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How to Steam Clean a Couch

Easy Tips for Steam Cleaning Your Couch

Learn how to steam clean a couch to help keep it smelling fresh and looking good. The couch or sofa is one area of our homes that in most cases doesn’t get cleaned as often as it should.

Steam cleaning is the easier and most effective way to clean your couch and should become a part of your regular home maintenance routine.

How to steam clean a couch

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The Benefits of Steam Cleaning a Couch

Steam cleaning your couch is a great way to get rid of odor-causing bacteria in your couch.

Your couch is used by the entire family including any pets you may have despite even your best efforts at keeping them off of the couch. Steam cleaning your couch can leave it smelling like new in no time.

Couches are one of the most frequently used large items in our homes and because of that, they can get dirty very easily.

Steam cleaning a couch or sofa is the best way to get it looking great again without having to add a slipcover that may change the look of the couch you fell in love with at the store.

Regular cleaning can help extend the lifespan of your furniture. Cleaning keeps your furniture in the best shape possible and allows you to see when small repairs are needed before they become large repairs.

How to Steam Clean a Couch

Steam cleaning a couch

Step 1: Prepare the Surface

Before you start to steam clean your couch, you should prepare the surface.

Take apart your couch removing cushions and pillows to make it easier to remove all the dirt. Use a crevice attachment to really get into the folds and corners of your couch to remove crumbs, lint, and lost items.

Anything left behind runs the chance of getting soggy and drying out stuck to the sofa, making it important to really clean out these hidden messes.

Step 2: Pre-Treat Stains

Just like you do when steam cleaning a mattress, pre-treat stains on your couch to help make it easier for your steam cleaner to pull them out.

While vacuuming your couch it will be easy to find these stains. For this task, you can use a stain stick or a small amount of your favorite laundry detergent to scrub into the fabric.

If your couch is heavily soiled use this non toxic stain remover. Not only does it lift and remove stains, but it also eliminates odors, helping to keep your couch smelling fresh.

Or you can mix detergent and water in a spray bottle and spray until the fabric is slightly damp to help loosen the dirt all over your couch for a more even and complete clean.

Step 3: Preheat Your Steam Cleaner

Preheat your steam cleaner after filling with water and adding in any cleaners you have chosen to use. This will allow your steam to be full force when you start.

Step 4: Steam Cleaning Your Couch

Start steam cleaning your couch. If your cushions come off, start with the top side of your cushions so they have more time to dry.

Move to the top of the back of your sofa and work your way down. Working this way will ensure any moisture that travels will move down and be passed over for an even clean. Slightly overlap with each pass to avoid streaks on your fabric.

If you come across a stain that did not come up with the first pass you can scrub over it a bit.

It is important that you soak up as much of the excess water as possible to ensure an even clean. Blotting with a clean dry towel can help if you soak an area to remove a stain.

After you finish the body of your couch your cushions should be ready to flip and repeat the process on the other side.

Step 5: Allow the Cushions and Couch to Dry

When you are done steam cleaning you can leave your cushions up against the wall at an angle to allow the best airflow around each cushion.

Allow your couch to fully dry before putting it back together. This can take a few hours depending on how humid your home is. In the winter when your heat is on this often goes much faster.

Frequently Asked Questions  – Cleaning a Sofa with a Steam Cleaner

Cleaning a sofa with a steam cleaner

What Types of Couches can be Steam Cleaned?

Fabric couches including microfiber can all be steam cleaned. Generally if removing the cushion covers and tossing in the washer is safe for your couch so is steam cleaning. Steam cleaning is the best way to clean a microfiber couch.

What Couches can You not Steam Clean?

Leather couches should not be cleaned with a steamer but instead, they should be wiped down with a leather cleaner and protectant.

The heat and steam can lead to the cracking of your leather sofa. If you have a vegan leather sofa it can even lead to melting.

How often should You Steam Clean Your Couch?

If your home is low traffic such as a single person or a couple with no children or pets, once a year is usually sufficient for steam cleaning your couch to help keep it in its best shape possible.

For families with children and pets that can make messes much faster than adults that are often too busy to spend much time on the couch, steam cleaning should be done more often. This is a good quarterly cleaning schedule task.

What Type of Steam Cleaner should You Use on Your Couch?

While a handheld steam cleaner can usually get the job done for killing germs it can lack in making your couch look like new.

For the best results, you should use a steam cleaner designed for upholstery.

An upholstery steam cleaner like the BISSELL Little Green ProHeat portable deep cleaner has an attachment designed specifically for upholstery.

This can apply the steam, be used to hand scrub, and will extract the moisture and dirt that has been loosened from your couch leaving behind a clean surface.

Can I Add Cleaners to My Steam Cleaner?

Yes, you can add diluted cleaners to your steam cleaner to help improve the breakdown of dirt.

You want to limit the use of cleaners to just a small teaspoon or two per tank to help avoid overdoing it.

An enzyme cleaner can be particularly beneficial to helping eliminate natural odors from pets or even your family, such as stinky feet, that have taken over your couch.

Final Thoughts on How to Clean a Couch with a Steam Cleaner

Steam cleaning your couch will help keep it in good condition and can even make it last longer (it makes your couch smell fresh and look as good as new). The good news is, it’s quite easy to steam clean a couch and not time consuming.

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Now that you know how to steam clean a couch or sofa, it’s time you get started with cleaning your couch with a steam cleaner.

How to clean a couch with a steam cleaner

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Friday 11th of March 2022

I have been looking for ways to clean my couch in between having professionals come to do upholstery cleaning. This is a great option and idea. Thank you!

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