Monday, September 20, 2010

How to Clean Microfiber Furniture

(If you're visiting this post for the first time, please be sure to read all the way through... I've added additional info and an FAQ section at the end)

The microfiber sofa in our living room has seen better days, but I'm not letting it go without a fight! I bought the sofa about six years ago when I moved into my first solo apartment. It's super comfy and I love the simple, but sophisticated design.


The big problem is the color... I love the super light tan, but it shows every little bit of dirt that touches it. Not too practical for our 60 pound furry friend! Calvin doesn't shed at all, but he does tromp in dirt from the yard. He's also turned the couch into his own personal napkin and loves to rub his face along the front edge to dry off after taking a drink.

After a while, the front of the cushions look like this (gross, I know):


While microfiber is stain resistant, it can be a real challenge to clean because it's a polyester-based material so water will leave a permanent mark when it dries. That means most carpet and upholstery cleaners won't work.

We almost got rid of the couch before we moved because it had gotten so nasty, but after piecing together a few tricks from the magical internet, I tried one more last-ditch effort to clean it and it worked! Here's the scoop...

Step 1: Vacuum with a brush attachment to remove any hair/crumbs/etc

Step 2: Spray rubbing alcohol onto the dirty area
This sounds a bit crazy, but it's key. The alcohol won't saturate the fabric and evaporates much quicker than water so it won't leave a mark. Just test in an inconspicuous spot if you're worried about colorfastness.



Step 3: Rub vigorously with a clean scrub sponge
Make sure the scrubbing surface is white or the color could transfer.


Plus you'll be able to see all the grime coming off your furniture. Be prepared to be grossed out (and secretly thrilled) - this sponge was white before!


Step 4: Let the area dry completely
The fabric may look stiff or dark in places, but the next step will take care of that.

Step 5: Rub with a clean, soft scrub brush in a circular motion
Again, be sure to use a brush with white bristles to avoid discoloration. This step fluffs up the surface of the fabric to make it soft again.



That's it... very simple, but effective! Check out the before and after...



Eventually we'll still need a more Calvin-friendly replacement, but this method will help keep my beloved sofa looking much cleaner in the meantime.


UPDATE:
Wow! I can't believe how much this post has taken off (thanks to Pinterest). According to my Blogger stats, this page has gotten over 800,000 hits, which is just nuts. Since it's gotten really hard to keep up with all the comments with a new baby at home, here's some more info and a hopefully helpful FAQ.

First, thanks to the many commenters who have recommended zipping the covers off the cushions and machine washing them. I still use the alcohol method for cleaning the sofa frame and arms and spot cleaning, but have started washing the covers in the machine when I'm lazy or we have a major mishap (i.e. projectile baby spit up situation). There seem to be many different methods to the machine washing madness, but what's worked for me is to wash them on warm with my normal detergent (Tide Total Care) and dry on medium heat before zipping them back on. Works great!

Please note... while almost all commenters have seen great results from the rubbing alcohol method, some have been disappointed. There seem to be mixed results with red sofas. Also, one commenter said it seemed to make the stains on the arms of her sofa worse then she figured out it was pulling up deep stains from the padding under the surface so she let it dry then pinched the fabric away from the padding while cleaning, which helped. (Thanks for the tip Kelly!)

PLEASE PLEASE be sure to test a small area before attacking your entire couch as different colors and types of microfiber may react differently.

FAQ's about the alcohol method:

Q: Does the rubbing alcohol leave a smell?
A: No. Although it smells while you're doing it (be sure you have proper ventilation), I've never noticed a smell after it dries.

Q: What kind of sponge and brush do you use?
A: The pink and white sponge above is Scotch brand and my scrub brush is Clorox brand, both from Target. While I prefer the white sponges, may people have had luck with the standard green and yellow scrub sponges and one lady said a white washcloth worked for her.

Q: Which side of the sponge do you use?
A: The scrubby side (not the spongy side)

Q: Do you wet the sponge before scrubbing?
A: No. Spray the alcohol then rub with a dry sponge to remove the dirt and oil.

Q: What percent alcohol do you use? Do you dilute it?
A: Just the standard drugstore stuff... don't dilute it. It works because evaporates so quickly.

Q: Does this get rid of odors on/in furniture too?
A: Removing the stains should help alleviate suface smells from pets, kids, etc too, but probably won't get rid of any deep odors like cigarette smoke.

878 comments:

  1. Awesome, Robs! I am most definitely going to try this with our red couch... Ella has made it her home, unfortunately! :)

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  2. If this works I'm coming over and giving you a kiss on the mouth! :) While your microfiber nemesis is Calvin, mine is sippy cups.

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  3. Wow! this might have just saved the life of my mom's couch! Genius!

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  4. This is wonderful, but do you have any ideas of how to patch up holes on a microfiber couch? My dog loves to eat leather and figured out that licking my couch for hours makes it feel/taste like wet leather. AHH...

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  5. Oh no! Unfortunately I don't have any solutions for patching holes. Our dog has done the same thing with constant licking. I just spread a blanket over the cushions long enough to get his mind off of it. Good luck!

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  6. Awesome! I'm going to need a lot of rubbing alcohol!!

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  7. wow! that's amazing!!! foudn your post frompinterest. thanks for sharing!

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  8. I have the same exact couch! I will be trying this. Ours still looks pretty good but I think it could use a good cleaning soon. I also have 2 red microfiber chairs that I will be trying this on. Thanks! :)

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  9. I seriously needed to know this last week. We had a very expensive sectional this same color that we haven't been able to get clean. I sold it for a couple hundred bucks just to get rid of it and bought something new. This would've saved it. Sigh. Lesson learned!

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  10. that's awesome!! i found the link to this post on pinterest. I have a dog who likes to lick her paws and in doing so proceeds to lick the entire couch cushions. As a result, I have plenty of those water type stains. I'm sure there are other stains too but those are the majority of it. I love my couch and it's matching loveseat, it is so comfortable, but the stains are gross. If only i could get her to not lick!

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  11. Thanks for the tip! We have two chairs that same color and they aren't looking too good. Will give this a try.

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  12. I can't wait to try this! Our sectional is an olive green that needs a cleaning BADLY. Found through pinterest! One question, is the rubbing alcohol full strength?

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  13. can't wait to try this tomorrow!! I have a 4 year old DAUGHTER who loves to sleep on the couch--- totally drooling it up! ;) Our red mf couches look NASTY! I did learn to clean a spill in the moment with hand sanitizer or a babywipe containing alcohol, but was unsure of how to clean the large 'set in' water (spit.) stains! Thanks so much!

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  14. Genius... will have to try this.. Even though we have a 5 yr unlimited cleaning/staining warranty through Ashley Furniture... it's a hassle to make a claim and wait for them to call and schedule an appt.. blah blah blah!

    Thanks for posting!!! :D

    Sarah

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    1. same here! and totally agree!

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  15. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! We bought a microfiber couch about 5 years ago, knowing that we would have children in the lifetime of it. Every drop of a teething babies drool makes spots all over, and it looks very uninviting when having company. I will definitely use this technique!

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  16. Sooo trying this today!! Thanks so much!!

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  17. Rebecca - to answer your question, yes... the rubbing alcohol is full strength. The point being you want it to evaporate as quickly as possible and diluting it would slow that down. Good luck!

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  18. Thank you for this. I have an ivory couch and a 5 year old son and a farmer boyfriend... not a good combo. I am going out and purchasing me everything I need today.

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  19. Oh my goodness, thank you for sharing this! I found your post through Pinterest. Our couch is in need of it and I've always used a professional-type cleaning liquid that worked well enough, but still left water marks. I'm definitely going to try this out. Thank you!!! :)

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  20. I am so glad I found this on pinterest! My couch is disgusting and this is so easy! Thank you.

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  21. Wahoo! Can't wait to try this! I wish I hadn't gotten rid of the matching ottoman that we bought. (Except it was so dirty that it didn't really match.) Now I'm thinking it probably could have been cleaned!

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  22. Thank you so much for this info! I just spent an hour cleaning only half of our furniture. My husband is a coal miner and has basically ruined one side of the recliner. Im not sure if that will ever come out but it does look a little better. After scrubbing and lots of cursing I think he understands now lol - I will never buy mf again.

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  23. God bless you! I will be trying this VERY soon! Oh and thank goodness for Pinterest!

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  24. We have the exact same color and material, but I unzip the cover and throw it in the wash and then dry it. I wash in the warm/cold cycle and dry on the delicate cycle and it comes out looking brand new. Yes, our couch is microfiber and one day our cat urinated on the seat part, so I had nothing to lose to try and wash it. I've been doing that now for 4 years.

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    1. Does it fade the fabric any? I have red microfiber, and I would SO love to take a cushion off and do this!!

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    2. Wow I wanted to try doing that but I was afraid that I would shrink them and they wouldn't fit back on the cushions lol. BUT I have used the carpet cleaner attachment and I put a small amount of laundry detergent in the machine and mixed well with water. It makes it smell a lot better but I usually end up with cushions all over the living room with a fan on them to dry. I will have to try throwing them in the washer next time. Thanks!

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  25. Awesome. We have an olive green microfiber couch that my 2 year old has poured/spilled/etc all over so I'll definitely be trying this!!

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  26. Does this get out water stains? I plan on trying this today because our couch needs it desperately!! Thank you for posting this!

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  27. Melissa - not sure if it will totally remove previous water stains, but it should definitely help fade the edges to not be as noticeable. Hope it works for you!

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  28. thank you! i've looked up different sites on the internet for this problem, and NOTHING worked. This sounds promising! thanks again for sharing.

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  29. So I tried this yesterday after seeing it on Pinterest. My couches had mostly water stains/milk stains/juice stains from sippy cups left upside down by toddlers. My couches don't look new - but I'm definitely pleased with the results! There are still some marks from some of the worst stains, but I'm not going to be mortified the next time we have guests. Also, I couldn't find a sponge with a white scrubber so I just tested a normal yellow/green sponge on my darker tan couches and it didn't leave any kind of stain. Thanks so much!

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  30. Glad it worked for you Kim - thanks for the feedback!

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  31. Um...I could KISS you!! We have a microfiber sectional and 2 dogs who use it as a napkin...after drinking and eating. Can't get rid of the dogs, can't get rid of the couch. SO very glad I came across this! Headed out to buy new "couch" cleaning supplies! You are a blessing!! Thanks for posting! :)

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  32. So glad I found this. We have had our tan, microfiber couches for 6 years as well. With 3 young kids (6 and under) one dog and lots of use it looks pretty gross as well.

    Another thing to try is that we unzip the cushions and throw them in the dryer and they turn up good as new. But will definitely try the alcohol trick on the parts I can't throw in the washer!

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  33. Sorry I meant we throw them in the washer!

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  34. My recliner was absolutely disgusting, I was getting ready to throw it out! I tried this out today and it worked like a charm. I'm so grateful, thank you, thank you and did I say THANK YOU?!!

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  35. we have a micro-fiber couch, and i just pull off the covers and throw them in the washer and they come out good as new....wash them inside out, and then put the cushion back in them while they are still damp....i couldn't stand them anymore and just kept my fingers crossed very tightly, and chucked them in....

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  36. I have that same color couch with those same dirt issues. I'm so excited to give your technique a try. THANKS!

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  37. Can I just say thank you. I will be trying this directly!

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  38. I just did this to our couch yesterday... cant wait to do it to our loveseat and our chair. Our puppy decided to pee on our couch one of the first few days he was home. I reached for a towel, dabbed it- then hit it with the resolve. OOps. I was ready to start looking for a new couch, but now I think I can make it a little longer with this beast! :)

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  39. I love it!!! Thank you so much I am totally going out to the store tomorrow to get the scrubby and brushes my couch is awful and you just saved me from paying a cleaner to do for me!

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  40. I am going to try this I tired to clean ours before but no luck. Do you know if this will bring out the water marks from before?

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  41. found this on pinterest and cannot wait to try it! like others i have marks on my couch and loveseat from sippy cups and a great dane! thanks so much for figuring this out!

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  42. Gotta love Pinterest!! Now I know what to do with the ones I just inherited. I'd heard that a fine steel wool will lift up the nap on areas that look polished, but wasn't sure what to do with stains.

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  43. My friend uses a TINY bit of tide laundry detergent and oxyclean and a little water. A scrub brush adn everything comes out looking new. Like brand new! she had a day care. her couches were discusting. I used to want microfiber but not any more..

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  44. Found this through pinterest! I've been looking for a good way to clean our microfiber couches. I can't find a white sponge anywhere; did you use a magic eraser, or where did you find a white sponge?

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  45. I found a scrub sponge with a white scrubby part at Target back when I did it. A magic eraser will likely just fall apart. One person above said they used a colored sponge and it worked fine... just test it in an inconspicuous spot first. Just be sure to get a scrub sponge, not just a regular sponge. Good luck!

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  46. I unzip the covers from the bottom cushions and throw them in the washer with the usual detergent and some BIZ and dry as usual in the dryer on a low setting. I have never had a stain that did not come out. For the attached back cushions and arm rests I use water with oxyclean or BIZ to break up the dirt better and apply it with a Black and Decker bathroom scrub brush that is battery operated. This really works well for the corded areas. Just go over the whole thing and after doing an area buff and remove loosened dirt with an old towel. They look brand new after this treatment. Love microfiber.

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  47. My stone colored sofa fell pray to two toddlers and a black ink pen, all over the top of the cushion! I was in a panic and looked it up on line, to find out what to do. It said to use alcohol, so I used an alcohol pad on it and it disappeared like magic. I have also taken the cushion covers off and washed them in the washer and hung them to dry, that also worked well. I love my microfiber couch, it's about seven years old and has held up great through the kids and cats, and now a dog! Still looks great!

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  48. Hello! So i work at ashley furniture homestore as a CSR but we sell tons of differnt kinds of microfibers but what they tell us to use to clean them is a low PH dish soap such as ivory (one drop to a cup of water...for any stain this should work... and to keep from getting the wet marks use a blow dryer... we had a WHITE microfiber couch on the floor and a little kid took and ink pen & scribbled all over it we used this method and it took it right out!! :) (p.s. we are really good about this so if you ever have a weird stain or special stain you can call the store and they can tell you the best thing to get it out for FREE! (760)375-4800)

    Good luck :)

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  49. Thank you so much for your post. You saved my couch! I linked your post on my page here: http://crazydazedesigns.blogspot.com/2011/10/dirty-dirty-couch.html You are such a lifesaver!

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  50. OMG I have to try this on my couch. I was so disappointed that we were told the couch was stain resistant, but not kid (or drooly baby) resistant. This may well save me a lot of money! Thanks a million!!!!

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  51. I have a question: While you are cleaning/scrubbing with the sponge and alcohol, do you rinse out the sponge? And if so, with what?
    p.s. I also found this post through pinterest.

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  52. I have a couple of sponges so I don't rinse them during the cleaning process, but do clean them thoroughly with dish soap and water afterward so they're nice and clean again for next time.

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  53. Several people mentioned that they have dogs that lick their paws (and the couch) and I read something online a couple weeks ago that addressed that issue. The article said it is related to their diet and it could be a quick fix. It is possibly something about too much grain. I would check it out!

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  54. Oh and thanks for the tip! I will be doing this soon!

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  55. wow! that's awesome! Thanks for sharing!

    Lindsey Turner
    http://thriftandshout.blogspot.com

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  56. Just saw this on Pinterest. I can't believe you can use rubbing alcohol to clean a couch? Looks so good.

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  57. I have a red microfiber couch, just unzipped everything today and ran them through the washer and dryer,I can't remember what happened the first time that made me think..."well, nothing to lose." and I tested it with one of the toss pillows first, but now, I'm not even careful, cold water, tide and fabric softener and dryer....I've done this at least 8 times...have two dogs....test one piece and go for it!

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  58. I wash our same colored microfiber couches with warm soapy (dish soap) water). The cushions get tossed in the washer and hung to dry, and then I wash all other areas with water. The trick is that you have to wash all of it, not just spot treat the dirty areas, or you'll end up with water marks.

    The downside is that it takes forever for it to dry, so I'm excited to try this.

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  59. YAY! I have a dog and two babies and our poor (less than a year old) MF couch is looking so gross. i'm so excited to try this... especially since the army is getting ready to move us to korea - i want our furniture in tip top shape!

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  60. Does the alcohol leave the smell behind???

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  61. Monica - I've never noticed a smell after the alcohol dries.

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  62. 3 kids and sippy cups galore have me scrubbing my couch all the time w/ carpet cleaner. I'll try this though - lots cheaper! Thanks!

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  63. Thank you for sharing! I found this on Pinterest, and am going to put it to use right away!

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  64. Love this, already tried it and it works. It is my husband's recliner and it looked terrible. We have 3 kids, 2 of them are toddlers and that recliner has been through it. Thanks so much this truly works wonders!!!!

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  65. Thanks SO MUCH!!!
    my couch also has been through it all and just last week our entire family had a stomach bug that left our poor couch in even worse shape, I had scrubbed and scrubbed but the couch still looked horrible! so I just tried the alcohol method and it really made a difference, maybe not brand new but much much better! maybe I will try taking the covers off of the cushions like others suggested but at least for the back and arm rests this is great!

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  66. Man oh Man do I want this to work! I have a red microfiber couch that we've had for several years with 2 dogs that use it as their beds. I tried this at first just on one cushion and could tell it wasn't looking like it was working. It actually started looking worse. I waited several more hours and decided to try it again on another cushion that wasn't as dirty and it did the same thing. Any idea why it's pulling out black looking spill stains after I clean it? It really looks worse than it did before. I really love this couch but NEED HELP!I'm scared to wash the cushions b/c they may fade and the rest of the couch will not match! Please help!

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  67. This works for pens and permanent markers in clothes and carpet as well. I also use rubbing alcohol to clean mirrors because it doesn't streak.

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  68. found you on imperfecthomemaking.com :)I am now writing rubbing alcohol and sponges on my shopping list. Thank you!!

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  69. Molly King-
    I've had this happen to me once before... turns out the inside of the pillow [it was a decorative throw pillow] was stuffed with random colored stuffing instead of the typical white polyester. It got wet and stained the outer cover. [I found this out after seeing it stain once wet- the original pillow cover was ivory, and turned deep blue wherever liquid touched]
    This *might* explain what's happening, though I hope for your sake it isn't. Can you possibly unzip the cushion to see what's inside? There might be more than one layer to the padding, so look carefully.

    I hope you can find something that works!

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  70. Laura,
    Thanks for responding. The inside of the pillow is white so I have no idea what the deal is. I'm just gonna have to avoid microfiber in the future!

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  71. Molly, I'm so sorry to hear this method didn't work on your sofa. It may be worth trying to unzip the cushion covers and wash them with a mild soap like Woolite. Hopefully some of the comments above can be of some help to you. Good luck!

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  72. found a link for this article on Pinterest today. I'll have to try this. Thanks for sharing!

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  73. Thank you so much for sharing! Just saw the post on Pinterest. Our 2 daughters have mastered destroying our matching living room set and they need a good cleaning and have been too nervous to try anything. I always hate having company over. Now I can't wait to try this... We always use alcohol to get ink stains out. Wonderful idea!

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  74. i did this and was very disappointed :( they still look like they did before i "cleaned" them

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  75. I am so excited to try this! I have the exact same colored couch and feel your pain. I hope it works. I shared it here: http://afewextraminutes.blogspot.com/2011/10/solution-to-house-probem-1249.html

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  76. You know what I love most about this post besides the obvious? I have the same exact couch so I *know* this will work! Plus I usually don't have a problem with it looking dirty but losing the softness from being grimy.

    Jodi @ Make Three
    http://makethree.blogspot.com

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  77. Found this on pinterest! I wonder if it will take out marker? I think my 3 year old used a sharpie though :(

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  78. This was incredible. I am so thankful, I saw this, and thought oh what the hell. I tried it on the arms of our sofa and it TOTALLY WORKED.

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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  79. I tried this but the spray bottle I purchased wouldn't distribute the alcohol evenly and came out more like a squirt gun. After that frustration, I simply removed the stuffing from the cushions and put them through the delicate cycle in my front loader with Woolite. I was ready to give up and get a new sofa so I figured I had nothing to lose. The covers came out great and I re-scotch guarded them too. But this is an awesome post for spot treatment, or those who don't want to re-stuff their furniture :)

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  80. Timing is such a funny thing! I was just telling my husband how embarrassed I am of our couch from all of the stains. Our poor couch has encountered all sorts of things between our two kiddos and our beagle. I'm so happy to have found these promising suggestions on Pinterest! Hopefully I will feel a little better about welcoming company over to visit and sit on our couch. THANK YOU! :)

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  81. Funny thing to find his because I've actually washed the covers of my cushions in the washing machine. My cushions have a zippered back so I just pulled them right off, turned them inside out, threw them in the wash with cold water and washed them. Hung them on the line to dry and put them right back on!

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  82. I could just cry! I HATED my couch, it was much worse than that and now I love it again! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  83. I also found that you can actually use water. The key is to use a hair dryer and soft bristle brush to dry it. You can do this also when something is just spilled to keep a spot from forming! I use a baby hair brush. Works like a charm!

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  84. Thank you! Up to this point, I've been cleaning with a little water, rubbing in a circular motion (as the manufacturer suggests) but for big spills (I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old!) I've just taken the whole cushion cover off and washed it on delicate. I haven't had any problems..but I'm definitely going to switch to rubbing alcohol for spot cleaning! My whole sofa is dotted with water spots...from cleaning off the OTHER spots. haha

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  85. Found through pinterest. AWESOME TIP!! We just bought one a few months ago and I've been growing concerned about how we'll clean it once it gets dirty (we have 2 dogs). Thank you!

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  86. You are amazing! I also found you through pinterest and just today my puppy got something on our brand new sectional! Thank you thank you thank you!

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  87. I found this through pinterest as well. I can't wait to try this. The back cushions on my couch are funked up from my Yorkie. Thank you!!!

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  88. Any suggestions for getting pet odor out of microfiber?

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  89. You are a amazing woman for sharing this, in fact tears have come to my eyes. I have a baby with really bad GERD, a 2 year old and three pets. My only saving grace is that our couch is green. Thank you!

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  90. Totally excellent tutorial - thank you Robin!!! Will be trying this out tonight (once I can get the hordes off the couch).

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  91. So glad to have stumbled upon this on Pinterest! My cushions do not come off, so the washing machine idea that many have suggested won't work for me. I, like everyone else, am excited to purchase the supplies and give it a whirl! Thanks for your post!

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  92. Did anyone have any problems with the alcohol leaving "ring" stains? I just did this, but it looks like there are stains from the alcohol. Maybe I did it wrong :(

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  93. Molly:
    I tried cleaning a couch my now husband brought when we moved in together. He was a smoker, and the water created a stain when it brought the tar(or whatever it is)out of the padding. That couch wasn't microfiber, but it is possible that adding any type of liquid would only create a larger stain. If that is your situation I would recommend a professional cleaner, like Stanley Steamer. They did a great job on that couch, and even took out most of the smoke smell.

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  94. Really, really needed this! Thanks!

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  95. I will definitely be doing this tonight while my 3 kids and dog are sleeping. Now I won't constantly beat my self up mentally for buying such a light colored couch with 3 kids LOL!!! Thank you

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  96. @Misty, I had the same problem and was so sad that it didn't work, I am going to give it another try and see if it helps!

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  97. @Misty, @Tami - Same problem here. Let me know if you find a solution.

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  98. I'm guessing this works with pen marks also? :)

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  99. Hi! Can you tell me if I'm supposed to use a wet sponge or a dry sponge when I clean my furniture?

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  100. Hi Cailyn - use a dry scrub sponge to clean after you spray the alcohol directly on the stain.

    And yes - this works great on pen marks. My best friend used this method when her toddler marked on her brand new Pottery Barn sofa.

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  101. I have a 5 piece sectional that I just recently cleaned AGAIN with my carpet shampoo-er. I usually have to clean a section or two at a time since it takes so long to dry, but I am excited to try this for the smaller spot cleaning to upkeep it instead of reviving it after it looks horrible! Mine does not come off for machine wash options. The key IS DEFINITELY doing a section at a time to avoid the wet ring spots. Thanks for the tips! ---Rosstar

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  102. OMG! I had just called a steaming company and got an estimate of $300 to clean my 3 couches!!! then, I found this on Pinterest! SO EXCITED to try it!! THANKS!

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  103. This is also how I clean my carpet! It works great!

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  104. When I do a load of laundry with my powder arm and hammer laundry soap and powder purex color safe bleach, I dip a small bucket in the washer and steal some of the soapy water to clean my microfiber couches with. This was the only thing that I found to take off my water stains. I usually take off the wrap for the seat cushions and wash them in the washer with this mix since they get the worst, then I just use a rag and wipe down the rest with the water from my bucket. They look brand new when I am done... even the parts that I thought were just worn weren't and they looked like new too!

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  105. Wow this will be so helpful we just got a microfiber couch I am sure we will have to clean it soon, and had no idea how until now! THANKS!!

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  106. This also works to get ink off microfiber. My son thought it would be fun to write on our microfiber ottoman. I never thought to use it on the other marks on the couch though! Thanks!

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  107. A damp microfiber cloth cleans pretty much everything off of microfiber couches as well. Even red crayon. I use the washing machine as well, works great.

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  108. That will help with the arms of the couch. I take the bottom and top cushions out of mine and throw the outside covers in the washer and dryer. You need to dry on low. I don't know if you are suppose to wash them in washer and dryer but they come out great.

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  109. Oh my gosh thank you thank you!!! I'm ready to throw ours out thanks to our 3 year old toddler! Will definitely try this first!

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  110. This is a great tip, and explains so much! I found I couldn't clean our microfiber glider with a wet washcloth, but baby wipes always do a grat job. Guess it's because of the alcohol! I'm going to stick eith baby wipes for spots, but if I ever have to do a big clean, I'll definitely try the rubbing alcohol. Thanks!

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  111. I cannot wait to try this!! My inlaws bought red ones about 3 or 4 years ago and theyre disgusting because of the animals and grandson, If this works, My mother in law will have no choice but to love me!!

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  112. I am so ready to try this I have two little girls and within the past three years our couch as accumulated several bottle and sippy cup stains. Thanks for sharing:)

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  113. Hi Robin, I found this post via Kelly at The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking and I was wondering if you think this method would work on just a normal fabric couch? I regularly wash the seat covers in the machine but the actual seat and armrests are disgusting!

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  114. I tried it and it worked like a charm. Our sofas will never look bran new, but now they are good enough. Thanks for the info. Also, instead of a sponge I used white scruby gloves that you would use on your skin in the shower. They were amazing and I think did a better job than my sponge :)

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  115. Hi Jo - depends what type of fabric... this should work well on most synthetic fabrics, but definitely do a spot test first!

    Mommy Belle - great idea with the scrub gloves!

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  116. here is a thought because after reading this the bigest problem on stained couches is the darn dog.....keep the dog off the couch, they are a dogs not people.

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  117. I am trying this today!!!

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  118. Thanks for the advice. For the cushions, believe it or not, but I just take them off and drop them into the washer. They come out clean and I let them air dry. I could never figure out how to clean the arms so your method is a lifesaver. Microfiber is very durable so the more you can keep it clean, the longer you will keep your furniture. You don't need to buy protective coating, like Scotchguard, on your sofas, just wash them yourself.

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  119. It is 2:11 am and I am itching to run out to WalMart and buy the supplies to get this done. Sippy cups and drool marks from both my kids have got me mortified much less when I have guest! I found you through Pinterest! Been using water and Awesome but takes a long time to dry and I was never fully satisfied. I CAN'T WAIT TO TRY! Thank you!

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  120. Oh my gosh. I just found this post and I AM doing this this weekend!!

    And I'm featuring this lovely post on my blog later today!

    Sarah @ <a href="http://thiscrazyblessedlife.blogspot.com?>This Crazy Blessed Life</a>

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  121. When we bought our microfiber couch I asked how to clean it. They said "oh just use some water and a rag". Then we had a baby and the couch got dirty. So I cleaned it with water. Guess how it looks now. Wish I knew this 2 years ago! Great post!

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  122. I saw this tip on Pinterest and just tried it to my nook chairs and couch cushions....they look new. Amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing this!!

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  123. Where did you get your rug?! It's beautiful.

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  124. Found you at Pinterest. Great tip. Will this work to a water/juice stain in the sofa seat?

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  125. Hi Ela - this technique should help fade existing water stains. Remember to test in an inconspicuous area first. Good luck!

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  126. Wow! I love the post! I have got to try this on the arms of my couch!

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  127. To the woman who asked about sharpie marker YES! It will work!!! :D and hair spray on pen ink will work too and if the hairspray leaves a mark hit it with some alcohol ... Sippy cups are my own personal hell and I cleanu couch about once a week lol ... This really does work

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  128. If this doesn't work for water stains I have had 100% success using Shout plus a scrub brush (must scrub!) I take the covers off, spray them in the shower with water, spray them with shout, scrub with brush, THEN wash in machine with soap. Put covers back on while wet, stand up to dry. They come out looking 100% NEW! No water stains! This is a long process and doesn't work on the shell obviously. But I'm so excited to use this new method on the shells and for spot cleaning! (I have 3 boxers that lick the couch all day long!) THANK YOU!

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  129. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up. When you use rubbing alcohol to clean PLEASE do it in a well ventilated area.
    I have chemical related asthma from using rubbing alcohol to clean my ceramic tile floors.

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  130. I took the cousin covers off and threw them in the washing machine AND dried them in the dryer!!!! It worked!!!! HA

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  131. You can use a steam cleaner on your microfiber furniture. If you have someone come out to clean it that is what they use. You have to clean a whole section however, like on whole cushion not just one little area on the cushion or you will have water marks. I steam clean mine frequently after the service man showed me. He said to that is the best to have with kids and pets as it is so cleanable.

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  132. found this on pinterest... can't wait to try today! I'm going to post a link on my blog!

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  133. My microfiber is a darker brown than this and they are disgusting! I was so excited to try it, but right now it does not look like it is working at all! How wet do I get the cushions with the alcohol? I sprayed, scrubbed with a sponge and then a cloth, but stains are still obvious and the sponges are the same color. I have done one cushion and my back hurts from scrubbing. Am I doing something wrong?

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  134. My microfiber couches look horrible! I have two kids- ages 5 and 1 year and two dogs. Between sippy cups, dogs liking themselves and the couch, and my five year old's recent napping accident, the cushions looks so nasty! I have been in denial telling myself since they are brown, that the stains and dirt along the seams and stuff, gave it a worn leather look. After trying this with the small cushion, where my daughter had her little accident, and seeing how amazing it looked afterwards, I am finally convinced that they don't look anything like worn leather- they look plain gross! Thanks for posting this! You saved me hundreds of dollars, if not a thousand bucks, to clean instead of replace my couches!

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  135. I'm with the commenter above, I have a slightly darker couch but still did everything and the stains are still there This is hard, maybe my couch is just too far gone, I think worst case I'm going to use some resolve and then go back a day later to get rid of the "water stains" thanks for sharing though!

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  136. I'm sorry to hear that people are having trouble with darker microfiber. You'd think that would be easier than lighter colors... Meghan and Anonymous from yesterday, have you tried the washing machine methods people suggest above?

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  137. I found this link on Pinterest, and I cannot wait to try it! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  138. I did try the Washing machine and they look much better! I washed and dried on delicate, cold. I have 3 little boys and ink probably have to do this monthly!

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  139. hey, I was wondering where you purchased your scrub sponge and what brand? I went to walmart and couldnt find but one white but it didnt work for us. Thanks!

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  140. Does it take care of the odor too? That is my primary issue second to gross grime and build up...Thanks for the great pin! I can't wait to try this!

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  141. This worked great on my couch. Took out all the stains and looks so much better! Thanks!

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  142. You can also take the covers off the cushions and toss them in the washing machine. I have sone with with my sectional and they come out looking brand new each time. Key os to wash them on delicate and dry them on low. YOu can also use a bar of neutragena soap to get out stains as well.

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  143. Awesome! I will be trying this today :). I usually just take the cushion covers off and wash them in the machine, and air dry them. They turn out great... however they're the biggest pain in the butt to get off and on. I have a few small spots I want to get rid of before a party tomorrow, but don't want to bother taking them off just for that. I hope this works! Thanks!!!

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  144. It kind of looks like you used an old Febreze bottle. I know the have a finer mist than my dollar store spray bottles. I have a darker microfiber recliner couch and loveseat that are both covered with spots from sippy cups and toddler drool. I hope this works to clean it up a little. I can deal with a few water marks. If this cleans up the grime I will be happy!

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  145. I have the same color couches as the posted picture and I wash my pillow seat covers and have tried the alcohol trick and it works perfectly!!!! I spray the entire area with alcohol so there are no rings left behind because if you don't, there will be rings!!! Thank you so much!!!

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  146. Well what I meant is I remove the pillow covers and wash them in the washer and air dry and then on the other parts of the couch I have used alcohol to clean.

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  147. Well...looks like I have something to do before Christmas Eve guests arrive! :)

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  148. Ok. This I will have to try! Thanks for everyone's info. I love my sofa, but it needs the cushions cleaned.

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  149. Ok. This I will have to try! Thanks for everyone's info. I love my sofa, but it needs the cushions cleaned.

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  150. I will definately try this! I have a laborador and a German wirehair... Need I say more? Thank you so much! :)

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  151. Alcohol also helps remove crayon really easily from microfiber. Learned this thanks to my toddler! I love my microfiber furniture. I remove the covers and wash them about every 6 months and now I know how to easily clean the parts I can't throw in the wash. Thanks!

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  152. Ahhhhhhh thanks so much for this. I stupidly took a water and a cleaning product to it and I now have big ugly stains all over my sofas. I will definitely be trying this out!!

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  153. I have the same color couch and love seat. I remove the covers on the seat cushions and wash them on gentle in the washing machine with Borax and peroxide. I hang them in the bathroom shower to dry. They look great after, but the rest of the couch still looks gross! I am trying your suggestion tonight!

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  154. This is cool, but I have to tell you that I unzipped my cushion covers, washed in cold water in the washing machine and dried on air dry. Too bad I can't throw the sofa in the washer beacuse the cushion covers are so clean the sofa looks terrible. Being polyester the covers do not shrink and the air dry keeps them nice and soft with no rings.

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  155. Thank you Thank you! We rented out our condo and left our Tan microfibre sofa behind for them to use. We were over there yesterday and I thought OMG what have they done to my sofa! This is going to be great to make it look like new once they are gone!

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  156. After so many holiday dinners, my 6 cream colored kitchen chairs took a beating. Especially one where someone tried to "help" clean a spill and left an ugly, ugly water mark. This really did clean them well; especially when I saturared the seat and used the hair dryer and some major scrubbing.

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  157. I cannot wait to try this. After years of 3 teenage kids and 2 small dogs our tan sectional is disgusting. My husband n i have been trying to find a suffessgul way to clean it . So hopeful! THANK YOU!

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  159. I will be trying this once I get the kids in bed tonight. We've had our microfiber couch for about 8 years and before it had a kind of suede look, now it has an unnatural, highly polished leather look. Ew.

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  160. Does this work on scotch guarded furniture?

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  161. Sara T - yes, our couch is Scotch guarded. Good luck!

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  162. Im happy to say it definetely works! :-) But it does take a lot of elbow grease and time. Regular sponges dont last long. Stronger scrubbing sponges work much better. 2 brushes wouldnt hurt either. 1 for more stubborn stains, one for brushing afterwards. Happy cleaning :-)

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  163. Has anyone tried this who didn't have a vacumn cleaner? If so how did it work and did you do anything different? I've got a recliner a little darker than your sofa and with 3 dogs and grandkids it needs some help. Thanks so much

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  164. Did this on New Year's Day. The fumes were a bit much (used 99% Isopropanol), but it worked like a charm. I used the blue scrub sponges from Costco and had no color transfer. I would recommend gloves and wide open windows. Thanks for the tip!

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  165. I have water stains from where I have tried to spot clean it in the past. Will the alcohol also take care of that?

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  166. sump battery backup - it should help to at least lighten previous water stains. Good luck!

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  167. Can't wait to try this on my light sage green microfiber recliner. One of our cats has slept on it and left spots where he drooled! So far I haven't been able to figure out how to take care of the drool spots. Can't wait to try this technique on it. Will first of all try it on the removable arm coverings - just in case ;-)

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  168. I use an agent i have never seen posted. Spray area with foam bathroom cleaner. Immediately wipe area with wet terry was cloth that is rung out. Repeat on all areas making long swipes. Rinse wash cloth often.

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  169. Oops. Wash cloth.

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  170. I can't wait to try this. I have a 7.5 year old red MF couch that takes a lot of abuse from 2 dogs, 2 people and several glasses of spilled wine. I've always taken off the cushion covers and thrown them in the washer and dryer (about once every few months) and never had a problem with fading. The arm rests look awful so I'm looking forward to making them look nice again.

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  171. I wonder if the problem the folks with darker upholstery are having is that it's harder to see the dirt buildup in the fabric with darker fabric. When you apply ANY liquid, it's going to pull that dirt up from the fabric, and even from between the fabric and the stuffing of the sofa/cushions - that might be the cause of the dark stains coming up after? OR, it may be that the alcohol is effecting the actual upholstery dye - much in the same way that it removes permanent marker (alcohol is a denaturing agent that can break down the components of ink/pigments). So, either vacuum WELL before trying OR be wary that the alcohol might mess with the dye in the fabric (test it somewhere hidden to be sure).

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  172. YOU ARE A GENIUS!!!! I have 3 little ones, 5, 4 and 11 months and my couches look terrible! I can't wait to try this... I have used my upholstery attachment on my steam cleaner and have cleaned my couch before but only accomplished soaking the couches and getting very little clean...

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  173. I have the exact same couch, I remove the cushion covers and throw them in the wash with a little Dawn detergent, cold water, gentle cycle. Then I throw them in the dryer on just the air setting (no heat). They come out perfect. On the arms I blot with a little Dawn and water and it gets the marks off with no water spots.

    I'll be sure to try this way when I can't get a smudge off. Thanks!

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  174. I'm thinking of trying this solution or tossing in the washer and dryer like others have suggested. But I'm wondering if anyone has tried this cleaning on anything but a light colored sofa? I have an ivory sofa and red love seat and both are in desperate need of cleaning thanks to my 2 dogs. The cleaning solution that Rooms To Go provides doesn't work and deep cleaning with a steam cleaner oddly doesn't work either. Just need to know if anyones tried cleaning a red couch and coming out with good results?

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    1. Yes, I just cleaned our bright red couches and it worked just great, no fading or anything!

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    2. Did you clean them in the washer or with the spray?

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  175. I didn't have a sponge so I just used a white rag... worked just fine! Thanks so much for posting this! Oh, also in the past I have used rubbing alcohol and a Qtip to get out marker and pen from our couches and that worked like a charm. Thanks for the tips, my couches look like new again!

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  176. This did not work for me unfortunately. I wash the cushion covers in the washing machine and they look great. But I have drool spots from the dog on the arms of the couch. Was hoping this would clean those up. Will try mild soap and water all over the arm and use a blowdryer to dry as someone suggested.

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    1. We cleaned ours by putting a small amount of dawn dish soap and water in a spray bottle. spray, scrub with a brush and then extract well with an upholstery cleaner. Not that expensive to rent and you have clean furniture!!

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  177. This is working...slowly, but surely, for my couch. I need to buy more alcohol and repeat it a couple more times. My sponges were also dark by the end. Yuck! Thank you so much for this "How To"!

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  178. I have two microfiber sofas, two kids and two cats...I loved seeing this on pinterest!!

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  179. Goodness! the internet is a magical place! thank you for this post! Sippy cups lives at my house, along with kids :-)

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  180. worked! YAY! thank you :) my couch was G.R.O.S.S. looking - so much better!

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  181. Oh gosh! i'M pretty sure my couch is the same color. I cant put the cushions or covers into the wash because they are all one piece. This my save my couch and my sanity!

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  182. Thanks! Going to try this. My couch is brown, so it doesn't show dirt, but I am hoping that the parts that are looking "leathery" are dirt and not the microfiber wearing off. Does anyone know - does it wear off over time or is it just that dirty?!

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    1. probably just matted with dirt and oils from every day use. try the alcohol or a little dawn dish soap in water. spray,scrub,extract. make sure you don't use much soap and that you extract well or it will leave residue and attract more dirt. saved my furniture.

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  183. I've had microfiber sofas for 9yrs. I have the Light Khaki color, so you know it shows All stains and dirt! I have indoor/outdoor dogs that track dirt & Mud on my couches and a 13yr old teenager and his little friends that come over sweaty and dirty and sit on my couches... Lol. But what I do to get them throughly cleaned is, I Unzip the seat cushions and Toss them in the washer, set the normal or delicate cycle with Warm water and a bit of detergent, depending on how dirty they are. After the washer cycle is done, I toss them in the dryer & set the delicate cycle on. They come out Clean!!! I love Microfiber sofas! But "Make Sure" it's microfiber, before u try this...

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  184. My microfiber couch has lost that smooth feel where people sit all the time. It doesn't really look dirty but I would love to get back that smoothness. Would this work for that? Bugs the hell out of me!

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  185. Sounds like a great idea! I have a micro fiber sofa and loveseat spotted by drooling and spit up from 3 kids! Can't wait to try this!

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  186. Thank you so much for this post. You are awesome!

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  187. Thanks for the idea. This weekend, the couches will be cleaned!

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