How to Wash Couch Cushion Covers

How to Wash Couch Cushion Covers

So your couch cushion covers are looking a little dingy, are they? Totally understandable. 

Our couch cushions get sat on day in and day out. 

Spills happen. Crumbs find their way into the crevices. Dust builds up. It's enough to make even the most diligent homemaker cringe.

In this post, we'll walk through the whole process from start to finish. I'll even share some of my best tips and tricks along the way!

#1 Check the Care Label

Before you do anything else, unzip those cushion covers and check the manufacturer's care label. It's usually found along one of the seams inside the cover. Look closely at the laundry symbols - these will tell you exactly how the covers can be cleaned.

You might see a washing machine symbol, which means you'regood to throw them in with a regular load. Or it may have a hand washing symbol instead, meaning they need a more gentle touch. If you see the dreaded do not wash symbol, you'll need to find an upholstery cleaning service.

But as long as the label gives washing the green light, you're good to move on to the next pre-washing step. This little tag is the best guide for keeping your covers looking fabulous wash after wash.

#2 Make Sure to Give Them a Good Vacuuming First

Before we actually get to the washing part, we need to do a little prep work. Give those cushion covers AND the cushion inserts a thorough pass with the vacuum. Make sure to use the brush attachment to really deep clean in all those crevices.

This step is important to remove any loose crumbs, pet hair or particles that may be lurking about. If you throw the covers straight into the wash, those bits and pieces will just spread all around. So vacuum diligently on both sides of each cushion and cover first.

Once everything is nice and crumb-free, go ahead and remove the covers from the cushions. Make sure to close the zippers completely before washing to keep the proper shape.

#3 Wash on Cold and Gentle Cycle with Mild Detergent

Now we're ready to actually wash these babies! I like to use cold water on a gentle cycle along with a dye-free, mild liquid detergent. Steer clear of hot water - this can cause fading or bleeding of colors. And avoid detergents with brighteners or bleach that could be too harsh on the fabric.

Only use as much detergent as you need - too much can leave behind a soapy residue. And check on the covers occasionally as they wash to make sure they get evenly cleaned. Be gentle with them and they'll come out fresh and clean!

#4 Carefully Air Dry for Best Results

In my experience, air drying is the safest bet for drying couch cushion covers. Unless the manufacturer's instructions say otherwise, of course.

After washing, put the covers back on the still slightly damp cushions. Stand them upright around the room and allow to completely air dry. This prevents mildew from developing inside.

Air drying also helps them keep their shape instead of shrinking up. And it cuts down on wrinkles too. If you're short on time, you can put the cushions back on the couch before totally dried. Just flip them regularly to evenly dry out.

#5 Wash Every 6 Months or as Needed

For most households, washing the couch cushion covers every 6 months is perfectly fine. But you may need to step up your washing schedule if you have rambunctious kids or pets. Or if your living room is party central with lots of spills happening.

Keep an eye on the condition of your cushion covers in between washes. If they're looking dingy or smelling funky before the 6 months is up, go ahead and throw them in the wash. Keeping them freshened up regularly makes a huge difference.

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