Pintesting: alcohol for a microfiber couch

Right before we found out I was pregnant with my first baby, we bought a house. To furnish said house, we bought a microfiber couch and loveseat.

In off-white.


Allegedly the couches were treated with some sort of protectant that meant you could only use water on the seats. But using water to clean your cushions leads to watermarks, which look even worse than the stains themselves:

The spot-cleaning with water solution is pretty much worse than the problem here.

Naturally, even though I'm not much of a deep cleaner, I had to repin this cleaning idea.

The basic idea: use rubbing alcohol instead of water.

Alcohol dries faster than water (the technical term for this chemical property is "volatility." Now you know), so the alcohol won't leave those big watermarks. Once it's dry, you take a scrub brush to the fabric to lift the fibers again.


A lot better, but obviously not perfect. I might have been able to get better results with more alcohol and more scrubbing, but it's very hard to tell how much scrubbing you still need to do when the entire cushion is wet! And if you're getting the entire cushion wet . . . hm.


My other solution to this problem was to liberally wet the entire couch top of the cushion: no edges, no watermarks, right?

Frankly, my solution was a bit easier. Both methods require considerable elbow grease, but my hands got tired from working the sprayer (a very wet rag is sufficient to clean the couches with water). Plus alcohol fumes are NOT fun. Alcohol does dry a lot faster (the above pictures were taken about an hour after the before shots, and the couch was dry enough that we put the cushions back on).

Also, neither method is effective on stains like pen, candy or permanent marker, and neither really helped with the very dirty arms of the couch.

And of course, a year later, the couch is just as bad—worse in places where my youngest has decided to express her artistic side. :\

Pintesting success:

I don't want to be all bad news. I tried this pin this weekend, and as you'd probably expect, the results were perfect:
Source: Laura on Pinterest

Line a bowl with foil before draining meat for easy cleanup! My husband thought this was so clever, he had to tell me twice!


waymom said...

We also have microfiber furniture and it was treated before delivery...and about a month after we got it my sister was babysitting and decide to paint in the living room and spilt oil based paint on the chair...Resolve stain remover(laundry kind) worked like a charm. And it was a lot of paint! I also just take the covers off the seat cushions and throw them in the washing machine and dryer! NO water marks and they are nicely fluffed from the dryer. Our furniture is almost 7 yro now.

Brave Brooke said...

Oh couch cushions. We have had such a fun time cleaning them. We have gotten lots of pen and permanent marker out with alcohol after the cleaner that came with them ran out. Our cat decided to pee on the couches so many times and we were tired of taking all the cushions outside and steam cleaning them that we broke down and decided to try them in the washing machine. Luckily they turned out fine but ours you CANNOT dry.

Jordan McCollum said...

I should say that I've actually successfully gotten pen out with water after much scrubbing, but maybe tackling all five cushions at once wasn't a recipe for success, since elbow grease seems to be the main factor in cleaning them by hand!

I've been really tempted to machine wash them . . . you ladies are validating me! Now to machine wash the rest of the couch . . . ;)

Lisa said...

This scares me! I am really happy with our decision to buy a leather couch for our basement. I'm excited to get it in a few weeks and I think it will be much better for a toddler, cat, and a messy husband!

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