Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 04:25 pm
I am thinking of buying a new living room set which is upholstered in micro fiber material. I have been told yes and no to have it scotchguarded/protected from stains and accidents. Is it Yes or is it No???????
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 04:54 pm
I've seen arguments for both for and against it.

Some say it isn't necessary because microfiber fabric has its own built in water and stain repellant attributes from the thin, tightly woven synthetic threads.

Some say that microfiber means a synthetic fabric and that Scotchgard Protector contains acetone and that acetone melts synthetic fabric threads.

I just looked on 3M's website and all they have to say is this:

Frequently Asked Questions (Click on question to reveal the answer)

Q: On what materials and fabrics can I use Scotchgard™ Fabric & Upholstery Protector?

A: This product works great on most fabrics! Whether natural fabrics like cotton & wool, synthetic fabrics like polyester & nylon, or delicate fabrics like silk; you can use Scotchgard™ Fabrics & Upholstery Protector. (It is always good to test in an inconspicuous spot for color bleeding.) We do not recommend using on rugs, carpets, suede, plastics, or vinyl. On upholstery, check furniture manufacturer's care and warranty information. Examples of usage include: sofa, chairs, auto upholstery, camper & rv's, clothing, silk ties & blouses, delicate fabrics, wool, quilts, throw pillows, table linens, place mats, window treatments, crafts, canvas shoes, & more!

No where do they talk about the ingredients or mention microfibers specifically.

If it were me and I was investing a lot of money in the sofa, I'd call the sofa manufacturer and get the advice about Scotchgarding the fabric directly from them.
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 05:08 pm
By the way, if you aren't able to make contact with the furniture manufacturer, you can try contacting 3M and give them the exact description of the fabric, including percentages of blended fabric materials and ask them about it. Example: 30% cotton and 70% polyester. Here's a link to their contact page for the purpose:

There's info on this forum that you might want to be aware of also:
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 05:36 pm
No. Scotchguard is not needed and is a waste of money. I used to sell furniture and it makes the sales force happy (commission $+). However, please note: it WILL NOT hurt microfiber.

If you have children or pets there are after-market products you can treat the furniture ahead of time with that can help prvent stains from setting in. Are you aware that microfiber is quite difficult to penetrate as it's tightly woven (polyester or a synthetic fiber) The beauty of microfiber is that if you should you spill soda or sugary drink, you can clean it with a sponge (RIGHT away).

However, anything "seriously" staining -- anything like wine, with oil or protein (milk) is advisable to absorb the spill as quickly as possible. My thought about the material darkening over time due to skin to
treat with some sort of sealant....preferably ahead of in when you buy it. You can apply this sort of product yourself and is often sold in home improvement places like Home Depot and Lowes, etc.
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Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 05:55 pm
FWIW: when a material is called microfiber otr any of the other tradenames for this synthetic, non-cotton fabric), it is made of 100% polyester or man-made nylon. Anything with 30% cotton and 70% polyester blend cannot and should not be called microfiber.

Microfiber (and other tradename products such as ultra-suede, new buck etc.)
"Refers to synthetic fibers that measure less than one denier (very tightly woven and possessing a short fiber). The most common types of microfibers are made from polyesters, polyamides (nylon), and or a conjugation of polyester and polyamide.

Microfiber is used in the manufacture of non-woven, woven and knitted textiles. The shape, size and combinations of synthetic fibers are selected for specific characteristics, including: softness, durability, absorption, wicking abilities, water repellency, electrodynamics, and filtering capabilities."

Be aware that unfortunately, microfiber furniture has a tendency to attract and contain cat hair within itself.

Also, cleaning textiles (clothes and possibly furniture materials) made of microfiber must only be washed in regular washing detergent, not oily, self-softening, soap-based detergents. Fabric softener may not be used. The oils in the softener and self-softening detergents will clog up the fibers and make them less effective until the oils are removed by washing.
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Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 05:57 pm
Last night I spilled chocolate syrup on the arm of my loveseat. A washcloth dampened with cold water got it right off. I didn't opt for the extra and rather expensive protection offered when I bought it.
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 06:06 pm
Yes, Fox good work. If you're attentive, you can have microfiber last a long time w/o stains ... as the fabric sure won't wear down quickly with normal usage.

I just dug a little deeper for tips about how to clean this material:

How to Clean Microfiber Furniture

"For general microfiber furniture cleaning, though, a drop or two of mild detergent, like dish soap or laundry detergent, combined with a bit of water should clean your microfiber sofa in no time.

Odors like urine can be easily eliminated by blotting the stain with white vinegar and distilled water, applying baking soda, then vacuuming. For the most part, cleaning will be an easy process if it is true microfiber. Imposter materials, though, may be more difficult to clean.

The majority of microfiber sofas use polyester as the base fabric because it has the ability to absorb color better than other materials. As a result of this chemical process, the color is forced to stay in the fiber, and no other treatments will ever be necessary.

It may be necessary to occasionally have your microfiber sofa steam cleaned. It is fairly safe, but a professional cleaning service might not only do the best cleaning job, but also do the best job of protecting your microfiber sofa. Finally, to clean lint from your sofa, a simple lint roller (the kind that is sticky) should be the best option. Vacuuming might help in some cases as well. "
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Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 06:10 pm
"microfiber" is a name used for high denier (thin, or low-cross sectional diameter) polyester. polyester has an inherent level of 0.8% moisture content and while not water repellent like polypropylene, it does not absorb water like cotton does.

the claim that scotchguard which contains acetone destroys the fiber is untrue, because polyester is resistant to acetone. acetone dissolves nylon and nylon stocking runs can be stopped by a drop of the solvent at the end of the run. the amount of acetone in commercial formulations of scotchguard are in the range of a few percentage points, which means that the liquid acts akin to the dissolving power of the major liquid component, viz., water... and water does not dissolve polyester or nylon.

you ought to use the fluorochemical treatment on upholstery, because it works. "microfiber" is NOT a multifiber blend, and it could only be inherently stain and water repellent if the fibers themselves are stain and water repellent, which costs too much money and aggravation to do.

i have spun microfiber polyester, formulated spin finishes (with and without scotchgard), woven uphostery fabric and done tech service on the application of stain repellents and water/oil repellents on to the same fabrics.

do one thing, retain the reciept for the furniture if you scotchgard it, if the fabric does get stained 3M will replace it.

if you want to scare the representative you talk to, ask the person for the parts per million (ppm) of fluorine in the product and the level on the fabric for it to work. for the latter, normally it is in the range of 400pmm.

one thing, scotch gard chemicals normally cost $7-8/pound, but resell at up to $20/pound. regardless of who puts on the chemical you are getting ripped off royally.

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Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 07:59 pm
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE INFOI think what I was asking is "Is it worth the extra two hundred dollars" to have them put on what they call an oil based protectorant on two couches and a recliner or is it better to just spray them with scotchguard when I get them home.??
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 02:13 am
Hi, Certified Master Textile Cleaner (my documents read "Technician" lol) here. Don't spend $200 to protect the piece, unless it's a piece worth about $2,000 or more, and you feel you need the peace of mind.

$200 is a good price for all three pieces if it includes a warranty. In my cleaning biz, I applied top-quality protectants for just over $100 for an average sofa with cushions and I know a lot more about protectants and textiles than the regular Joe who will spray stuff on your new sofa.

Now, for your $200, though, you will probably receive a stain and repair warranty from Guardsman or another similar firm. So you're not just paying for protectant--you're buying a warranty too. But, read this whole posting before dropping your $200!

First of all, not all brands are created equally. One has to know what the fabric is made of before choosing the correct protectant. We routinely carried six different ones and used the right one for the right job, <i>in the right quantity and properly applied.</i> It isn't rocket science, but in my experience the guys in the back of the furniture store were not trained to properly apply it, and frankly didn't care. It takes them less than two minutes to apply it. It takes about 15 minutes to apply it properly, which includes fiber ID, bleed-testing, measuring the right amount of product, using the proper spray pattern and size, and application pressure.

You can buy Scotchgard(tm) over the counter, but it won't be professional formulations, and you are not an expert. However, you can do it yourself. First of all, READ THE CANS. This will take about an hour in the store, because there's Scotchgard, & DuPont products and varieties of each.

You DO NOT want anything with silicone!

You DO want something with "Fluorochemical" or some variant of "fluoro" in it.

You DO want to use the right amount. Don't skimp or your protection will not be sufficient. Don't overdo it because you will change the texture of the fabric (probably permanently). More is not better, but less is not enough. Take some time to determine how much to use.

One can will cover x square feet of fabric. A microfiber will be more absorbent so will require more, but not a lot more. You need to know about how many yards of fabric it took to make your sofa and pillows, then figure out how much of the can (or number of cans) to use on yours.

Oh, as a side bar, most microfibers are 100% polyester. The article posted above regarding "easy to dye" is a little misleading. Polyesters are usually colorfast because they are solution dyed, meaning the dye is part of the plastic fiber itself.

Because they are solution dyed, Polyesters are resistant to staining by most acidic dyes (Kool-Aid, ketchup, etc.). However, polyester is very susceptible to oily soils such as body oils, buttered popcorn, etc. This is why I won't buy microfiber upholstery. The grooming oil for my hair will stain it.

Remember that maintenance is key to your furniture's longevity and good looks. You need to vacuum the high-use areas at least weekly. Clean up spills very quickly. Get professional hot water extraction cleaning at least every 12 months.
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Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 07:30 am
Dayers: please reread what has already been posted as a few of us have written that it would be a waste of money. For much much less money you can treat the furniture yourself with various treatments available. See the previous post before mine.
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