Tips on Using Steam Cleaners on Upholstery

by James Mcdaniel

Tips on Using Steam Cleaners on Upholstery

Before steam cleaning upholstery, it is recommended that the content or manufacturer’s labeling be consulted to ensure that the fabric can withstand steam cleaning. Leather, vinyl or any mix thereof should not be steam cleaned.

Steam cleaning upholstery is a deep cleaning method and will help restore furniture to its original condition in many ways. Another benefit is that it effectively rids upholstery of dust mites and allergens that can cause physical reactions.

 

Preparation

Loose Dirt – It is a good idea to vacuum upholstery before steam cleaning in order to rid the furniture of loose dirt and debris. Use the upholstery attachment of the vacuum cleaner for best results. A whisk broom can be used to remove crumbs and particles from crevices. A lint brush is helpful in removing pet hair.

Follow Directions – Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for tank fill level and solution mixture. Many manufacturers will not honor warranties or damage claims if the recommended cleaning solution is not used. Of course, many steam cleaner manufacturers sell the accompanying products recommended for use.

Make sure the manufacturer’s instruction manual is handy before cleaning and follow the guidelines included.

Testing – Once the recommended cleaning solution has been added and the tank is filled, find an inconspicuous spot on the upholstery to try the steam cleaner out. To fully see the results, the test area should be allowed to dry completely before attempting to steam clean the rest of the piece.

 

Cleaning

Arm covers and cushions should be removed from the furniture and cleaned separately from the frame. Steam cleaning one section at a time will yield the best results.

It is not the purpose of steam cleaning to saturate the upholstery. Cleaning strokes should be slow enough to ensure accuracy but fast enough to avoid saturation. Start at the top of the upholstery and make strokes cross-wise working towards the bottom.

When steam cleaning cushions, clean one side at a time and allow it to dry before cleaning the other side. If the cushions are attached to the base or frame clean them last.

It may be necessary to repeat the cleaning process. Ample time for the upholstery to dry between cleaning applications should be allowed.

If the upholstery has been previously steam cleaned or shampooed, anti-foaming cleaning solutions are suggested to reduce the amount of suds that may occur due to residual cleaning fluids.

 

Stains

Stem cleaning is best for a general cleaning application but not for hard-to-remove stains. Stubborn stains should be treated separately and completely dry before steam cleaning.