How Do You Steam Clean Upholstery: A Detailed Guide


Upholstered furniture adds comfort, style, and warmth to our living spaces, but it also attracts dust, spills, and stains over time. Maintaining upholstery cleanliness is essential not only for aesthetic reasons but also for health and hygiene. One highly effective method for deep cleaning upholstery is steam cleaning. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of steam cleaning upholstery, ensuring both efficacy and safety.


Before diving into steam cleaning, proper preparation is key to achieving optimal results and avoiding potential damage to your upholstery. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Check Fabric Type and Cleaning Codes: Upholstery fabrics vary in their composition and cleaning requirements. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or check the cleaning code tag to determine the appropriate cleaning method for your upholstery fabric.

2. Vacuum Thoroughly: Use a vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachments to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris from the surface and crevices of the upholstery. This step prevents particles from being driven deeper into the fabric during steam cleaning.

3. Spot Clean Stains: Prior to steam cleaning, address any visible stains or spills on the upholstery. Use a suitable upholstery cleaner according to the fabric type and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for stain removal.

Steam Cleaner Setup

Now that your upholstery is prepped, it’s time to set up your steam cleaner for action. Follow these steps for proper setup:

1. Fill with Water: Depending on the model of your steam cleaner, fill the water tank with the recommended amount of water. Avoid overfilling to prevent spills and ensure optimal performance.

2 Add Cleaning Solution (if applicable): Some steam cleaners allow for the addition of cleaning solutions or detergents to enhance cleaning power. If your steam cleaner permits this, add the appropriate amount of solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

3. Adjust Temperature and Pressure Settings: Different fabrics require different temperature and pressure settings to avoid damage. Consult the user manual of your steam cleaner to adjust the settings accordingly based on the fabric type of your upholstery.


Before proceeding with steam cleaning the entire upholstery surface, it’s crucial to perform a test to ensure compatibility and prevent any potential damage. Follow these steps for testing:

1. Select an Inconspicuous Area: Choose a small, inconspicuous area of the upholstery, such as the back or bottom, to conduct the test.

2. Apply Steam: Turn on the steam cleaner and apply steam to the selected area using slow, gentle strokes.

3. Check for Damage: After steam application, inspect the tested area for any adverse effects such as discoloration, shrinkage, or distortion of fabric fibers. If no damage occurs, proceed with confidence to clean the entire upholstery surface.


Mastering the technique of steam cleaning is essential for achieving optimal results. Follow these guidelines for effective steam cleaning:

1. Move in Slow, Even Strokes: When using the steam cleaner, move it slowly and evenly across the upholstery surface to ensure thorough cleaning and avoid streaks or patches.

2. Focus on Stains: Pay special attention to areas with stains or soiled spots. Direct steam and extra attention to these areas to effectively lift and remove stains.

3. Use Appropriate Attachments: Most steam cleaners come with a variety of attachments designed for different surfaces and purposes. Select the appropriate attachment for upholstery cleaning to ensure proper coverage and effective dirt removal.

Drying and Maintenance

After steam cleaning, it’s essential to allow the upholstery to dry completely before using it again. Follow these tips for drying and maintenance:

1. Air Dry: Open windows or turn on fans to promote air circulation and expedite the drying process. Avoid sitting or placing objects on the upholstery until it is completely dry to prevent re-soiling.

2. Regular Maintenance: To prolong the cleanliness and freshness of your upholstery, establish a regular maintenance routine. Vacuum upholstery weekly to remove surface dust and debris, and address spills or stains promptly to prevent them from setting in.

Safety and Care

While steam cleaning is a safe and effective method for upholstery cleaning, it’s essential to prioritize safety and handle the equipment with care. Follow these safety tips:

1. Handle with Care: Steam cleaners emit hot steam, which can cause burns if mishandled. Exercise caution when operating the steam cleaner, and avoid direct contact with hot surfaces.

2. Ensure Ventilation: Steam cleaning generates moisture and heat, so ensure adequate ventilation in the cleaning area to prevent humidity buildup and promote drying.


The benefits of steam cleaning upholstery are numerous and significant:

1. Deep Cleaning: Steam penetrates deep into upholstery fibers, effectively loosening and lifting dirt, grime, and stains for thorough cleaning.

2. Sanitization: Steam cleaning not only cleans but also sanitizes upholstery by killing bacteria, allergens, and other harmful substances, promoting a healthier indoor environment.

3. Gentle on Fabrics: Unlike harsh chemical cleaners, steam cleaning is gentle on upholstery fabrics, minimizing the risk of damage or discoloration.


In conclusion, steam cleaning is a highly effective and efficient method for revitalizing upholstery and maintaining a clean and healthy home environment. By following proper preparation, technique, and safety guidelines, you can confidently steam clean your upholstery to restore its beauty and freshness.

Related Articles

Welcome to BestFloorScrubber – your premier online destination for top-rated floor scrubbers. Discover unparalleled cleaning efficiency and expert reviews to make informed decisions for pristine floors. Elevate your cleaning experience with us!

Copyright © 2023