Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
It's common to get confused when it comes to carpet cleaners and upholstery cleaners. Are these cleaning tools the same? Can you use a carpet cleaner on the couch? We have researched carpet cleaners and whether or not they can be used on couches, and we have answers.
Yes, you can typically use a carpet cleaner on your couch. However, it's best to ensure that the specific carpet cleaner comes with a hose attachment and a brush so that you don't damage your sofa during the process. The biggest problem you will want to prevent is having too much cleaning solution applied to the couch. You'll also want to make sure that you're using the right carpet cleaning solution and that the couch is vacuumed beforehand.
Though carpet cleaners and upholstery cleaners are two different devices, there are scenarios where you can use a cheap carpet cleaner on your couch. So rest assured that you won't be the first to do it. Continue reading to learn the proper steps to do it safely and effectively. Without further ado, let's get into it.
How do you shampoo a couch?
Shampooing a couch is a fairly straightforward process, though certain precautions should be taken. Before you get started, there are a few things you'll need:
- Vacuum with a handheld attachment
- Upholstery cleaner
- Spot cleaner
- Lint-free cleaning cloths
Now let's take a look at the process.
1. Check the manufacturer's instructions
If you're cleaning your couch for the first time, it's best to double-check the manufacturer's instructions to ensure that you're using safe cleaning products. Couches can be expensive, and you don't want to permanently damage your upholstery while trying to get it clean.
You should be able to find the cleaning instructions for the couch on its care tags (which are typically located on the bottom of the couch).
2. Vacuum the couch
Next, take a handheld vacuum or one with a hose attachment and vacuum the couch. Be sure to pay special attention to the seating area and the sides of the couch, as these are areas where debris, hair, and dander are likely to accumulate the most. Vacuum the couch cushions and then remove them to get to the other spaces and crevices.
3. Apply baking soda (optional)
If you're shampooing the couch to get rid of a lingering stain, a bit of baking soda can help. Not only is it effective in treating spots but it can help to remove any lingering odor caused by pet urine, spilled food, or body odor.
Lightly sprinkle the baking soda on the seating and back areas of the couch. You can also mix it with equal parts of water and place it in a spray bottle. Spray the couch with the solution, and then let it sit for about 10 to 20 minutes. Afterward, vacuum the couch again.
4. Perform spot treatment
Next, treat any spots or difficult stains with a recommended spot treatment for the couch. If you are unsure about a product, try performing a small spot test on the lower back of the sofa. Follow the instructions on the cleaning solution and wipe it off using a lint-free cloth.
You can also use the diluted baking soda solution that you made to spray on the spot and let it sit for about 10 to 20 minutes before wiping it off.
5. Prepare your shampoo device
Next, be sure to properly dilute your upholstery or carpet cleaning solution and pour it into the carpet cleaner. The stronger the solution, the more diluted it should be. If it's not diluted properly, you'll find that your couch may develop white spots or feel crunchy once it dries.
6. Work the solution on the couch
Then, use your carpet or upholstery cleaner (or just a cleaning cloth) to go over the couch's arms first and work your way to the back seating area.
Be sure to work the cleaner brush into the fabric to apply the solution effectively. To prevent oversaturation with the cleaning device, don't let the brush sit on one area for more than a few seconds. Cover the couch's back area and then the seating pillows.
7. Remove the cushions
Once you have covered every inch of the couch, place the seating pillows where they can stand up vertically to dry. Rotate the cushions every 30 minutes so that they can dry quickly and evenly.
Afterward, let the couch and cushions dry for about 6 to 12 hours or as needed. Once everything is completely dry, place the cushions back on the couch. Note that humidity and temperature in your home will affect the couch's drying time.
What are the best carpet cleaning solutions for a couch?
There are a few different carpet cleaning solutions that you can use on a couch. Of course, you'll always want to check the manufacturer's instructions beforehand. Let's take a look at them.
Hoover Renewal Deep Cleaning Carpet Shampoo
This carpet shampoo by Hoover is one of the most popular ones on the market. Not only is this formula effective for removing stains, getting rid of dust, and lifting loose dirt, but it's also an effective odor remover.
More importantly, this cleaner can be used on car interiors, curtains, and other materials. It's great for high-traffic areas on the carpet. If you're looking for an effective upholstery cleaner with a fresh scent, here is one to consider.
Bissell Oxygen Boost Formula Carpet Shampoo
The Bissell brand is probably the most well-known in the upholstery and carpet cleaning industry. And this carpet cleaner doesn't disappoint. It's perfect for high-traffic areas, and it will leave your carpet or couch free of dirt and odors.
This is a fairly versatile shampoo that you can use on carpets, couches, curtains, and wall coverings. It's an oxygen-based formula that's one of the best in its class when it comes to fighting tough stains from food, blood, or dirt. So if you're looking for an upholstery cleaner to get rid of any tough stains on your couch, this may work well.
OxiClean Carpet Cleaner
If your couch needs a deep cleaning to remove lingering odors and stains, look no further. OxiClean is one of the best stain-fighting solutions for upholstery and carpet. It's perfect for lifting stubborn spots with ease.
The fast cleaning action will make your couch look new again without you having to apply a ton of elbow grease. Simply spray the formula on your couch and let the solution do all the work. You'll want to be careful when using it as a couch cleaner solution, as it's pretty concentrated. So be sure to dilute it.
Zep All-Purpose Carpet Shampoo Concentrate
Zep is another dependable brand in the home cleaning industry. This super-concentrated carpet shampoo is perfect for various textiles including carpet, sofas, car seats, curtains, and mattress covers.
The great thing about this formula is that it's completely ready to use, and you don't need to dilute it. If you have stubborn pet stains and are searching for an enzyme-based solution, here is one to consider. Not only can it quickly get rid of the stains, but it can also remove any lingering odors.
Nature's Miracle Carpet Shampoo
Here is another bio-enzymatic formula that can help to remove stubborn pet stains and odors. If you have visible stains on your couch or can't seem to get rid of the smell of your furry friends, this solution may be exactly what you need.
You'll be happy to know that this formula is phosphate-free and less sudsy than the other formulas. This means you won't have to worry about too many bubbles developing on the couch from oversaturation. You can use this cleaner with a machine or by hand with a lint-free cloth.
Is carpet cleaner the same as upholstery cleaner?
No. These are two different products that are typically used for different types of textiles. However, it's not uncommon for someone to use a carpet cleaner on upholstery or vice versa—though caution should be taken when doing so, as the solution can potentially cause damage.
For example, it probably wouldn't be best to use a carpet cleaner on a leather couch.
Can you use a steam cleaner on a couch?
If the steam cleaner has an attachment that is small enough to use on the couch, it's possible. However, you'll want to check the recommendations on the couch. Some couches simply won't work well with steam cleaners and can easily become damaged.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope this post has explained the difference between carpet and upholstery cleaners. You can use certain carpet cleaners on your couch, but do so with caution to avoid damaging the material. It's always best to first do a spot test in an inconspicuous area just to be on the safe side.
Before you go, check out our other posts: