How to Steam a Couch for Bed bugs in 7 steps

Steam a couch for bed bugs

High temperatures kill bed bugs in seconds. As a result Steam Cleaner is an excellent solution against bed bugs on top of  being ecological and a cost effective DIY treatment. Regular treatment of all surface steam is sufficient to completely eliminate a bed bug colony from your home.
In this article we will see How to Steam a Couch for Bed bugs.

Although steam is effective against bed bugs, it can be dangerous. Here are several precautions to take when using a steam cleaner:

  • The steam comes with pressure, so be careful when filling the unit and using the steam wand.
  • Dry steam is extremely hot. It can cause burns. therefore never let children use the appliance and always direct the steam away from you.
  • It happens that some steam cleaners spit hot water at the start. Be sure to point the steamer wand at a towel when starting to steam.
  • Read the user manual. You should always follow the user manual provided by the steamer manufacturer.


Step 1 – Choose the right steamer for bed bugs

The steam cleaner to be used to eradicate bed bugs should be chosen carefully. In order to play its role effectively, this tool must fulfill certain criteria. Such as the capacity of the water tank, the autonomy, the power of the steamer, the level of pressure, the attachments and accessories that come with the steamer. You can have a look at our dedicated in depth Bed bugs steamer Buying Guide to find the right steamer to get rid of bed bugs.


Step 2- Carry out a pre-cleaning of your couch

Certainly, steam cleaners are able to deep clean surfaces and kill bed bugs in the process. But they are not vacuum cleaners. So, to take advantage of the effectiveness of those to vacuum and dust off your couch. You should remove your cushions in the process to make sure to dust off your entire sofa. Removing dust, hair, crumbs, etc will facilitate steaming and avoid creating new stains.


Step 3- Cover the fragile parts of your Sofa/Couch

If the steam cleaner is ideal for fabrics and leathers, it can, on the other hand, damage certain parts of the furniture. The wooden parts are, for example, sensitive to high heat and humidity. Their condition may be altered by the action of the steam cleaner. Make sure to cover those areas with a thick covering, such as cardboard. The goal is to isolate the delicate parts from the high pressure and humidity. If you later notice color damaging, pattern fading, or any other alteration to your couch, stop steaming immediately.


Step 4 – Prepare the Steamer for bed bugs extermination

Steamers usually need to be filled with just water — either tap or distilled.

Sometimes you can fill the steamer with a cleaning solution. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to know the dosage of the cleaning solution that suits your steamer. This dosage could vary according to the coverings of sofas and armchairs.

Then you should fill the tank of your steam cleaner. Plug it and turn your steamer on. So that the water gets heated, to become steam.

If your steamer is cordless and runs on battery power. You will have taken care to charge the battery so that your device is fully operational.


Step 5- Make a first steaming test

If you are going to use the steam cleaner on your fabric sofa for the first time, as soon as it is completely dusted, it is recommended to carry out a test. This will allow you to make sure that the fabric that covers it withstands the heat well.

To do this, the best solution is to carry out the test on the back of the sofa or in an inconspicuous area.

If the steaming was effective and did not affect the appearance of the surface steamed, then you can consider cleaning the entire piece of furniture with your steam cleaner.


Step 6- Clean and steam the sofa for Bed bugs

Your steamer has been turned on for several minutes.  The water heating time varies depending on the model. If in doubt, you can refer to the instructions for your steam cleaner, but often a small green light comes on to indicate that the steam cleaner is ready for use.

Once the water has turned into steam, you are ready to steam for bed bugs.

Apply light pressure to the couch with the steaming. The pressure must be uniform on the entire piece of furniture so as not to leave a mark. You should also steam your couch slowly in sections to ensure optimal heat penetration in your couch so that all bed bugs and their eggs die in the process. Remember well that what kills bed bugs is heat from the steam.

You may use an upholstery attachment with your steamer to avoid excess moisture in your couch.

You should also use attachments that came with your steamer, such as nozzle and wands. To ensure you can reach with steam cracks and crevices in your couch. Because those hard to reach places and where bed bugs like to hide.

If you are asking yourself if you could have carried this whole operation with a garment or close steamer. Than you should have a look at here, to see if a Handheld Steamer can get rid of bed bugs.


Step 7 – After Bed bugs steaming – Let your couch dry

After passing the steam cleaner over the entire sofa, let it dry. This should be done to avoid excess moisture and formation of mold. You can simply let it air dry in a ventilated room with open windows. If your sofa came with cushions, wait until it is completely dry before putting them back in place.

If you want to speed the process, you can use a fan to dry your sofa.



The eradication of bed bugs with a steam cleaner is a great alternative, productive and above all ecological method. It is chemical free; it only uses pressure and heat which eliminates all species of bed bugs by launching a high temperature thermal attack which is unbearable for these pests.

Now that we have seen How to Steam a Couch for Bed bugs. You may be now considering if buying a steamer is the right option to get rid of bed bugs. You could also indeed rent a steamer or hire a professional to steam bed bugs at your home. We have a dedicated article to decide if you should buy, hire or rent a steamer. To help you make that important decision.