Can you steam clean polyester? How to steam clean polyester? – Full Guide

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In this article, we will tell you whether you can steam clean polyester.

Steam cleaners have become a standard tool in the majority of households, right next to the vacuum cleaner. Those devices are not only easy to use, but they can remove the majority of bacteria with a single swipe. What’s more, they don’t need any harsh chemicals for successful cleaning.

That being said, not every fabric can work that well with steam cleaners. There are furniture which shouldn’t be steam cleaned, in order to prevent permanent damage. Today, we will thoroughly cover only one type of fabric – Polyester.

Many people struggle with cleaning polyester furniture, and in order to make it more convenient, they reach for a steam cleaner. Below, we will cover everything you need to know before you steam clean polyester furniture.

Without further ado, let’s get into the proper part of the article.

Can you steam clean polyester?


Polyester upholstery or furniture can be steam cleaned, as long as you do everything correctly. That means finding out the type of fabric, preparing necessary tools, and choosing the right temperature. Opposed to many natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, or wool, synthetic materials do much better.

Both polyester and nylon can be steam cleaned, however, steam cleaning natural fabrics isn’t advised. With regular steam cleaning, natural fabrics can become loose, change color, or slowly degrade. Therefore, be sure the identify the fabric of the furniture, you are trying to steam clean.

How to steam clean polyester furniture?

Steam cleaning polyester furniture may still be a challenge for many people, therefore, we decided to thoroughly explain the whole process. This isn’t much more complicated than cleaning with water and cloth. However, depending on the situation, you may use a different method.

Either way, you should firstly prepare by checking the labeling on your sofa, or any other furniture. This is crucial, as some of them have an “X” symbol – This means, that the couch shouldn’t be cleaned with water, meaning, it can’t be steam cleaned.

A different symbol to look for is “SW” – This means, that the furniture can be cleaned with solvent and water, therefore, there’s nothing stopping you from steam cleaning it. If you don’t find any symbols, you should decide on your own whether it’s safe to steam clean the furniture.

Regular clean-ups

Steam cleaning not only removes the majority of stains but also removes bacteria, that can’t be seen. This makes steam cleaning a quick and convenient way to clean your furniture. A standard routine of steam cleaning once a month or every two months should be more than enough.

The first thing to do is vacuum – You don’t want to find any food crumbs or piles of debris hidden between the pillows. When doing regular cleaning, many people may resign from any cleaning agents, however, if you still want to use one – Remember to test it first, on the inconspicuous place on the item.

You should start with any removable items or cushions, and what’s more, it’s best to clean them only on one side. This is because we don’t want to leave them soaking wet, as this can lead to many unpleasant consequences, including mold.

After this, you move on to the large parts of the furniture – Keep in mind to focus on spots, that are particularly dirty. Running multiple times over the same spot is fine, you don’t need to wait until the whole item is dry.

The last step is to let it dry, there’s really nothing, that you can do about the length of the process. You may consider opening a window, in order to speed up the process a little bit.

Cleaning stains

Taking care of stubborn stains won’t be much different, compared to regular clean-ups. Meaning you start by vacuuming the furniture, then you clean the removable items, and then you move on to big parts of the item. However, there are a couple of additional steps.

The perfect solution for persistent stains is some type of formula. If standard steam cleaning doesn’t work, we would recommend going after something light, such as water and dish soap. You should try this only after finishing the steam cleaning process. It’s a great way to deal with stains, without having to repeat the process.

Other solutions, that you may want to try out are white vinegar with water, vodka, and blot, or baking soda. Only if no homemade solution works, it’s best to try heavy-duty commercial products.

Not sure about steam cleaning your furniture?

If you are still unsure about steam cleaning your furniture, there are a couple of options, that you may consider. The first one is renting a professional steam cleaner, that is used for upholstery – This will ensure, that you are using adequate equipment for this cleaning process.

Another option is to call a professional. There’s nothing wrong with getting some help, especially if it’s your first-time steam cleaning. You may watch the professional clean your furniture, and next time, you can try to do it on your own.


In conclusion, steam cleaning polyester is 100% safe, unless you do it incorrectly. In order to be sure, we highly recommend finding out if the material is safe for solvent and water cleaning. This can be indicated by a special label on the item. Besides this, it’s great to vacuum the furniture first, then test the cleaning agent you are going to use. Remember to do it on an inconspicuous place.

You should also keep in mind, that natural materials, such as cotton, don’t go very well with steam cleaners. The fibers may become loose, change color, or slowly degrade. However, synthetic materials, such as nylon or polyester have no problem with steam cleaning.

We hope, that after reading this article you know everything about steam cleaning polyester.