How to Wash Sofa Covers – Ultimate Guide 2020

How to wash sofa covers

How to wash sofa covers

Sofas and couches are subjected to unlimited wear and tear on a daily basis that we may actually be taking for granted. They are an essential part of our furniture. The more frequently they are used, the dirtier they are bound to get. Cleaning them is not an easy task. Even slight mishandling can lead to its damage.

Here we’ll guide you on how to wash sofa covers to make them squeaky clean and good as new. You come home from work and sit down on your sofa to relax. You bring your food over and eat it while you sit on the sofa, maybe even drop a few crumbs or bites of sauce-covered food. Guests come over and where do they sit? The sofas! You sit on them, you lie down to watch TV on them, you sleep on them and spend a good chunk of your day on your sofas. What you fail to realize is how easily dirty the sofa covers can get.

Most common types of covers

Usually, there are two types of sofas, ones that have covers directly sewn into the cushions, and others whose covers can be unzipped to change whenever you want.

  1.  Reupholstery Sofa Covers (Unzipped and Separated)
  2. Upholstery Sofa Covers (Sewn into the Cushions )

How to Wash Re-upholstery Sofa Covers

How to wash sofa covers

  1. Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum

Daily vacuuming your sofas can get rid of all the large particles of food or if you own any pet then your pet’s hair too, along with dead skin cells, residing bacteria or dust. Regularly vacuuming your couches will extend their life, prevent stains, keep the covers clean and maximize hygiene.

Vacuuming your couches will not only remove the excess amount of dirt but it will also enhance their life and make them breathe even more. This will also help to upkeep your furniture as you are not going to change it every now and then. You could do it early in the morning or at night before going to sleep just once a day and it will not even take up much of your time. Make sure to remove the cushions and sofa seats so you could vacuum under them too.

  1. Use fabric-friendly detergents

The majority of sofa covers come with a side zipper to easily take off the covers for a quick wash. With washing purposes in mind, zip-on sofa covers definitely have the upper hand. Just take them off and stick them in the washing machine or hand wash without any problems.

Pay due homage to the washing guidelines provided with your covers. Check around your sofa covers for any tags which mention the type of fabric they are made of and what detergent suits them best. For example, ‘W’ means a water-based detergent should be used or ‘S’ means that only a dry-cleaning detergent is ideal for your fabric.

You can throw in the covers into the washing machine with a limited amount of the specified detergent and set it on gentle-wash with cold water.  But if you don’t have a proper guide, you should be very careful. You don’t know whether your fabric will shrink or bleed color. To find this out, you should conduct a patch test. The underside is ideal for this test because it stays hidden.

Select a small area and wet it. Now take a paper towel and press it over the wet patch. If your cover bleeds the color will transfer to the paper towel. When the patch, check of it is lying flat against the surface. If you see wrinkling, that means your fabric will shrink. If your covers don’t show any sign of both these things, you are good to go.

Once you have washed the covers, hang them on the clothesline to dry. You can also use the dryer but don’t overdo it. It’s best to put them back on in their partially dry state so they can be easily stretched to fit. Once on, you can air dry to get rid of the remaining moisture.

  1. Steam Cleaners are awesome

If there are rigid stains and horrid, trapped smells within your sofa covers’ fibers, steam cleaners can be your best friend in such cases. The dry steam cleaners are the most effective in eradicating all dirt stains, smells, dead cells, dust particles or any bacteria. As the high temperature created by the steam cleaner weakens the grease and break it down.  They make use of hot steam to sanitize and deep clean the fabric, all the while, getting rid of resistant, stubborn stains and pungent odors.

  1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the best cleaning agents. It has surprisingly amazing properties to remove and fight against difficult and tough stains. A quick fix for sofa cleaning requires the use of baking soda. By spreading a thin layer of baking soda on your sofas, letting it sit for 15 to 20 minutes  so that it can efficiently soak down to the bottom surface of sofa  and weakens the stain in it than followed by vacuuming it, you will refresh your sofa covers and get rid of the terrible lurking scents that have been bothering you. By doing so the surface of the cushion will feel refreshing and neat even more than before.

How to Wash Upholstery Sofa Covers

how to wash sofa covers

The sofas with sewn-in covers require more effort for washing them. You might consider getting the services of professional cleaners to do the job. But if you plan to do it yourself, do so very carefully.

Things you need

  1. Vacuum Cleaner
  2. Upholstery Brush
  3. Upholstery Stain Remover
  4. Gentle Cleaner
  5. Cleaning Cloth
  6. Bucket of Water.

Start with thoroughly vacuuming the sofa to get rid of dust and other small particles that might have gone into the seams or under the cushions. After that, treat the stains with the stain remover.

Apply lightly and let it sink in. Don’t rub as it will push the stains farther and damage your covers. Next, mix the cleaner in the lukewarm water and froth it up.

Dip the brush in this mixture and start scrubbing the covers to evenly spread the mixture over the entire surface of the sofa. Don’t soak it completely. Finish the task by wiping with a clean, damp cloth. Allow the sofa covers to dry completely before using it.

There are many more ways to deal with dirty couches besides vacuuming, steaming and using chemicals or baking soda. However, these have been found to be the most efficient in doing the job. You always have the option of removing your sofa covers and handing them over to the dry cleaners to thoroughly wash and clean them. This should be done at least once a year to implement effective hygiene care.


Washing your sofas is quite a lengthy procedure that requires a lot of effort. We hope that you have learned from the above points on how to wash sofa covers at home.  Washing them more than necessary will fade them and not washing them at all will give them a grimy appearance. It is recommended that you vacuum your sofas once a week and wash them once a week. Everyday use has the potential of dirtying your sofas. But if you take proper care of them they will always remain as good as new. Knowing how to wash sofa covers will help you retain them in their best condition.

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