How to Clean Upholstery with a Steam Cleaner

Are your upholstered furniture and fabrics looking a little worse for wear? Is it time to give them some TLC with a steam cleaner? Cleaning upholstery with a steam cleaner is an easy way to freshen, sanitize and revive the look of your favourite pieces. In this blog post, we’ll take you through the process step-by-step, from preparation tips on how best to use your steamer on upholstery all the way through maintaining that clean look over time. So let’s get started. Let’s learn how to clean upholstery with a steam cleaner can help restore any fabric or piece of furniture back to its original glory.

Table of Contents:

Preparing Your Upholstery for Cleaning

It’s important to prepare your upholstery before using a steam cleaner. Pre-treating stains and vacuuming are two essential steps that will help ensure the best results when cleaning your furniture.

Stains should be pre-treated with an appropriate solution prior to steam cleaning. This helps loosen dirt and grime, making it easier for the steam cleaner to do its job. Depending on the type of stain, you may need to use a specific product or make a homemade solution from ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, or dish soap. Be sure to test any solutions in an inconspicuous area first before applying them directly onto the fabric.

Vacuuming is also important for removing dust and debris from the upholstery before steaming it clean. A vacuum with an upholstery attachment can reach deep into crevices where dirt accumulates over time – something that even a powerful steam cleaner won’t be able to do alone. Vacuum slowly and thoroughly around all sides of each piece of furniture for best results.

A dog sitting on a sofa

Finally, if you’re dealing with pet hair on your upholstered furniture, consider investing in a lint roller or rubber glove specifically designed for pet hair removal prior to steaming it clean – this will save you time (and frustration.) later on.

By taking these simple steps beforehand, you’ll be well prepared when it comes time to use your steam cleaner on your furniture – resulting in better overall results and less wear and tear on both the fabric itself as well as the machine itself.

Choosing the Right Steam Cleaner

When it comes to choosing the right steam cleaner for your upholstery, there are a few key features you should look out for. Firstly, consider the wattage of the machine. The higher the wattage, the more powerful and efficient it will be at cleaning deep into fabrics and removing stubborn stains. Secondly, check out its water tank capacity – this is important as larger tanks mean less refilling time in between uses. Finally, think about what attachments come with it – these can help make cleaning easier by reaching hard-to-reach areas or tackling different types of surfaces like carpets or stairs.

When selecting a steam cleaner, you should also consider the attachments that come with it. An extension hose may be included to help reach high corners and crevices without having to move furniture around too much. Special brushes designed specifically for upholstery can remove dirt from even the deepest fibres. Additionally, some models might include a window squeegee attachment so that after using your steam cleaner on other surfaces in your home, you can clean windows quickly and efficiently.

If all else fails, don’t forget to read reviews online from people who have already used similar models before making your purchase decision. This way, you know exactly what kind of performance to expect when using your new appliance.

Using Your Steam Cleaner on Upholstery

Using a steam cleaner on upholstery is an effective way to deep clean your furniture and remove stubborn stains. Before you begin, it’s important to understand the basics of using a steam cleaner safely and effectively. Here are some tips for getting started:

1. Fill the Tank

Start by filling the tank with water and detergent according to manufacturer instructions. Make sure not to overfill or underfill, as this can affect performance.

2. Set Temperature & Pressure Settings

Once filled, set the temperature and pressure settings according to manufacturer instructions based on what type of fabric you are cleaning – typically low heat for delicate fabrics such as silk or velvet, medium heat for most fabrics, and high heat for tougher materials like leather or vinyl.

3. Test an Inconspicuous Area First

To ensure that your chosen settings won’t damage your upholstery, test them out in an inconspicuous area first before tackling larger areas of furniture or visible spots on cushions etc. This will also give you a chance to practice using the machine correctly so that when it comes time to tackle those more difficult spots, you know exactly how much pressure is needed without damaging any fibres in the process.

4. Vacuum Upholstery First

Before steaming your upholstery, make sure it has been vacuumed thoroughly first – this will help loosen dirt particles which can then be removed more easily during the steaming process later on down the line.

5. Move Slowly Over Surface

When steaming, always move slowly over the surface in order to not only get the best results but also avoid any potential damage from too much concentrated heat being applied at once (especially if working with delicate fabrics). It’s also important not to use too much pressure when pressing the nozzle against the fabric, as this could cause fibres breakage/tearing due to wear & tear over time – something no one wants.

Key Takeaway: Using a steam cleaner on upholstery is an effective way to deep clean and remove stubborn stains. It’s important to fill the tank with water and detergent, set temperature and pressure settings according to fabric type, test an inconspicuous area first, vacuum before steaming, and move slowly over surface for best results.

Cleaning Tips & Tricks

When it comes to steam cleaning upholstery, there are a few tricks that can help you get the best results. First, be sure to use multiple passes over stubborn stains. This will ensure that all of the dirt and grime is removed from your furniture. Second, make sure to use an attachment on hard-to-reach areas like crevices or seams in order to get into those tight spots and remove any built-up dirt or debris. Third, if you have pet hair stuck in your upholstery fabric, try using a lint roller before steam cleaning for better results. Finally, when steaming delicate fabrics such as silk or velvet, always test an inconspicuous area first before proceeding with full coverage. Following these tips will help keep your upholstery looking its best.

Using the right cleaning techniques and tools can help you achieve a deep clean of your upholstery. Now, let’s take a look at how to maintain that freshness after cleaning with a steam cleaner.

Maintaining Your Upholstery After Cleaning

Sofa in the living room

Once you have finished cleaning your upholstery with a steam cleaner, it is important to maintain the cleanliness of your furniture. To do this, you should apply a fabric protector, or spot treat any new stains that appear. Fabric protectors are designed to help repel dirt and liquids from penetrating into the fibres of the fabric, making them easier to clean in the future. Spot treating involves using a mild detergent on small areas that may become stained after cleaning, such as food spills or pet accidents.

When applying fabric protectors, be sure to follow all instructions provided by the manufacturer for the best results. This will usually involve spraying an even layer onto the surface of your upholstery and then allowing it time to dry before use. It is also important not to oversaturate fabrics as this can cause discolouration over time due to excess product build-up on the material’s surface.

If you notice any new stains appearing after cleaning with a steam cleaner, it is important not to rub at them as this can spread them further into other parts of your furniture’s material and make them harder to remove later on down the line. Instead, blotting at these spots with a damp cloth and mild detergent should suffice in most cases while avoiding harsh chemicals which could damage delicate fabrics like silk or velvet over time if used too frequently or left sitting for long periods without being rinsed off properly afterwards.

Key Takeaway: To maintain clean upholstery, use fabric protector after steam cleaning and spot treat any new stains with a mild detergent. Avoid rubbing at the stain and using harsh chemicals as this can damage delicate fabrics.

FAQs in Relation to How to Clean Upholstery With a Steam Cleaner

Is steam cleaning good for upholstery?

Steam cleaning is a great way to clean upholstery. It uses hot water and detergent to break down dirt, grime, and other particles on the fabric’s surface. Steam cleaning can help remove tough stains from furniture that may not be able to be removed with traditional methods. Additionally, steam cleaning is effective at killing bacteria and dust mites, which can cause allergies or respiratory issues if left untreated. Overall, steam cleaning is an excellent choice for upholstery as it provides deep-cleaning results without damaging the fabric itself.

Where does the dirt go when you steam clean?

The dirt, dust, and debris are loosened by the steam and then vacuumed away. The hot steam also kills bacteria, germs, and allergens that can be found in carpet fibres. This makes it an effective way to keep your home clean and healthy. After the steam cleaning process is complete, all of the dirt will have been removed from your carpets or furniture into the vacuum cleaner’s bag or container for easy disposal.


In conclusion, cleaning upholstery with a steam cleaner is an effective and efficient way to keep your furniture looking its best. With the right preparation, choosing the right steam cleaner for your needs, and following some simple tips and tricks, you can easily clean upholstery with a steam cleaner like a pro. Remember that regular maintenance after cleaning will help ensure that your upholstery looks great for years to come. So don’t be afraid to get out there and give it a try – you’ll be glad you did when you see how much easier it is to clean upholstery with a steam cleaner than other methods.

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