How to Steam Clean a Couch

crteam January 24, 2021 Cleaning Tips
Couch Cleaning

This pandemic situation has turned most of us into couch potatoes. There was a time when after a busy work day, finally when you got time to take a break and relax, your couch is where you eventually landed. It is indeed the most favorite place. Theatre seat for binge-watching weekends to the dining table for binge eating and now with the work from home scenario around the world, this couch has also turned into a work desk for many. 

Adults, kids, and even pets spend long hours on the couch, doing what not activities, the couch is sure to become dirty and smelly. After very extended use of your much-loved couch, it is time to give it a super clean. To clean your couch or sofa in a safe and effective manner, steam cleaning is the best option. 

Why steam cleaning? 

At just a push of the button, your well-used sofa will be free from dust, grime, bacteria, germs, and also difficult stains. The vapor produced by the steam cleaner will help to deodorize and sanitize your couch and make it bright and fresh like before.  

It is an eco-friendly cleaning tool that removes all the stains from your couch without using any harsh chemicals. You can also get rid of dust mites, bed bugs, and molds with steam cleaning techniques.  

How to Steam Clean a Couch?

Choosing a steamer for cleaning the couch

There are dedicated steamers specially designed to clean upholstery fabrics. The units also clean tight spaces and all types of fabrics. Some of the handheld devices come with extended and detachable attachments, specifically for fabric cleaning. 

The typical floor cleaners or carpet cleaners are not suitable for couch cleaning. They don’t work well on fabrics, in fact, they can leave the sofas drenched and wet. 

Some steam cleaners are also designed to add cleaning solutions that can work effectively to treat stains and eliminate odors. The quantity of cleaning solution to the water ratio depends upon the type of machine and cleaning solution, you will be using. The machine will surely clean the upholstery efficiently. 

How to start with cleaning?

Test on an inconspicuous area 

You might be tempted to start with the larger sections but it is wise and highly recommended to test steam cleaning to check for color fastness. Focus on a smaller, not so visible area and gently steam using a microfiber pad. Treat the area for 15 minutes and then check if the cleaning caused any discoloration. If not, you can continue with the process in the same manner. 

Begin with small parts 

Now start cleaning with smaller parts like cushions and removable sofa pillows. Ensure sides of the cushions are treated one at a time. Let one side dry completely and start cleaning the other side or else it can result in bad odor and molds. 

With the steamer, spray the steam on the surface of the cushions. Use quick strokes all across the cushion. If you spot dirty stains on a particular area, repeat the strokes more consistently. Do not hold the steamer focusing on one area for a prolonged time.   

If there are wet areas, without wasting time, drag the nozzle over it and suck up all the excess moisture. 

Move on to the larger parts 

It is time to steam clean the larger couch sections. Though you are moving on to larger sections, clean small parts at a time as the fabric will take time to dry. If the water soaks the fabric, the risk of upholstery damage increases. 

In case, if you find dirt spots that are quite stubborn, then it is better to repeat the cleaning process. Don’t wait till it dries. Repeat the cleaning process as many times as possible before you allow the fabric to dry. 

Along with steam cleaning, you can try using borax while treating dirty stains. This will prevent wetness caused due to repeated cleaning process.  

Leave the couch to dry 

The last step of steam cleaning is letting the couch dry. The time taken for drying the couch depends on various factors. Some fabrics would take time while some may dry very quickly. Even the time of day matters for drying duration. 

You can speed the drying in a number of ways:

  • Switch on the fan to quick the drying process
  • If the weather is not humid and suitable for drying, open the windows and doors
  • You can install a stand fan for more swift drying 
  • Using a blow dryer is also a good alternative 

After all the steaming and drying process, vacuum the couch once for an extra-clean feel. 

How to get rid of stubborn stains on the couch?

Though steam cleaning is an effective method, it cannot fight stubborn or persistent stains. Even repeating the process may not work effectively. There are other ways to tackle such stains. One such easy DIY solution is blending liquid dishwashing soap and water. 

Method 1

  • Take a sponge and soak it in the liquid soap and water solution. Turn it soapy
  • Squeeze the extra water and gently place it on the stain and blot
  • Now, rinse the sponge and again blot the stain but this time with clean water
  • Avoid rubbing or scrubbing over the stain as it can damage the couch fabric

If this method does not show the expected results then you can try out another DIY solution, mixing apple cider vinegar or white vinegar with water.

Method 2

  • Create a solution of vinegar and water and soak a clean white cloth in it
  • Start the stain removing process by blotting the stain with the solution
  • Rub gently on the stain in a circular motion. Be careful, rough rubbing can damage the fabric
  • Now, sprinkle some baking soda on the remaining stain 
  • Vacuum and let it dry

Instead of vinegar, you can also use vodka, if it is handy.

If none of the homemade solutions work then you can eventually opt for heavy-duty commercial products. However, do test the solution on an inconspicuous couch area to check if it doesn’t damage the fabric.