Cushions help complete a sitting area. Match them with your carpet and curtains and you’ll give the space a real sense of identity; contrast them and you’ll create an interesting focal point. As an added benefit, they make lounging on the sofa that much more comfortable.
Throughout their lifespan, cushions are expected to endure a lot of use, so it’s important to keep them clean. Not all cushions should be cleaned using the same approach, however. Use the wrong one and you risk damaging the cushion permanently.
In this brief guide, we’re going to walk you through some of the different ways of getting the job done.
Life’s simple when your cushions have removable covers. All you need to do is take them off and stick them in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry. Be sure to check the label before you do, though; some cushion-covers are made from materials that aren’t machine-washable. They’ll need to be hand-washed, or taken to a dry-cleaner.
Things get a little trickier when it comes to cushions without removable covers, since you can’t realistically stick the whole cushion into the washer.
So how do you wash cushions without removable covers?
There are three different ways to wash cushions with non-removable covers, all of which can also be applied to removable covers, too.
Steam cleaners send out a blast of steam to penetrate the fibres of carpets and upholstery. If you don’t have one, then consider renting one and setting aside a weekend to clean the whole house. You’ll be surprised at the difference it can make.
Where cushions are covered in a fine layer of dust, and crumbs from times you’ve eaten on the sofa, you’d be surprised what a quick blast with a vacuum cleaner can do. Use the upholstery attachment, if your cleaner comes with one; this will be a long narrow head that’ll allow you to cover the entire surface of the cushion in next to no time. Give the cushion a wipe with a damp sponge when you’re done.
If you’ve spilled something on a cushion, you can prevent it from setting and staining if you act quickly.
Remove any solids and try to absorb as much of the substance as possible using dry kitchen roll. Then use a wet wipe of some kind (or damp kitchen roll) to try and soak up some of the dried-on stains.
In some cases, it may be necessary to apply a detergent, and go through several cycles of applying cleaning formula, allowing it to soak in, and then rinsing. Some substances, like ink, oil, wine and chewing gum, will require a more specialised cleaning solution.
When you’re done, spray the cushion a few times with an air-freshener. If the stain is still visible, you might need to buy a new cushion; but before you do, remember that you can always simply turn the cushion over!