Cleaning my micro-suede sofas – an exercise in blind faith

For the first nine years of my marriage, we used my husband’s former girlfriend’s faux leather furniture in our family room.

Words cannot express how much I hated that forest green monstrosity.

When my boy started teething, I encouraged him to use the side of the couch as a teething ring.  He was also free to use it as a trampoline, racecar platform and anything else he wanted.

By the end, stuffing was coming out of the arms and each seat cushion was in various states of decay.

And then the magical day came.  My hubby finally said, “Maybe it’s time to get new furniture.”

Long story short, we bought a light beige microsuede loveseat and sofa.  By this time, my boy was about eight and we thought we were over the worst of the kiddie catastrophes.  Little did I expect having another baby within the year.

Needless to say, it wasn’t long until the sofa and love seat were looking horrible.

Don’t judge me…I have two messy kids.

After several Google and Pinterest searches, I discovered that the best way to clean them was using rubbing alcohol.  Chris and Robin’s Nest seems to have written the bible on this one.

I started off by vacuuming the couches.  Seriously, the crap you find under the cushions.  Yuck.

Vacuuming is always an adventure.

Then I got my spray bottle, sponge and brush.  I started on the arm and then the back.

Tools of the trade.

I sprayed small sections and scrubbed in a circular motion with a sponge.  After it looked dry, I used the brush to fluff it up a bit.

On the upside, it did work fairly well.  The downside?  I used about half a bottle of rubbing alcohol on one arm!  And it was a lot of scrubbing.

There are moments in life when you know an idea is going to go really, really well, or really, really badly.  My idea?  Machine wash the covers.

That’s right.  I washed the cushion covers.  I carefully removed the covers, threw them in the wash and prayed.

About the time the spin cycle started, I started to panic.  What had I done?  I had visions of sneaking out to the furniture store, buying identical couches and dumping crap on them so my hubby would never need to know.

Finally, it was time to put them in the dryer.  By this point, I had thought about all the things that I wish that I had done differently.  Keep in mind, I honestly just threw them in the wash, however, this is what I should have done:

–       pre-treat any oil-based stains

–       turn the covers inside-out and zip the zippers


–       use delicate cycle and cold water.

–       Hang to dry.

Of course, I used the regular cycle, regular soap, warm water and didn’t turn them inside-out.  I also threw them in the dryer because it was a cold day.

Taking them out of the dryer, I was quite terrified.

Upon closer examination, they turned out….

Just fine.  Some of the oil-based stains are still a little visible, but it was so much better than when I started out.

The most challenging part was putting the covers back on without having the backs look like they were filled with cottage cheese.

Now I just have to cover my kids in plastic.


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