How to Easily Steam Clean a Sofa

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Steam cleaning is a very popular and versatile cleaning method that can be used to clean almost anything in your home from floors, countertops, stovetops and even your sofa. There are a lot of benefits associated with a good steam cleaning such as its ability to kill 99.99% of bacteria and its effectiveness at removing all growths and particles among several others.

If you find that your sofa at home looks like it could use a thorough cleaning, then steam cleaning is definitely worth a try. Here’s how you can get started!

Before Steam Cleaning Your Sofa

While steam cleaning is effective on a wide range of surfaces and items, there are a few things that you should be aware of before you proceed with cleaning.

The table below shows a list of fabrics that can be steam cleaned, as well those that aren’t recommended to be steam cleaned. The latter is definitely a general list that may have some exceptions, it may be best to just keep the steam away in general.


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Can Be Steam CleanedCan’t Be Steam Cleaned
Cotton Leather
Polyester Silk
Nylon blends Suede
Microfiber Waxed fabrics
Velvet Plastic or plastic blends
Wool

Another good thing to keep an eye out for is the manufacturer’s cleaning recommendations that can usually be found in the material tag. These tags will usually include a code that dictates the best way the fabric can be cleaned, and this should be your primary reference when it comes to cleaning.

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CodeMeaning
Code W The fabric can be cleaned with a water-based cleaner
Code S The fabric can be cleaned with a solvent-based cleaner or dry cleaning
Code W-S The fabric can be cleaned with either a water-based or solvent-based cleaner
Code X The fabric should only be cleaned with a vacuum or a professional service.

How to Steam Clean a Sofa

Step 1: Vacuum the Sofa

Before you can proceed with steam cleaning your sofa, you need to remove all the solid particles and messes first. When met with the heat from the steamer, these can actually leave stains on your sofa’s fabric. That’s why it’s important to run a vacuum cleaner over the entire sofa to make sure that all dirt, dust and debris have been removed, especially in the corners.

Step 2: Remove Any Stains

Another step that you need to do is to pretreat any existing stains on your sofa as this will make the steam cleaning process more seamless and less time consuming. You can either use a commercial cleaner that suits the fabric of your sofa and simply follow the instructions printed at the back, but make sure that you consult the sofa’s care tag to make sure.

If you’re looking for a homemade cleaner, you can mix up your own cleaning solution by combining ¾ cup of water, a tablespoon of dish soap and ¼ cup vinegar in a spray bottle. After testing it on an inconspicuous area, mist any stained and soiled areas until it's damp and gently dab a soft microfiber cloth. Repeat these steps as much as needed until the stain lifts.

Step 3: Steam Cleaning

You can now begin steaming. While it's best to have an upholstery steam cleaner, you can also use a carpet steam cleaner with a brush attachment instead. When steaming, make sure that you work in smaller portions to not only let the sofa dry more efficiently, but also to avoid oversaturating the fabric with moisture as this can cause permanent damage.

Another great tip is to use faster strokes as these will help remove stains from the fibers, while also lessening the amount of water being absorbed. If you find yourself faced with any tougher stains, repeatedly work the steamer over the area until it loosens and disappears. 

For any stubborn stains that won’t budge, you can prepare some warm water in a bowl and add a few drops of dish soap. Dip a clean soft cloth in the soapy water until it's damp before using it to gently dab on the stain until it’s been lifted. Try to use a white towel as colored towels might stain the fabric of the sofa with colored dye.

Step 4: Leave to Dry Completely

After finishing up and making sure that there are no more stains left, allow the sofa fabric to dry completely. For a faster drying process, you can use an electric fan or open a nearby window as the air circulation can help speed things up. An open window will also make sure that the area doesn’t get too humid, which can promote mold and mildew to grow.

A Cleaner Home with Luce SG

Now that you’ve successfully steam cleaned your sofa, you can repeat the same processes for other upholstered furniture in your home. Sofa steam cleaning is an effective way to get rid of any dirt and dust particles without having to resort to harsh chemicals that might do more harm than good.

If you’re interested in getting a more thorough cleaning for your home but don’t have the time or energy to do it yourself, Luce is here to take over your entire list of household chores. Our well-trained and experienced cleaners will take care of any messes and accidents to make your dream of an effortlessly cleaned home a reality! 

Send us a message and schedule your first cleaning appointment today!

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