How to Steam Clean Upholstery

Someone cleans uphostery.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 200-400
What You'll Need
Steam cleaner
Vacuum cleaner
Wet/dry vac
Commercial upholstery cleaner
Steam cleaning solution
Your steam cleaner's owner's manual

If you own any pieces of furniture that are in desperate need of cleaning, you may want to steam clean the upholstery. Read on to learn everything you'll need to know about steam cleaning upholstery.

Step 1 - Prep Your Furniture

Before you can proceed to steam clean your upholstery, you will need to thoroughly vacuum it. Begin this step by using one of your vacuum cleaner's furniture attachments to purge any caked-on dust deposits. When performing this step, take your time. The more dust you can vacuum up, the easier it will be to steam clean your upholstery.

After your upholstery has been vacuumed, spray it down with a commercial furniture cleaner, taking care to pay special attention to any stained areas. Next, allow your cleaning solution to sit for several minutes before proceeding to wipe down your furniture with the aid of a washcloth. Make sure your furniture has had ample time to dry before carrying out the steam cleaning process.

Step 2 - Begin Steam Cleaning Your Upholstery

Now that you've made the necessary preparations, you're ready to steam clean your upholstery. Begin by loading your steam cleaner with the required amounts of water and steam cleaning solution. You'll now need to affix the steam cleaner's upholstery attachment and adjust the cleaner's strength to the proper setting. As this step will differ from cleaner to cleaner, consult your steam cleaner's owner's manual to learn the exact way to go about it. Once the proper attachment has been affixed and the right amounts of water and steam cleaning solution have been added, turn on your steam cleaner and begin the cleaning process.

Using your steam cleaner's upholstery attachment, apply your steamed water and cleaning solution to your furniture in long, even strokes. When performing this step, make sure to clean one area of your furniture at a time. If you wish to clean your cushions, remove them from the piece of upholstery you're cleaning and proceed to steam clean both the front and back sides. If the cushions are not detachable, clean them in the same fashion as the other areas of your furniture.

Step 3 - Apply Your Finishing Touches

Having successfully steam cleaned your upholstery, you will need to allow your freshly cleaned furniture to fully dry before proceeding to use it. If you're in a hurry to use your furniture again, you may want to use a wet/dry vac to speed up the drying process. Using this device's upholstery attachment, run it across your dampened upholstery in long, even strokes, in much the same fashion as you operated your steam cleaner. Certain steam cleaners feature wet/dry vac-esque attachments, which enable them to perform essentially the same function.

If any stained areas remain, repeat the steam cleaning process. If the stains still prove unyielding, you may want to consider calling in an upholstery cleaning specialist.