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Just Ask Jess: What is ‘Microfiber’ Fabric Made of and What Should I Use to Clean it?

Microfiber fabrics respond well when wet-cleaned with the hot-water extraction method and a flush-type upholstery tool.

July 25, 2013
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Jessika –

What is ‘microfiber’ fabric made out of and what should I use to clean it?

-Tom, Havasu Cleaning Solutions, AZ


Microfiber is an extremely fine 100% synthetic fiber that can be woven into upholstery fabric. Microfiber fabric, sometimes called micro suede, super suede, or faux suede, is usually made from synthetic polyester fiber. It is stain resistant and water-based soils are easily cleaned from the fabric. However, polyester fabrics are oleophillic (attracts oil-based soils) and oily soils may be difficult to remove.

Microfiber fabrics respond well when wet-cleaned with the hot-water extraction method and a flush-type upholstery tool. Although every cleaner should have one for fine fabrics, I find that the dry technology upholstery tools don’t allow enough flushing action to remove some of the embedded soils on microfiber fabrics.

A quality upholstery pre-spray boosted with a citrus booster and an upholstery extraction solution works best on microfiber fabrics. For heavy hair and body oil soiling, a gelled citrus pre-spotting agent can be used.

 Many microfiber fabrics will have a nap to them, like velvets, and it is very important to groom the nap with a horsehair brush immediately after cleaning to smooth out any tool distortion lines, and to leave the fabric soft and supple after drying.

Being the Education Manager for Prochem, I often get questions from cleaners regarding a variety of subjects. This often keeps me on my toes doing research, conferring with the chemists in the Prochem labs or the engineers in product development, and up to date with the occurrences in the carpet cleaning industry. If you have a question, please feel free to e-mail me at


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What about "faux suede" microfiber

Peter Hewel
August 1, 2013
It is marked "S clean only". I don't mind testing, but even after testing, it can still come back to haunt me much later. Something goes wrong. Maybe not even related to the cleaning I performed, but they are looking to place the blame. Bottom line, I wet clean a microfiber product marked S clean only and anything that happens the next 5-10-15 years is going to be my fault.



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