How to Clean Couch Cushions

Whether a colored stain or oily dirt challenges you to clean the mess, you do not have to worry because everything can be fixed in minutes. We will share some tips and products to help you find how to clean couch cushions at home easily.

All stains might be cleaned with a mild dish soap solution and soft microfiber cloth. But, if the stain has been there for longer and needs a more intense treatment, it might be clever to use a specific fabric cleaning product. No matter what you choose, you should not use much pressure while rubbing the area to prevent fabric damage. So, let’s discover more!

How to Clean Couch Cushions

How to Clean Couch Cushions

Detecting a stain or dirt on the couch might not be what you want to see. However, the couch can be exposed to dirt because we use it for most of the day. So, here are the steps that you should follow for cleaning your couch cushions:

Step 1: Determine if the cushion covers are removable

No matter what caused the dirt on the couch and cushions, it is best to start the cushion cleaning process by vacuuming the surface. This will remove all dust, pet fur, and other loose traces that might spread the mess if you use a wet cleaning method directly.

Step 2: Remove the cushion covers

After that, determine if you can somehow remove the cushion covers. Some couches have removable covers on the cushions with the only goal of making the cleaning much easier. If the covers have a tiny zip on one side, you can remove the cover and wash it in a washing machine.

Step 3: Clean the stain with dish soap solution or a specific cleaning product

Whether the covers are removable or not, you can clean them with a blend of warm water and dish soap. If the covers are non-removable, dampen a soft cloth into the mixture and rub the cushion surface with medium pressure. If the covers are removable, put them into the mixture before washing them in a machine.

Step 4: Dry the cushions and use the sofa again

Let the cushions dry and spray them with stain-proof spray (optional) to protect them from colored and hard-to-remove stains in the future.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Cleaning Method

Check the label

Every piece of furniture has a label underneath. The table with big letters like WS, X, S, W, etc. shows the cleaning method you should use to not damage the upholstery.

The letters WS stand for cleaning the furniture piece with mild detergents or dry cleaning solvents. It is not recommended to saturate with liquid. You should not remove the cushion covers if your couch has this sign.

The letter W stands for cleaning with a water-based solution. It is not recommended to use solvent formulas and remove the cushions. If your couch has this letter on the label, you should not remove the cushion covers and wash them in a machine because it might destroy the fabric and change its color.

The letter X stands for vacuum cleaning. In this case, you should not use any liquid cleaner on the cushion.

The letter S stands for using solvent-based cleaners only. Also, you can dry clean the cushions if they are removable but never use a liquid cleaner.

Determine what caused the dirt

Spot the dirt and check what has caused it. Not all stains can be treated equally, so it is important to see what has caused the stain. Then, check the couch’s label to see if that kind of stain can be removed using a detergent or other cleaning method at home, or you should call a professional cleaning service.

Oily and colored stains can be removed with mild dish soap and water solution. If the fabric label allows liquid cleaners on the cushions, you can easily remove the dirt at home.

If the stain is dried up and stuck on the cushions, you can remove the cushion cover and wash it in a machine if the fabric allows you to do that.

See if the cushions are machine washable

Not all couches have removable cushion covers. Even if they are removable, you must check the label and see if the fabric can be washed in a machine or not. Some fabric types and colors might damage if you wash them in a machine, so ensure you can wash them before damaging the fabric and its color.

Use a steam cleaner if you have it at home

The steam cleaner might be the best cleaning method for most fabrics. Steam cleaning is a safe and effective option to remove most stains and dirt from fabric furniture without damaging the surface or color.

Attach the fabric cleaning accessory and steam the cushion’s surface. The hot steam releases the dirt from the couch cushions and sticks it on the cleaning accessory.

If you have not steamed the couch before, try steaming a part of it that is not that visible, just to see if the fabric can be cleaned up without damaging the color or material. Steaming the couch cushions is good since the hot steam can kill many bacteria on the surface and inside too.

Time to call a cleaning professional

If you have no steam cleaner at home and feel insecure cleaning the couch cushions with dish soap and detergents, you can call a professional cleaning service. The cleaning services have professional dry cleaning methods that keep the fabric undamaged.

Instead of damaging the cushion shape, color, and material, you can call a cleaning service to clean up the mess professionally.

You Might Be Interested: How to Make a Couch Cover Look Good


We hope these tips have helped you find how to clean couch cushions using household products. Check the furniture label and see what cleaning method to perform. Not all fabrics can be washed in a machine or cleaned up with liquid solvents.

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