How to Clean Upholstery With a Steam Cleaner? Step by Step Guide

Cleaning your upholstery, fabric furniture’s or mattresses are not a big deal when you have good & affordable vacuum cleaners. Vacuum cleaners are very useful for thousands of cleaning applications and they prove beneficial for you if you invest in them. So let’s start to learn how to clean upholstery with a steam cleaner.

How to Clean Upholstery With a Steam Cleaner

As you know, steam cleaners use the strong power of water and steam so they can deep clean and sanitize your upholstery and remove all tough embedded stains, remove and kill bacterias, allergens causing micobacterias, viruses, mold and dust miles.

How to Clean Upholstery With a Steam Cleaner? Guidelines

Steam cleaners are very excellent appliances to clean your upholstery in a very simple way but still you need guidance and some sequential steps to follow for efficient and effective cleaning with no damage to your upholstery. Let me explain them to you for easy understanding and convenience in doing your task.

1. Preparing Your Upholstery

Before you start the cleaning, preparing your upholstery is very basic and important to make your task easy for you. Preparing your upholstery includes some simple steps.

Preparing Your Upholstery

Vacuum the Upholstery:

Vacuuming your upholstery means you need to vacuum dirt, dust, allergens and any trash from your furniture that can make your cleaning even dirtier when they become wet with steam cleaners. Make sure to vacuum every single side of your fabric furniture that may be your chair, couch or anything you want to clean.

Pre-Treating the Stains:

If you find any kind of prominent oil and tough stains on your upholstery then always pre treat them with help of any commercial upholstery spot cleaner. Apply them on stain, sit for a while and then clean with help of wet cloth.

You can also make upholstery spot cleaner by mixing vinegar, rubbing alcohol, water, baking soda and cornstarch.

Pre-Conditioning the Upholstery:

In addition to upholstery spot cleaner. You also need to spray an extra layer of soil emulsifier which softens all the dirt dust and other elements that become grounded in your upholstery. So when you steam clean your upholstery they come out easily and the emulsifier gets removed by steam cleaner.

2. Choosing Right Vacuum Cleaner

The very first thing is to choose the right vacuum cleaner before starting actual cleaning of your upholstery. Because there are different kinds of vacuum cleaners in the market available for different applications but for this task upholstery steam cleaners and fabric steam cleaners are the right choice for you.

Choosing Right Vacuum Cleaner

Always try to buy those upholstery steam cleaners who are small in size and feel lighter in weight so you can easily lift them up to clean your upholstery.

3. Prepare Your Steam Cleaner

Preparing your steam cleaner means adding cleaning essentials in your machine like water and cleaner. This step may vary with the model of the cleaner you have. But in general you need to fill water and clean the container. Keep in mind don’t fill it too much that it releases a high amount of steam making your upholstery more saturated. Always attach the correct upholstery attachment with your steam cleaner.

Prepare Your Steam Cleaner

4. First Clean Cushions

If your furniture you are cleaning like a couch or any chair have removable cushions then take the start of your steam cleaning from them. Plug in your machine, and start steam cleaning them by holding the handheld steam cleaner or hose in your hand. Once you press the button the steam will start coming out of it and make the surface wet. Try to drag them totally over the surface of the cushion.

First Clean Cushions

Immediately drag the opening of your machine on a damp surface in order to remove excess amounts of water and cleaner from the surface.

5. Steam Clean the Rest of Upholstery

After cleaning cushions now it’s time to steam clean your upholstery in the same way you steam clean the cushions. But now you have to steam clean the upholstery in small sections because if you steam clean larger sections the water will soak into them which becomes difficult to dry. After steam cleaning, promptly remove the excess water and clean as you have already done. Repeat the process until your upholstery becomes clean.

Steam Clean the Rest of Upholstery

6. Let the Upholstery Become Dry

After you are all done with your steam cleaning of upholstery, it’s time to dry them. The time of drying varies upon the amount of steam you used for cleaning your upholstery or the weather of your surroundings.

Let the Upholstery Become Dry

You can dry faster if you turn your fan on, open windows or blow dryer your upholstery.

7. Removing the Lingering Stains

After drying if you still see any stain or discoloration on your upholstery it means you did not perform previous steps perfectly but no need to worry about repeating the whole process you can use some other methods to remove them.

Removing the Lingering Stains

Soap and Water:

The very easy and obvious way for getting rid of lingering stains is to use the mixture of soap with water. Soak a sponge into the solution and start rubbing off the stain. You can apply some optional few drops of dishwashing soap on the sponge and rub with little force on the stain. Now take a clean sponge and soak clean water into it to remove the soap from the stain.

Use Vinegar:

Instead of using soap and water you can also use vinegar to remove the stains . For effective cleaning of lingering stains. You can either use white vinegar or apple vinegar. Take a sponge and soak it with vinegar and start blotting or scrubbing your stain with the soaked sponge. But don’t forget to scrub it too much. It can fade your upholstery color and damage fabric.

 If you don’t have vinegar you can also use vodka for the same purpose. 

Use Heavy Duty Cleaner:

If no method works for the cleaning of lingering stains on upholstery. You can buy heavy duty cleaners like tuff stuff, folex, and resolver. You just have to spray any of this cleaner directly on the stain and then start blotting the stain with the help of a wet cloth or sponge. But do not apply much force it will damage the upholstery.

8. Warnings and Tips:

  • Always be careful while using steam cleaners because the steam coming out of them can directly hurt your skin, children’s, and pets.
  • Make sure that the upholstery spot cleaner you are using won’t hurt the fabric of your upholstery.
  • After you steam clean your upholstery, let it dry completely.
  • Never fill the container of your steam machine too much; it will saturate your upholstery in a heavy amount.
  • To keep your furniture refreshing and new steam clean your upholstery at least once a year or according to the usage of your furniture.


You can give your furniture their lost shine back by giving them steam cleaning with very simple and easy steps that I have described in this article for you. If you don’t want to do this work on your own no problem you can hire some professional for steam cleaning your upholstery.

Leave a Reply

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