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When we bought our new microfiber chairs, I was excited!
I loved the sea-blue color.
I loved the feel of them.
I loved the matching ottomans.

What I learned NOT to love, soon enough, was the spots that are always on them!   If anyone used them or touched them, they left marks.  Our kids hands are all over these chairs!  I keep their toys in the ottomans (see the post about Organizing and hiding the toys in your living room), so they are constantly touching them and opening the lids.   I was beginning to regret this color choice and fabric choice.  (Make sure that you don’t miss the bottom of this post for a time-saving solution, too!)



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A sofa with text above and below it.
I started doing research on cleaning microfiber and found a solution that worked!  I put together a few different things and here is what I came up with: (Two solutions below)

SOLUTION 1: Rubbing Alcohol:

First- try to clean it as best you can by brushing or sweeping off the dirt.  Pick up the cushions & sweep underneath, too.A before and after picture of a dirty and clean couch.

Next, take a bottle filled with rubbing alcohol (NOT WATER!) and spray it on your microfiber.   Spray heavily until you have fully coated the area that you are working on.  I did one cushion at at time.  (The top, then the sides- one side at a time).  I then did the back, then front, and then sides of our chairs.  I did the ottomans last).

Next step: Get a sponge or washcloth & rub vigorously on the area where you sprayed the rubbing alchohol.   I used a white washcloth & light colored sponge & both worked fine for me.
Photo source: bargainhoot
That’s it!

You can go back over it with a scrub-brush when it is dry, to “soften” it again, but that actually left funny lines in mine, so I would not do that part again.  If you are done and it feel hard, just rub vigorously with a dry towel.

This worked really well- the chairs & ottomans looked brand new.

TIP: Buy a VERY BIG bottle of rubbing alcohol and an extra sponge.  You will need it!

SOLUTION 2: Washing machine (If you are sure that it is microfiber): Unzip the seat cushions and toss them in the washer.   Set the washer cycle to either normal or delicate cycle with Warm water and a bit of detergent, depending on how dirty they are.
When the cycle is completed,  toss them in the dryer.  Set it to delicate.

Or you could wash them in cold water in the washing machine & let them air dry.

TIME-SAVING TIP: Wash the cushion covers in the washing machine, and wash the rest of the sofa/chairs with the rubbing alcohol.

See Day 33: Organizing kids rooms

A close up of a sofa with text above and below it.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. How did I NOT know I could wash these in the machine! I have had a brown MF couch for 10 years and was using rubbing alcohol only! Can wait to see a clean couch again thanks for the tip!

  2. I came here via Hometalk. I didn’t know about rubbing alcohol, which is very cool.

    I can tell you about pet fur, though!
    With 5 cats, imagine how furry my couches got. One day in desperation, I grabbed the wire cat brush and just started scraping the fur off the cushions. It came off beautifully and kind of roughed up the microfiber. We ended up washing them in the machine, too, but this was a great help. The tiny fur that just lined up in a row from the brush, we removed by taking a rough sanding block and just brushing it off.

    This might seem rough, but microfiber is made to be tough.
    I like the alcohol trick for small spots. Thanks for sharing!

    1. A squeegee is supposed to work wonders for removing fur from fabric and carpets. In fact, I will be trying it soon to get rid of the fur of my two little feline friends, Bob & Gary. =)

      1. A platex type glove works like magic! Put the glove on, and start rubbing your hand across the cat hair area. It really works!

  3. If anyone was hesitant to try this (like I was) wait no longer!! I finally got the courage to try the alcohol trick after it came to that or a new living room set. So I felt well I saved the money so if it gets ruined I am prepared. Turns out this really worked and my sofas look like the did the day we bought them. So happy I tried this. Now that money can be saved for something else.