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How To Steam Clean A Couch [6 Steps]

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If your couch is dirty, you may want to consider using a steam cleaner to clean it. If you are considering steam cleaning as an option to improve the quality of your couch, you may be wondering about specifics on how to do this. We've done the research, and we are prepared to share some helpful steps and tips on how you can steam clean your couch. 

You will have to follow several specific steps to steam clean your couch correctly. Let's get started! Just follow these steps below: 

  1. Choose the right steam cleaner for your needs. 
  2. Fill the steamer with water and activate the safety lock (if applicable).
  3. Vacuum the couch first to remove dirt.
  4. Attach a microfiber cloth to the head of the steamer.
  5. Steam clean the couch.
  6. Turn the steamer off, allow the couch the necessary time to dry. 

The steam cleaning process depends on a few different factors, such as the specific model of steam cleaner you own and the dirtiness of your couch. Continue reading to learn more in-depth details about the issues you may face when steam cleaning your couch. We'll discuss how much it costs to steam clean a couch, if steam cleaning a couch will kill bed bugs, and if you can steam clean any upholstery. 

Close-up partial view of person holding garment steamer with steam on black background, How To Steam Clean A Couch (6 Steps)

How To Steam Clean A Couch

Steam cleaning can help decrease bacteria and germs and make your couch appear cleaner and less dull. So, let's delve into this process! 

1. Choose the Right Steam Cleaner for Your Needs

There are many different steam cleaners available in the market, so take the time to find which is best for you! If you want to use your steam cleaner specifically for cleaning your couch, look for models designed for steaming upholstery and fabric. We do not recommend using a carpet cleaner instead, even if they claim to have upholstery capabilities, as they typically do not complete the job as well as a steam cleaner.

You can purchase a steam cleaner online or at your local home improvement store. If you do not want to buy one, you can also look into either renting a steam cleaner or hiring someone to do the job for you. 

Click here to see Moosoo's handheld upholstery steam cleaner on Amazon.

 2. Fill the Steamer with Water and Activate the Safety Lock (if applicable)

Once you have a steam cleaner, you are ready to begin! Of course, you'll want to follow the instructions provided to get your steamer set-up, but here is the basic process. Fill your steamer with water. As always, safety comes first, so activate the safety lock if your model has one. Plug-in the steamer and give it the appropriate amount of time to heat up. Most steam cleaners take anywhere from 7 to 15 minutes to heat to full temperature. 

3. Vacuum the Couch First to Remove Dirt

While your steamer is heating up, you should go ahead and vacuum your couch if you have not already done so. Vacuuming removes any loose dirt, debris, or dust so that your steamer can have the cleanest surface possible to work on. With a clean surface available, your steamer will work at a higher capacity and truly clean your couch.

In some cases, you may also want to pre-treat stains. If you have a stubborn stain, you may want to use a commercial cleaner to pre-treat it with. You can also mix vinegar and rubbing alcohol together as a homemade pre-treatment. 

Click here to see Rocco & Roxie's professional strength stain remover on Amazon.

4. Attach A Microfiber Cloth to the Head of the Steamer

Once you have finished vacuuming the couch, it's time to attach a microfiber cloth to the head of your steam cleaner. This cloth is used as a cleaning tool to ensure that your couch will appear polished when you've finished. It would be best if you changed the microfiber cloth often while cleaning, as it will quickly fill with loose dirt, debris, and dust.

Click here to see microfiber cleaning cloths on Amazon.

At this point, you should go ahead and test a small portion of the couch using the steamer. Wait 10 minutes. If, after 10 minutes, you do not see any obvious deterioration, you are ready to steam the entire couch. 

5. Steam Clean the Couch

Begin steam cleaning first on couch cushions and pillows. You may only need to clean the portions of the cushions and pillows that are exposed. Do not clean all sides of a cushion or pillow at one time, as it will take an excessive amount of time to dry, which is not good for the material. Move next to the frame and remainder of the couch.

Progress slowly with the steamer to collect as much dirt, debris, and dust as possible. Clean small areas at a time to avoid filling your entire couch up with water, as this will take a long time to dry. The longer your couch has to dry, the higher your odds are of mold infiltrating the fabric. Remember to change the microfiber cloth as needed. 

6. Turn the steamer off, and allow the couch the necessary time to dry 

When you feel that you have completed steam cleaning your couch, turn the steamer off and set it in a safe place to cool down. You should then give your couch the necessary time to dry. You can use a fan or open a window to allow your couch to dry quickly. Prevent mold from growing by allowing air to circulate through the room, leaving a door open at all times. 

Now that you've got all the essential steam cleaning steps, let's answer those additional questions.

How much does it cost to steam clean a couch?

If you plan to steam clean your couch yourself, you have a few different options. Steam cleaners cost anywhere from $150 to $500 to purchase. If you plan to steam clean your couch routinely, you may want to consider making this investment and purchasing a steam cleaner. If you do not plan to steam clean your couch routinely, you may want to rent a steam cleaner instead. It typically costs $40 to $60 a day to rent a steam cleaner. You can find steam cleaners for purchase or rent at any home improvement store. 

You can also have a professional come into your home to steam clean your couch. On average, it costs anywhere from $100 to $200 to have a large couch steam cleaned. An average recliner costs $30 to $50, while a love seat will cost $50 to $60 for professional cleaning. 

Will steam cleaning a couch kill bed bugs?

Steam cleaning is a highly effective, lethal treatment for bed bugs and their eggs. Do not use carpet cleaners to try to kill bed bugs, as they do not reach a high enough temperature to be effective. To be effective, the steamer must reach temperatures between 160 degrees Fahrenheit and 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Steam is very effective at killing bed bugs living within up to 3/4″ into fabric surfaces. You can also use a steam cleaner to kill pesky fleas! 

Can you steam clean any upholstery?

Steam cleaning is an effective method for every form of upholstery. You can steam fabrics such as leather, microfiber, and even your mattress. Steam cleaning is an effective method for removing embedded stains, grease, and dirt and cleaning and sanitizing furniture, killing bacteria, removing allergens, and getting rid of different pests such as bed bugs, mold, dust mites, and fleas. 

In Conclusion

Hopefully, now that you have read this article, you feel much more prepared to steam clean your couch! As always, put safety first. Remember to utilize your safety lock when using the steam cleaner. When you finish cleaning your couch, turn off your steamer and put it in a safe space where someone will not accidentally burn themselves. Allow the couch to dry completely to prevent mold growth.

We wish you the best of luck in steam cleaning your couch!