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How do I clean couch cushions?

Couch cushions are a great way to make yourself feel more comfortable at home. However, much like many of our other household items and decor, they can become dirty and greasy over time if not properly tended to. Cushions can fall victim to accumulation of dust and dirt, which can not only serve as an eyesore for your home and ruin the visuals of your cushions, but also be detrimental to the fabric of the cushion covers. Lucky for you, at Yorkshire Fabric Shop we’ve put together different step-by-step processes for cleaning each type of cushion cover.

Black corner fabric sofa


1. Removable couch cushions 

Cleaning this type of cushion is very easy, you just have to remove the covers and you’re ready to clean them. If the covers are only slightly stained then you can remove it and put them in the washing machine on a gentle cleaning mode. This mode is suitable for small marks and stains given they’re only small; it also helps prevent the fibres of the material from pulling against each other. Also, you need to close the zipper before putting them in the washing machine to avoid them being potentially ruined.

For cushions that have stains that are more difficult to remove, you can try taking a toothbrush or sponge and brushing the stain with mild soap. Much like the other process, remember to handle your covers with care as to avoid damaging them. 

Floral pattern fabric cushion covers

Buy floral cushions here


2. Non-removable cushions

Cleaning these types of cushions will be more time-consuming because you’re cleaning your entire sofa. However, it is worth it because it can make your cushions look brand new. The first step is to vacuum the dust under your couch covers. Cleaning the surface is not enough, given that your cushions can still accumulate dust particles inside. Vacuuming your cushions is the safest way to clean the inside of your couch, which will save the fabric from wearing and tearing. Once the vacuuming is done, make sure to beat the cushions a few times to see if any remaining dust is expelled from the fabric, if so then feel free to keep vacuuming until little to no dust escapes. 

Next, check the labels of your couch covers, as different fabrics require different cleaning methods and you can avoid unwanted discolouration and affecting the fabrics when cleaning them. If you’re not sure whether your cushions are safe to be cleaned with water, do a test run by putting a small amount of solvent or cleaning solution on a non-visible part of your couch. Let it sit for a while, and if all’s clear then proceed with cleaning. However, change your cleaning solutions if otherwise.

Once this is sorted, you can then dissolve a dish soap in warm water and using a sponge, pat and dab the affected areas. Don’t scrub aggressively, and if the water concoction doesn’t work then you can then use a mild cleaning solution, dissolve the excess water, and dab the stained areas. If cleaning solutions don’t work as well, don’t rush down to your local cleaning store. Instead, try warm water with baking soda and place it in the stained parts. Wait for the baking soda to lift the stains and grease, and give it a dab with your sponge. If this still isn’t enough, you may want to try warm water with vinegar. This mix gives a gentle and deep clean to your fabrics without affecting their colour and firmness. 

If none of these go well then you may want to contact fabric professionals. Finally, you may steam to dry and let the liquid evaporate, as leaving it might give your sofa some unwanted odours. Also, let the sofa dry in the sun, either outside or placed somewhere inside the house where they’ll be exposed to sunlight.