Skip to main content

Steam Cleaning for Shiny Upholstery: The Ultimate Guide You Need

Using a steam cleaner can make your cleaning routine much faster, easier, and even more satisfying than traditional methods. Especially when it comes to cleaning upholstery, a steam cleaner can easily get rid of dust and grime without damaging your furniture. Not only is it effective in cleaning it, but steam can also remove unpleasant odor from upholstery.  

Join us as we explore the ins and outs of steam cleaning so you can learn how to steam clean upholstery like a pro.

Reasons for Deep-Cleaning Your Upholstery

If you have been on the fence about cleaning your upholstery the traditional way or using a steam cleaner, here are some perks of upholstery steam cleaning to convince you to up your cleaning game.

  • Successfully kills bacteria: Upholstery steam cleaning means using super high-temperature steam to clean the surfaces. The steam is so powerful that it eradicates all sorts of bacteria, mold, spores, etc.
  • Removes odor: When you steam furniture, the hot steam deodorizes the fabric, removing unpleasant odors and lingering smells of sweat, tobacco, etc.
  • Extends the lifespan of the upholstery: Steam cleaning upholstery removes pollutants and helps extend the life of your furniture.
  • It’s super cost-effective: Steam cleaning removes dirt, dust, and allergens, which means less cleaning in the long run and more money in your budget.
  • Creates a safe living environment: Since steam kills bacteria, once you deep-clean your upholstery with a steam cleaner, the area becomes significantly cleaner, free of bacteria, dust, and other pollutants that threaten the health of the people in the area.

Upholstery Steam Cleaning: Step-by-Step Guide

One of the best things about upholstery steam cleaning is that it is a chemical-free process. The powerful vapor generated by a steam cleaner is super-effective in removing stale dirt, grease, and stains. In addition, the steam’s sanitizing power helps remove allergens and bacteria, which can lead to allergic reactions and more severe health issues. 

But First, Vacuum 

When you’re trying to keep your furniture in the best possible condition, it’s crucial to use the right tools. Make sure you have the appropriate upholstery attachment on your vacuum, and consider using a beater brush to clear out dirt from every nook and cranny.

Taking an extra step, like using a pet hair remover before steam cleaning, can make the cleaning process even more streamlined and efficient. Removing the pet hair will help the steam cleaning machine reach deep into the couch’s fabric, unobstructed by any lingering fur. This can lead to a more effective cleaning process, making your couch look and feel like new again.

Use an Appropriate Upholstery Steam Cleaner

Using a dedicated fabric or upholstery steamer is best for delicate furniture like sofas. This is crucial to ensure effective cleaning and avoid causing damage to the upholstery. Choose the right temperature of water vapor for effective cleaning.

If you use a steam mop or other steamer with alternative attachments, be sure to select the right attachments. Using a fabric or upholstery brush with the lowest steam setting will prevent damage.

Pre-Treat Stains

To get the best results when cleaning any fabric, including furniture, pretreating stains is essential. However, be careful when cleaning a fabric couch, as some typical stain-cleaning methods can inadvertently damage the material.

Since steamers only use water, pretreating stains before steaming can save you time and prevent you from going over the same spot repeatedly, which can cause waterlogging and other damage to the couch.

Find Your Cleaning Pattern and Steam Away

What’s one of the expert cleaning tips to ensure your furniture is spotless? Always work in a pattern to save time and guarantee complete coverage. According to cleaning experts, working in small sections from top to bottom with overlapping strokes will prevent you from missing any spots and from going over the same area too many times, which can lead to waterlogging.

To steam upholstery, prepare your steam cleaner for furniture cleaning, and attach the upholstery tool as instructed. Fill the water tank with room temperature water up to the “MAX” line but don’t overfill. Plug the steam cleaner into a properly grounded outlet and wait for it to heat up to the desired temperature. Look for indicator lights to know it’s ready, or wait a few minutes.

Vacuum Once Again

Give your couch another round of vacuuming immediately after steam cleaning. Steam cleaning can bring loose dirt to the surface, and vacuuming will effectively remove it. Since steam cleaners don’t saturate the fabric, you can vacuum right away without waiting for the couch to dry. This step will leave your upholstery clean and your couch looking fresh.

To Wrap Up, Air Out the Area

To speed up the drying process, ventilate the room. Although the upholstery isn’t wet after steaming, there may still be some dampness. Open windows and doors to increase airflow, allowing the fabric to dry faster. Keeping the removable pillows and cushions off the couch is also a good idea until everything is completely dry. This will help ensure that your couch is ready for use as soon as possible.

How Often Should You Steam Clean Upholstery?

The frequency of using a steam cleaner for upholstery typically depends on various factors. Check out the guidelines below to determine how often your furniture should be cleaned:

  • Generally, it’s recommended to have your upholstery professionally cleaned every 12 to 24 months.
  • However, upholstery that gets a lot of use, like sofas in a living room or dining chairs, may require more frequent cleaning than a formal accent chair.
  • Your household environment can also impact how often you should clean your furniture. If you have pets that shed or young children who spill food or beverages on the furniture, cleaning may be required more often. Living in dusty or polluted areas could also lead to more frequent cleaning needs.
  • Timely addressing stains and spills can prevent them from setting in, making them harder to remove later on. Prompt spot cleaning can be done whenever it’s necessary.
  • If you or your family members have allergies or sensitivities to dust, pet dander, or other allergens, more frequent cleaning may be necessary to create a healthier living environment.
  • Always check the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions before cleaning your upholstery. Some materials may require more specialized cleaning methods, while others may be more resistant to stains, needing less frequent cleaning.

Final Words on Steam Cleaning Upholstery

Whether your furniture and upholstery are up for a seasonal dust-off or you have kids and you want to make their living space as clean and safe as possible, steam cleaning is the way to go. Instead of traditional cleaning methods that include a lot of scrubbing, mopping, dusting, and whatnot, steam cleaning is a revolutionary approach to cleaning, and we know why!

Besides being the safest form of cleaning, using scolding-hot steam to clean upholstery, furniture, or floors is the best way to kill bacteria and prevent mold formation and other hazardous scenarios from occurring.

Steamy Concepts is to the go-to cleaning service provider in Tuscon, AZ, offering clients nothing short of spotless service at affordable prices. Our upholstery cleaning services guarantee a fresher, safer, and cleaner environment. Also, we deliver super-efficient carpet cleaning services for residential or commercial spaces, so feel free to reach out to us  – we’ll be glad to answer any questions.


Read on to find out the answers to the most frequently asked questions about steam cleaning.

Where does the dirt go when you steam clean?

When you’re cleaning upholstery with a steam cleaner, the heat from the steam helps to loosen dirt and grime that has accumulated on the fabric. This allows the steam to penetrate the material and break down any stains or particles present. Once the dirt is loose, it becomes suspended in the moisture of the steam, making it easier to remove.

How do you dry a couch after steam cleaning?

The fastest way for a couch to dry off after steaming is to ventilate the area by letting air circulate. You can do this by keeping the windows open for a couple of hours. Also, you can plug in some fans to speed up the process or even put your dehumidifier to use.

Does steam cleaning remove odors?

It does. Since odors are generally the result of bacteria, steam cleaning your furniture will kill all types of bacteria, hence deodorizing the surface.

Can steam damage fabric?

If used improperly, steam can damage certain types of fabric. While steam is generally considered safe for most fabrics, it is important to check the fabric care label and see if it’s good for steam cleaning. Also, you do a spot test: test the steam cleaner in an unnoticeable spot before steaming a large or visible area. This way, you can check for adverse effects like color fading, shrinkage, or distortion. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A Shiny Grout, With No Scrubbing? Yes, It’s Possible, and We’ll Show You How
Water Damage on Wood Floors: Types of Damage & Restoration