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How to Clean Couch Cushions

January 28, 2024

Couch cushions will not only make your couch more comfortable but will also make it more visually appealing.

Like everything, however, they do need to be cleaned every once in a while.

How do you clean couch fabric cushions? What products should you use? For the answers, be sure to keep reading. We’ll be going over how to clean a couch cushion in detail below.

Understanding Your Couch Cushions

upholstery cleaning codesUpholstered furniture, like our comfy sofa cushions, comes with a universal cleaning code. These codes are represented by four letters: W (for Water), S (Solvent), SW (either Solvent or Water), and X (Vacuum only).

‘W’ means that water-based cleaners can be used safely on the fabric. ‘S’, on the other hand, indicates that only solvent-based cleaners should be used.

‘SW’ gives you a choice between water-based or solvent-based cleaners while ‘X’ is a bit of a party pooper – it means no wet stuff; just vacuum.

Best Ways to Clean Fabric Couch Cushions

Regular upkeep is crucial for maintaining your cushions’ appearance and longevity. Here are a few ways to keep them clean.

Using a Vacuum Cleaner for Routine Cleaning

The vacuum cleaner isn’t just for carpets; it can also be used to keep your couch cushions fresh.

As a general rule, you want to do it at least once a week. However, if you have pets, kids, or live in a dusty area, then more frequent vacuuming will help keep those cushions looking their best.

It’s as easy as removing any loose items from the couch, such as throw pillows or blankets, before getting started with the cleaning process. The next step is to grab that trusty vacuum cleaner.

You’ll want to use an attachment like the brush tool, which is ideal for fabric surfaces as it will gently agitate the dirt and dust without damaging your precious upholstery.

Sometimes, crumbs will find their way into crevices we didn’t even know existed. So take time each week during routine cleaning not only on top of but underneath cushion covers too, where they’re likely hiding out waiting to surprise us the next time we sit down.

Couch cleanliness tip: Make sure to always clean under removable cushions – there could be hidden treasures (or trash) lurking beneath.

Deep Cleaning Removable Couch Cushions

how to deep clean couch cushions

Preparing Your Cushions for Deep Cleaning

To start, you want to check the care tag on your cushion covers. These tags often contain codes like ‘W’, ‘S’, or ‘SW’ that provide cleaning instructions. For example, an ‘W’ means you can use water-based cleaners whereas an ‘S’ requires dry cleaning methods.

If they’re machine washable, remove the cushion covers and shake out any loose dirt or pet hair before popping them in the washer with a mild liquid laundry detergent like ACTIVE Detergent.

Make sure not to overstuff your washing machine – you want there to be enough space for adequate agitation and proper cleaning.

After washing, let them air dry completely before reassembling them onto their respective cushions.

Deep Cleaning Non-Removable Couch Cushions

If your couch cushions are fixed to the frame, have no fear – an upholstery cleaning machine can help. We’ve got a cleaning solution for that too. The upholstery cleaning machine is your best friend in this case.
upholstery cleaning machines

The Magic of Upholstery Cleaning Machines

An upholstery cleaning machine can work wonders on non-removable couch cushions. It will shoot warm water and detergent onto your sofa, before vacuuming it all back up along with any grime or stains.

You’ll want to make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely when using these machines – they’re powerful tools.

Making Your Own Detergent Solution

No special detergents are needed here. You can use a homemade mix of one cup of water, 1/4 cup white vinegar, and a small squirt of dish soap as an effective cleaning product for your upholstery cleaner machine.

Mix everything in a spray bottle and you can use it to clean the cushions. Just remember to test the solution on an inconspicuous area first to ensure no discoloration issues.

Spot Treating Stains on Couch Cushions

Life happens, and so do spills and stains. But don’t fret. Spot treating can be a lifesaver when you need to remove small stains from your couch cushions.

Identifying and Treating Different Types of Stains

Different types of stains call for different cleaning solutions. Always check the care tag before starting, as it gives important information about the appropriate cleaning method for your specific cushion cover.

If there’s no care tag or if it’s faded away over time, test any cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area first. You wouldn’t want to trade one problem (a stain) for another (discoloration).

The type of cleaner needed depends largely on what caused the stain in question.
cleaning couch cushions with baking soda
For instance, a simple mixture of dish soap and water can often tackle coffee or tea spillages effectively while enzymatic cleaners are best suited to deal with pet stains due to their ability to break down organic matter.

If anything, the key is to treat stains as soon as possible. This prevents them from setting into the fabric and becoming more difficult to remove later on.

Using Baking Soda to Clean a Couch Cushion

Remove the dirty sofa cushions, if possible. Using a vacuum, remove any hair, dirt, or crumbs that may be on the surface.

Once the cushion is free of debris, apply a generous amount of baking soda onto the fabric, ensuring that the powder is spread evenly.

Let the powder sit on the cushions for 15 to 20 minutes before wiping the powder away with a microfiber cloth. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum cleaner.

Knowing How to Clean Couch Cushions – FAQs

How do you clean fabric couch cushions?

Vacuum regularly to remove dust and dirt. You can also use a damp cloth saturated with mild soap to gently scrub away stains. For deeper cleaning, check the cleaning code on your cushion label before using any solution or method.

Can I clean my couch cushions with a steam cleaner?

You can give your cushions a refresh with a steam cleaner as long as they don’t have any visible stains. Never apply steam onto a stain as the heat will set it deeper into the fibers, making it harder to remove.

How do you clean couch cushions that can’t be washed?

If your cushions aren’t removable, you can use an upholstery cleaner machine with an upholstery cleaning solution. Just make sure to spot-test first to avoid damage.

Alternatively, you can bring them in for professional cleaning.

What is best for cleaning couch cushions?

A combination of regular vacuuming, prompt stain treatment, and deep-cleaning with ACTIVE Detergent every six months usually does the trick for maintaining a fresh-looking sofa.

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Ava Thompson

Ava Thompson is a cleaning specialist and home organization guru. Her profound knowledge, honed through years of experience, is thoughtfully shared in her thorough walkthroughs here on our blog. Ava’s pragmatic tips and innovative strategies empower individuals to transform their living spaces into models of cleanliness and order. She’s a go-to source for those seeking to enhance their home environment efficiently and effectively. She has become a key contributor on the ACTIVE blog.

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