How to Wash Down Sofa Cushions


Uncleaned sofa cushions can become dingy and discolored over time. Cleaning them properly can restore color and reduce odors. Washing them can be tricky, however, because they aren't something that you can just throw into your washing machine. Consider some methods for cleaning sofa cushions that, while laborious, are not difficult.

Things You'll Need

  • Sofa cushions
  • Washing machine
  • Steam cleaner
  • Upholstery cleaner
  • Vinegar
  • Mild detergent
  • Clean white rag
  • Read the care labels on your sofa cushions. These are usually found underneath the cushions on the frame of the couch. They may have very specific and important information for cleaning your cushions.

  • Determine the method of washing that is best for you. If your sofa cushion covers are removable, you can wash them in a washing machine with mild detergent. If your cushions are not removable, consider a topical application like a steam cleaner or upholstery cleaner. Steam cleaners will help reduce odor and are also convenient to use on the rest of your sofa. Upholstery cleaners use hot water and soap to clean your cushions and may leave a soap residue behind.

  • For removable cushion covers, unzip and remove the cover from the cushion.

  • Check the cushion cover for colorfastness by applying hot water to a small inconspicuous spot on the cover and blotting with a clean white rag. If there is any color transfer, the cover is not color fast and the colors may bleed together. Washing it in the washing machine is a little risky. Consider steam cleaning the cover.

  • Wash covers in your washing machine with a mild detergent in cold water.

  • Hang the covers to dry. Drying them in a dryer may significantly shrink them.

  • Put the covers back on the sofa cushions while they are still damp. This enables you to stretch them if there was any shrinking.

  • If you chose to use a steam cleaner or upholstery cleaner, remove the cushions from the sofa.

  • Follow the instructions on the steam cleaner or upholstery cleaner to clean the cushions.

  • Use a non-steam setting or a non-wet setting to remove as much moisture from the cushions as possible.

  • Once dry, replace the cushions on the couch.

Tips & Warnings

  • To remove pet urine odor, apply vinegar with a clean white rag to neutralize the odor; then clean the cushion following the steps above.

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