How to Steam Clean Your Couch

If you’re considering buying a new couch because your old one is dirty, why not clean it using steam first? Steam cleaning isn’t harmful to your couch. It can be quite refreshing, especially if the fabric is meant to be steam cleaned. 

Let’s see how to steam clean your couch in a few easy steps without the need to call a special cleaning service.

How to Steam Clean Your Couch

What Couch Materials are Suitable for Steam Cleaning?

Steam cleaning is specific since not all materials are meant to be cleaned with steam. It is important to know that there are rules and standards when it comes to furniture cleaning. Every piece of furniture has special labels that designate how you should properly clean it. 

For example, a label with the letter W(wet) or a WS(wet and solvent cleaning) means that piece of furniture is suitable for steam cleaning. On the other hand, labels marked with S or X should not be cleaned with steam since the first only indicates solvent, while the latter means no cleaning. 

If the labels seem confusing, let us simplify them even more. Namely, “steam-friendly” materials include polyester, cotton, nylon, velvet, and microfiber. On the other hand, you shouldn’t steam a couch if it’s made from leather, suede, or silk. 

Benefits of Steam Cleaning Your Couch

The biggest benefit of steam cleaning is that your couch will be thoroughly cleaned, removing bacteria that may have infiltrated the fabric. It will get a new and refreshing look and smell without the need to cover it with a slipcover.

Another benefit is that steam cleaning will increase the lifespan of your couch, especially if you do it frequently. Besides, this cleaning method is excellent for removing any permanent stains on your couch.

A complementary benefit of steam cleaning is that you don’t have to use any additional chemical products. The steam itself is sufficient to remove stains, germs, and bacteria without the need to apply special substances which might ruin the fabric material of the couch in the process.

How to Steam Clean Your Couch Easily

It’s very easy to steam clean your couch, especially if you already have everything you need. Besides, it’s much cheaper and faster than calling a cleaning service to do it for you. Below we will discuss how to steam clean your couch and what additional materials you might need.

Make sure you have everything you need

Besides a furniture upholstery steam cleaner, you will need a few more things to perform a deep cleaning of your couch. Being prepared will save you time and enable you to finish the process fully and quickly.

In addition, you will also need a couple of dry towels, some liquid soap and warm water, a dry sponge, a special stain removal product, and a vacuum cleaner. The stain removal product is optional and unnecessary if your couch has no stains.

Before you start, check the couch label and ensure that the fabric is resistant and compatible with steam cleaning. We mentioned this in one of the previous sections of the article.

Related: How to Clean a Velvet Couch

vacuum cleaning couch

Start by wiping and vacuum cleaning your couch

The first thing to do is remove any cushions that might be resting on the couch. As you do that, vacuum each cushion and wipe it with a dry cloth afterward. 

After you’ve vacuumed and wiped all the cushions, proceed to vacuum the rest of the couch as thoroughly as possible. Removing any dirt and dust is essential in this step because applying steam will dilute the dirt and make it sink even deeper into the fabric.

Once you’ve vacuumed all the corners and tight spots of the couch, you can wipe the couch with a cloth to completely remove any leftover dirt. 

Remove the stains(if any)

If there are any stains on the couch, now would be a good time to try and remove them. If the stain is small and not that deep into the fabric, you can try and remove it with warm water and liquid soap first. However, if that doesn’t work, you might need to apply a special stain removal product, which you must purchase optionally.

Start rubbing the stain from the outside inward using a sponge dipped in a water-soap mix. The outward-in motion prevents the stain from spreading even more across the fabric. Once the stain disappears, tap the spot with a dry cloth to dry it out.

Steam the couch and cushions

Now comes the most important step. After your steam cleaner has reached the temperature required to turn water into steam, start by steam cleaning the cushions first. Perform steady swiping motions across the cushions, ensuring you cover the surface evenly. 

Don’t linger too much in one spot, as this might get the fabric too hot and wet, taking it longer to dry. Do this to both sides of the cushions. 

After the cushions, proceed to steam clean your entire couch. It’s not necessary to go into much detail here, only that it is important to take your time and go slowly. Each cleaner behaves differently, so once you get a sense of it, you will know exactly how long each swipe should take without damaging the fabric. Also, make sure to go into every corner and tight spot of the couch as much as possible.

Let the couch and cushions to dry out, and you’re finished

The final step is leaving everything to dry since the steam would have left the couch and cushions lightly damped. It’s a good idea to leave two or more windows open and let more air circulation into the room for the couch and cushions to dry faster. 

Read more: How to Clean a Polyester Couch


Now that you know how to steam clean your couch easily and without any special equipment, you will give it a refreshing new look, extending its life and making your living room look even better.

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