Friday, February 27, 2015

How to Clean a Microfiber Sofa: Secrets of the Pros

Many people say that microfiber is a pain to clean while many furniture stores say it is super easy to clean and use it as a selling point. The disconnect? If you know how to clean it, it is super easy to clean. So we'd like to take the time to lay it out for you so you avoid any potential problems in the future and your microfiber will last you a long and enjoyable time. As an example, we're going to use the lovely microfiber sofa.

Now let's start with a basic question; what IS microfiber?


Microfiber is synthetic fiber that must be finer than one denier. According to Shawn Strouse, director of sales at Tuway American Group in Troy, Michigan, a "denier is a unit of linear measurement equal to the mass in grams of 9,000 meters of the fiber" which Judy Klein, the director of microfiber cleaning at Rubbermaid Commercial Products of Virginia, says is the equivalent to "1/100th the diameter of a human hair" (Rosenzwieg).

They are usually made from polyesters, polyamides, or a combination of those two and polypropylene. Its Wiki page states that it's usually
used to make mats, knits, and weaves for apparel, upholstery, industrial filters, and cleaning products. The shape, size, and combinations of synthetic fibers are selected for specific characteristics, including softness, toughness, absorption, water repellency, electrodynamics, and filtering capabilities ("Microfiber").  
Because the fibers are so small and tightly-knit, this material is perfect for furniture like sofas and love seats because the fibers don't allow dust or allergens to sink into the fabric, or at least not easily.

A Short History
Microfiber dates back to the late 1950s when experimentation was being done with synthetic fibers. But since results were hit or miss, microfiber didn't show its face until the 1970s when a Japanese company's version, Ultrasuede, hit stores and flew off the shelves. Microfiber struck again in the early 1990s in Sweden and was popular and successful all throughout Europe. It was then continued into the U.S. under the company known then as ACT. It is now Norwex.


Is Microsuede the Same Thing?
No it's not, but it's very close. If you look at the "Microfiber" article on Overstock.com, it will tell you that microfiber "is a more general term referring to a material made of fibers smaller than 1 denier, which makes them thinner than silk. Microsuede is a type of fiber designed to have qualities similar to suede." Still confused?


If you'd like to learn how to clean microsuede as opposed to microfiber, click here.

How Do I Clean It? Get to the Point Already!
Directions courtesy of http://www.overstock.com/guides/how-to-clean-a-microfiber-sofa and http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-a-Microfiber-Upholstered-Sofa

  1. Vacuum. Vacuum to get the dust and lint off it, otherwise it might stain the fabric.
  2. Scrub Stains. Scrub any stains with a clean, dry brush. This will help lift off any crusty spills from the fabric.
  3. Lint Roll. Go over the sofa with a lint roller to hair and particles that the vacuum might miss.
  4. Remove Cushions and Pillows and Clean. Remove the seat cushions, back cushions, and any loose pillows. Then run your vacuum and lint roller through those areas.
  5. Read the Label. The label on your sofa will tell you what cleaners will agree with the sofa. It will either read "W" or "water-based cleaner"; or there will be a "S" or "solvent-based cleaner". Otherwise, it will say "S/W" for either, or a "X" for neither (vacuum and lint roll only).
A. If the label says "water-based cleaner" or "W"...
  1. Mix Soap and Water. Mix a few drops of a mild soap with a water-based cleaning solution that is good enough to fix most stains. Other options might be a mild dish detergent, carpet cleaner, or upholstery shampoo.
  2. If Smells Bother You... add a few drops of white vinegar or a pinch of baking soda to remove odor while cleaning.
  3. Test the Cleaner. ALWAYS test it before you use it just to make sure. Try it someplace inconspicuous, like a spot under the sofa cushion. Clean it then let it dry to make sure the color and/or texture of the microfiber aren't affected.
  4. Apply the Cleaner and Use. Apply the cleaning solution with a clean, soft rag, and then gently blot the sofa to remove the stain. Be patient. You may have to reapply a number of times to fully lift the stain. NEVER pour the solution directly on the sofa as the goal is to use the least amount of saturation as possible to get the job done and protect your furniture piece.
B. If the label says "solvent-based cleaner" or "S"...
Directions courtesy of http://www.overstock.com/guides/how-to-clean-a-microfiber-sofa and http://www.wikihow.com/Clean-a-Microfiber-Upholstered-Sofa

  1. Acquire Solvent-Based Cleaner. You will either need to buy a microfiber upholstery cleaner like this one or use one of the following: rubbing alcohol, clear alcohol (i.e.: gin or vodka), dry-cleaning solvent, lighter fluid, baby wipes, or oxygenating solutions that don't contain bleach.
  2. Test the Cleaner. ALWAYS test it before you use it just to make sure. Try it someplace inconspicuous, like a spot under the sofa cushion. Clean it then let it dry to make sure the color and/or texture of the microfiber aren't affected.
  3. Apply the Cleaner and Use. Apply the cleaning solution with a clean, soft rag, and then gently blot the sofa to remove the stain. Be patient. You may have to reapply a number of times to fully lift the stain. NEVER pour the solution directly on the sofa as the goal is to use the least amount of saturation as possible to get the job done and protect your furniture piece.
  4. Scrub the Cleaned Areas. Microfiber tends to stiffen after being cleaned, so be sure to scrub it back to normal with a clean, dry brush.
C. If the label says "S/W" for either method...
  • ...then use whichever method you'd like.
D. If the label says "X" for neither method...
  • RESIST getting your sofa wet at all and stick to the lint rolling and vacuuming.
Some Microfiber Sofas and Sectionals That We Sell

1) 2-Piece Ace Chocolate Sectional. Not only will you love the microfiber material on this baby, but the feather down seating, backs, and pillows will have you in absolute heaven once you sit down.
Item #: 186S. Dimensions: 142"W x 116"D x 39"H. Pillows included. Other sofa and pillow colors available. CL Price: $2199.

2) Monika Two-Tone Stationary Chocolate Sofa with Wooden Feet. Upholstered with chocolate brown vinyl and corduroy microfiber cushions, you can't go wrong with this comfortable and soothing piece.
Item #: 502811. Dimensions: 80"W x 36"D x 38"H. CL Price: $399.90.

3) Durant Tan Microfiber Click Clack Futon. This lovely sleeper sofa has a pillow top and a tufted back. Click it up, you have a sofa! Clack it down, you have a bed!
Item #: 413357. Dimensions: 72"W x 43"D x 14"H. CL Price: $199.99.

As always, we're here every day, 363 days of the year, from 9am to 6pm. Come on by and say hello and we'll help you find whatever it is you're looking for!

Have a great weekend all!



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4 comments:

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