How To Clean A Couch With A Steam Cleaner?

A couch or a sofa is one of the most common home comfort items. You can sit or sleep on your couch and it establishes a mood in your house as well. It is one of the anchor pieces around which other furniture pieces are arranged.

A couch can correct your sitting posture and help you remain calm and relaxed. It might also be the most valuable item in your house as it is expensive and sets the tone of your living space as well. Thus, you should take care of your couch as it is very important for every household.

One of the best ways to clean your couch is by steam cleaning it.

However, you must be careful how you steam clean your couch as you can damage your couch. You wanna make sure you do it properly so that your beautiful, squishy, and luxurious couch.

Nobody wants to ruin their beautiful and comfortable couch. So, we have prepared how you should steam clean your couch. Make sure you read this article until the end so that you can clean your couch properly.

The methods to properly clean your couch


In this section, we will be telling you the proper steps to steam clean your couch. But you must prepare some items beforehand such as a vacuum, stain remover,  fabric shampoo, soil emulsifier, cloths or scrubbing brush, and steam cleaner. The first step is to know whether your couch can be steam cleaned or not.

Continue reading this article to find out how you can distinguish whether your couch can be steam cleaned and other steps that you must follow in order to properly steam clean your couch. Make sure you read the article to the end so that you will be able to properly clean your couch.

Step 1: Know whether your couch can be steam cleaned

Couch LabelCleaning MethodCan Use Steam Cleaner?
WWater-based cleanersYes
SSolvent-based cleanersNo
SWWater-based or solventYes
XVacuum cleaner or brush onlyNo

Before you even start steam cleaning your couch, you must know whether your couch can withstand steam cleaning or not. Basically, there are three labels i.e., “W”, “S”, “SW”, and “X”.

If your couch is labeled “W”, it means that you can only use water-based cleaners on it. Thus, you can use a steam cleaner to clean this type of couch but you should avoid using chemicals and other cleaning solutions as they can break down the fabric of your sofa.

If your couch is labeled “S”, it means that you can only use solvent-based cleaner only. Thus, you shouldn’t steam clean or use other water-based cleaning methods to clean this type of couch.

If your couch is labeled “SW”, it means that you can use water-based detergent or solvent cleaners on it. Thus, you can use a steam cleaner to clean this type of couch.

If your couch is labeled “X”, it means that you can only use a vacuum cleaner or a brush on it. You must never use steam cleaners, water-based or solvent-based cleaners on this type of couch.

To conclude, you can only use a steam cleaner on the couch which is labeled “W” and “SW”. So, make sure the check the label on your couch before you even start to steam clean your couch.

Step 2: Sweep or vacuum the couch

The next step is to sweep or vacuum the couch. You should remove all the dirt, pet hair, crumbs, or other kinds of objects that can create an issue while using a steam cleaner.

Make sure you vacuum down the sides by removing cushions and also at the sides and back of the couch. Don’t leave any knicks and crannies where the dust or other kinds of trash can accumulate cause it can seriously hamper the cleaning performance of your steam cleaner.

Moreover, don’t rush the process as it is very important and you might be even surprised to see your sofa shine just after vacuuming. So, take your time and make sure you vacuum or sweep every part of the couch.

Step 3: Treat the stains and smell

While you are enjoying your time watching television and eating, suddenly your food can get dropped on your sofa and leave a stain on it. These types of stains might be difficult for the steam cleaner to clean alone. Thus, it’s a good idea to pre-treat the stain before applying steam cleaner.

To remove the tough stains, you can read the manufacturer’s user manual or guidelines on the label of the cleaning agent before buying your couch. However, you must always check or test the product before use in an inconspicuous place on the couch. You can have various types of stains such as food-based, oil-based, etc.

Most stains can be treated with a pre-treatment cleaner. Before you start steam cleaning, you can simply apply the pre-treatment cleaner to the stains and that would be enough to remove the stains.

Also, you can also use other home-based treatment cleaners such as white vinegar and rubbing alcohol, or a mixture of baking soda, cornstarch, and water. But make sure to gently apply the homemade cleaner so that you won’t damage the couch.

If the stain still remains on your couch then you can try a more deep cleaning agent. Never rub the stain with the deep cleaning agent as it could worsen it so you must slowly clean around the edges first making your way into the middle. Make sure the deep cleaner doesn’t harm your couch and is recommended by the manufacturers.

Step 4: Use the correct steamer for your couch

There are probably hundreds of steam cleaners but only some of them are specifically designed to clean your couches. Many steam cleaners come with a lot of attachments and accessories that help in steam cleaning your couch.

You can buy upholstery steam cleaner which is specially designed for furniture fabric. Avoid using carpet or floor cleaning steamers as they don’t work properly on your couch and they can leave your couch soaking wet as well.

The steamer should be able to penetrate deep into the material of the couch and make sure the steam cleaner has a nozzle attachment as it helps you steam clean your couch.

You might also get some special attachments that are designed especially for certain kinds of material.

The steam cleaner with an adjustable steam control feature is the one you should look for as you’ll be able to adjust the steam according to your need. Make sure to read the user manual and confirm whether the stream mop can be used on your couch.

Step 5: Inspect and prepare the machine for cleaning

After you have got the proper steam cleaner for your couch, you should inspect the steam cleaner and make sure that it works. Most steam mops require only water to function so no more buying expensive chemicals and cleaning solutions.

You could use distilled or demineralized water to increase the longevity of your steam mop. Some of the steamers also use a cleaning solution along with water for cleaning.

But make sure you use the proper ratio while mixing water and cleaning solutions so that you won’t damage your couch and equipment.

Read the user manual properly and make sure you have attached all the parts of the steam cleaner properly and find out which attachment is best for cleaning your couch.

Make sure you fill the water tank of the steam mop before using it. You might also have to wait for some time for the steam cleaner to heat up because if you don’t only hot water will come out through the nozzle instead of steam and this could soak your fabric.

Step 6: The correct way to use a steam cleaner

Now that your steam cleaner is ready, let’s start cleaning your couch step by step to make it easy and effective.

  1. Remove Loose Cushions and Pillows: First, take out any loose cushions and removable pillows from the couch.
  2. Start from the Visible Side: Begin steam cleaning from the side of the couch that is most visible or used.
  3. Avoid Steaming Both Sides Together: Don’t steam clean both sides of the couch simultaneously. If you need to clean the other side, wait for the first side to dry completely before proceeding to the next.
  4. Steam Clean the Surface: Use the steam on the surface of the cushions with swift strokes. Avoid lingering on one spot for too long to prevent any damage.
  5. Divide and Conquer: For larger areas, divide them into smaller sections and clean one at a time. This way, the fabric won’t soak too much water at once, which could damage it.
  6. Be Thorough but Cautious: If any dirt remains in a particular area, you can steam clean it again, but be careful not to overdo it, as too much water can harm the fabric.

Best steam Mop To Clean Couch

How often should you steam clean your couch?

Steam cleaning your couch depends on the situation of your house. You should vacuum or light clean the couch depending upon how often it gets used and the material of the couch.

If it gets used quite often and is built with a material that accumulates a lot of dirt and dust then you must vacuum your couch regularly. Moreover, you must also quickly treat the stains as soon as possible.

You shouldn’t steam clean your couch that often as it can damage your couch if it isn’t dried properly. We recommend you steam clean or deep clean your couch twice a year just like your rugs.

There’s no way you can prevent dirt and dust from accumulating on your couch especially if you’ve got children or pets. Thus, you should clean your couch with a vacuum quite often if possible. You can also use fabric protection to protect your couch from stains, liquids, dust, and dirt.

FAQ: How do you Steam Clean Your Couch?

Can I steam-clean my couch myself?

Yes, you can steam clean your couch on your own. It’s a viable and eco-friendly way to eliminate dirt, stains, and odors. However, before proceeding, always check the manufacturer’s guidelines and care instructions to ensure your couch is suitable for steam cleaning, especially if it has delicate or water-sensitive materials.

How do you deep clean a couch with a steam cleaner?

To deep clean your couch with a steam cleaner, begin by vacuuming the couch with an upholstery attachment to remove loose debris and pet hair. Pre-treat any stains with appropriate upholstery cleaner or a mild detergent solution. Test the steam cleaner on an inconspicuous area of the couch first to avoid potential damage. Then, slowly steam clean the entire couch, paying extra attention to stained or heavily soiled spots. Allow the couch to air dry thoroughly before using it again.

How do you steam clean a couch with a steam mop?

Using a steam mop for couch cleaning is convenient. Follow the same steps as mentioned earlier – vacuum the couch, pre-treat stains, and test the steam mop in an inconspicuous area. Steam clean the couch with slow and overlapping passes, starting from the top and working your way down. Ensure the couch is completely dry before using it to prevent re-soiling.

Does steam cleaning remove odors from the couch?

Yes, steam cleaning can effectively remove odors from your couch. The high temperature of the steam helps to break down and eliminate odorous particles trapped in the upholstery fibers. However, for stubborn odors, you may need to repeat the steam cleaning process or use a specialized upholstery deodorizer after steam cleaning.

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