Updated at: 11-10-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

When it comes to cleaning couch pillows, you’ve come to the right place!

Our vividly colored couch cushions are a favorite of ours, but they also need to be cleaned. When it comes to decorating your living room or bedroom, couch pillows are a popular choice. But how often should you wash them? The type of pillow you use makes a difference. Several types of sofa pillows can be washed using a machine, while others must be cleaned by hand.

It is possible to machine-wash or hand-wash pillows produced from washable fabrics. Dry cleaning is required for sensitive fabrics like wool and silk. It’s critical to know how to properly clean these pillows if you want to keep them looking their best.

How to Clean a Couch Pillow

Make sure you read the pillow’s care instructions before you do anything else! Spot cleaning, dry cleaning, or hand washing may be necessary for your couch pillows. It’s best to find out what kind of fabric the pillows are made of if they don’t come with instructions on how to clean them.

How To Wash Polyester Couch Cushions - KNOW IT INFO

Dry cleaning fluid is typically required for velvets and silks, whereas plain water can be used to gently clean polyester and cotton. If none of these suggestions work, here are a few further ideas you might want to give a shot.

Spot test

On the pillow, you can do a spot test. Choose the right cleaning solution for the fabric you’re cleaning and a fresh towel to dry off with. Allow 30 seconds of towel contact time before moving on.

Look for color transfer on the towel. Wait for the cushion to dry, and then inspect it again for signs of discoloration or fade.

Sponge cleaning

Sponges can be used to clean couch pillows that cannot be washed in a machine. A sponge and some upholstery shampoo are all that is needed to remove stains from carpets and upholstery. Apply the shampoo in a circular motion to the pillow.

Pay close attention to the pillow’s ridges and piping. With a fresh white towel, remove any remaining shampoo and moisture. Pillows made of solid foam cannot be washed because they are too dense.

To clean the foam, remove the cover and submerge it in warm water and a moderate detergent. Repeatedly press down on your pillows to get rid of dust and other particles. After draining the washing water, press firmly on your pillows to eliminate any remaining moisture.

Clean water should be used to soak the pillows for 10 minutes. The pillow may need to be cleaned a number of times before it’s truly clean. Remove any remaining water from the pillow by pressing firmly on it, and then allow it to air dry.

Baking soda can also be used to absorb any unpleasant scents from the cushion. Allow it to sit for a few hours outside before vacuuming up the baking soda with the upholstery attachment.

Dry cleaning

You can use a sponge and dry-cleaning solution to clean pillows that require dry cleaning. Remove any excess moisture from the cushion by blotting it with a white towel.

Washing Machine

You will be washing your throw pillows separately from your regular pillows, so remove the pillowcase, sham, or cover. Using a moderate cleaning solution, address any pillow stains before washing them in the machine.

For the greatest results, use a washing machine without an agitator to wash your pillow inserts. Use warm water and a light detergent on the delicate cycle. If you must use a machine with an agitator, put a pillow on each side of the load and select the gentlest cycle possible.

It is best to air-dry them after washing, rather than leaving them in the dryer. You can use the “no heat” option in the dryer to fluff your couch cushions once they are about 75% dry. To keep your pillows looking like new, toss in a couple dryer balls for good measure.

How Often Should You Wash Your Couch Pillows?

The next step is to determine how frequently you should clean your couch pillows now that you know how to do it in various methods. Your pillow’s removable cover can answer this question in a significant way.

It is recommended that pillowcases be washed every two to four weeks, however this depends on how frequently you use your pillows. At the absolute least, the pillow should be washed twice a year.

If you can’t remove the cover, wash your couch pillows at least once a month, or as often as they get dirty.

Pillow Cover Fabric

The first thing to consider is if the pillow cover is machine washable or not. Look for a tag on one of the cushions to see if you can identify it. You must be aware of the fabric’s composition. The covers should be taken to a dry cleaner if the fabric is linen, silk, wool or 100% cotton. It is likely that the covers are washable if they are made of polyester or nylon, which are synthetic fibers. By soaking a hidden area of the cover and observing if the color fades, you may ensure that the cover is color-fast.

Removable Covers

Removing and closing the zippers and washing in a front-facing washing machine with detergent for delicate fabrics is all that is required. Depending on the type of washing machine you have, you may be forced to use a laundromat. This type of machine should be avoided due to the abrasive nature of its agitator, which can damage delicate fabrics. Remove a seam from the cover to remove the pillow, and then re-sew the pillow back into the cover. The pillow’s cover can be washed along with the pillow.

When to Wash the Pillow Itself

If your pillow has soaked through the pillow cover, you’re likely dealing with a stinky, wet mess. Mold and mildew can damage your pillows if they aren’t dealt with quickly enough. Soft, permeable materials can’t be cleaned of mold or mildew. If the couch needs to be replaced, the only other option is to wash the pillow.

Washing the Pillow

In this case, the objective is to wash the cushion without causing any damage to it.. Use a front-loading washing machine with a large capacity. Make use of a gentle detergent and run your machine through the delicate cycle. Allow the pillow to soak in warm water for a few minutes, then rinse and spin. The stain is urine, so add 1 cup of white vinegar to the washer. Bathtub washing may be necessary in case you can’t find a washer large enough for the pillow. Soak the pillow in soapy water for 10 minutes before rinsing it under the shower nozzle to remove any soap residue. Remove the water by pressing firmly on the sponge. Foam pillows can be dried by airing them out in the sun or putting them out in front of a heater with at least three feet of space between them. Two tennis balls should be used to dry a feather or down pillow in an extra-large capacity dryer. Every 20 minutes, remove the cushion and fluff it so that you can mend the feathers or down that have been matted.

Determine Best Cleaning Method

  • If your pillow has a care label, read it. A mild, soapy solution can be used to wash a piece of clothing if the manufacturer’s care label specifies that the fabric should be dry cleaned. A water-free solution may be listed on a fabric care label instead of a straightforward statement that the cloth is dry clean only;
  • If there is no label on the fabric, identify it as silk, velvet, or something else. Silk is known for its lustrous and silky texture. Velvet has a dazzling sheen and is silky with a nap that changes color tone when rubbed forward and back. Use a dry cleaning fluid if the fabric is silk or velvet. A synthetic or cotton-based garment can be washed with water if the item fits into the other category.
  • Put it to the test in an unnoticeable place. Blot the cloth with a white towel moistened with your preferred cleaning solution. Keeping your hands firmly in place, count to a few seconds. The towel should be examined for signs of color transfer. Let the area dry completely. Look for signs of damage, such as water rings or fading color.

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Wet Cleaning Method

  • Add water to a bucket and mix in an upholstery shampoo according to the manufacturer’s directions. It is important that the solution be suitable for use with a sponge while hand-washing hair. Cleaning machines are required to utilize some intense cleaners. Use a sponge to whip up a thick, frothy foam out of the ingredients.
  • The sponge should be moist but not completely dripping after you’re done. Sponge up a generous amount of foam.
  • Apply the foam to the cushion in circular motions. Make sure to get it into all the nooks and crannies, especially the piping, of the cushion.
  • Blot the pillow with a clean, white cloth to remove any excess foam and moisture.
  • To dry, spread a white towel on a clean surface.

Dry Cleaning Method

  • Pour dry cleaning fluid into a pail after wiping it down with a dry terry cloth towel.
  • Wring out the dry cleaning solution with a clean, dry sponge. Dry cleaning fluids, unlike water-based solutions, are solvents that do not froth or produce suds.
  • Apply the solution in a circular motion to the fabric. Pay close attention to the pillow’s folds and contours, especially if there is piping.
  • A clean white towel can be used to blot the cleaned area.
  • Dip the sponge in dry cleaning solutions as you go along…. Each time, be sure to wring out the extra liquid.
  • While waiting for the dry cleaning solvent to dissipate, lay the pillow face down on a fresh white towel.

Things You Will Need

  • Towels in white
  • Pail
  • Cleaner for upholstery
  • Liquid for using a clothes dryer
  • Sponge


To avoid color transfer from a towel to your upholstery, choose white, terrycloth or microfiber towels for cleaning.


Inflammable dry cleaning solvent is used. A well-ventilated room away from open flames is recommended.

When using dry cleaning fluids, wear gloves that are resistant to chemicals. Rubber and latex gloves are easily dissolvable in a wide range of cleaning agents.

Strip it down

If your couch has removable cushions, the first step is to remove the cushion covers. Remove each cushion cover by unzipping the zipper and pulling it off, making sure not to drag any stuffing along with it.

A layer of white fluff known as batting is placed on top of a cube of foam padding to make most pillows. Keep the batting sheet in place at all times. If it appears a little stained, use a moist towel to clean it up. There should be no delay in the ick.

Spot cleaning is your only option if the couch’s covers cannot be removed. Please see the section below for information on how to get rid of stains quickly and easily.

Start a load

Wash the cushion coverings by turning them all inside out and putting them in a washing machine. Skip the fabric softener and only use a small amount of detergent. Be sure to follow the washing directions on the labels of your pillow coverings if they have them.

The gentle cycle with a low spin speed and warm water can be used to wash your clothes if you can’t locate any washing instructions. Because your cushion covers are so delicate, following these instructions is critical. If you don’t, you risk having a ripped or detached zipper when the load is finished.

Don’t put your pillow covers in the dryer when they’re clean. Because it’s so rough on the covers’ seams, I don’t recommend this. Instead, allow them to air dry in a well-ventilated area. To avoid mildew or mold growth, make sure the cushion covers are totally dry before placing them back on the cushions.

Suck it up

The upholstery attachment on your vacuum’s hose can be used to vacuum your couch while the covers are being washed. With so many attachments on your vacuum, you may not know which one is for upholstery cleaning. That’s fine! There is a suction attachment for upholstery, which has a bush surrounding the suction point. The brush serves to keep the sofa’s textiles out of the hose.

Keep an eye on any divots or creases that may be present in the cloth. These locations are prone to accumulating crumbs and dust.

Remove stains

The arms and back of your couch will need to be cleaned if you don’t have coverings or if there are stains. Spot cleaning can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including the following:

  • Scuffs and stains can be cleaned with a damp dishcloth and some warm water. Then, apply a firm but non-abrasive swab to each area, but avoid rubbing. This is a safe way to eliminate dirt and dust from the fibers.
  • Dish soap and 16 ounces of warm water work well for oil stains. Afterwards, apply the mixture, wait five minutes, and then use a clean, wet towel to remove any remaining residue.

A hidden location, such as the bottom of the frame, is an ideal place to test the cleaning solution you intend to use before using it on a visible area. You should test a small area and wait 24 hours before making any decisions on whether or not a treatment is safe.

Use a leather cleaning and follow the manufacturer’s directions if your couch is made of leather.

A clean sofa requires only one more step: drying. Before anyone sits down, let the areas you cleaned dry completely. A blow dryer on low heat or a portable fan in front of the couch will expedite the drying process.

How Often Should You Clean Your Couch Cushion Covers?

How often you need to clean your couch cushions depends on how often you have to deal with stains and how frequently you use the couch. Typically, you should wash couch cushions every six months or so, but if you’re dealing with a high-traffic living room, you may need to raise your cleaning frequency.

Hirschhaut also suggests a few more monthly chores for cleaning the cushions of your couch. When it comes to maintaining the appearance of your seating, Hirschhaut says, “the general rule of thumb advises that cushions be vacuumed periodically to eliminate dust and light grime.” The cushions should be turned and fluffed every month to maintain the seat core’s integrity and prevent excessive wear and wrinkling of the cover fabric.

At least once a year, Hirschhaut recommends hiring a professional couch cleaning service.

How to Easily Clean Couch Cushion Covers

Soap and water is one of the simplest ways to clean your couch cushions. Most spills may be cleaned up using this technique.

Things You’ll Need

  • Wet clothes
  • Dishwashing liquid-like enzyme detergent is mild enough to use.
  • cup of water that has been warmed to room temperature
  • In a cannister
  • a sponge or a brush with delicate bristles

Step 1: Prep the Area

Remove any loose dirt from the couch cushion using a vacuum. Then, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe up the mess.

Step 2: Make a Cleaning Solution

Mix one cup of lukewarm water with 14 teaspoon of a moderate, enzyme-based detergent like dishwashing solutions. Spray the stain or spill with the solution and let it to dry.

Step 3: Brush the Cushion Cover

Brush or sponge gently, but thoroughly, the solution into the contaminated area, being careful not to scrub the surface. When dealing with spills, use a blotting motion rather than vigorous rubbing. The discoloration will only get worse if you rub it.

Step 4: Rinse and Repeat

Lightly rinsing with water should remove any soap residue. Use a dry cloth or sponge to remove any remaining wetness. Repeat the process until the fabric is completely dry.

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How to Clean Covers That Can Handle Bleach

Bleach can be used to clean some couch cushion materials without hurting the fabric. They can be cleaned in this manner.

Things You’ll Need

  • Wet clothes
  • Bleach
  • Soft soap
  • Water
  • In a cannister
  • a sponge or a brush with delicate bristles

Step 1: Prep the Area

Remove any loose debris and use a clean, dry cloth to blot up any liquid spills (don’t rub).

Step 2: Create a Bleach Solution

To make a mild soap and bleach solution, add one cup bleach to one gallon of water and one quarter cup mild soap.

Step 3: Mist and Wait

The bleach solution can be applied with a spray bottle. For 15 minutes, let the solution soak into the fabric.

Step 4: Lightly Scrub

Using a sponge or soft bristle brush, gently clean the afflicted area with the solution.

Step 5: Rinse and Air Dry

The stain must be removed by blotting and rinsing the fabric extensively with water. Allow the cushion to air dry to remove any remaining bleach residue.

How to Clean Different Types of Couch Cushion Fabric

Even though the methods we’ve listed above are quick and easy ways to clean couch cushions, it’s important to consider the type of fabric you’re working with. If you want to safely clean a spot on your upholstery, consult the cleaning code, which is specific to each type of upholstery fabric. Before attempting any of these cleaning methods, always perform a spot test on an inconspicuous location.

Cleaning Code S

S, which stands for “solvent,” indicates that the fabric should be dried washed. Hirschhaut recommends using a moderate, water-free solvent or dry cleaning product if you need to clean a specific area. Using steam or water-based cleaners might cause shrinking or stains, so you’ll want to avoid them if you can.

Cleaning Code WS

Water-based cleaning agents can be mixed with water-free solvents or dry cleaning products to meet the cleaning code WS. Avoid over-wetting any blemishes or stains. Hirschhaut recommends using a non-metallic, stiff-bristle brush on pile textiles in order to restore the fresh appearance of your couch cushion.

Clean only in well-ventilated rooms and avoid using products containing carbon tetrachloride or other harmful compounds while cleaning code S, WS, or WS

Cleaning Code W

Taking care of the code Because water-based cleaning solutions are readily available, this sort of upholstery can be easily cleaned. Hirschhaut claims that moderate detergent or non-solvent upholstery wash products can be used to spot clean code W materials.

Brush in a circular motion with a soft brush after applying the foam. Once the spot has dried, just vacuum.

Cleaning Code X

Hirschhaut argues that cleaning code X is particularly challenging because it should not be cleaned with foam or liquid cleaning solutions. Using a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush, lightly brush the fabric to remove any loose dirt.

Final Thoughts on How to Clean a Couch Pillow

Cleaning a couch pillow isn’t going to be too tough now that you know how to do it. Cleaning your couch pillows with a vacuum or duster on a regular basis will keep them looking good for a long time. You’ll also find it easier to clean if you use pillow covers of the same color.

Couch pillows that are difficult to clean should be stored above ground or in areas where humans or pets are unlikely to walk on them. To avoid having to clean your couch pillows too frequently, do this.