More information about how to clean with microfiber seems to be available in the world, rather than how to clean microfiber itself. This durable and easy-to-clean material shows up almost everywhere. It’s used to make cleaning cloths, towels, purses, and even furniture. The only thing it isn’t used to make is clothing since the material can also be flammable.
You are probably wondering how to clean microfiber furniture, towels, and all the other numerous products made with the material, especially when we use them so often. The truth is that the material used to make some of our favorite cleaning cloths is so amazing that it doesn’t require much maintenance at all.
Every product requires its own unique treatment, however. You can’t run a full-sized couch through the washing machine the same way you can microfiber cloths. You also wouldn’t want to wash a pair of microsuede shoes the way you would an eyeglass cloth. Luckily, we have the perfect DIY microfiber cleaner and method for each one of your favorite items.
What You Need to Know about Cleaning Microfiber
Depending on the type of microfiber item you have, there are many ways to clean it. The label will guide you in the right direction. Most furniture and even some purses have cleaning tags with a code that tells you exactly what you need to know to clean it.
Which method is right for my couch? How do I know?
There are four significant codes you need to look for: W, S, WS, and X. If you have an “X” on your cleaning tag, there isn’t much that you can do as far as stain cleaning goes. Furniture with the “X“ cleaning tag can only be cleaned through dry brushing or by using the upholstery attachments on your vacuum. It is not recommended to use water, solvents, or any other chemicals on this type of furniture, and you may need to get it professionally cleaned.
For the other options, however, there are some options available to you. The “W” stands for water-based cleaning only, which typically involves using a mild cleaning solution and some warm water. For the “S” tag, this means using dry-cleaning solvents should be your only method for cleaning this type of furniture. Solvents include cleaners like rubbing alcohol, baking soda, and vinegar.
The “WS” cleaning tag is a tricky one. Most experts suggest having this one cleaned professionally, as well. However, you can use a cleaning solution like vinegar, which is both water-based and a solvent.
If the piece of furniture does not have a cleaning tag, or if you are still hesitant about using any chemicals to clean a fabric sofa made from microfiber, test an area first. Choose a small, inconspicuous spot like a back corner or at the bottom of the frame to try each cleaning solution and determine which works best for your furniture.
How often should I clean microfiber?
Most of us only clean our microfiber products when they are visibly dirty, or during a cleaning session. Doing this is fine when it comes to our microfiber cleaning cloths and towels. Though when it comes to other products, it’s a good idea to be proactive with your cleaning routine.
Cleaning your microfiber furniture, for example, should be done at least once a week, or any time you vacuum the carpet. This reduces the amount of dirt and oils building up on the surface, which could eventually turn into stains.
Even shoes and purses collect a ton of unseen bacteria and grime that may not be noticeable until much further down the line. Because microfiber is excellent at gripping and locking onto materials, that also means it collects elements from every place it touches.
Think about where your shoes and purses have been. On second thought, perhaps it’s better if you don’t. A gentle brushing every now and then makes a big difference in the condition of your shoes and purses.
What chemicals should I avoid when cleaning microfiber?
Despite it being so durable and resilient as a cleaning cloth, microfiber wears down over time if exposed to harsh chemicals. Avoid bleaching agents when possible, for example, since they can cause discoloration on your furniture, purses, or shoes.
Acetone is another chemical to steer clear of since it breaks down and dissolves plastics. Often used to remove lacquer coating and thick polishes, acetone also strips the polyester fibers from microfiber products, ruining them entirely.
Cleaning with a commercial upholstery cleaner or carpet cleaner may seem like the most natural solution at the time. However, you will also have little control over what chemicals go onto your couch. Most cleaning products use chemicals that will bleach or ruin microfiber, instead of using natural products geared toward the cleaning codes.
Top Methods for How to Clean Microfiber Cleaning Cloths
When cleaning something as crucial as your sofa, ensure you are using the safest way possible. Even excessive use of vinegar harms the microfiber after prolonged use, which is why soap is generally the preferred method for routine cleaning.
1. Hand Wash Microfiber Cloth and Towels Used for Dry Cleanings
When it comes to microfiber, your cleaning cloths and towels are the most common products you need to clean. There are two ways to do this: hand-washing and machine-washing. Both processes are relatively simple and require minimal cleaning agents to remove stains. When using your cloths for dry cleanings, such as dusting shelves, then washing them by hand is the best method. Below is what you will need to get you started.
Soak your microfiber towel in a bucket of cold or lukewarm water. Swish the cloth back and forth in the water, wringing it out every so often to loosen as much dirt as possible. After you are sure that you have removed all the dust particles, let the cloth air dry on a clothesline.
If a clothesline isn’t available, hang them in your shower or over the side of the tub. Air drying them is essential since running them through the dryer accumulates lint and other fluff that wears down the microfiber bristles.
2. Machine Wash Microfiber Cloths Exposed to Oils, Grime, and Dirty Liquids
When cleaning up spills, greasy messes, or anything that leaves a residue of dirty grime on your towels, machine wash those. When washing microfiber, it’s crucial to note that these are not your average dish towels. Avoid using fabric softeners and powder detergents when cleaning microfiber to prevent ruining it.
Even hot water can damage microfiber over time, so set your washer to a cool or warm water setting. For regular cleaning, add about half as much liquid detergent as you would typically add to a regular load of laundry. Run the washer, then air dry if possible.
Exposing laundry to the sunlight as it dries outside is even better. Not all of us have the resources to dry our clothes in our backyard, however. If you need to use a dryer, use tumble dry without any heat and dry the microfiber cloths by themselves.
For stain treatments, add a little bit of laundry detergent to the stain before cleaning. Apply a drop to each side of the stain, rubbing it in with your fingertips until it has thoroughly worked its way into the fibers. Let it soak for five minutes before popping it into the washing machine for cleaning.
Recipes and Tips for How to Clean Microfiber Furniture with Different Cleaning Codes
When you need to clean a microfiber sofa, your first step should always be to check the manufacturer’s tag. This will point you in the right direction, and toward the appropriate cleaning supplies for the task.
If you have removable cushion covers, toss these into the washer and clean them the same way you would your cleaning cloths. Otherwise, use these three DIY microfiber cleaner recipes for each different furniture code, followed by how to clean microfiber furniture without using a cleaner.
1. Cleaning a Microfiber Couch with “W” Furniture Code
If your microfiber furniture has a cleaning code of “W,“ use a homemade upholstery cleaner that is water-based. Using a solvent cleaner on these types of couches might wear down or stain the fabric. Instead, use mild dish soap or laundry detergent to get the job done.
Add the soap flakes to the boiling water. Let the water cool down until it forms a gel, then whip the ingredients up into a foamy lather. Next, dip either a soft bristle brush or a white cloth into the frothy mixture and apply it to the couch.
Scrub over the stain without soaking the material and avoid leaving water stains caused by excess moisture. Once you have loosened the stain, wipe off the soapy water with a damp cloth. Blot it dry, or use a vacuum cleaner to collect additional liquid.
2. How to Clean a Microfiber Sofa with “S” Furniture Code
Your next furniture code is the “S“ tag, which means using dry cleaning solvents only. While using water may seem like a natural solution, this will leave behind dark watermarks on you microfiber sofas and loveseat.
Instead, use solvents like rubbing alcohol and vinegar to clean away stains. You can even add in your favorite fragrance of essential oils to mask the strong smell of these cleaning solutions.
To use this recipe, add the ingredients to a spray bottle and shake gently to mix them. Mist over the area with the stain and scrub with a clean towel using circular motions. Repeat this method as many times as necessary until the stain has completely diminished.
When finished, dry by using a clean cloth or vacuum cleaner. Never use something like a blow dryer to speed up the process, since the intense heat wears down the bristles in the microfiber.
3. Cleaning Microfiber Furniture with S/W Cleaning Codes
Another DIY microfiber cleaner you can use in your living room is for that tricky “S/W” furniture code. This combines a water-based solution with two cleaning products that are relatively harmless on most fabrics. This cleaner is also a phenomenal pet stain remover and works perfectly for obliterating stubborn stains and foul smells.
First, soak up as much of the stain as you can using paper towels or a clean, white cloth. Make sure to absorb any excess liquids or oils before adding the mixture. Afterward, mix the water and vinegar in a small bowl, and use a cleaning cloth to scrub the area.
Do not soak the stain with vinegar, and avoid adding too much pressure, which will cause the stain to settle further into the couch cushions. Blot the area dry to avoid leaving water spots, then sprinkle baking soda over the stain.
Let the baking soda sit for 30 minutes before vacuuming. This will absorb the stain and neutralize any odor-causing particles, as well.
4. Routine Cleaning of Your Microfiber Chair, Sofa, and Other Furniture
To keep your microfiber chair, sofas, and recliner looking fantastic, clean them regularly by vacuuming the surface with your upholstery attachments. It doesn’t have to be a heavy-duty scrubbing, just a light cleaning to loosen up dirt and dust particles caused by general wear and tear. Do this once a week as part of your regular cleaning routine.
This method is also the only option you will have, besides a professional cleaning, for those couches with the furniture tags with an “X” on them. Otherwise, you should still do a deep cleaning once or twice a year. Treat any stains with the appropriate cleaning solutions first, then sprinkle the couch with baking soda.
Gently brush the baking soda into the material using a soft brush. Vacuum up the remaining powder, and enjoy the fresh, new clean.
Cleaning Your Microfiber Purses and Shoes
Microfiber is also used to produce purses, bags, and shoes. While we don’t think about cleaning them as much as our couches and cleaning cloths, these products endure their fair share of bacteria and grime. Luckily, cleaning these items are relatively easy to do, and requires many of the same cleaning techniques as that we’ve already discussed.
1. Try a Gentle Brushing for Purses and Shoes
The first cleaning method to try on your purses and shoes is to give them a proper brushing with a soft scrub or bristle brush. This loosens up any dried-on mud or dirt left clinging to the surface of the microfiber.
If the shoes are muddy or wet, remove as much moisture as you can before it sinks into the microfiber. After it dries, you will be able to flake off any excess pieces of dirt and mud left behind.
2. Use Mild Dish Soap for Regular Cleaning
If you want to do a little more thorough cleaning on your microfiber items, add a couple of drops of dish soap to a bowl filled with warm water. Dunk a clean cloth into the bowl, and wring it out to prevent transferring excess moisture.
When cleaning your microfiber shoes, purses, or any item, you want to make sure you use a light or white cloth, even on dark stains. A dark cleaning cloth may transfer the color of the cloth onto any light-colored items.
Scrub the surface of your item with the cleaning cloth and soapy water. For the interior of bags, you may not want to use this method. Some designer bags use silk threads on the interior, and cleaning them in this method will only harm them.
If you know the lining of your purse is made out of cotton or polyester material, then you can use this method without issue. For the border of shoes, especially those with white edges, use baby wipes to clean off any tough dirt. It seems strange, but it works perfectly to clean up the white rubbery parts, making them look as good as new.
3. Add Baking Soda for Oily Stains
If soap and water are not enough to get rid of stains or dirt spots, use a little bit of baking soda. This method works with oily, greasy stains caused by salad dressing, lotions, or sweat to absorb the excess liquids.
Let the baking soda sit for approximately 30 minutes. Brush them lightly with soft bristles, or a toothbrush for small crevices, and then vacuum any remaining powder. For shoes, you can still vacuum the surface, but you may need to clear away smaller areas with a dry cloth.
DIY Microfiber Cleaner for Car Seats
Our final stop on the microfiber cleaning express is how to clean microfiber in your cars. The plush, easy-to-clean material is perfect for a place that sees so much heavy traffic in the stain and crumbs department. If you have small children, cleaning a microfiber car seat may be a weekly task.
No one wants to spend hundreds of dollars a year detailing the inside of your car at the dealership or the mechanic. You can learn how to clean upholstery yourself with a few, simple steps. Below is a list of supplies you need to get started.
Before cleaning microfiber car seats, get rid of any trash, loose dirt and crumbs on the car seats. Vacuum up every little piece you can find, reaching deep into the cracks so that the surface is ready to clean.
If there are any pieces of food left behind, the tiny food particles get wet while cleaning, then they will get stuck in between the cracks of your car seat and be far more challenging to get out. When you are finished clearing away all the crumbs, you’re ready to make your fantastic car seat cleaning solution.
Add your ingredients to a medium sized-spray bottle. Orange and lemon oils are perfect for removing stains since citric acid is a natural degreaser and they smell heavenly, too. However, if you want to try a different essential oil, that’s completely optional. It’s your car, and you want it to smell as breathtaking as it looks!
After mixing the ingredients, spray the area. If you are cleaning the whole backseat as a deep cleaning ritual, then spray small areas at a time. Otherwise, this will also work as an excellent spot treatment for tough stains.
Let the spray sit for 5 minutes. Use circular motions with your scrub brush to blend in the solution. The stain should slowly begin to disappear. If it doesn’t, dry the area, then repeat the process as necessary.
To rinse, you can either use a steam cleaner or a damp cloth. If using a steam cleaner, this will lift off any remaining soap and dry the surface, as well.
Otherwise, blot the area with the damp cloth until all the soapy bubbles have disappeared. Dry using your handheld vacuum and a clean cloth. On a hot day, it won’t take very long to dry anyway.
Cleaning your microfiber linens and products is as easy as cleaning with microfiber. Beyond being excellent at cleaning everyday surfaces, microfiber is generally water-resistant and very durable. So you shouldn’t have too much to worry about in the cleaning department from the beginning.
If you do run into a stain that needs fixing, these cleaning tips give you everything you need to clean your microfiber products.
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