How to Clean a Microfiber Couch, Fabric Couch, or Cloth Couch

How to clean a microfiber couch, fabric couch, or cloth couch? Microfiber, fabric, and cloth are the most common couch materials as they are so comfortable. However, if you don’t regularly clean them, then dirt, dust, and grime will build up over time.

To keep your microfiber, fabric, or cloth couch clean, follow the 6 easy steps below:

  1. Check the Couch Tag
  2. Prepare the Cleaning Tools and Materials
  3. Vacuum
  4. Spray the Solution
  5. Brush
  6. Wipe with a Sponge or Towel

Microfiber, fabric, and cloth couches are comfortable, but the tiny fibers can easily catch dirt and stains.

Read on to learn the proper way of cleaning a microfiber, cloth, or fabric couch so that it stays clean all year.

Also, take a look at the best handheld vacuum for cleaning your couch, the Dyson V6 Cordless Trigger Vacuum. It’s powerful, easy-to-use, and holds a long charge.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

How to Clean a Microfiber Couch, Fabric Couch, or Cloth Couch

Keep your microfiber couch, fabric couch, or sofa couch looking fresh and clean all year round by following the steps below:

1. Check the Couch Tag

Microfiber couches, fabric couches, and cloth couches have cleaning codes for classification. There are four cleaning codes:

  • W – This code means you can use water to clean it.
  • S – This code means you should clean it with a solvent and not water.
  • S-W – This code means you can use either a solvent or water for cleaning.
  • X – The only allowed cleaning method is vacuuming.

If your microfiber couch, fabric couch, or cloth couch has a “W” code and the covers are removable, you can wash them with water, but you still need to follow the instructions of the manufacturer. But if your couch has an “S” or “S-W” code, you can use rubbing alcohol straight away to clean it. Again, follow the instructions of the manufacturer.

You must follow the cleaning tag of your particular cloth sofa. It is the correct way of how to clean a cloth couch, according to its manufacturer. For instance, if you use water to clean an “S” couch, stains could possibly develop in the fabric. Moreover, the warranty for the sofa can be voided if you won’t follow its cleaning instructions.

clean microfiber couch

2. Prepare the Cleaning Tools and Materials

Here are the tools and supplies that you will use for cleaning your microfiber couch or fabric or cloth couch:

  • Cleaning solution
  • Rubbing alcohol (if your couch’s code is “S” or “S-W”)
  • Vacuum, preferably with an upholstery attachment
  • Spray bottle
  • White towel or sponge (to ensure that there will be no color transfer during the cleaning process)
  • Brush with soft bristles (for scrubbing)

One of my favorite couch cleaning solutions is the Febreze Fabric Refresher and Odor Eliminator:

Click here to see it on Amazon.

You can also make your own couch cleaning solution by mixing a cup of warm water with two tablespoons of baking soda and a cup of vinegar. It’s a water-based solution that you can use for couches with “W” codes.

3. Vacuum

Just like a carpet, a couch needs to be regularly vacuumed to remove all the debris, dust, and dirt. Give the microfiber cover a good vacuuming to remove all the dirt and grime that has accumulated on it.

The perfect tool for this job is the Dyson V6 Cordless Trigger Vacuum:

Click to see it on Amazon.

This vacuum cleaner is the best handheld vacuum that can clean your microfiber couch, fabric couch, or cloth couch. Its cleaning power can reach all the hard-to-reach crevices and corners of your sofa.

Also, this vacuum has a powerful brush bar and V6 digital motor, so it quickly sucks debris, dust, and dirt. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery powers it. You can use it to vacuum your couch and carpet, including car seats.

An alternative vacuum that can help you get this job done quickly and easily is the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light with TruePet Mini Motorized Brush:

Click here to see it on Amazon.

This vacuum weighs less than 4 pounds and has a 15-foot power cord hand vacuum, which is an ideal tool for vacuuming your furniture and the whole room. Its TruePet motorized brush is perfect for deep cleaning the couch, too.

4. Spray the Solution

Pour the cleaning solution (or rubbing alcohol, whichever the case may be) into a spray bottle. Spray on one area of the couch at a time. A good place to start is the couch’s arms. They are typically the dirtiest areas of the couch.

Another option is to make a baking soda paste. In a bowl, combine equal parts of water and baking soda. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it all over the couch. Let the solution stay there for about 15 to 20 minutes.

The baking soda will absorb the stain. It will also remove the foul smell on the couch. When you see that the cleaning mixture has removed the stain, vacuum the couch using the brush attachment.

If there are deep stains on the couch, you should spot clean them. Always consider the specific code on the tag of your microfiber couch, fabric couch, or cloth couch before using a cleaning solution.

5. Brush

Clean the soiled areas by using a brush with soft bristles. Gently brush these areas using circular motions. The purpose is to break up and loosen the dirt and grime that has already penetrated deep into the microfiber without damaging its soft fibers.

You can add slight pressure if you need to since microfiber and most fabric couches are durable. Skip this step in areas that are only slightly soiled.

Bring up all the dust and dirt on the surface by brushing the entire couch using a brush with naturally stiff bristles.

6. Wipe with a Sponge or Towel

Clean and remove loosened dirt and grime with a sponge or towel. Gently rub the sponge or towel over the spots. You should see the dirt absorbed by the sponge or towel.

With a new, clean towel, dry the couch. Dry the wet areas by patting them down with a towel, which will absorb the wet residues that the vacuuming has left behind.

Allow the sofa to air dry overnight. By morning, you will be able to enjoy a fresh and clean microfiber couch, cloth couch, or fabric couch.

Cleaning a Very Dirty and Stained Microfiber Couch Fabric Couch or Cloth Couch

How to clean a fabric couch, microfiber couch, or cloth couch that has many stubborn stains? If there are stubborn stains on your microfiber couch, fabric couch, or cloth couch, the following tips can help remove them:

  • Vacuum the couch using its brush attachment to ensure that loose dust and grime are sucked up.
  • Check the tag of your couch and use the right cleaning solution to clean the stains. If you can remove the microfiber cover on the cushion, do it. If the code is “W,” wash it with soap and water or toss it inside the washing machine. Then, let the couch cover air dry or dry it in a clothes dryer under low heat.
  • Spray rubbing alcohol on the dirty and stained areas if the couch’s code is “S.” Next, get an old toothbrush and scrub the stains. The dirt will be lifted off the microfiber. Keep scrubbing the couch until all of the dirt and stains are removed. Then, let it dry. If the microfiber becomes hard, just stroke it with a toothbrush, and it will go back to its velvety texture.

You can easily remove deep stains in your microfiber couch if you use the BISSELL SpotClean ProHeat Portable Spot and Stain Cleaner:

Click here to see this cleaner on Amazon.

This powerful Bissell cleaner is meant for carpets or upholstery. It can be effectively used as a deep stain spot cleaner for your couch.

You can also permanently remove tough stains with the Bissell Spot and Stain cleaner because of its built-in heatwave technology and its professional Spot and Stain + Oxy formula. This cleaner is powerful but compact and very portable.

See the below video for other tips on cleaning your microfiber couch or fabric couch:

How to Maintain the Clean Look of Your Microfiber Couch, Fabric Couch, or Cloth Couch

To keep your microfiber couch, fabric couch, or cloth couch looking immaculately clean, you need to do the required general maintenance:

  • Clean your couch regularly by performing a quick vacuum. For this task, use the upholstery attachment of the vacuum cleaner. You can also use a brush with relatively stiff bristles to break down the dirt.
  • Always ensure that every surface of your microfiber couch or fabric couch is free from dirt, dust, crumbs, or anything that can damage the cloth.
  • To control pet hair, make a rule that pets shouldn’t be allowed on the couch.
  • Store baby wipes in containers near your microfiber couch, fabric couch, or cloth couch. They are convenient to use when cleaning accidental liquid spills at once.
  • After vacuuming and cleaning, spray a fabric protector on your couch. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to spray the fabric protector. Do it regularly to prolong the service life of your microfiber couch.

Is It Possible to Clean Your Fabric Couch with a Steam Cleaner?

how to clean a cloth couch
How to clean a cloth couch, fabric couch, or microfiber couch with a steam cleaner?

If your fabric couch has “W” or “WS” on its tag, you can clean it with a steam cleaner. But to be safe, refer to the instruction manual of the manufacturer. You have to check because while your cloth sofa may be able to cope with water, the material may not be able to handle the heat.

Try it first on a safe and discreet spot of your cloth sofa before you tackle the whole thing. If it turns out okay, you can do the following steps in steam cleaning your fabric couch:

Step 1: Choose a sunny day when you’re planning to steam clean your cloth couch. This way, you’ll be able to open the windows and let the fresh air replace the stale air inside the room as you steam clean your fabric couch.

Step 2: Vacuum the sofa to remove all the dust, dirt, and grime in the nooks and crevices.

Step 3: Replace the microfiber cloth attachment in the steam cleaner (if it has one) with an appropriate attachment that can pick up the dirt on ordinary fabric.

Step 4: Steam clean your cloth couch.

Step 5: Power up your electric fan and direct it to your couch to hasten the drying time.

Step 6: Allow the water in the steam cleaner to cool down before throwing it out.

Remove Odor from a Microfiber Couch, Fabric Couch, or Cloth Couch

Does your couch have an odor that you want to remove? Of course, you do, especially if the couch has a foul smell. Here’s how you can eliminate the foul odor on your couch. First, you will need baking soda and a dry carpet cleaner.

Step 1: Vacuum the sofa to remove the dirt, dust, and small particles.

Step 2: Sprinkle baking soda to the entire couch and let it stay there for about 20 minutes or more. You can also sprinkle laundry detergent as an alternative.

Step 3: Vacuum the couch using the brush attachment.

Step 4: Remove tough stains using a cleaning solution that contains a commercial dry carpet cleaner and baking soda (in equal parts). If you don’t have a dry carpet cleaner, it is okay to use baking soda alone. Let it sit on the couch for about 20 minutes or more.

Step 5: If the smell still lingers, use a handheld steam cleaner to remove the odor ultimately.

Conclusion – How to Clean a Microfiber Couch, Fabric Couch, or Cloth Couch

How to clean a fabric couch, microfiber couch, or cloth couch? You can clean these couches by following these six steps:

  1. Check the Couch Tag
  2. Prepare the Cleaning Tools and Materials
  3. Vacuum
  4. Spray the Solution
  5. Brush
  6. Wipe with a Sponge or Towel

I also recommend vacuuming your couch once a week. Doing so will prevent a build-up of dust and debris from accumulating on the couch.

You can also remove any foul smell if you sprinkle baking soda or powdered laundry detergent on your couch. Brush the baking soda or detergent gently into the microfiber or fabric and vacuum the couch to finish the job. Additionally, prevent stains on your couch by immediately wiping off accidental liquid spills.