Couches are subject to a lot of abuse. From being the place we watch TV from to doubling as dog beds, your couch is probably dirty than you think it is. Luckily, steam cleaning can help remove off-putting odors and stains from your cloth furniture.
Yearning to learn how to steam clean a couch? Follow our guide on how to correctly (and safely) steam clean your couch.
Step 1: Remove any Covers and Cushions
- 1 Step 1: Remove any Covers and Cushions
- 2 Step 2: Vacuum the Couch and Cushions
- 3 Step 3: Spot Treat Stains
- 4 Step Four: Use an Upholstery Conditioner
- 5 Step Five: Get Your Steam Cleaner Ready
- 6 Step Six: Get to Steaming Your Couch, Cushions, and Pillows
- 7 Step Seven: Let Your Couch Dry
- 8 Why Should You Steam Clean Your Couch in the First Place?
To prep your couch to get steamed, you’ll need first to remove any covers. At this time, try to remove the cushion and set each aside. This separation will make it much easier for you to steam clean all parts of the couch when the time comes.
Step 2: Vacuum the Couch and Cushions
After you’ve removed any covers and taken out the cushions, you’ll need to grab your vacuum. Using the vacuum upholstery attachments, vacuum up any dust, allergens, pet hair, and dander that may be sitting on the fabric. For optimal results, do the following:
- With a soft bristled brush, go over the couch and cushions.
- Loosen any embedded debris so that they can be vacuumed.
- Remove any large debris that may get stuck in the vacuum.
Step 3: Spot Treat Stains
After you’ve vacuumed the couch and cushion, you can spot treat any stains on them. For best results, use an upholstery cleaner to help remove stains. For stubborn discoloration, use a solution containing one part heavy-duty laundry detergent with four parts water. Here’s how to treat those stains using the made solution:
- Dab on a rag and place the solution on the stain.
- Rub the solution into the stain.
- Let sit for five to ten minutes.
- Completely dry before moving forward.
When spot cleaning, make sure the area is thoroughly dry. If left damp, it can grow mold spores and further damage material itself.
Step Four: Use an Upholstery Conditioner
When applied, an upholstery cleaner will help get out any lingering dirt and grime.
- Spray the liquid conditioner all over the couch, cushions, and pillows.
- Let the conditioner sit for a few minutes, allowing it to emulsify the embedded dirt.
- Spray a small amount of upholstery shampoo on those same materials and rub in with a brush.
- If stains still appear, repeat process until removed.
At this point, you don’t have to worry about removing every last drop of shampoo and conditioner. When you go to steam, any residue shampoo and conditioner should evaporate.
Step Five: Get Your Steam Cleaner ReadySteam cleaning a couch is not the same as steaming a hardwood floor. For example, you will not be using a “steam mop” to do this. Instead, make sure you have an upholstery steam cleaner to use. These are specifically designed to clean upholstery and have the following in common:
- Come with a wide array of attachments to use on upholstery.
- Have portable and lightweight designs.
- Have long necks that allow the steamer to get into every corner and crevice.
- Can be used to clean drapery, couches, and car seats as well.
Once you have the proper steam clean for the job, you’ll need to add water to the system. Before pouring it in, read the instructions to know how much to add. Overfilling a steam cleaner can cause the cleaner to malfunction. Plus, putting too much water in the reservoir can leave your fabrics damp after steaming.
While the water is heating, find the stationary brush or cloth-specific attachment. Avoid mixing too much soap into the water. It is much easier to wash an area a few times than it is to have to remove the excess solvent out of the fabric.
Step Six: Get to Steaming Your Couch, Cushions, and Pillows
To begin steaming, start by steaming the underside of a cushion. It’s a good idea to do test steaming on a small part of the couch before continuing. This test will let you know if steaming has any adverse effects on the material.
If everything looks good, continue steaming the cushion in the following way:
- Take the handheld steam cleaner accessory and lightly steam the surface.
- While steaming, drag the accessory over the area to cushion to drive the steam deep into the fabric.
- Allow the area to completely dry before repeating, if needed.
- Repeat this process all over the cushions, then move onto the pillows and couch.
Make sure you don’t forget the sides of the couch, as these can often be overlooked. Don’t spend too much time on any one single area to avoid making it saturated with moisture.
After your finished steaming, turn off the steam cleaner and let cool before putting away. Depending on your specific steamer, you may also need to empty your reservoir.
Step Seven: Let Your Couch DryIt’s vital that you let your couch completely dry before using it. If you start sitting on it while it’s still wet, you can unite dirty it with your clothes and body oils. To speed up the process, place the pillows and cushions under the sun. Consider using a dry towel and run it over the couch, cushions, and pillows too. This extra step will ensure there’s no residual grime left.
Why Should You Steam Clean Your Couch in the First Place?There are many benefits to steaming your couch. Here are only a few reasons as to why you should:
- Steaming will help keep the cushion material pliable and soft.
- Steaming can help kill odor-causing bacteria and keep your couch smelling fresh.
- Steaming kills any dust mites, bed bugs, and other insects that may be holding up inside your couch.
- Steaming can loosen stubborn stains and remove embedded dirt and debris.
- Steaming will kill any mold spores of other funguses that might be growing inside the couch.
If you want to clean up your couch and make it smell like new again, give it a steam cleaning on a regular basis.