How to clean used furniture to prevent bed bugs?

How to clean used furniture to prevent bed bugs?


Cleaning used furniture is essential to prevent the infestation of bed bugs. Bed bugs are small, parasitic insects that feed on human blood and can cause itchy bites and discomfort. When purchasing second-hand furniture, it is crucial to take precautions and thoroughly clean the items to ensure that any potential bed bugs or their eggs are eliminated. In this article, we will explore effective methods to clean used furniture and prevent bed bug infestations.

Inspecting the Furniture

Before cleaning the furniture, it is essential to inspect it thoroughly for any signs of bed bugs. Look for dark spots or stains on the furniture, which could indicate bed bug droppings. Additionally, check for live bugs or their eggs in crevices, seams, and cracks. If you find any evidence of bed bugs, it is advisable to avoid purchasing the furniture altogether.

Materials Needed

Materials used: To clean used furniture and prevent bed bugs, you will need the following materials:

1. Vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
2. Steam cleaner
3. Rubbing alcohol
4. Plastic bags
5. Hot water
6. Dish soap
7. Soft-bristle brush
8. Gloves

Cleaning Process

Vacuuming: Begin by vacuuming the furniture thoroughly using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Pay close attention to seams, cracks, and crevices where bed bugs may hide. Dispose of the vacuum bag in a sealed plastic bag immediately after vacuuming to prevent any potential bed bugs from escaping.

Steam Cleaning: Steam cleaning is an effective method to kill bed bugs and their eggs. Use a steam cleaner to treat the furniture, ensuring that the steam reaches all areas, including seams and joints. The high temperature of the steam will help eliminate any bed bugs present.

Wiping with Rubbing Alcohol: After vacuuming and steam cleaning, wipe down the furniture with rubbing alcohol. This will help kill any remaining bed bugs or their eggs. Use a soft cloth or sponge soaked in rubbing alcohol and thoroughly wipe all surfaces of the furniture.

Disassembling and Treating: If the furniture can be disassembled, do so to access all hidden areas. Treat each part individually with steam and rubbing alcohol, ensuring that all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.

Washing Fabrics: If the furniture has removable fabric covers or cushions, it is crucial to wash them in hot water with dish soap. Use the highest temperature setting recommended for the fabric and add dish soap to the wash cycle. This will help kill any bed bugs or eggs present in the fabric.

Preventive Measures

To prevent future bed bug infestations, consider the following preventive measures:

1. Encase mattresses and box springs in bed bug-proof covers.
2. Regularly vacuum and clean your home, paying attention to cracks and crevices.
3. Avoid bringing used furniture into your home without proper inspection and cleaning.
4. Be cautious when traveling and staying in hotels, as bed bugs can easily hitch a ride on luggage or clothing.


Cleaning used furniture to prevent bed bugs is crucial to ensure a comfortable and bug-free living environment. By thoroughly inspecting, vacuuming, steam cleaning, and treating furniture with rubbing alcohol, you can eliminate any potential bed bugs or their eggs. Additionally, washing removable fabric covers and implementing preventive measures can help prevent future infestations. Always exercise caution and take appropriate measures when dealing with used furniture to protect yourself from bed bugs.