Thursday, February 6, 2014

{Trying to} Clean a Microfiber Couch

We have this couch. It's huge, and cozy and wonderful and was nearly free (it sat unclaimed in the living room of our old house when Tanner first started renting it, so he took it off the landlord for a pittance), but it has one major flaw.

You guessed it. It's microfiber.

To be honest, I actually prefer this type of material over, say, leather most of the time. Leather is always cold, first thing in the morning, and makes all sorts of weird creaks when you sit down (it never fails to make me feel like a rhino sitting on a bean bag for all the complaints such furniture makes), and if you wear anything but jeans or a skirt that's half a mile long, you're guaranteed to have to peel some stuck-on body part off of it when the time comes to get back up.

Translation: Not a huge fan. But. (There's always a "but".)

It cleans way easier. We're talking wipe it down with a damp rag, and voila. They even make leather cleaning sprays that make the job that much easier and polish it in the process, leaving you with a looks-like-new couch or recliner.

But in microfiber world, there is no such thing. You just have to sit back and watch as your husband drools on it while taking a nap, food get spilled on it while watching a movie, a baby spitting up on it, the dog licking it...I haven't really figured that one out. We have a weird dog. Nevertheless, each of those things leaves marks that can't really be cleaned off. The best you can hope for is that the bad ones will get covered up by slightly less bad ones at some point. (That's where the dog licks come in handy.)

So, since I had pretty good luck once already with cleaning techniques found on Pinterest, I decided to try it again, this time searching the phrase "clean microfiber".

Turns out, it actually is possible. Lots of people knew how, so I clicked one at random (they all seemed pretty similar) and scrolled down the ingredients list.

1) Rubbing alcohol

And that was it.


Other than a sponge and a stiff-bristled brush, that actually was it! Using a spray bottle, I was to "saturate the soiled area", then "firmly scrub with the sponge", let it dry, and then use the brush to "soften the surface, as the alcohol does make it a little stiff".

Easy enough!
So I sprayed and rubbed, and it started looking better almost immediately, but I couldn't decide if that was because it was actually getting clean or if getting it wet just hid everything until it dried again.

Turns out, it did clean it pretty well!

 And this...this just blew my mind. I had no idea there was this much grime on that couch!

I used the one on the far left for 70% of it, then finished the last arm and cushion with the middle. The one on the right is unused, for comparison's sake.

I'm not entirely satisfied with how well this particular method works, though. Even though it evaporates quicker than water, the alcohol left spots behind in the places that got sprayed more heavily, and it didn't get rid of grease (not really surprised at that, honestly), or some other spots of unknown origin. But heck...I'll take what I can get, because it really does look better than it did!

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