How to Clean a Couch Without a Steam Cleaner

Clean a couch without a steam cleaner

Watching your preferred TV shows while eating snacks on your couch is a great way to relax. However, between food debris, drink spills, and airborne dust, your sofa can see a lot of wear and tear. Besides, as it affects the living room’s aesthetics, it’s your duty to keep it fresh and clean. And I can guarantee you that even if you don’t have a steam cleaner, you’ll still be able to restore your couch’s beauty by following one of the techniques below.

This article includes several methods to clean a couch without a steam cleaner. But, before you use any of these methods, please check the tag on your couch. This tag indicates the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines which you need to follow.

There are four tags in total.

  • W = Indicates you can use water to clean your couch.
  • S = It signifies that dry cleaning detergent can be used.
  • WS = It means you can use both water and cleaning detergent.
  • X = Water cannot be used. Vacuum only

1-How to Clean a Couch Without a Steam Cleaner

1-Vacuum the Couch

Start by vacuuming the surface dirt and debris from your sofa. To prevent debris from embedding, we recommend vacuuming your couch regularly. Following this cleaning practice will make deep cleaning the sofa much easier for you.

Another thing that can be useful when vacuuming is to take off the cushions. If your sofa has detachable cushions, remove them to be able to clean everything properly.

Some debris could be tenacious and will not be removed when vacuuming. For this situation, simply scrub them using a stiff brush.

2-Baking Soda

Since baking soda doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals, it should be effective for most sofas. In addition, if dirt has been embedded in your couch for a long period of time, you might smell a terrible odor, which is completely normal. 

What is good about baking soda is its ability to remove stubborn stains and deodorize your upholstery.

Here is how to use it:

Sprinkle a good amount of baking soda on your couch. If the cushions are detachable, we recommend removing them, which should help clean the sofa properly. Then, rub the baking soda in a circular motion with an old rag or cloth to get it deep within the fabric.

Usually, baking soda should be left for around 30 minutes. However, if the sofa is filthy or has an unpleasant odor, you can either leave baking soda on the couch for an extended period of time or mix it with a dry carpet cleaner to deep clean it.

This product is indeed meant for carpets, but it also works great with upholstery.

3-Rubbing Alcohol

Couches that have been neglected for a long period of time, as well as secondhand sofas, will have to be disinfected. And in order to sanitize the couch, we recommend using Rubbing Alcohol. Simply spray rubbing alcohol all over the couch and let it dry.

The fact alcohol dries so quickly is what makes it so amazing.

2-How to Clean a Fabric Couch Without a Steam Cleaner

Cleaning your fabric couch is a snap. All you need is a combination of 1/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 cup warm water, and 1 tbsp dish soap. Blend the solution thoroughly before putting it in a spray bottle. You can also pour the mixture directly into the spray bottle, but you must shake it afterward.

Next, spray the stained area and scrub it with a soft cloth. After that, absorb the mixture with another dry cloth or towel and let your sofa dry.

3-How to Clean a Leather Couch Without a Steam Cleaner

Unlike fabric couches, leather requires a different cleaning approach. It’s indeed different, yet it is also quite simple. Simply combine half a cup olive oil and 1/4 cup vinegar in a spray bottle.

Spray the sofa surface and wait a few minutes for the solution to take effect. Then, absorb the moisture with a clean, dry cloth and set your couch to dry.

4-How to Clean a Synthetic Couch Without a Steam Cleaner

Lastly, for synthetic couches, we recommend a mixture of half a cup of vinegar and half a tablespoon of liquid dish detergent in a cup of warm water. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and proceed as you would with leather or fabric upholstery.

5-Things You Need to Know Before Cleaning Your Upholstery

  • Always take care of the non-fabric parts as they require a different cleaning approach.
  • Avoid using water to clean metal parts since it might cause oxidation, which leads to rust. In some cases, you might end up with rust on your carpet, so be mindful of it.
  • Don’t leave your sofa wet for a long period of time, as it can lead to mold and mildew.
  • We recommend testing any new cleaning procedure in an inconspicuous area first.


We hope our tips have been helpful to you. If they were, please leave us a comment sharing with us the one that offered you the best result. You can also share this article on social media so you can help your friends and family members clean their couches without a steam cleaner.

Also, like every house owner, there are always some unexpected problems. That’s why we highly recommend you take a look at our recent guide on how to deal with water-damaged carpets.

Want To Keep Your House Sparkling?

You're on the verge of becoming a professional cleaner. Sign up for our newsletter and get expert advice that will help you keep your house fresh and clean.

We're an affiliate

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Do You Want To Keep Your House Sparkling?

You're on the verge of becoming a professional cleaner. Sign up for our newsletter and get expert advice that will help you keep your house fresh and clean.