Cleaning Microfiber Upholstery

by April Reinhardt
(last updated May 9, 2016)

A blend of polyester and polyamide, microfiber fabric is extremely soft, supple, and holds its shape well. When used in upholstery, microfiber-covered furniture provides the warmth of leather while withstanding stains and spills. However, microfiber upholstery may require specialized cleaning techniques, since the nature of the fabric tends to attract pet hair and absorb liquid if not cleaned right away.

As part of a voluntary uniform standard in conjunction with the cleaning industry, furniture manufacturers print codes on furniture tags to indicate appropriate cleaning methods. Check the tag of your microfiber-upholstered furniture for the cleaning code to determine the best method of cleaning. (The tag may be on the bottom of the piece of furniture, so you may need to do some detective work to find it.) The codes are:

  • X: Use a vacuum only. Do not use water- or solvent-based products, as they may cause excessive fading, spotting, or shrinking.
  • W: Use a water-based cleaner. Using only the foam of a water-based cleaning agent, spot-clean the upholstery.
  • S: Use a solvent cleaner. Use a water-free dry-cleaning agent to spot-clean the upholstery.
  • S-W: Use a solvent and/or water-based cleaner to spot-clean the upholstery.

If your upholstery isn't tagged, follow these guidelines to clean your microfiber upholstery to retain its original look and feel:

  • Use a vacuum cleaning attachment or a hand vacuum to clean up crumbs and dry debris as soon as possible.
  • Blot liquid spills as soon as possible. While microfiber is designed to repel liquid, if left in pace for any length of time, the fibers will actually suck the liquid into its weave.
  • Use a mild soap, such as Dove or Ivory, to clean your microfiber. Always dab at the upholstery, instead of scouring it.
  • Visit your furniture store and purchase specially formulated microfiber upholstery cleaner, and then follow the manufacturer's directions to spot-clean with a clean sponge.
  • If you have resistant stains, call a professional furniture cleaner to come to your home to clean your microfiber upholstery.

Vacuum your microfiber upholstery at least once a month. If you have stuck-on food, such as candy or gum, do not pick at the hardened food, as you may tear the fabric. Instead, use a solvent to release the food. Always test clean an inconspicuous area of your upholstery when trying a new cleaning product. Use a hair dryer to dry the upholstery. Commercial and dry-cleaning products should be used with plenty of ventilation and away from an open flame.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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