How to clean cushion inserts

Cushion inserts with flowers


Cleaning cushion inserts can be tricky! We’ve put together a quick and helpful guide that makes it as easy as possible.


Cushions are often the prime target for coffee and wine spills, toilet training accidents (both the canine and toddler variety) or dinner upsets. There will often come a time where washing your cushion cover just won’t cut it and you need to wash the entire thing to have any hope of salvaging it. Read on for tips on cleaning your cushion insert.


How to clean polyester inserts

  1. Fill a laundry or bath tub with warm water and some mild detergent and mix it around;
  2. Submerge your cushion insert and gently knead it in the water. A good technique is to squeeze the insert down to the bottom of the tub and then let go and let it fill up with water.
  3. Continue to do this until you get the water inside and you see the dirt and muck exit the insert. If your cushions inserts are super dirty, you may need to refill the tub with clean water and detergent and repeat step 1-3.
  4. Refill the tub with clean warm water with no detergent. This time you are trying to rinse out the detergent from the insert so keep kneading until no detergent bubbles are visible. Repeat this step until the insert has been rinsed thoroughly.
  5. Drain the bathtub and squeeze your cushion insert against the bottom of the tub to drain the water from it.
  6. Place your cushion on a flat surface in the sun to dry. Do not put it in the tumble dryer as this will result in a very lumpy cushion insert.
  7. If you have done all of the above and your cushion insert still has an odour then you can try to sprinkle some baking soda on it to soak up the smell. Apply this while the cushion is drying and brush or vacuum it off before putting the insert back into the cover.

Remember that the insert will be covered so it doesn’t need to look immaculate. Just do enough to get rid of the majority of the dirt and any smells.


How to clean down and feather inserts

If your cushion insert is made of feathers or down then washing it is best avoided. While these fillings are washable, the process can damage the feathers and you may end up with a lumpy sub-par cushion. Depending on how dirty your inserts are, you can either dry clean them or use the vacuum cleaner.

Most vacuum cleaners have an upholstery attachment and you should use this for best results. Give them a good vacuum to remove any surface dirt, hair or fur and then use a damp sponge that has been soaked in detergent to give them a once over. Sprinkle them with some baking soda to soak up any smells and vacuum it off after the cushion has dried. Dry them outside in the sun while you wash the cushion covers.


Collection of different types of cushion inserts laid out

Happy styling!

Simply Cushions Team