How to Clean a Couch With a Steam Cleaner

After a long day of putting your nose to the grindstone or entertaining the little ones, where do you wind down when it’s finally time to take a breather? More often than not, it’s your beloved and well-used couch. It, therefore, doesn’t come as a surprise that a couch in a busy household takes a battering. It provides a cozy spot for kids, pets, and adults to enjoy a beverage, eat, nap, and more.

As such, if your sofa is littered with stains or crumbs and is emitting an odor, it’s time for a deep clean. Here’s where a steam cleaner comes into play. It’s the Holy Grail for such rescue missions. You can get rid of stubborn stains, grime, and odors with the touch of a button and a few swipes.

1. Preparation Is Crucial When Learning How to Clean a Couch with a Steam Cleaner

Before you consider the process of how to clean a couch with a steam cleaner, ensure your couch is compatible with the device. Your sofa shouldn’t have an X on it. Furniture with SW labels are water-friendly and solvent-safe, which means they can undergo steam cleaning without the susceptibility of damage.

An X means that water will ruin the fabric and require professional cleaning rather than steam cleaning. Preparing the couch for cleaning is as essential as getting it spick and span. Don’t expect an immaculate outcome if the food is crushed in or there’s loose grime.

Vacuum the Couch Technology

Vacuum your couch properly by getting into each crevice, down the sides where grime and dirt easily accumulate, remove any cushions, and vacuum each side. Get rid of any trash, pet hair, or crumbs that might cause issues during the steam cleaning process.

Ensure you vacuum the back and sides of your couch properly, as these are the sections that get the most grime and dirt. You’ll be amazed by the difference in color even though your couch might have looked relatively clean before. Make sure you use the right equipment for the job and take your time. After all, better preparation yields a greater outcome.

Pre-Treat Stains

Proceed with caution when doing so. After all, the last thing you need is a piece of upholstery that’s visibly lighter than the rest. Therefore, read the manufacturer’s suggestions on the label of the cleaning agent before purchase. Additionally, always conduct a patch test on an inconspicuous place on your furniture.

Stains such as dirt, urine, food, drinks, or feces can be eliminated solely by steaming. Nevertheless, an oil-based stain requires a pre-treatment cleaner that should be layered on before you kick off the steam cleaning process. Furthermore, you’ll need to give it ample time to work its magic.

You can also try a home-based pre-treatment cleaner for oil-based stains such as rubbing alcohol and white vinegar.  Alternatively, cornstarch or baking soda mixed in water will get the job done. Nonetheless, avoid scrubbing too hard as doing so may discolor the material, and that’s the last thing you need.

How to Set-In or Treat Old Stains

If a further gentle clean won’t eliminate an old stain, it’s time to bring out the big guns by using a more heavy-duty cleaning agent. Nevertheless, always remember to blot rather than rub to avoid making a bad stain worse. Once again, it’s a no-brainer that you should patch test the heavy-duty cleaner on an inconspicuous part of the furniture.

Condition the Fabric

Before starting the steam cleaning process, remember to condition the fabric to prevent your couch from being gritty and hard. Using such a product as a soil emulsifier on the fabric will aid in lifting all the components that have been ground in.

To get the ball rolling, spray your couch with the emulsifier, ensuring it has seeped down the sides and into the crevices. Give it up to 20 minutes to dry before adding a thin layer of fabric shampoo.

Use a clean, white microfiber cloth coupled with a brush to firmly rub the upholstery. As a tip, always read and understand the manufacturer’s manual before layering your upholstery with any product.

A wealth of ruined couches and other pieces of furniture could have been avoided by taking the time to grasp the instructions for proper couch cleaning rather than circumventing them.

2. Deep Clean Your Sofa

To Get Started: Select the Ideal Steam Cleaner

Steam cleaners come in various types with a boatload of components that come in handy. The one you require to get your couch spick and span must be designed with fabrics and upholstery in mind.

An upholstery steam cleaner is particularly useful for furniture fabrics. It can be a floor machine that comes with attachments or a handheld steam cleaner. Steer clear of carpet cleaning machines that have a tool geared towards cleaning upholstery. That’s because they are usually cumbersome and don’t do a great job on couches, leaving them soaked.

If you prefer not to purchase a steam cleaner, factor in hiring one from your local home improvement store.

Machine Preparation for Cleaning

One of the perks of steam cleaners is that you don’t require using chemical products to get your sofa spick and span. A wealth of machines gets the job done with distilled or tap water. It, therefore, doesn’t come as a surprise that the steam cleaner market size is expected to grow by $308.76 million by 2024.

Other steam cleaners use a cleaning product solution diluted in water to thoroughly clean the upholstery. The water to cleaner ratio is based on the type of cleaning solution you opt for, coupled with the machine. Ensure you don’t add an excessive amount, as doing so may expel too much onto the fabric.

Additionally, you might end up water-logging the material. Alternatively, removing the cleaner from the fabric might be an uphill battle. At worst, it may damage the machine, so we recommend cleaning the upholstery numerous times instead of leaving the residue of the cleaning agent.

Check the manufacturer’s instructions to know the most ideal attachment to choose for the best outcome. That might be an oscillating brush or a stationary counterpart. After filling the tank, plug in the machine and wait for it to heat to steam temperature. Resist the urge to steam prematurely as only water will appear and soak the upholstery.

Where to Start Cleaning

While you might be tempted to start with the large frame of the couch, you may not realize that it’s the last section to be cleaned. Instead, you should begin with removable pillows and cushions.

It might be that you only require steaming the side that shows. However, if both sides need steam cleaning, allow one side to dry before doing the opposite one.

Cleaning both sides concurrently means they’ll take longer to dry and develop the unpleasant smell of mold. Use the steamer to spray the couch cushion surface while swiftly stroking the entire area of the upholstery.

If there are particularly dirty areas, avoid holding the steamer to one spot for a prolonged timeframe. Instead, repeat the swipes consistently across the entire couch cushion.

Clean the Large Sections

Tackle the larger sections of the frame and couch in small areas at a time. That’s because doing large sections at a go allows the water to soak into the upholstery, possibly damaging it. If you still notice spots of dirt and grime after cleaning, you have free rein to repeat the process.

3. Let Your Couch Dry

It’s the last step of cleaning your sofa using a steam cleaner. The duration for your couch to dry is based on various factors.  For instance, the time of day you choose for upholstery cleaning is coupled with the weather, the humidity level of the steam, and your ability to get a constant breeze flowing into the room where the couch is.

You can speed up the drying process in a few ways by using a fan to create the impression of a through-draught. That may include opening a window if the weather isn’t humid or unsuitable.

Time to Kick Back and Relax

With these step-by-step instructions on how to clean a couch with a steam cleaner, you can get your upholstery spick and span without shelling out hundreds of dollars to rope in a professional entity to get the job done. With minimal elbow grease and precise knowledge, you can get your couch spick and span much like one fit for a royal. However, that will entail you preparing your upholstery before steaming and using the ideal machine.

Additionally, with quick strokes, going over the stained sections a few times, and making sure the room is properly ventilated for your couch to dry properly, you’ll be good to go.

With a clean couch, you can have some R&R by catching up on your favorite TV show while sipping on some coffee or juice. The world is your oyster!

Do you know what else can collect dust in the home and requires regular cleaning to extend its lifespan? Your gun! Read our review on the Best Gun Cleaner Solvents & Oils in 2021.

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