How to Clean Sofa Cushions

Posted by on April 23, 2018 in Cleaning Tips

Your sofa cushions get a lot of use, do not they? Your couch is really the perfect place at home to relax, take a nap, watch your favourite TV show and eat a snack. Over time, leftover crumbs of food, spilled soda, pet hair and urine, dirt, and your dead skin cells build up on your precious furniture cushions and make them look filthy and repellent. But where is the fun in lounging on dirty couch cushions? Exactly.

Clean sofa cushions

Image source: Pixabay License type: CC0 1.0

Naturally, the following question arises: how often do you clean your sofa cushions? Don’t answer, just keep on reading.

Depending on how grimy your couch gets, take care of it at least once every few months.

Here are some tips and tricks from upholstery cleaning specialists at Go Cleaners on cleaning sofa cushions at home.

Identify your sofa fabric

You should determine what type of material you are dealing with beforehand, to avoid damaging fibres.

Different fabrics require different cleaning methods and detergents. Some common fabrics used in sofas are:

  • Natural fabrics – cotton, linen, silk;
  • Synthetic materials – polyester, microfiber, vinyl;
  • Leather, suede.

You can find information about the sofa material and the instructions for how to clean it on the label. Here are the letter codes displayed on couch tags:

  • S: Clean only with a dry cleaning solvent. Do not use water;
  • W: Use only water-based upholstery cleaner. Do not use solvents;
  • WS: Use water or mild dry cleaning solvent. You should not remove cushion covers and dry cleaned;
  • X: Use vacuuming or light brushing only. Do not use water or solvent.

Pre-clean your sofa cushions with a vacuum cleaner

Vacuum sofa cushions

Once you have identified the material, it is time to proceed with cleaning.

  • Use the upholstery brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove any debris and dirt from the surface.
  • Be sure to clean the nooks and crannies of your couch cushions where pet hair, food crumbs and any other grime gather.
  • If the cushions are removable, take off them and thoroughly vacuum both sides.
  • You can use a white hand towel to wipe any spots or stains to help to eliminate them later.
  • Be careful, avoid using any coloured cloths, as the colour can transfer onto the cushions.

How to get stains out of couch cushions

Accidents in the living room often involve your beloved sofa and result in stained cushion pillows. Do not panic! The good news is that removing the unwanted stains is entirely possible when using the right tools and cleaning solutions. The primary rule to remember is the sooner you tackle the stain, the higher the chance of successfully removing it and saving the cushion covers you have. Follow that tip for cleaning your mattress.

The best way to clean stains out of a couch is to make your own sofa cushion cleaner from natural ingredients you have in the kitchen. But be careful, some household products can be dangerous if you use them in the wrong way.

NOTE: Always test the solution on the invisible piece of the material, to make sure it does not damage or discolour your furniture upholstery. For your peace of mind follow this basic rule when you take care of your upholstered dining chairs.

Here are the most common stains on sofa cushions and tips for removing them.

Cleaning urine and pee out of sofa cushions

Well, it just happens…whether you have small children or pets, the accidents happen! It does not matter if your toddler has inadvertently wetted your favourite loveseat or your cat has mistaken your nice sofa cushions with its litter box. It is annoying and frustrating but with a little patience and the knowledge, you can have your sofa pillows back to normal in no time.

Follow this step-by-step guide to clean urine out of couch cushions:

  1. Use a clean rag to soak up as much of the urine as possible.
  2. Apply a mixture of 4 parts water and 1 part distilled white vinegar on the soiled area.
  3. Use a cloth to scrub the urine out of the couch.
  4. Sprinkle some baking soda over the urine spot and cover the area with a cloth for at least 6 hours to let the stain dry completely.
  5. Use a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove baking soda from the sofa cushion.
  6. Spray your favourite fabric freshener on the affected area to remove any unpleasant odour.

Removing vomit from couch cushions

Finding a vomit stain on your new sofa cushions is not as bad as it sounds. Sure, there are things which are more pleasant, but when you catch it quickly, you can minimise the damage and to just get it over with. Whether the vomit spot comes from your pet or from your toddler, you can use the same way to remove it.

Here is how to clean vomit from couch cushions:

  1. Use a spoon or spatula to remove as much as possible from the vomit. Only skim the surface of the cushion upholstery, do not rub the liquid into the fabric.
  2. Wipe the stained area with a wet rag or sponge to remove any residue and blot the area with a clean, dry towel.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda onto the affected area and let it sit for a few hours.
  4. When the baking soda dries completely, vacuum it off the cushion covers using an upholstery attachment.
  5. Soak the vomit stain with an enzyme cleaner and allow it to air dry. Follow the instructions on the bottle of your selected cleaner.

Cleaning red wine stain out of furniture cushions

Having a home party with friends can be fun, but a few too many glasses of red wine can accomplish a spill on your sofa cushions. Fear not, if you act immediately and use the proper method for removal, you can get the stains out.

Here is how to remove wine stains from couch cushions:

  1. Blot the stain with clean paper towels. Do not rub it!
  2. Scrub the stain using a sponge and solution of warm water and salt.
  3. Spread some talcum powder over the soiled area and let it sit for five minutes. Use an upholstery brush to spread and grind the powder over the spot.
  4. Drop some small amount of vinegar over the stain and brush it off.
  5. Apply a small amount of mild pH-balanced liquid detergent (non-bleaching detergent) over the grime area, clean it off with a clean sponge and lukewarm water, and blot the area with a clean paper towel.

Removing coffee stains from sofa cushions

Spilling your coffee over the sofa and cushions can easily turn any morning into a disaster. Save the rest of your day and tackle the coffee stain as soon as possible.

Here is a straightforward way to remove coffee stains from couch cushions in no time:

  1. Soak up the excess liquid with a towel or a clean piece of cloth while the coffee is still wet.
  2. Mix two cups of cold water with one tablespoon bleach-free liquid dish soap. Using a white towel, apply the cleaning solution on the spot and scrub it gently.
  3. Wet a clean towel with cold water and blot the area to remove the soap.
  4. Apply a dry cleaning solvent on the coffee stain if the above method does not fully remove it.

How to keep your sofa cushions in a perfect shape

When you have invested in a new sofa, you want to keep it looking nice for as long as possible (although forever would also be nice). There are many ways to maintain your couch cushions in the long term. But where to start?

Vacuuming it regularly to prevent dust build-up and cleaning any stains ASAP is a promising beginning. If you are suede furniture owner, do not forget to brush the nap down at least once a week to restore its luxurious look (learn how to maintain your suede sofa).

Here are some other tricks to help you save your sofa pillows shine.

Removing pet hair from couch cushions

Cat lies on sofa cushions

Image source: Pixabay License type: CC0 1.0

For your lovely pup, your soft sofa is just one big, comfy bed. It does not matter if your wet-nosed friend is long-haired or short-haired, big or small, he sheds and his hair is embedded on your couch. You can tackle this problem in just a few minutes and without too much elbow grease.

  1. Vacuum the cushions using an upholstery attachment to remove most of the dog fur embedded in the cushions.
  2. Use a clean rubber glove to remove any remaining pet hair from the covers. Put it on and scrub over the couch cushions.
  3. Take a damp sponge, brush the fabric in one way to ball up the hair and pick it off the sponge.
  4. Do pressurised hot water extraction cleaning to suck out filth and heavy particles.

Flip your couch cushions regularly

To prevent dust from accumulating on the cushions flip them regularly. The frequency depends on the amount of collected dust, how often the sofa is used, and whether you feel comfortable on the couch.

If you use your sofa daily, it is a good practice to flip your cushions once every two weeks to keep them fresh and in shape.

Get your sofa cushions professionally cleaned

To keep your precious furniture clean, healthy and looking fresh at all times, take advantage of the professional sofa cleaning services, performed by the Go Cleaners London company. It is a good practice to have your couch cushions professionally cleaned at least twice a year especially if you have small kids or pets. The routine cleaning will make your sofa cushions fresh, clean and durable, and will prolong the life of your upholstery. For DIY, follow our deep cleaning house checklist.

And remember, the dirtier your sofa cushions become, the harder it is to restore to their original glory. So do not wait too long to call a professional!