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Can You Wash Couch Pillows? (Yes, and Here’s How)

Can You Wash Couch Pillows? (Yes, and Here’s How)

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Many people neglect washing their couch pillows as they believe they can’t be washed. This, of course, is far from the truth.

Pillows and upholstery can harbor many germs and attract insects and mites. As a result, many people wonder, “Can you wash couch pillows?”

Yes, you can wash your couch pillows. However, you need to be cautious when washing them. Various types of pillows need different washing methods. So, to avoid ruining your pillow, read the washing instructions on the label.

In this article, we’ll guide and let you know if it’s possible to launder couch pillows. We’ll also go through how to wash them and remove certain stains in detail.

Is It Possible to Wash Couch Pillows?

The answer is yes. You should wash your pillows on a regular basis as couch pillows attract dirt, germs, and insects, especially those used frequently.

It’s advisable to wash your couch pillows and cushion covers every 6 months, but if your pillows are more prone to dirt than normal, you should wash them more regularly.

How to Wash Couch Pillows With Removable Covers

Removable covers make cleaning couch cushions much easier than non-removable covers. Yet, different fabrics will necessitate different washing procedures.

You can wash most fabrics in a washing machine. Cotton, linen, and polyester pillow covers are typically machine-washable. However, suede, leather, microfiber, and woven upholstery fabric can’t be machine-washed. Therefore, make sure to follow the washing directions for each pillow.

If you think your pillows can be machine-washed, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the pillow cover and examine the labels to see if it can be machine-washed.
  2. Spray heavily stained spots with a stain removal spray. If you don’t have one, use two parts of 3% hydrogen peroxide and one part dishwashing soap solution to create your own. After that, shake the mixture in a plastic spray bottle.
  3. Invert the pillowcase inside out. This will help to preserve the fabric’s original texture. It will also keep the dyes from fading in the washing machine.
  4. Use cold water and a light detergent to launder the cover on a gentle cycle. If the pillow is unclean as well, it will need to be on a separate load.
  5. As soon as the cycle ends, remove the cover from the machine so it wouldn’t leave a strong smell.
  6. Carefully dry the coverings. The covers can dry by placing them on a hanger. You can also dry them in a low or no heat mode in the dryer.
  7. Put the cover back on the pillow when it’s dry.

How to Wash Couch Pillows With Non-Removable Covers

Couch pillows, as previously said, come in a variety of fabrics. While removable covers are easy to wash, you should be more cautious while washing non-removable cover pillows.

Before you clean your throw pillows, you need to figure out what kind of material they are. Some sofa pillows consist of silk, velvet, wool, and upholstery fabrics. These materials can only be dry cleaned by a specialist.

If your sofa pillow doesn’t fall into this category, you’ll have to hand wash or spot clean it.


Hand washing non-removable-cover pillows is one of the best ways to clean your pillows. You can hand wash cotton, polyester, and linen pillows in warm water in a large tub or sink.

Simply follow these instructions:

  1. Fill your bathtub with warm water.
  2. Add a tablespoon of laundry soap to the water.
  3. Stir the water around until it starts to bubble.
  4. Immerse your pillows in water and lightly use a brush to clean the outside of your pillow.
  5. Empty the tub’s unclean water and wash it under cold water. Refill the tub with water after it’s clean.
  6. Rinse the pillows in the water and remove the extra soap.
  7. Before drying the cushion, drain as much water as possible. Curl your pillow gently while doing the wash. When doing so, be careful not to damage the filler.
  8. After you’ve finished washing the pillows, leave them to dry in a well-ventilated space.

Spot Cleaning

Spot cleaning refers to hand-cleaning only the noticeable blots or stains. This method doesn’t require any dry/wet cleaning or hand-washing of the item. It’s best for couch pillows that have delicate fabrics.

To begin, lightly brush the cushions and remove any dirt. Next, clean the cushion with a clean cloth and warm water, along with a small amount of mild soap. Be careful not to push too firmly, or the filling might get damaged.

Once you get rid of the dirt, use a stain remover on the area. If you don’t have any stain remover, warm water and mild soap will suffice.

Another good alternative is a mix of white vinegar and baking soda. If your couch pillow is suede, though, be cautious. You should use a suede cleaner instead.

How to Get Rid of Persistent Stains

Couch pillows are highly vulnerable to stains of all kinds. As a result, even if you wash them properly, some stains will persist. Dealing with stains quickly and correctly can prevent your pillows from leaving a mark.

Here are some of the most frequent stains you’ll come across and how to remove them:


Oil causes a sticky stain that is somewhat darker than the fabric around it. The more you ignore that oil blot, the darker it will become.

Also, the discoloration could be permanent. As a result, if any oil spills on your pillow, you need to act quickly.

This is how you treat it:

  1. Apply the blot with cornstarch.
  2. Wipe off the cornstarch after 15 minutes. It’s, however, preferable to leave it overnight.
  3. Remove any extra cornstarch with a wet towel. You can also vacuum the pillow’s fabric and then brush it to eliminate any residue.

Chewing Gum

One of the toughest stains to remove is an adhesive stain such as chewing gums. Luckily, there’s an effective method to do it without making a mess.

You can freeze the chewing gum with ice and then scrape it until it comes out. Simply put some ice cubes in a small bag and place them on your pillow until the gum becomes stiff.

Then, you should be able to scrape the chewing gum off. Follow up on your spot cleaning with a mixture of water and dish detergent to remove any lingering stickiness.


Ink can stain fabrics and soak into the fibers, making them hard to clean, particularly once it has set. Fresh ink stains are easier to clean, so you must act fast!

Permanent ink stains may keep some residue, depending on how quickly you react. With that in mind, you can remove the ink using a variety of methods.

To help loosen the ink, use clear rubbing alcohol to wipe the blot. Use a product that contains 90% alcohol and dab it on the spot with a clean cloth. You can also clear the ink using salt or cornstarch.

This is how you do it:

  1. If the stain is still fresh, apply a pinch of table salt or cornstarch over the surface.
  2. Dab the discoloration with a damp cloth to absorb the ink.
  3. Wipe off any excess salt or cornstarch and reapply. Repeat this process until the salt or cornstarch no longer absorbs the ink.


Sauces will stain your couch pillow very fast. Don’t put the sauce-stained pillow in the dryer until the stain is completely gone. Heat can solidify the stain indefinitely.

Clean any stains using a clean cloth if the pillow is dry clean only. Rubbing the stain will make it harder to clean, so avoid doing that. Simply tap the spot until it fades away.

However, there is another option that assures the stain is completely removed. Here’s what you should do if you’ve had a minor food mishap:

  1. Use warm running water and liquid soap to wash the spot until it’s soap-free.
  2. Apply a dab of white vinegar and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Rinse the pillow again and let it dry completely.


If blood gets on your pillow, it can create a stain that’s quite difficult to remove. It’s always better to clean a fresh blood stain than a dried one, so make sure to act quickly.

If the blood is still fresh, soak your pillow in cold water for a few minutes before washing it. Avoid soaking the cushion in hot water because this will solidify the stain.

If the blood has dried, add some white vinegar and soak the pillow for 10 minutes before rinsing it.

What Is the Best Way to Dry Couch Pillows?

Drying the pillow is an important process. An unpleasant odor may develop if the couch pillows aren’t properly dried or left in the washing machine for too long. So, you must follow the correct measures to ensure proper drying.

The first key to drying is to follow the manufacturer’s directions. Different materials might need different drying procedures. Cotton and denim fabrics, for example, are safe to dry in a machine.

When sensitive textiles like silk and wool dry in a high heat mode, they will shrivel. If that’s the case, avoid using any heat and let the pillow air dry in a well-ventilated space.

Allow it to air dry for a few more hours before returning it to your sofa. If you leave it out while it’s still wet, mildew or mold can grow, and an unpleasant odor may occur.

In most circumstances, the filling won’t be in its normal shape. If this is the case, adjust the filling by pushing and pulling it with your hands.

What Can I Do to Keep My Pillows Clean for Longer?

Since couch pillows can get dirty easily, it could be a hassle washing them on a regular basis. Regular washing wears out sensitive fabrics quickly, requiring them to be replaced sooner. There are, however, things you can do to keep your pillows clean for a long time.

Removing Pet Fur From Couch Pillows

If you have a pet, you’ll notice how readily the fur gets on your pillow. Use a vacuum cleaner on your pillow to begin the cleanup.

Vacuum cleaners perform a fantastic job of removing any fur from the pillow’s fabric. This will set the stage for a more comprehensive washing later on.

To clean the pet fur stuck on the pillows, vacuum them using an upholstery attachment. From there, give your pillow a gentle wipe using a damp sponge to eliminate any remaining fur.

Use Pillow Covers

Using a pillow cover can help your pillow last longer by preventing spots and damage. Covers are easy to wash because they can easily be removed and thrown into the washing machine.

You can reuse the same filling if you use removable covers. Additionally, you’ll have the ability to change your pillow’s design if you wish.

Coordinate the Covers’ Colors

Using matching couch pillow covers makes it easier to launder them. It’s best particularly if the covers are machine-washable.

There won’t be any separation before cleaning, and no risk of the darker covers dying the lighter covers. That way, you’ll keep your pillows clean for longer and also save time.

Final Thoughts

If you ever wondered, “Can you wash couch pillows?” The answer is yes. However, there are many methods for washing the covers, depending on the material.

Removable covers are easy to wash as the majority of the pillows can be washed in a washing machine. Non-removable covers, on the other hand, must be hand washed or spot cleaned.

Some stains, such as oil or ink, are difficult to remove and need extra effort. It will be easier to clean the stains if you do it while they are still fresh.

Maintain your pillows regularly to ensure that they stay clean for a long period. That way, your couch will look as good as new in no time.

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