaned.
- Using soft-bristle brush, gently brush dry detergent into the fabric.
- Vacuum the area completely before moving on to the next section.
- If this technique does not yield satisfactory results, use a dry cleaning product. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
- When in doubt, do not hesitate to contact a cleaning professional.
Microfiber Stain Removal
There are several techniques that may be used to remove stains of all types on microfiber furniture. Feel free to try one or more of these techniques, but ALWAYS test a small, inconspicuous area first before using any stain removal technique to make certain the fabric will not be damaged.
- Using an aerosol can of original Lysol, lightly spray the stain, blot with a clean cloth.
- Make a thick paste of baking soda and water, and apply to the stain. Wait a few minutes, then wipe clean.
- Using a baby wipe, gently blot the area of the stain, being careful not to rub the stain into the fabric.
- Using a small amount of rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl alcohol) on a soft, white terrycloth towel, gently blot the stain.
- Using a small amount of clear alcohol, such as vodka, dampen a soft cloth, and gently blot the stain.
- Clean grease stains with Dawn dish soap, Totally Awesome (available at dollar stores), or WD-40. Rinse well after stain is removed.
- For stubborn stains, or if your fabric does not appear to tolerate any of the stain removal techniques, your furniture retailer or manufacturer may have a cleaning solution suitable for your particular furniture, so be sure to check with them. Otherwise, you should contact a cleaning service specializing in microfiber furniture.
Additional Tips and Suggestions
- Check the care instructions on the tag to see if the fabric on your furniture is washer and dryer safe. If it is, it may be quicker to remove the cushion covers (where possible) and place in the washer on gentle cycle, using a gentle detergent such as Woolite. Tumble dry on the “No Heat” setting (air dry).
- ALWAYS clean up liquid spills immediately. While microfiber is water resistant, if left on long enough, liquid will soak in. Blot the liquid with an absorbent paper towel, being sure not to rub the spill, thus forcing a stain into the fabric.
- Vacuum your microfiber furniture at least once a week (perhaps more often if it is heavily used), to insure that all crumbs and other matter which can cause stains are removed. NEVER use a high-powered vacuum attachment (i.e. “power nozzle”) on your microfiber furniture (particularly sofas and loveseats) as it may wrinkle and pull the fabric, causing permanent damage.
- Even if your furniture is tolerant of water, it is best to use a hair dryer for quick drying of any wet spots to avoid the possibility of water marks. ALWAYS keep the dryer on its lowest (coolest) setting.
- NEVER use nail polish remover, or anything containing acetone, on your microfiber furniture.
- NEVER use any product containing bleach or bleach alternative on your microfiber furniture as it may cause discoloration.
- NEVER use carpet cleaning machines or attachments on your microfiber furniture as it may cause the fabric to shrink or wrinkle.
- For help finding an upholstery cleaner in your area, check the yellow pages.