how to clean a microfiber couch

We must have the most impractical couch ever produced. But we love it. We loved it when we bought it 6 years ago (pre marriage and pre kids) and we love it today. Its microfiber and pale yellow. Yes pale yellow.

Considering its age and that it has been our primary seating since the day we bought it actually doesn’t show its age (no tearing & the piping is still in really great condition)…other than it was gross. Like, so gross I am embarrassed to post before pictures of it, but in order to shock and amaze with the after pictures, you have to see where we started.

our sad water stained couch

Over a year ago, when we came to the realization of the sad state of our beloved yellow couch, instead of purchasing a new couch, I purchased a slip cover. A plain brown slipcover. I was happy with that while our house was in its original builder basic paint (teal, brown and beige) but once we painted the house, Martha Stewart’s Driftwood Grey, I longed for my yellow couch back. I started researching cleaning techniques for microfiber furniture and found a blog via Pinterest that had really simple cleaning instructions on removing stains. I knew we had some stains but the majority of the damage to the couch was water marks (I had a tendency of resting my water-glass on the arms of the couch and what do ya know….9 times out of 10 I knocked it over. This was, of course, before I knew that water is the worst thing for microfiber furniture.)

So I followed her instructions, held my breath and hoped for results. We sprayed the couch with rubbing alcohol (in a spray bottle) and rubbed it with a colour neutral sponge (you can actually see dirt the lifting off the couch as you work). Once it dries (which is pretty quick) we brushed the whole couch with a soft bristle brush. Dirt, removed, water stains, remained.

Feeling defeated, I covered the couch in a large off white blanket and continued my internet search for a solution. To my surprise (and disbelief) I found a ton of posts from people recommending baby wipes to remove water marks. I admit, (and so would Jon) that we were very skeptical of this technique. How could a baby wipe remove watermarks from microfiber? Well, if we have too much of anything in this house its baby wipes…and toys, but that’s besides the point. So we put the kids down for naps and I surprised my husband with a box of wipes, a white towel and a hairdryer.

We worked in small sections, saturating the water marks with the wipes (to the point the watermark disappeared under all the wipe juice?) and then vigorously rubbed the spot with the towel while blow drying the spot at the same time. It took alot of elbow grease, we took turns blow drying and rubbing the spots with the towel, its tiring but it is our fault the couch got to the state it was in. We figured out that the key to this whole technique is making sure you dry the spot evenly and immediately after you’ve saturated the spot with the wipes.

our happy yellow, clean (& brushed) couch

We managed to clean off 90% of the watermarks….which is incredible. Now I know that if you spill anything on a piece of microfiber furniture, you should blot it up immediately and grab your blow dryer to dry the spot as quickly as you can.

I couldn’t be happier with my yellow couch. We have been reunited again:)

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7 thoughts on “how to clean a microfiber couch

  1. Hi Susan,
    Another recommendation is Oxy Clean…generally I am not too keen on using Oxy Clean or any other chemicals for that matter but we ran into the same problem with our dining room chairs. The chairs are also microfiber and were stain covered thanks to our son.

    I decided to try Oxy Clean on one of them and I could not believe the results. I put about 2tbs of Oxy Clean (liquid) into a spray bottle with very hot water and sprayed the chair (I made sure to spray the whole surface). I used one of my Norwex enviro cloths to wipe it down and left it to air dry. Because I wiped the whole chair surface down there were not any residual stains from the Oxy Clean treatment.

    I know that this will take a long time and a lot of wiping to do on a larger couch, but our microfiber couch, chair and ottoman are up next on my list of things to clean.


    1. Thanks Jenny!
      I wouldn’t have even thought of trying Oxy Clean. The baby wipe trick worked really well on the watermarks but I will give the Oxy Clean a try the next time one of the kids wipes their face on the couch…which is bound to happen.

  2. It looks amazing! I’m so glad I found your blog. We have a microfiber sectional. Thankfully it’s in a darker color and really doesn’t show stuff, but on the other hand, it’s still only 6 months old and we have no children yet, so I’m forseeing this information coming in very hand in the future! Thanks!

    I’m a new follower! I hope you’ll follow me back.

  3. I’ll definitely be trying this on our (very pale) beige microfiber couch…like yours, it’s still in great shape but looks worse for the wear. Hopefully this will bring it back to life!

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