How to Steam Clean a Couch?

It used to be that if you really wanted to give your furniture a deep clean, you would be required to head on over to a local business and rent one of their steam cleaners. Although this method always proves effective, it can be a bit of a hassle, not only because you have to go out of your way to find a steam cleaner in the first place, but because you’re required to use such a heavy-duty piece of equipment for such a light job. As such, using a household steamer on your couch can save you lots of time in the future and, depending on how often you plan on cleaning your couch, a bit of money as well.


More often than not, the answer to this question will be a swift “yes.” However, if you notice your couch has become frayed or is made of a very thin outer fabric, you’ll want to ensure you’re using a very mild steam cleaner just to be on the safe side. When it doubt, it can never hurt to give your couch’s manufacturer a call to see what they have to say. Otherwise, a good rule of thumb is that thinner fabrics are more compatible with less powerful steamers or steamers which come with heat settings, allowing you to take a more mild approach to your steam cleaning.


  1. Plug in your steamer, fill its tank with water and turn in on.
  2. If your steamer comes equipped with heat settings, choose a setting which is more compatible with your couch’s outer fabric (when it doubt, a lower setting is your safest bet). Otherwise, simply turn the steamer on and wait for it to fully heat up.
  3. Take off your couch’s cushions and clean its inner fabrics in a top-to-bottom motion, such as you might if you were cleaning it with a headless vacuum.
  4. Repeat step 3 on your couch’s cushions then let them dry. Repeat the steps in their entirety in the rare event that your couch is not noticeably clean, perhaps with a higher heat setting.
  5. After the couch and its cushions have dried, you may place the cushions back on. All done!


It helps to dry your couch and couch cushions as quickly as possible. The longer the amount of time they spend wet, the more likely they will be to accumulate mold or mildew. By using a fan and/or placing them in front of an open window with lots of sun, you won’t have to worry about them taking too long to dry.

As a final note, I’ll mention that it’s always a good idea to take your time when steaming any given portion of your couch. The longer it takes you to complete a full top-to-bottom motion, the more deep a clean your couch will receive. This effect can be further amplified by applying a bit of pressure to your steamer’s head while undergoing the process, in contrast to most cleaning jobs which have you apply next to no pressure.

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