Green Home

How to Clean Non-Removable Couch Cushions

Learn how to clean and remove stains from those tricky non-removable couch cushions.

How to Clean Non Removable Couch Cushions

When we choose a new sofa, we usually look for two things: how it looks, and how comfortable the cushions are. We don’t often worry about whether the cushion covers are removable… until they need cleaning!

So, if you and your cushion covers are in a bit of a sticky spot, don’t worry, as these cushion cleaning tips have you covered.

Cleaning Non-Removable Cushion Covers

You’re not likely to find leather sofas with non removable cushion covers, so this article is looking primarily at fabric and upholstery couches and their non removable cushions. If you have a leather sofa that needs cleaning, we recommend you check out our comprehensive coach cleaning guide.

Let’s get started:

Step 1: Vacuuming your Cushion Covers

First, your couch cushions will immediately look better after a light vacuuming. Find the upholstery attachment (it’ll have a soft brush) and go over the couch to remove surface dirt, dust, hair, pet hair and general debris from your sofa cushions.

Some vacuum cleaners may be without an upholstery brush attachment. If that’s the case, be careful when using the vacuum on your cushions and use a low power setting so as not to mark or tear the fabric in the process.

Step 2: Give Your Cushion Covers a Good Beating!

Even if the cushion cover is not removable, the cushions themselves may be. If you can, remove them and give them a good beating outside – this is a great way to remove dust and debris. Then, you can tackle any stain you may find. Skip this step if your cushions cannot be removed from your couch at all

Step 3: Check Your Cushion’s Label

Because there are so many different types of fabric, you should always consult the care label on your couch. It is usually found under one of the cushions or at the back of the couch itself. This will tell you how to clean the cushions.

Check if you can use water based products on your cushions, or whether you’re restricted to a dry cleaning solvent stain remover before tackling any stain on your chair. Always test a cleaning product on a small non-visible area of your couch or cushion before using it somewhere it might be seen.

Step 4a: Cleaning Non-Removable Cushions With Water-Based Cleaning Products

If your care tag shows either a W or an S/W, then you can use water-based products. When tackling stains and marks, first try a solution of dish soap and warm water on a paper towel or sponge. Dab the stain on your cushion cover and don’t scrub – scrubbing can push the stain deeper into the cushion stuffing.

If the soap and water concoction doesn’t work, then it’s time to give the couch cushion a more thorough cleaning with some more active cleaning products. That doesn’t mean you have to rush down to your local hardware stores just yet, though.

A solution of warm water and baking soda can work wonders when applied to stains and is particularly effective when it comes to grease. Allow the active agents in the soda to lift the grease and then dab the affected area of the cushion cover with a cloth.

Similarly, a solution of equal parts vinegar and water applied with a cloth can take out plenty of stains without damaging the fabric of your cushions. If you’re not sure whether the material will discolor, try first on a piece of fabric from a hidden area of the sofa, such as the back, before you try it on the stain itself.

Step 4b: Cleaning Cushions With Solvent-Based Cleaning Products

There are some fabrics that will carry an S on their care tag, and this means that no water whatsoever should come near the fabrics. In this case, use a recommended solvent-based cleaner to tackle stains but always ventilate the room first.

You can use a little ingenuity to make this easier by grabbing an air compressor from your office (if they have one) or borrowing one from a friend. Apply the solvent-based cleaner or foam to your non removable cushion cover, and once it’s done its job, blast it away with the air compressor. No more stain, but no water comes into contact with the cushion cover.

Step 5: Using Steam to Clean Non-Removable Couch Cushions

Even couches that shouldn’t have water in liquid form can benefit from another form: steam. Steam cleaning is a highly effective way of cleaning sofa cushions. The steam itself can work wonders, but you may also be able to add either soap or a specially designed cleaning product to the steam cleaner to really give your non removable couch cushion covers a deep clean.

The heat from the steam draws out dirt and and stains that the vacuum cleaner may have found too stubborn. Steam cleaning also destroys bacteria and removes unpleasant smells on your cushions from pet hair, older fabric and spills that have been dry for a while.

While a steam cleaner is a great investment for many areas of the house, it doesn’t mean you have to buy one. Instead, check local hardware shops and other local businesses who rent out steam cleaners for these kinds of jobs.

Step 6: Dry Your Cushions in the Sun

If you have someone to help you, take the couch or the cushions outside to dry in the sunshine. This is a particularly good tip for when your cushions have been damp and have developed mold in some areas, as the UV rays from the sun kill mold cells.

How to Clean Tough Stains on Non-Removable Couch Cushions

If the above steps don’t help, you may need to investigate a solution for the specific stain that is on your cushion. There’s a solution for most problems: Ice cubes can be used to freeze chewing gum, so that you can then just pick it off. Rubbing alcohol applied to your sofa cushions with a clean cloth can lift ink stains. An enzyme cleaner removes blood, vomit, urine and other unpleasant liquids.

When to Call the Professionals

If you’ve tried all the above cleaning tips for your chair cushions and nothing’s worked, it’s okay to admit defeat! Call a professional chair or couch cleaning company in your area who specialize in cushions and who will have all the quality cleaning items and the experience to tackle any stain.


Non-removable cushion covers don’t have to be such a headache! Following the tips above, you can clean almost any issue with your couch cushions. Once you’ve cleaned your couch or chair cushion, keep it in good conditions with a regular going-over with the vacuum cleaner. This will save you a lot of bother and help you keep your sofa cushions looking and smelling fresh.