Removing stains from couch cushions

Bottles of cleaning products used for couch cushions


Your couch is a prime spot for accidents so it’s only a matter of time before your couch cushions suffer! Let’s look at how to best attack those nasty stains.


Quite often, the idea to clean your cushions is born from an accident involving one of your favourite couch cushions rather than just the desire to clean. Thankfully most quality cushions come with a removable cover which makes treating these incidents much easier.

If yours don’t have a removable cover, this is something to definitely keep in mind when you are next shopping online. Treating stains can be difficult and being able to get to both the front and back of the material means you can do a much better job of cleaning up.


First of all press, don’t rub!

If you have a stain that you need to remove then the best method depends on what caused the stain and what material the cover is made from. When you spill something on couch cushions the first thing to do is soak up any excess fluid with a paper towel or cloth.

Do not rub the stain at this stage as you may be doing more harm than good. Instead, press firmly with an absorbent towel, cloth or sponge and soak up as much as you can.


Spot cleaning stains on couch cushions

If the stain doesn’t look too bad you can spot clean it to avoid machine washing your couch cushions. For the most gentle approach, start with a mixture of warm water and white vinegar. Soak a cloth in this mixture and apply to the stain with a gentle motion. 

If your stain remains then you can move on to an upholstery cleaner. Be sure to carefully read the directions on the label as they often require you to do a spot test and some of them require the cleaner to dry before you can wash it off.

In most cases, this will be enough to remove a stain from most couch cushions. Once you have removed the stain, use a new cloth with warm water to rinse your cover from upholstery cleaner.


Stubborn stains on couch cushions

If your stain is of the more stubborn variety than you may need to resort to drastic measures. You can either use a steam cleaner to thoroughly wash the material, or you can remove the cover completely and soak the stain in your laundry tub.

If you decide to do the latter then it is imperative to find out what material your couch cushions are made of. Read the label on the inside of the cover to determine what material they are and if you are able to wash them.

Best case scenario your couch cushions will be machine washable and you can pop it in for a gentle wash. If not, you may need to hand wash them which is often the most gentle way to clean your covers.


Removing urine stains from cushion covers

It happens. Particularly if you have dogs or small children in the house. Sometime things just get peed on. If your cushion cover has somehow managed to gain a urine stain then please let us help you.

If possible, the best thing to do is remove the cushion cover and pop it in the washing machine. Wash on a gentle cycle with cold water. However, if your cushion covers are non-removable or the stain isn’t that bad then you can try and remove it with water and white vinegar.

Mix one part vinegar to 3 parts water and use a cloth to gently scrub the stain. Once you have removed the stain then sprinkle baking soda over the offending spot and leave to dry. Then use a vacuum cleaner (with upholstery connection if possible) to clear the baking soda and wipe down with a damp cloth.

We definitely advise against using a steam cleaner on urine stains because the heat seals the stain and it becomes impossible to remove. Not the lasting aroma you want on your couch cushions.


Removing coffee stains from a couch cushions

Coffee stains are inevitable in a living room and it is not unusual to find your lovely couch cushions with a nasty coffee stain on them. If you’re prone to coffee spills it may be a good idea to invest in some contrasting black and white cushion covers so that potential stains will be less visible. If you’ve already had a whoopsie, you should follow these steps to remove your coffee stain:

  1. Remove the cushion cover immediately to avoid the coffee seeping into the cushion insert;
  2. Use a paper towel to blot the coffee stain to remove as much excess liquid as possible. Be sure not to rub the stain as this can make things worse;
  3. Wet a cloth in warm water and use it to sponge the wrong side of the stain;
  4. If you have a commercial stain remover then apply this to both sides of the stain and let it soak for 5-10 minutes. If you don’t have a commercial stain remover, then combined some cold water, white vinegar and mild laundry detergent in a dish (equal parts). Use this mixture to apply to both sides of the stain and let it soak for 5-10 minutes;
  5. If your couch cushions are machine washable then place their covers in your washing machine on a gentle cycle in cold water. If not, you may have to hand wash the item;
  6. Once the item has been washed, make sure the stain is completely removed before you begin to dry it as drying can solidify a stain. If it has not completely disappeared then try re-soaking the item in stain remover or the above mentioned paste again to see if you can dislodge the discolouration further.


When all else fails…

Unfortunately, sometimes it’s just impossible to remove a stain to the standard you are happy with and you may need to admit defeat. Before you put your couch cushions in the bin in disgust, there may be something that you can salvage.

The insert is actually valuable and it would be a waste to throw it out. Instead jump on your computer and check out our extensive range of couch cushions online. It’s possible to purchase just a cover from us and the money saved can be used to buy some more for your collection. Work out the colour palette of your room and then have a look at our store to find your replacement.


Happy styling!

Simply Cushions Team