Cleaning on a budget: DIY steam cleaner hack you can use to revive soft furnishings

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While steam cleaners are usually the go-to product to lift stains and grime from upholstery, they are unsuitable if you’re looking to clean on a budget. Luckily one TikTok user has shared a simple trick to replicate the gentle yet effective results of steam-cleaning, using just a few household items. Here’s how to try this speedy hack on your sofas, chairs and carpets at home.

Vacuuming a sofa or upholstered arm chair isn’t always enough to remove dirt from the fabric, but without a steam cleaner, it can seem impossible to find a quick way to banish the grime lurking in your furniture.

However, one cleaning enthusiast has shared their simple fix to achieve impressive results, by harnessing the power of some boiling water and a microfiber cloth.

Instead of spending hours using soapy water to wash down the soft furnishings around their home, @keepitcleanwithheather uses a saucepan lid wrapped in a soft towel to get the job done, fast.

To make the homemade steam cleaner, the crafty TikTok user starts by filling a large saucepan with water and leaving it to boil.

Once the liquid is piping hot, she drops in one laundry pod and leaves it to boil for a few more minutes.

While the pod seeps into the water, she wraps the lid of the saucepan in a clean, microfiber towel and places it on top of the pan to cover the water.

For the hack to work, the cloth-wrapped lid needs to be left on the pan for two to three minutes to absorb the cleansing water droplets.

Once the cloth has had time to soak up the steam, remove the lid by holding the handle and get straight into cleaning your upholstered furniture.

The TikTok account @keepitcleanwithheather demonstrated the hack on a suede grey sofa, though it will work on most materials.

To get the full steam-cleaned effect, wipe the cloth-covered pan over the surface in a circular motion, topping up the cloth with water vapour from the pan as you go.

The fabric may look darker for a short time after cleaning, though this will quickly dry out to reveal clean material.

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For the best results, you should always use a microfiber cloth as these are best for absorbing the vapour and collecting dirt from the fabric.

While the TikTok user adds a laundry pod into the water, a few drops of detergent liquid would have the same effect.

Always take care while steam cleaning to avoid burns or injury from the boiling water.

This simple hack can be used as an alternative to commercial steam cleaning tools on everything from mattresses and upholstery to curtains and carpets.

How does steam cleaning work?

Steam cleaning is eco-friendly and uses no harsh chemicals which could damage materials, but how exactly does it work?

According to the experts at Cleanipedia, heat is the key element in steam cleaners which targets dirt and bacteria.

When used correctly, the powerful vapour can be used to kill 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria.

This water-led cleaning method is also effective against stubborn substances like wax, glue and chewing gum, as it loosens the product from the fabric and makes it easy to remove.

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