It is inevitable that your couch will get dirty. Food crumbs find their way between cushions and lined up against seams, drinks get spilled; pets and children carry dirt with them everywhere they go. Even just the general use of a couch over time can cause dirt to build up, and the best way to achieve a really deep clean is by using a steam cleaner.


The first thing you want to do is to remove all cushions and vacuum all surfaces. Use a dust buster or hose attachments for the hard to reach places.

Be sure to clean crevices, cushions and the base of the couch. You can also use a bristle brush for any set in dust or dirt. Light rubbing helps to loosen the dirt so it is easier to vacuum up. Be careful not to scrub too hard, so you don’t damage the fabric.

Using a lint brush or wet rag, remove all pet hair and lint since this is usually missed by vacuum cleaners.

Cleaning Products

Be sure to determine what type of fabric the couch s made of, so you can use the safest cleaning agents.

In most cases, a solution is not needed, and you can just use water alone.

Most tags will tell you what can and cannot be used. A “W” code means that water-based solutions can be used whereas an “S” code indicates that only a dry-cleaning agent should be used.

Some materials may only allow organic products or require professional grade cleaning.

Make your cleaning solution from a mixture of water and cleaning agent per instructions, usually a 1:1 ratio.

It is always best to spot clean one area first to test the fabric. Test this piece with a paper towel after 10 minutes to see if any fabric dye comes off.

Preparing the Steam Cleaner

Locate the tank for the cleaning solution and open the cap. Pour all the solution you made into the tank, or just use water if that is your preference.

The steam helps to loosen dirt, so soap is not always needed.

Make sure everything is attached, if it does not already come that way, such as the hose and the cleaning head attachment.

Be sure that your steam cleaner is set to the recommended pressure.

This information is generally provided in a user’s manual or available on a manufacturer’s website.

Test a small piece of the couch first and leave for 15 minutes.

If you are satisfied with the result, you can continue with the whole couch.


As you move the nozzle across the couch surfaces, release the solution slowly using a triggered handle. Keep the trigger button pressed as you move along. It is advised to use a grid pattern so that you don’t miss any spaces.

Apply the cleaning solution to the whole couch.

Once the couch has been covered, release the button and stop applying the solution. Slowly move over the same grid pattern again, this time removing any excess solution from the surface.

If there are any deep set stains, then this process can be repeated in those specific areas.

Follow the same steps for the cushions if they were detached.

Some steam cleaners have an attachable cloth which picks up the dirt as you loosen it rather than sucking it up like a vacuum.

If this type of machine is being used, be sure to change the cloth regularly, as it will reach maximum dirt capacity.

Special Materials

If your couch is made of leather or velvet, please be sure to check the manufacturer instructions because these materials can be easily damaged.


Allow the couch to air dry and do not let anyone sit on it. Once completely dry you can vacuum it again to remove any last remaining pieces of dirt. Be sure to allow the steam cleaner to completely y cool before emptying the tank. Rinse both the tank and cloths thoroughly without fabric softener which interferes with dirt absorption.

Important Tip

Steam clean your couch at the start of a day and leave the windows open in that room. This prevents steam from building up and also allows the couch to thoroughly dry over time. Steam can also settle on to other pieces of furniture in the room acting as a magnet for dust particles.

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