How to Steam Clean a Couch – 10 Actionable Tips

by Liz Gonzales

It’s not hard to manually clean your couch these days. There are special detergents made just for this and they make the cleaning much easier than it used to be previously. However, steam cleaning is the easiest of them all.

10 Steps on How to steam clean a couch

10 Steps on How to steam clean a couch
10 Steps on How to steam clean a couch

Steam cleaning is much simpler than manual cleaning. Also, you can use a steam cleaner for different cleaning purposes.  It’s a more time-saving, and efficient cleaning method. Here are 10 actionable tips you can follow to clean your couch –

1. Gather Cleaning Materials

This tip might sound silly since all of us keep important things at our hands while working. But try to remember how many times you had to stop in the middle of a task just to find the missing piece. Doesn’t it slow the whole task down?

Or what if you realize in the middle of a work that something you need right now is missing, the worst feeling right? So, it’s a good idea to gather cleaning items and equipment beforehand. You will save time and free yourself of any future hassle.

Things you should keep at hand

  • Clean Clothes
  • Liquid Soap
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Cup of clean water For Using In Steam Machine
  • Stain Remover

2. Remove Dirt By Vacuuming

It’s important that you clean dust, food leftover, and other visible dirt from your couch manually. Steaming won’t let you get rid of them.

Dust and food particles will create permanent stain marks as you steam the couch if not cleaned beforehand. Vacuuming is the easiest and time-saving idea to clean the nooks and crannies of your couch. Also, put careful attention around the cushions, food particles are mostly accumulated in those places.

3. Clean Off Dust From Surface

The vacuum won’t clean the deep dust of the couch. For this, you have to dust the cushions manually. Take two cushions and hit them against each other. The movement will help clear the dirt and dust stuck inside the cushion foams.

Also, check underneath your couch to clean off any remaining food particles or other debris. They’ll start creating a foul smell if you leave them unattended and keep the place unclean.

4. Remove Softer Stains Manually

Take a sponge cleaner and liquid soap water. Wet the sponge and slowly rub it on the stain marks. Stains from food and other chemicals can be easily removed from the couch surface in this way. And besides couches, especially when you want to clean a carpet with a steam mop, you may have to do this step there also.

Some stains are harder to clean with regular soap but you can use a stain cleaning chemical to do the job. However, keep in mind that after all the visible dirt and dust is cleaned, you can only go for this step. 

5. Steam Machine Preparation

Steam cleaners used to take time to start up properly in the past. But nowadays they’ve become so much faster and can get ready in as fast as a few seconds.

Get all the steamer machine brushes and cables as well as clean water for steaming. Turn the machine up and allow some steam to come off as a way to clear any clogged parts.

6. Cushion Steaming

Before taking this step, take some time to check cushion labels and see what kind of fabric the cushion and the covering fabrics are. Some fabrics can withstand a lot of heat whereas some will need much less heat.

Knowing how much steam you need to apply on the cushions will help you avoid any unfortunate damages caused by overheating the cushion fabrics. You should steam more on the stains and frilled parts as they need some time to be straightened.

7. Backrest Steaming

The backrest gets almost all of the grease on oil from hair and sweat. With time, the color of the fabric will change and stains from oils will look much darker. However, they’re not hard to clean with a steam cleaner.

Start steaming your couch from the backrest. Check for stains and oil marks, apply more steam as necessary. After steaming apart, wait for a few minutes to let the water from the steam dry out and the fabric gets its previous color back.

If you think there’s still some stain remaining, you can steam the necessary points for a second time but not more than that. Over steaming may wash your stains but the fabric will be damaged and frilled in the process, resulting in reducing life for your cushions.

8. Working On Back And Side Part Of The Couch

Another dirtier part of a cushion is the sides and the armrests. As people put their hands on the armrests, the oil and dirt from their skins gather on the armrest and create greasy stain marks similar to those on the headrests.

You can apply steam in a similar fashion as you did on the backrest. The stains might seem very hard to be cleaned but they will soon evaporate as the steamer heats up. You can also use an extra armrest covering as an extra protection layer.

9. Manually Remove Large Stain Marks

It’s natural that there’ll be some stains you cannot remove with a steam machine. Some chemical stains or oil marks will be some among this category. Using a commercial stain cleaner can help with these tough stains.

10. Let The Couch Dry Off

At this stage, the water from the steam machine will make your couch wet. It’s important that nobody sits or uses the couch until it’s dried off completely. Sitting on a wet couch will undo all the hard work done to clean this, making the whole process a waste of time.


Hopefully, you now have some ideas on how to approach cleaning your couch and leave any confusions you had previously. The problem with couches are that they get dirty very quickly.

Allowing more time to pass leaving an unclean couch will make you work harder every time you get to clean it. A good idea is to clean it regularly and it will be less hassle for you in the long run.

About Liz Gonzales

Liz lives in a suburb in New York city.
Both of her parents are the art professors at Sate University of New York.
As such, Liz grew up with all kinds of art objects, portraits, and books laying around the home.
Liz met up with Linea through another friend in some kind of online art forum. There great minds sparkled to take their passions onto the next level @

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