How Do You Clean Upholstery Cushions? How Do You Clean Upholstery Cushions?

What You'll Need
Vacuum cleaner with attachments
Lint roller
Steam cleaner
Washing machine
Drying rack

When it comes to cleaning items within your household, upholstery cushions are often forgotten. Upholstery cushions can be a haven for dirt, mites and other hazards that can have a detrimental effect on the health of your family. Most people know how to clean the covers on upholstery and cushions but cleaning the cushions themselves is something of a mystery. Indeed, many homeowners never think about cleaning upholstery cushions which effectively negates the point of washing the cushion covers in the first place. Always give consideration to the materials your cushions are made of. Cotton is one of the best materials for cushions and is ideal for stopping pet hair from clinging.

Step 1 - Initial Cleaning

Remove the covers from your upholstery cushions and set them aside. Using your vacuum cleaner and attachments, begin to vacuum the cushions. Be sure to vacuum the cushions as thoroughly as possible so that foreign bodies and dirt are removed from all the creases and crevices.

When you’ve removed all the dirt that you can, use a lint brush on the cushions to eliminate all of the pet hair and small particles of dirt that the vacuum cleaner hasn’t been able to reach.

Step 2 - Steam Cleaning

You can rent a steam cleaner from a hardware or grocery store if you don’t already own one. Be extensive when using a steam cleaner because you will need the steam to penetrate deep into the upholstery cushion. The heat from the steam will help to kill bacteria. When you finish, the cushion will be fairly damp. You can allow it to dry on a drying rack or outside on a washing line if the weather is good. You can also use a fan heater on the cushion to speed up the process of drying.

Step 3 - Washing

If you prefer not to rent a steam cleaner, you can hand or machine wash the upholstery cushions if they’re made of foam. If you choose to use a washing machine for this, place it on a gentle cycle an aggressive program could ruin the cushions. Wash the upholstery cushions one at a time. This will take longer, especially if you have several cushions, but this will help to clean them thoroughly.

If the cushions are large and won’t fit in your washing machine, you can hand wash them in your bathtub. Use your normal detergent or, if you prefer, you can use a weak mixture of water and vinegar.

Step 4 - Covers

Whenever you wash the cushions, you should also wash the cushion covers. Unless the covers are made of a material that requires special care, you should be able to do this in your washing machine on a hot cycle to eliminate bacteria. This will also help to remove the dirt that has built up in your cushions over a period of time.

Dry the covers in a tumble dryer or hang ton a washing line. However, you should never dry the actual cushions in a tumble dryer. Make certain that the cushions are completely dry before you put them back in the covers since failure to do so could lead to the growth of bacteria and mold and this can be particularly hazardous to young family members or asthmatics. Once everything is clean and put back in place, your furniture will look and smell like new.

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