How I clean my couch cushions

How I clean my couch cushions

Hello everyone! This is something I do 2-3 times a year, and every time I do I get questions about it. Figured it was worth a blog post. I do want to make a big disclaimer: this is how I do it. For my particular cushions. Mine are sunbrella and they are fine to be taken off the couch and washed. They have a zipper on each one and come off easily. 

This couch was the first piece of furniture we bought for this house! It came from Coscto and has served us so well. I know when we bought it it was around $2,500 so it appears the price has gone up a good bit. The main things I looked for were washable, removable cushions. I also hoped they would be Sunbrella. This sectional checked all the boxes! It’s officially 4 years old and since we wash the cushions, it has never looked better. 

Ours is 8 pieces (we eventually got rid of the coffee table and use the foot ottoman as a coffee table as pictured about).

I also have a top load washer. I really wish I could translate this for a front loader but I honestly have never in my life had one #toploaderforlife so I am not sure what you would do differently. (*SEE UPDATE BELOW!) I would be nervous about when you add the bleach with a front loader, so unless you are sure of when to do that I would just use vinegar instead of bleach in a front loader. 

I do wash my couch cushions (which are blue) with 1 cup of bleach. If that is terrifying to you, you certainly do not have to! I use bleach to kill the mold and mildew we tend to get really badly down here in the humid south. However, vinegar should work just as well so if you’re at all skeptical simply use vinegar. 

Simply sub 1 cup white vinegar as an alternative if bleach seems scary or you aren’t sure if it will harm your cushions. DO NOT add both bleach and vinegar. I repeat, DO NOT do both together. Just one or the other.

 

OK, here is my METHOD for TOP LOADER:

*I wash 2-3 covers at a time (usually 2 larger squares and 1 pillow square)

  1. I start by filling the washer with HOT water
  2. I then add 1 detergent pod and 1 cup bleach (*I let the washer fill up completely so the bleach is diluted in the water before I add any cushions)
  3. I then add the cushions and they go through a normal wash cycle
  4. I then HANG DRY them outside in the sun (I NEVER dry them in the dryer so they won’t shrink)
  5. I then repeat steps 1-4 till all of the cushions are washed and drying in the sunshine
  6. **My cushions are easy to take on and off; if yours are really hard to put are, try putting them back on when still damp. They tend to have more give when still damp. 

Again, if bleach seems daunting simply sub 1 cup white vinegar. I have used bleach for years (always allowing it to dilute in the water before I add the cushions) without any issues. 

Once cushions are cleaned, check them and if any are still super gross wash them over again.

**update: My friend Jennifer Vincent did this in her front loader and I now have intel on how to do it! Thank you for taking a chance and getting us all some insight on this, Jen! (For the record, Jen’s cushions were tan and her pillows navy blue and she washed it all together with no issues.)

Method for FRONT LOADER:

  1. Put laundry detergent in the laundry detergent compartment.
  2. Fill the bleach cup all the way (Jen said she used regular bleach and is not sure if it was exactly a cup; she just filled to the max line)
  3. Run on heavy duty cycle with HOT WATER
  4. HANG DRY them outside in the sun (I NEVER dry them in the dryer so they won’t shrink)
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 till all of the cushions are washed and drying in the sunshine
  6. **My cushions are easy to take on and off; if yours are really hard to put are, try putting them back on when still damp. They tend to have more give when still damp. 

Again, if bleach seems daunting simply sub 1 cup white vinegar. I have used bleach for years (always allowing it to dilute in the water before I add the cushions) without any issues. 

THINGS TO REMEMBER for either method you choose:

  1. wash in HOT water
  2. AIR DRY (do not dry in the dryer!)
  3. if you cushions are especially hard to put on, try putting them on while still damp
This cushion is four years old and looks like new!

And there you have it!

I think the key is washing in HOT water with the addition of either bleach OR vinegar to your regular detergent.

 



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