How to Clean Upholstery With a Garment Steamer

Having a clean and inviting home is important for any homeowner, but upholstery can be tricky to keep in good condition. You may have heard of garment steamers as an effective way to remove wrinkles from clothing, but did you know they are also great tools for cleaning upholstery? From preparing your furniture before using the steamer to finding the right cleaning solution afterwards – this guide will help you make sure that your sofa or armchair looks its best. Learning how to clean upholstery with a garment steamer has never been easier – so let’s get started.

Table of Contents:

Preparing Your Upholstery for Cleaning

Before you start using a garment steamer to clean your upholstery, it is important to take the necessary steps in order to ensure that the job is done correctly. The first step is to vacuum the fabric thoroughly. This will help remove any dirt and debris that may be embedded deep within the fibres of your furniture. After vacuuming, you should spot-clean any stains or spills with an appropriate cleaning solution. Make sure that you test this solution on a small area of fabric before applying it over larger areas, as some solutions can cause discolouration or damage if used incorrectly.

Once all spots have been treated, allow them to dry completely before proceeding with steam cleaning. If there are still stubborn stains present after spot-cleaning, consider pre-treating them with a commercial stain remover prior to steam cleaning for the best results. Additionally, make sure that all cushions and pillows are removed from the piece of furniture, so they don’t get wet during the process.

Finally, inspect your upholstery for any signs of wear or tear, such as fraying seams or loose buttons, which could be further damaged by steam cleaning and repair these issues prior to beginning if possible. Once everything has been checked off your list, then you are ready to begin steaming.

By following these steps to prepare your upholstery for cleaning, you can ensure that the garment steamer is used in the most effective way possible, giving you a cleaner and fresher look with minimal effort.

Using a Garment Steamer on Upholstery

Using a garment steamer on upholstery can be an effective way to freshen and clean furniture without the need for harsh chemicals. However, it’s important to take certain precautions when using a garment steamer on upholstery in order to avoid damaging your furniture. Here are some tips for safely using a garment steamer on upholstery:

1. Test the fabric first

Before you begin steam cleaning any piece of furniture, test an inconspicuous area of the fabric with the steamer first. This will help ensure that the heat from the steam won’t damage or discolour your upholstery.

2. Pre-treat stains

If there are any stubborn stains present, pre-treat them with a stain remover before attempting to use a garment steamer on them. This will help loosen and remove dirt more effectively than just relying solely on steam alone.

3. Use low pressure settings

Newly-cleaned upholstery

When using a garment steamer, make sure you set it at its lowest pressure setting so as not to damage delicate fabrics like velvet or silk, which could be easily scorched by too much heat or moisture from high-pressure settings

It is essential to move swiftly but cautiously when using a garment steamer on upholstery, as lingering over one spot for too long can cause water spots and other forms of damage. Therefore, it is important to cover each section of fabric being cleaned quickly yet carefully before moving on to the next area.

4. Keep moving away from damp areas

As you work through each section of fabric being cleaned, make sure you keep moving away from already dampened areas so that no part is overly saturated with water – this will help prevent mould growth and other issues caused by excessive moisture buildup in one particular area.

5. Allow time for drying

Once finished cleaning each piece of furniture, allow plenty of time for drying before allowing anyone near it again – leaving wet pieces out in direct sunlight is also recommended if possible, as this helps speed along the evaporation process even further.

By using a garment steamer on upholstery, you can achieve a deep clean with minimal effort. However, for more stubborn stains and dirt buildup, different cleaning solutions may be necessary – let’s explore those next.

Key Takeaway: Steam cleaning upholstery is an effective way to freshen and clean furniture without the use of harsh chemicals, but it’s important to take precautions such as testing fabric first and using low-pressure settings.

Cleaning Solutions for Upholstery

Cleaning upholstery can be a tricky task. It requires the right cleaning solutions and tools to get the job done correctly. A garment steamer is one of the most effective ways to clean upholstery, but it’s important to know which cleaning solutions work best with this tool. Here are some tips for choosing the right solution for your needs:

1. Detergent-Based Solutions

Detergent-based solutions are great for removing dirt and stains from fabric surfaces like upholstery. These products contain surfactants that help break down dirt and oils, making them easier to remove from fabrics without damaging them in the process. Look for detergents specifically designed for use on upholstery when selecting a product.

2. Enzyme Cleaners

Enzyme cleaners are another type of cleaner that can be used on upholstery with a garment steamer or other cleaning tool. These products contain enzymes that break down proteins found in soils and stains, making them easier to remove without leaving behind any residue or discolouration on fabrics or furniture pieces. Be sure to read labels carefully before using an enzyme cleaner, as they may not be suitable for all types of fabrics or materials used in furniture construction, such as wood, metal, etc.

3. Vinegar Solutions

White vinegar is often touted as an all-purpose cleaner due to its ability to cut through grease and grime while also killing bacteria and mould spores on contact – perfect for those hard-to-reach areas where dust accumulates over time. To make your own vinegar solution at home, simply mix 1 part white vinegar with 2 parts water, then add a few drops of essential oil (such as lavender) if desired – just don’t forget about rinsing off any excess liquid after you’re finished steam cleaning.

4. Steam Cleaner Concentrates

If you have access to steam cleaner concentrates, these can also be used when steam cleaning your furniture pieces. However, it is important to remember that these products should never come into direct contact with fabric surfaces, so always dilute according to the concentration instructions prior to use. Steam cleaner concentrates typically contain special ingredients designed specifically for tackling tough stains like pet urine odours which regular detergents won’t do much against. Therefore, keep this option in mind if you’re dealing with particularly stubborn spots.

Key Takeaway: A garment steamer is an effective way to clean upholstery, but it’s important to choose the right cleaning solution for the fabric type. Specialized cleaners and spot removers can help tackle tough stains without causing damage.


Cleaning upholstery with a garment steamer is an effective and efficient way to keep your furniture looking its best. With the right preparation, you can ensure that your upholstery will be thoroughly cleaned without any damage. Whether you use a cleaning solution or just steam alone, you’ll have fresh and clean furniture in no time. So don’t forget to give your furniture some TLC by using a garment steamer for deep cleaning – it’s the perfect way to keep your upholstery looking spotless and smelling great.

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