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How to Clean Non-Removable Couch Cushions

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Cleaning the cushions is important to maximize the joy you get from your couch. You don’t want to lay down on something dirty and smelly.

If your couch has cushions that you can remove, cleaning them is pretty simple. Usually, you can just remove the filling and throw the cover into the washing machine. But what do you do if your cushions are sewn into your couch? That makes things quite a bit trickier.

We put this together to give you some ideas on how to keep your couch clean and fresh if you can’t remove the cushions. It’ll give you some ideas on what you can do under a range of different conditions. We hope you find it valuable.

How to Clean Non-Removable Couch Cushions

Cleaning non-removable cushion covers with a vacuum cleaner:

One guaranteed safe way to clean your furniture is to vacuum it. In fact, using your vacuum is the first step to cleaning any upholstery. If you’re lucky, it’s as far as you’ll need to go, too.

Using your vacuum is good for all upholstery fabrics, from synthetic to leathers. You can even start with a gentle brushing to knock up large stains so you can suck up the grit.

Make sure you pay careful attention to the seams where the cushions are sewn to the couch itself. Those places are notorious for attracting and hiding large particles like hair, dirt, and food crumbs.

If you have an upholstery attachment for your vacuum, that’s all the better. The brush will lift large particles to the surface where they are sucked away.

Cleaning Non-Removable Cushion Covers with Steam Cleaner:

steam cleaner being used to clean non-removable couch cushion

Before you pull out your steam cleaner consult your couch’s care tag. If it doesn’t have a W anywhere on it, you can’t use a steam cleaner. The W is a sign that you can use a water-based cleaner.

Steam cleaners use a combination of heat and water to clean, and if you can use one on your upholstery it will also clean the foam insert of the cushion.

You’ll want to make sure you follow the instructions in your owner’s manual, but in general, you’ll want to fill your steam cleaner in and plug it in. Wait for it to warm up. If you have a furniture attachment, make sure that is clipped onto the hose.

Spray the affected area with steam, allow it to sit for a few seconds, and then vacuum up as much of the water as possible. When it is mostly dry, put away your steam cleaner and allow the couch to dry, either in direct sunlight or with a gently blowing fan.

Additional Tips for Cleaning Non-Removable Couch Cushions

If your couch care tag has a W on it — it will either be a W or an SW to stand for Solvent/Water — you can spray it down with undiluted white vinegar. This will not only allow you to clean the cushions, but the vinegar will break down the things that cause undesirable odors.

When you’ve sprayed the entire couch, use a clean sponge on any noticeable stains. You won’t need to scrub parts of the couch that aren’t stained, so spot cleaning works well.

If you have a couch that only has an S on its care tag, you need a special kind of cleaner. Make sure that you follow the use instructions carefully so you don’t inadvertently damage it.

How to Spot Treat Non-Removable Couch Cushions

tools being used to spot clean non-removable couch cushions

Your first step in cleaning any upholstery is to check the care tag. A W means you can use a water-based cleaner, an A means a solvent-based cleaner, and an SW means either will work. An X means just a vacuum.

If it’s just an S, you’ll need to purchase a special dry cleaner. Make sure you get one appropriate for your upholstery fabric and follow the instructions. These are usually specially designed to prevent damage to your couch.

If there’s a W, you can use a combination of either dish detergent and warm water or white vinegar and warm water. Gently blot at the stain with a clean rag dipped in the water mix. Merely getting it a bit damp might be enough in some cases. In others, you’ll need to keep at it for a while.

Once you have the stain cleaned up, sprinkle the area with baking soda to absorb any odors set into the fabric. Ideally, you’d let it sit overnight, but a few hours during any time of the day will work. After you’ve allowed it to sit for several hours, vacuum it up.

Of course, you might need to try something different depending on what’s caused the stain. If the stain is mashed in chewing gum, ice it until it hardens and you can more easily pull it away from the fabric. If it’s an oil-based stain, sprinkle it with cornstarch and let it sit for 15 minutes before scraping it off. Finally, if it’s ink, use rubbing alcohol as quickly as possible.

How to Deep Clean Non-Removable couch cushions

Deep cleaning a nonremovable couch cushion is a challenge because you can’t take the cover somewhere else.

Probably the easiest way to deep clean this kind of couch is with a steam cleaner. If you don’t own one, you can rent one. Make sure it comes with an upholstery attachment.

Make sure the soap you add is compatible with your fabric. You can also just make a cleaning solution out of water and white vinegar.

These work because they combine heat and water, one of which loosens stains and the other can dissolve them. Make sure you allow the couch to fully dry after you clean it, putting it in front of a gently blowing fan.

If you don’t want to use a steam cleaner or can’t because your upholstery isn’t compatible with water-based cleaning techniques, consider taking it to a professional to clean. Those kinds of couches require delicate handling.


Cleaning non-removable couch cushions starts with knowing what technique is best for your couch. Often, you can clean them just by vacuuming them. If the mess sets, you’ll need to take your cleaning to the next level.

We put together some ideas on what you can do and included a couple of situations you might find yourself in. Hopefully, you found them valuable.

If you did, we’d love for you to leave a comment down below, or even share this article on social media. You might help a friend who you didn’t even know was in a pinch.

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