Upholstery Steaming VS Upholstery Shampooing

To ensure that your upholstery is clean and comfortable, it is important that it be cleaned regularly by vacuuming or brushing. It is also necessary that it be thoroughly cleaned at least once in a year to get rid of tough stains and dust or bacteria that may be harbored in the furniture. 

For thorough cleaning, there are two popular methods: upholstery steaming and upholstery shampooing

Upholstery shampooing

Upholstery shampooing entails using shampoo and other detergents to clean the dirt out of the furniture. The shampoo is brushed into the upholstery either manually using brushes and towels or by a cleaning machine. The solution of shampoo mixed with the extracted dirt is then sucked out of the upholstery by the cleaning machine or a conventional vacuum cleaner. The precision in this method makes it especially ideal for spot cleaning. Nowadays, the process is much easier as some high-tech machines are able to clean the upholstery and suck up the dirt all at once. 

Upholstery steaming

In this method, a solution of hot water and cleaning chemicals and detergents is inserted into the upholstery under pressure. It is then sucked up just as fast, and with it the accumulated dirt. This makes it basically hot water extraction. It is especially ideal with most people as the mechanism used guarantees flexibility and effectiveness. 

The differences in upholstery steaming and shampooing

The difference in functionality of both methods makes them vary in utility in certain critical areas. For starters, depending on the nature of the upholstery being cleaned, the method used may be either beneficial or destructive to the material making up the furniture and its color. As such, it is always recommended that direction be first sought from the cleaning guidelines that come with the upholstery. This is what primarily determines the cleaning method to be used. 

Other critical areas in which both methods vary include the following: 

• Effectiveness
Steam cleaning is considered ultimately effective, thanks to the level of technology and the machinery incorporated. Furthermore, the liquid mixture of hot water and cleaning detergents is also able to penetrate the upholstery deeper and faster as compared to shampooing. This allows it get rid of more dirt as the suction pressure applied is also high. Shampooing on the other hand is also very effective. However, this primarily depends on the mechanism used. While rubbing the cleaning solution into the upholstery manually may ensure that the job is done thoroughly, it may not penetrate deep into the furniture, leaving dirt still harbored in the upholstery after cleaning. However, modern technology makes use of machines which make it easy to thoroughly rub the shampoo in and suction it out at the same time. This makes the process faster and more thorough. 

• Safety

Certain issues have been raised about the safety of certain products used in upholstery and household cleaning. This is especially common with conventional shampoo upholstery cleaning. Here, after rubbing the shampoo into the upholstery, it has to be allowed time to seep in and dry up. It is later sucked out using a conventional vacuum cleaner. However, some of it is left in, and the chemical composition may be harmful to the breathing system and even the skin in some cases. In steaming too, some of the liquid solution may penetrate too deep, making sucking it out difficult. Depending on the cleaning chemicals and detergents used, the residue may also be harmful to the room’s inhabitants over time. This makes it necessary to ensure that all the chemicals and detergents being used are certified by the Singapore government and safe for use. 

• Cost

Depending on the mechanism used, shampooing can be easily carried out as it requires common cleaning accessories like the chemicals and brushes. This makes it quite cheap. However, when using cleaning machinery, costs are incurred when either renting the machinery or the service. It is nonetheless affordable as services are readily and easily available. With steam cleaning, the cleaning machinery is necessary. As such, this requires that you either hire machinery from renting stores or hire professional cleaning services. This too comes at a cost, and makes steaming costlier than shampooing. 


The differences and flexibility in upholstery steaming and upholstery shampooing makes them ideal for all upholstery cleaning. Ensure that you use safe and quality detergents to ensure that the upholstery is left looking, smelling and feeling fresh.a

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