How to Steam Clean a Leather Couch

Steam cleaning your leather couch can be an effective way to get rid of mold, dirt, soil and stains without having to subject your couch to harsh, dry cleaning chemicals which can strip leather of its sheen. Steam cleaning not only removes at least 98 percent of all germs with its hot water solution, but it provides an environmental friendly way of ridding germs without worry of breathing in harsh cleaning agents.

A leather couch
credit: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Step 1

Invest in a commercial upholstery steam cleaner only. High end steam cleaners can be expensive, so consider renting a steam cleaner from a home improvement store or rental center.

Step 2

Pre-treat furniture before steaming. Mix ½ cup of white vinegar with 1/2 cup of linseed oil into a small bucket of hot water. Wipe down the leather couch with a damp cloth mixed in solution. If the couch is particularly old or mildew laden, wipe the leather couch with rubbing alcohol. Remove all seating cushions if possible, and let the leather air dry for at least 1 hour.

Step 3

Fill the steamer according to the product's label. Conduct a patch test on a small portion of the couch, perhaps on a section near the back of the couch, to make sure that the solution or hot water heat will not damage the leather. Continue use if the steam cleaner patch test is successful.

Step 4

Start by cleaning the back part of the couch first. Take a section of the couch's back, and run the steam cleaner's brush attachment over the section 1 to 2 times, proceeding to the next section. Remove sofa cushions, and steam clean the inside of the couch in circular strokes with the brush attachment.

Step 5

Proceed to the front part of the couch, setting the cushions aside to clean separately. Use the brush attachment to go over the front part of the couch and the cushions as well 1 to 2 times. Wipe down extra damp areas with a cloth. Open windows to create ventilation, or use a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process.