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7 Effective Ways to Clean Your Couch Cushions

Do you know how to properly clean your couch cushions?

We spend a lot of time on our couches, so they’re often some of the dirtiest spots in our homes. From food crumbles, spills, and stains to hair, pollen, dander, and dust, your comfy cushions are often a magnet for messes.

Experts say that you should clean your couch cushions regularly with a vacuum cleaner that has an upholstery brush attachment, such as this one. Moreover, if you have pets or children in your household or if your home gathers a lot of dust, you should probably clean them every week and give them a good clean every six months.

However, maintenance is key, so we’ve gathered some tips on how to properly clean your couch cushions so they’re bacteria and germ-free. Are you ready to make your cushions sparkle? Let’s begin!

Understand your couch cushion type

We need to understand what type of couch cushion you have before you roll up your sleeves and get things done. This will ensure you treat it with care and the right products, so you can have your items for a long time.

Speaking of that, upholstered furniture has a universal legend or cleaning code on the care tag, which is attached to a hidden spot on your couch. You can look for it under the seat. This code appears as four-letter symbols, offering you instructions on how to clean your sofa. These are the letters and their meanings:

  • S = only use dry solvent cleaning;
  • W = only use wet/ water cleaning;
  • SW = use dry solvent and/or wet cleaning;
  • X = vacuuming or professional cleaning only.

In case there are any additional care instructions, they’ll be mentioned on the care tag. To make sure you won’t ruin your items, you can perform a spot test on a small area. Now that everything’s clear, here’s how you can properly clean your couch cushions.

clean your couch cushions
Photo by New Africa from

1. Vacuum your cushions

As we’ve previously stated, using a vacuum with an upholstery brush attachment is one of the easiest ways to make your cushions smell nice and get rid of dirt and bacteria. To properly remove hair, crumbs, dander, dust, or any other debris, use a light touch to avoid damaging the fabric and work in the direction of the fibers. If they’re removable, flip them over and give them a good vacuum on both sides.

2. Use a crevice tool on the seams

Grab your vacuum’s crevice tool and clean along your cushion’s seams, so you can get rid of all hair, dust, and crumbs. That’s the place where they usually collect, and it can be hard to remove them without a proper tool.

3. Stop-treat tiny stains

Stains are very annoying, and if you don’t take care of them immediately, they might stay there for a long time. They’re not called stains for nothing, isn’t that right? Don’t worry; everyone can make a mistake, and we’re here to help you get rid of it.

Start by diluting a small amount of gentle liquid laundry detergent or dish soap in water and stirring it well. Grab a light-colored cloth (so it won’t transfer), dip it in the mixture, and apply it to the stained area. Make sure to work in the direction of the fibers. After the stain is gone, rinse your cloth, then go again to the area to remove any residues.

clean your couch cushions
Photo by Ricardo Alves 1975 from

4. Sink them in detergent solutions

If you have pets or children in your household, you need to clean your couch cushions even more, so this time you need to roll up your sleeves. Fill your bathtub or basin with cool water, add liquid detergent, and use your hands to mix the solution. Put your cushions in there, submerge them, and leave them in there for around 10-15 minutes.

5. Rinse

After allowing them to soak and get rid of any debris, you can go ahead and rinse your items. If you notice that there are still dirt particles, you can spot-treat them or let them soak for a couple extra minutes.

Press down on the cushions with your hands to force sudsy water out, then add more clean water to the tub and use the same pumping action to force out more suds. Continue doing this until the water runs clear and the suds are gone.

6. Get rid of excess water

There’s no doubt that you don’t know how to get rid of excess water, but make sure you only use the pumping action and gently squeeze them. While it’s tempting to wring or twist the fabrics, you shouldn’t do that because you risk ripping or breaking up the fill. Moreover, avoiding this will also ensure that your couch cushions won’t be wrinkly.

When you’re done with this, take the cushions out of the tub and cover them with fresh, dry towels. How often do you clean your couch cushions? Let us know in the comments below!

7. Air drying

The last step of this entire process is letting your clean cushions completely air dry before putting them back on your couch. You can set up a fan or turn your dehumidifier on to speed up drying time.

How to clean your couch cushions – useful information

Check for color fastness

If you want to clean your couch cushions the right way, you need to check for colorfastness so you won’t cause any damage. Apply a wet paste made of detergent and water to the inside of your cushion and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

If you notice that there’s discoloration after rinsing, you shouldn’t put it in the machine wash. It’s not safe to hand wash it either because you might ruin the colors. The best way to clean your couch cushions is to take them to the dry cleaner, so they receive all the care and attention they need.

clean your couch cushions
Photo by brizmaker from

Putting your cushions in the washing machine

You can also clean your couch cushions with the help of your washing machine, and we have a couple of tips on how to protect your belongings and make them sparkle. As we’ve said at the beginning of this article, make sure you read the instruction tag first and only put them in the wash if it says so on the tag.

You can turn them inside out to protect their color and fabric, and only put them in cool water. A harsh program or hot water could ruin the color and the material, and they might not look great after.

What about using a carpet beater?

Even if they’re non-removable, you still need to clean your couch cushions, and we know exactly how. If you have a carpet beater, you can give your cushions the TLC they need. Take your couch cushions outside and lay them on a clean surface. If you don’t own a carpet beater, you can use a clean broom. Make sure you have a dust mitt with you in case you have any allergies.

Do you have any other tips on how to clean your couch cushions properly? Let us know in the comments below! If you find this article helpful and you’d like to check out something else from Wipe & Organize, here’s a good post for you: 11 BEST Small Bathroom Organization Tips You Cannot Miss!

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