How to Wash and Clean Couch Cushions to Make Them Last Longer

Keeping your couch clean will help extend its lifespan.

Couch cushions are usually durable and are designed to survive frequent use. But, with frequent use, they are also subject to dirt, dust, and pet hair, which can all cause the fabric in the cushions to break down, making them look worn and untidy. Hence, it is important to clean them from time to time to maintain their look.

Cleaning couch cushions can be tricky. If not done properly, you might end up having to replace your cushions sooner than you expected. Luckily, here are some guidelines on how to properly wash your couch cushions.

Preparation for Cleaning

The first step is basically to identify the type of cushion fabric you are dealing with so you will know how to properly handle it. The usual materials used in cushions are cotton, vinyl, linen, and leather. Look for the tags, and check out the cleaning instructions that are usually printed on it like the following.

  • W means you can only use water-based cleaners
  • S means  you can only use cleaners that don’t contain water like dry cleaning agents
  • WS means both water-based and water-free cleaners are fine
  • X means you need professional cleaning services other than vacuuming

Next, use a vacuum to thoroughly clean your cushions of crumbs, dust, and lint. For pet hairs, you can use products that are designed for removing them since vacuum cleaners don’t really work well on these hairs.

For leather cushions, you can use leather-safe cleaning agents to wipe them clean.

Easy-to-Remove Stains

After cleaning with the vacuum, you can already gauge the degree of stains that you are dealing with. If you have easy-to-remove stains, then you are lucky! You can first try spot cleaning by using a rag with upholstery cleaner. Again, make sure that your cleaner is compatible with the fabric that you are dealing with. You may also want to do a spot test on a hidden part of the couch, just to make sure your cleaner won’t damage your couch.

Just scrub the area with the stain until it is removed. The next step is to use a clean rag with water so you can ‘rinse’ the cleaner out.

Dealing with Tougher Stains

If you are dealing with more stubborn and bigger stains, you need to use a steam cleaner that is designed to deep-clean upholstery. This equipment is usually available for rent in local hardware shops. You just have to allot more time for your couch to dry, since the process usually leaves more moisture in your cushions.

Steam cleaning is also useful for cushions that are non-removable. But if you can’t find a steam cleaner and your cushions can be removed, then just put them in the bathtub with some regular laundry detergent and wash them by hand. You can also use a vinegar solution to easily remove the stains.

After washing your cushions, using a hairdryer can be tempting to speed up the drying process. But this is not highly recommended as it can cause your fabric to shrink. Hence, you need to allow enough time to sun dry or air dry it with a fan and make sure to pick dates with good weather when you do it.

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