How to Clean Used Furniture to Prevent Bed Bugs

Are you thinking about bringing home some used furniture? Or maybe you just bought a set secondhand and can’t decide how to clean it before introducing it into your home. If so, this is the post for you! 

How to Clean Used Furniture to Prevent Bed Bugs

When purchasing used furniture, there’s always the risk of unknowingly bringing in bed bugs – they hide in mattresses, couches, and all sorts of other places where we spend time sitting or sleeping.

To help prevent any uninvited guests from coming along with your next piece of pre-loved furniture, we’re here to give you a step-by-step guide on how to clean used furniture to prevent bed bugs in each item while minimizing their chances of hitching an unwanted ride into your space. Keep reading to learn our best tips for cleaning used furniture!

How Do I Make Sure My Furniture Is Bed Bug-Free?

When buying and using used furniture, it is important to follow a few simple steps in order to ensure that the item is free of bed bugs. Bed bugs are small insects that feed on human blood and can be difficult to detect and remove. To make sure your furniture isn’t host to these pests, check for signs of bed bug activity before you bring the piece inside. 

Look closely at seams and cracks in the item, as well as any crevices where bed bugs may hide. If visible signs of infestation are present, do not bring the item into your home. If no signs of bed bug activity are visible, take extra precautions when cleaning the used furniture. Begin by vacuuming the entire piece thoroughly. 

If you have a steam cleaner, use it on any fabric or upholstery to help kill any existing bugs and eggs. Make sure the entire piece is heated evenly to ensure all bed bugs die in the process. After vacuuming and steaming, clean the furniture with a diluted solution of bleach and water. Use a sponge or cloth to scrub away dirt and debris from all surfaces of the item. Once everything has been cleaned, inspect again for signs of bed bug activity before bringing the piece inside your home.

 Extra Precautions When Cleaning Used Furniture

By taking these extra precautions when cleaning used furniture, you can reduce your chances of bringing bed bugs into your home. For best results, consider having a professional pest control technician check for active infestations before bringing the item inside. This will help ensure that your used furniture is bed bug-free and safe for use in your home.

9 Methods on How to Clean Used Furniture to Prevent Bed Bugs

1. Vacuum Regularly 

Vacuuming is one of the best ways to prevent bed bugs. Regular vacuuming helps reduce the risk of bed bugs finding a home in your furniture. Vacuum all seams, crevices, and folds of the fabric where eggs and larvae can hide.

Be sure to empty the vacuum bag into an outdoor trashcan or sealed container right away after vacuuming. However, keep in mind that vacuuming alone will not get rid of bed bugs. While it can help prevent them from taking up residence in your furniture, you may need to use additional methods for a full eradication.

2. Use a Steamer 

A steamer can be used to kill bed bugs on furniture surfaces. Steaming is an effective method to get rid of bed bugs and their eggs from wood, fabric, and other materials. However, it’s important to use caution when steaming, as some surfaces can be damaged by heat or moisture. When using a steamer, make sure to keep the nozzle at least 2 inches away from the furniture surface.

It is recommended to steam for about 15 minutes or until you can no longer see any bed bugs on the surface. After steaming, allow the furniture to dry before using a vacuum to remove any remaining eggs or larvae. Be sure to dispose of the vacuum bag once complete as this will help ensure that all bed bug eggs have been eliminated.

3. Use a HEPA Vacuum 

A HEPA vacuum can be used to clean both soft and hard surfaces. Use the vacuum attachments to get into any crevices where bed bugs and their eggs might be hiding. Make sure not to forget any nooks or crannies that may be missed, such as between cushions on sofas and chairs.

Vacuum Can Be Used to Clean Both Soft and Hard Surfaces

Pay special attention to mattress seams, cracks in the headboard and baseboards, behind wall hangings, between the bed frame and mattress, around electrical outlets and other small spaces. Vacuum thoroughly for 10 minutes or more before discarding the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag to prevent any live bugs from escaping.

4. Use a Lint Roller 

A lint roller can be used to pick up any tiny bed bugs or eggs that may have been missed in the previous steps. Run the lint roller lightly over all of the surfaces, paying special attention to cracks and crevices in the furniture. Dispose of the sheets from the lint roller immediately after use into a sealed garbage bag.

Though a lint roller may not get rid of all of the bed bugs, it can help reduce the numbers. To eliminate any remaining bed bugs, use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove them. Vacuum the furniture thoroughly, paying special attention to seams and crevices. Empty the contents of the vacuum outside into an outdoor garbage bin. Alternatively, you can also hire a professional exterminator for more extreme infestations.

5. Use Double-Sided Tape 

Double-sided tape can be used as a bed bug prevention tool when it is applied to furniture. Place the tape around the edges of the furniture, such as around legs or other areas where bed bugs may enter or hide. This will create an invisible barrier that will prevent them from entering and infesting your furniture.

Prevent Them From Entering and Infesting Your Furniture

Be sure to check the tape regularly for any signs of wear and tear, and replace if necessary. Double-sided tape is a great way to keep bugs away from your furniture without having to use harsh chemicals or pesticides. If you are using double-sided tape to prevent bed bugs, it is important that you check the furniture regularly for any signs of an infestation. If you do find any evidence of bed bugs, be sure to treat them immediately before they spread.

6. Use a Hair Dryer 

A hair dryer can be used to kill bed bugs and their eggs. Use a blow dryer on its highest setting to heat up the material and kill the bugs. This is especially useful for items such as mattresses, furniture cushions and pillows that cannot be put in the washing machine or dryer. Make sure to move the hair dryer around so you can reach all parts of the furniture evenly.

It’s important to note that this method may take longer than other methods, so you may want to use it in combination with another cleaning method to ensure a thorough clean. Additionally, be sure to keep your hair dryer away from any flammable materials while in use as they could ignite and cause a fire.

7. Use an Iron 

An iron can be used to kill bed bugs. You should use your iron on the hottest setting without water or steam and keep it constantly moving to avoid damaging the fabric. Make sure you press down firmly onto the furniture with the iron as this helps to kill more bed bugs.

Be especially careful when using an iron over wooden surfaces, as a too-hot iron can cause permanent damage to wood. Although ironing can help to kill some bed bugs, it is not the most effective method and should be used in conjunction with other cleaning methods.

8. Use Alcohol 

Alcohol can be used to kill bed bug eggs and larvae. Rubbing alcohol, ethanol, or isopropyl alcohol can be sprayed directly on bed bugs and their eggs to kill them instantly. It’s important to note that the concentration of these products should not exceed 70%. Using a higher concentration may cause inhalation hazards and damage surfaces.

Alcohol Can Be Used to Kill Bed Bug Eggs and Larvae

Alcohol can be an effective means of killing bed bugs, but it may not be able to penetrate deep enough into furniture crevices to kill eggs or larvae that have already hatched. It’s best used in conjunction with other methods for a more effective bed bug control strategy.

9. Use Bleach 

Bleach can be used to kill bed bugging on surfaces that cannot be laundered. To make a bleach solution, mix one part of bleach to ten parts of water in a bucket or large spray bottle. Test the mixture first on an inconspicuous area of the furniture before applying it liberally to areas where bed bugs may have been present. Leave the solution for at least 10 minutes before rinsing with clean water and allowing the furniture to dry completely.


Making sure you clean any used furniture properly is essential to maintaining a bed bug-free space. Follow these steps, and you can have peace of mind knowing that your new-to-you furniture won’t bring any unwanted guests into your home. Washing all removable fabric pieces separately is also important to rid of any unwanted pests or their eggs sometimes!

Lastly, use a steamer and before removing any coverings that may contain potential bug nooks or crannies. Cleaning used furniture takes time, but it doesn’t need to be complicated – follow these guidelines for How To Clean Used Furniture To Prevent Bed Bugs and enjoy your newly purchased items without worry!

Angela Ervin

Angela Ervin

Angela is the executive editor of DIY quickly. She began her career as an interior designer before applying her strategic and creative passion to lifestyle and home. She has close to 15 years of experience in creative writing and online content strategy for housekeeping, home decorations as well as other niche efforts. She loves her job and has the privilege of working with an extraordinary team. She lives with her husband, two sons, and daughter in Petersburg. When she's not busy working she spent time with her family.

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