The sofa is one of the hardest pieces of furniture to clean in the house. If you try to spray it or rub it down with a rag you could damage the fabric or cause moisture to settle into the cushions. One of the best ways to clean your sofa is with a steamer tool, like the one you use to iron out your clothes.
Using a steam cleaner sanitizes the sofa. Hot steam kills germs and bacteria that may have settled in on the cushions. The steam also lifts dirt from the surface of the sofa so that you can wipe or brush it away more readily. Upholstery steam cleaners sometimes come with brush attachments that lift dirt and hair from the fabric in one swipe as it emits steam.
Can You Use a Clothes Steamer?
Stores sell these portable steam cleaners made with attachments for sofas, but they can be a bit expensive. So if you have a clothes steamer, which is usually a hand-held tool, you can use that, too. You also need a fabric cleaning brush, which looks like a regular scrub brush but has stiffer bristles.
How to Do It
Vacuum the sofa with an attachment first. Fill the reserve on the clothes steamer and add about a capful of white distilled vinegar if you'd like — it is a natural cleansing and disinfecting agent. Plug in the clothes steamer and let it heat until you start to see steam trickling out. Hover the mouth of the tool about six inches from the surface with one hand and hold the fabric cleaning brush in the other hand. Press the button to eject steam as you slowly move it up and down over the sofa and cushions. Use the same type of pattern you would if you were vacuuming. Brush the area down thoroughly right after you steam it.
It takes about an hour for the sofa to dry after steaming. Open a window. If you used vinegar the smell goes away after a few hours. Pull up any leftover hair or specks from the surface with masking tape if necessary. When everything is clean and dry, spritz the sofa with a fabric refresher spray.