Why is my microfiber sofa turning black?

This is a resource article to help consumers understand the problems they may have with their microfiber upholstery. Being a professional upholstery cleaner, I will share with you the experiences I have had with microfiber upholstery over the last decade. I’ll also explain the best way for a professional upholstery cleaner to clean your microfiber furniture.

What is microfiber?

Microfiber is a fiber that measures less than 1 denier. Too skinny. A microfiber is 100 times thinner than a single strand of hair. The microfibers are soft, water repellent and have a great absorption capacity. Obviously, this is why furniture makers love it. However, have they tested it long-term with children, pets, and heavy use? I do not think so!

Why are the heavy-duty areas of my sofa turning black?

Because microfiber is so thin, it is actually damaging (wearing down) the fibers on the surface of the upholstery. Black is the backing under the microfibers. When I first discovered the exposed backrest seven years ago, I walked into my client’s living room, saw her couch, and said holy smoke, what’s all that black on it? Well, an hour later, after cleaning it and not getting transfer of the black areas, I found out about this phenomenon. She asked if there was anything she could do to fix it. I said, “No, the fibers were worn; you cannot put threads back on a bald rim.”

Are all microfiber upholstery of the same quality?

Absolutely not! For years I couldn’t understand why I was cleaning some clients’ microfiber upholstery that seemed to get the same heavy use as others, but it cleaned well and had no black from fiber damage. This is what I learned. Microfiber furniture is made with fibers combined to create yarns. Then the threads are woven or woven to make furniture. The grade of the yarn is what distinguishes the quality of microfiber! The lower quality yarn is made from recycled plastics. There is no way you can find out what grade of yarn the upholstery was made from when shopping for furniture. The smart thing to do is shop at a reputable, quality-oriented furniture store. If it’s been around long enough, you should have learned that you get what you pay for.

Why do I get water rings on my microfiber furniture when I clean stains?

There are two reasons why this happens. The first reason is that upholstery is probably one of the most neglected pieces of furniture in the home and needs to be cleaned regularly. Most of the furniture I clean is so dirty that I can grab my upholstery tool and leave a clean streak in the middle. Simply put, the stain you removed from your furniture is the only clean stain and the rest of the furniture is dirty, leaving what appears to be a watermark. The second reason is that because microfiber has good absorbency and is water repellent to some extent, furniture manufacturers and distributors tell the consumer to wash off any stains or stains. Now guess what has created that? Now you have 20 million people cleaning upholstery with whatever they have on hand under the cabinet! Most wash it as if they were washing their car. They are causing permanent watermarks, discoloration spots, loss of tint, and rust spots! Not a week goes by that I walk into a client’s living room and my mouth freezes. Most of the damages are irreversible!

What do I need to know regarding professional cleaning?

First, if you have the black coming in, you need to realize that cleaning the furniture is not going to change its appearance. Many of my clients still pay to have it cleaned because it can still remove a lot of dirt and deodorize furniture. This is how a professional should clean microfiber furniture;

1. Pre-spray upholstery with at least 9ph upholstery cleaner.

2. Wipe the entire furniture with terry cloths.

3. Use a solvent grease remover for areas, arms, headrest, etc. very dirty.

4. Extract using truck mounted equipment with at least 200 degrees hot water.

5. Stubborn areas should be sprayed with solvent and then removed again.

6. Re-clean the furniture with terry cloths.

What kind of furniture should I buy?

When shopping for furniture, there really isn’t much to choose from. You have microfiber, leather and different upholstered fabrics. Many consumers purchase microfiber furniture because of the reclining benefits they offer. Microfiber furniture can be very nice furniture if you put it in a room where it will not be abused, but if you put it in a room where it will be used a lot with animals and children, you will seriously regret it. As have many of my clients!

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