How to wash polyester couch cushion covers

How To Wash Polyester Couch Cushion Covers

Your polyester couch cushion covers will eventually get dirty, and when they do, what is the best way to clean them?

It’s easy. Here’s how. 

Check to see if the cushions have zippers, meaning the covers can be separated from the inside foam. Wash removable covers in the washing machine using a dye free detergent and the gentlest cycle possible. For non-removable covers, vacuum clean them using a soft brush setting.

Below, you’ll learn more on how to properly clean polyester couch cushion covers so your living rooms get the spark it deserves.

How To Clean Polyester Couch Cushion Covers

Check if they have zippers

Obviously, if you thought about washing your polyester couch cushion covers, you’d wonder how to remove them. Some cushions are non-removable, while others are detachable and typically have zippers hidden from the normal view of the space for aesthetic reasons.

Vacuum them

The next step you want to do after checking for the zippers of the couch cushion covers is vacuum them for dust. Overtime, dust collects, and you want to remove the dust first before putting the removable cover in the washer. Your wash water (and water) would thank you for this step! 

Treat stains first

If you have stains on your cover, now is the time to treat them. Tackle stains before putting them in the washer to ensure a satisfactory result.

First, determine the kind of stain you have. After that, apply the appropriate technique for removing that particular type of stain that you have so you don’t end up destroying the fibers or spreading the stain further.

Typically, you can get away with using detergent or dish soap and a gentle brush on your upholstery fabric. You can also use a stain remover like OxiClean, but make sure to test on an inconspicuous area first.

Normal setting, warm water, no dye detergent

Now comes washing. To wash your polyester couch cushion covers, use cold or warm water. Never go above warm water because polyester fabric will shrink and distort in hot water with consistent washing or a long period of washing. If you don’t know the implication of this, it means that your covers may prove difficult to fit on your couch cushions.

When it comes to the wash settings to use, adjust to nothing more than the normal wash cycle. If your polyester fabric isn’t that soiled in the first place, always opt for a gentle cycle which is the best cycle for preserving the integrity of your fabric. 

Avoid using heavy duty settings on polyester as it can cause destruction of fibers and generally make the cushion covers look less appealing.

For the type of detergent to use, go for pods, liquid detergent or even powder. Just make sure there’s no dye agent in there because it can cause discoloration of the covers after washing. 

Put in the dryer on low heat setting or air dry

Drying polyester fabric is very easy. Use low to moderate heat settings but never go beyond that. High heat will shrink the polyester fabric with time and cause it to become a tight fit for the stuffings. 

When drying polyester couch cushion covers in the dryer, do not keep them for long as that can expose them to a great degree of heat which will cause shrinkage at the end of the day.


When it comes to polyester, you want to use a medium setting (which is somewhere around 300°F). Remember high heat causes shrinkage on polyester which would cause them to not fit roughly with the cushions. And remember of course, that you can always go lower.

And besides, polyester is the type of material that hardly ever needs ironing by virtue of its chemical composition.

How to wash non-removable sofa covers

When it comes to cushion covers that are non-removable, here is how to properly wash them without having to rip them open. 

Spot treat

Sometimes, the only thing your cushion cover needs is spot treatment. And you can easily achieve that using stain removers or a basic solution of laundry detergent and water. 

Using stain removers on your cushion covers is very easy. Typically, you’re required to apply the stain remover on the affected spots and let it sit for some time before using a soft brush or towel to work it in. You then remove any excess chemical left using a moist clean cloth or a vacuum machine.

A similar procedure applies to when you’re using a solution of laundry detergent and water. One important take away though, when you’re making this solution, put it in a spray bottle. Let the spray bottle diffuse water lightly as opposed to jet out water to a particular spot. This will prevent water from seeping deep into the cushion and producing problems like mold growth or smell.

If the above stain removal techniques doesn’t work, then make sure to use the appropriate and recommended techniques of removing that particular type of stain that you have.

Sprinkle baking soda to remove smell

If smell is a problem with non-removable cushion covers, then you should sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the affected area and let it sit for about an hour. Then vacuum (using brush attachment) and that should do the trick. 

Vacuum clean with soft brush setting

By far, this is perhaps the best way to clean non-removable fabric sofa covers that are heavily covered in dirt and soil. With vacuum cleaning, you get to go really deep and remove all that grime and gunk. 

Begin by creating a cleaning solution of laundry detergent and water, and pouring it into a spray bottle. Now spray it over the entire area of the cushion and use a vacuum cleaner with soft brush attachment to work the solution into the fibers of the upholstery fabric. 

Vacuum and repeat as much as you want until you achieve a cover that is clean.

If you wish to disinfect, now is the time to add a disinfecting solution into the water in the vacuum cleaner.

Keep the sofa in a ventilated area to dry

After all the efforts to clean your cushion covers, the next thing you want to do is keep the sofa (or cushion) in a well ventilated space to facilitate drying. 

This will prevent smell and mold growth. 

Final Thoughts

Cleaning a polyester couch cushion cover is very easy. Use gentle to normal settings of your washing machine and avoid high heat because polyester can shrink under the influence of heat. If your covers are not removable, then you can try vacuuming it using a soft brush attachment.