Monday, May 7, 2012

Saving the Sofa

My sofa is red microfiber. It's beautiful. It's comfortable. It's unique. It hides a lot of dirt. I mean a LOT. Unfortunately, it just can't hide everything. It's been looking pretty gross lately. There are obvious splashes from poorly closed sippy-cups, smears of chewed cookie, and ...stuff that I probably don't want to identify. Man. Kids are hard on furniture.

I have been contemplating what to do about this for a while. Mine is a "S" type microfiber, which means that you should use a solvent-based cleaner as opposed to water. The only problem is that the bottles of cleaner that I could find in the store are EXPENSIVE (about $7 for a small bottle) and I would obviously need at least 3 to clean my couch.
I had come across this blog post showing that you can clean a microfiber sofa with regular rubbing alcohol. Hm. This looks WAY cheaper! I'll try it!

Here's an embarrassing before picture of part of my couch:

It's a little hard to tell because the red color really does hide a lot, but compare it to this lovely after picture:

You can even compare the part I cleaned in this picture, with the part of the sofa arm that I didn't try yet.
The method was simple. Buy a bottle of rubbing alcohol ($1), put some in a cheap spray bottle ($1), spray on the sofa, and rub. I used a clean sponge that I had, and scrubbed gently at the stains with the rough side. After that I took a dry wash cloth and rubbed the fabric to fluff the fibers again.

Want to see something scary? These two sponges were the SAME COLOR when I started.
It was a little distressing that some of the red color appears to be coming off on the sponge, but I had spot tested on the back of the couch, so I tried not to panic. The results were great. The couch (the part of it that is done) looks lovely and none the worse for the rubbing alcohol.

Less than $2? It's cheaper than the expensive cleaners, way cheaper than a new sofa, and easier than keeping the kids at bay. Great idea!

(EDITED TO ADD: check if your sofa has an S in its cleaning code. Mine is a S, and a friend's is W/S. the S means this will likely work, but be sure to spot test somewhere hidden. I don't think this will work without the S. I like you people and don't want to risk your furniture).