How to Steam Clean a Couch

by Marina Ingrit

There is something about the new year that makes me want to clean all the things. Maybe it is the act of putting away the Christmas decor and placing everything back to how it was before that pushes me to do it. Or maybe it is because everyone keeps getting sick and I want to feel like my house is sanitized. Either way, I always tend to deep clean my house in January. There’s something that I think tends to get skipped over though….. Do you sanitize your couch as part of your deep cleaning routine? Well, maybe you should! 🙂 Here’s how to steam clean a couch!

This post is sponsored by Wagner. All opinions and ideas are 100% my own. This post contains an affiliate link.

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How To Steam Clean A Couch

Upholstery harbors odors. Well, at least at my house with 4 boys and a dog it does! It also harbors all sorts of other things I’d like to not think about (like dust mites!). It is probably a good idea to sanitize your fabric couch every now and then. Or if you have been thrifting and found a great couch for your space, giving it the once over with a steam machine is probably a smart idea. I used the Wagner 915e steam cleaner.

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Using the Wagner 915e Steam Cleaner available on Amazon

Vacuum

If your couch has upholstery, the first thing you need to do is use a vacuum cleaner and thoroughly vacuum the entire couch. This removes any pet hair or loose dirt. If your couch has a strong odor, you can sprinkle baking soda on it and let it sit overnight. The baking soda absorbs most of the smell and it can then be vacuumed away. I have done this with my area rugs as well.

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Check Fabric Type

Not all couches can be steam cleaned. Real leather couches should be cleaned another way and some delicate fabrics should also avoid being steamed. If you are not sure what type of fabric it is, or if your couch can be safely steamed, check the label. The care instructions should have a code indicating the type of cleaner that can be used. S for solvent, W for water, and an X means you can not safely use water.

If you are unsure or if the tag is no longer on the couch, test a small area on the back or somewhere hidden before doing the entire couch. If there is any damage or color fading, you will have to clean your couch another way. I am showing an example of an upholstered couch, but I have also successfully cleaned faux leather and vinyl couches with a steamer. I even steam cleaned my velvet bench many times.

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Treat Stains and Spills First

Fill your steam machine with clean water according to the instructions. Wait for it to heat up. If you have any stains or spills, use the soft bristle brush attachment on the steamer to gently clean it off. The hot vapors will help loosen what is stuck. I move the stationary brush in a circular motion. Have a clean cloth handy to wipe away the mess. Stubborn stains may need to be addressed after the steaming process with cleaning solution or an upholstery cleaner for best results.

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Steam Your Couch Clean!

I add the attachment with the cloth over it. It is what I use to steam my clothes or curtains. Start with the backs and couch cushions as they can be removed. Work in small sections at a time. Once the whole cushion is steam cleaned, check the pad and see if it needs to be replaced. If you don’t have multiple cloth covers, you can use clean socks. I buy the little bootie socks to use as extra covers. Put a new cover over the steamer attachment as needed and move on to the next section of couch.

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It really doesn’t take that much time to do, and because of using a steam cleaning machine, not much water was used so the drying process will be quick as well. I love that I can avoid using harsh chemicals by using high-temperature steam instead. Once you are done, unplug the steam machine and allow it to cool before emptying any left over water.

Check out my post on 40 Ways to Use Your Steam Cleaner for more ideas on what to clean in your home!

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The whole cleaning process is fairly easy and you will be rewarded with a clean couch! I love to steam my chairs and pillows as well while I have the steam cleaner out. It is a great way to freshen up your home.

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