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How to Wash a Futon

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A futon is a versatile answer of what to do about your friend who comes over to watch a movie but winds up needing a couch to crash on. Just fold out what they were just sitting on, and you’ve got a ready-made bed.

With enough use, that futon will get dirty and might even take on an unpleasant odor. No one wants to sit on a dirty sofa, let alone sleep in something the smell from which brings tears to their eyes. So, you’ll want to know how to properly clean your futon.

We are here to help. We researched how to clean a futon and put what we learned in this guide. There are also some tips on how to get that odor out of your futon so you can have guests with confidence.

How to wash a futon (Step-by-Step Guide)

Start by vacuuming

Futon mattresses are typically fabric upholstery over a foam pad, so they aren’t terribly complicated to clean.

Start by folding your futon out into its bed position. That way, you eliminate any corners or folds that might conceal dirt and you’re dealing with what is largely a flat surface.

When you’re done, you’ll flip the mattress and repeat on the second side. If you regularly flip your mattress, when you’re done cleaning the second side, that’s a perfect time to leave it flipped.

The first step in cleaning it is to vacuum it. This will pick up any large pieces of dirt and might even do most of your deodorizing work.

If you have a carpet cleaner with an upholstery brush attachment, a good steam cleaning is probably all that you need to clean and disinfect it. You can either use the soap that comes with your cleaner or use a solution of half water and half white vinegar.

To get rid of stains, make a mixture of half white vinegar and half water, with some hydrogen peroxide and dish detergent. Pour just enough of it over the stain to cover it, but not soak the mattress pad.

Allow it to stand for 15 minutes and then blot at it with a damp paper towel. The stains should lift. If they don’t, you might need to consult a professional cleaner.

If the stains come out, allow the mattress to air dry. When it is dry, sprinkle baking soda all over it and allow it to sit overnight. The baking soda will absorb any odors on your mattress.

In the morning, vacuum the baking soda and flip the mattress to repeat the process.

How to Clean a Futon Mattress of Urine

Use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar

If you have young kids or pets that use your furniture, there’s a good chance at some point one of them will have an accident involving your futon frame. Don’t panic. You don’t need to call a professional.

Specially-made enzyme cleaners will break down the proteins in urine, making them invaluable.

They can also be expensive. But, don’t worry about that, either. There are homemade solutions you can make with inexpensive cleaning products. They aren’t as effective as enzyme cleaners, but they should do an effective job.

First, you need to determine whether the stain is wet or dry. Wet urine stains are easier to clean up.

If it’s wet, sprinkle it with baking soda and spray it with vinegar. The vinegar will help lift the urine from the fabric and the baking soda will absorb the liquid and any odor.

Dry stains require a little more to clean. Spray wet stains with hydrogen peroxide and blot away with a clean, white rag.

How to wash a Futon Frame

Wipe it with a damp washcloth

Washing a futon frame is pretty simple. They are usually made from treated wood or metal, so they don’t tend to attract a lot of dirt or food particles.

The first step is to remove the futon mattress and fold the frame out into its bed position. This will ensure easy access to the entire frame.

Cleaning the frame involves wiping it down with a damp washcloth. You don’t need any special cleaners. You don’t need cleaning products unless it’s stained. If you use cleaning products, you might risk causing corrosion to metal parts of your frame.

If your frame is just a little bit dusty, you can even skip the damp washcloth and got with a dusting rag or wand.

How to disinfect a futon

If a sick kid slept on your futon, disinfecting it is probably a good idea. Don’t worry, you don’t need to tent your house or gear up in a hazmat suit. You can probably get away with products you already have in the home.

Start with a good, thorough cleaning. That means vacuuming the mattress and cleaning any stains.

If you own a carpet cleaner that has a furniture brush on it, a steam cleaning will accomplish both the cleaning and the disinfecting at once. You can either use the soap intended for your cleaner or use a solution of half white vinegar and half water.

We’d recommend avoiding using bleach, one of the most effective disinfectants because it might ruin the color of your futon.

Don’t worry, there are still some things you can use.

If you own hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar, those two combine for a powerful disinfectant that can kill most bacteria. If you go this route, place the different cleaning products in different sprayers.

When applied together from different bottles, hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar combine for a disinfectant that rivals bleach in its effectiveness.

Both white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide have disinfecting qualities when used alone. So, if you don’t have two sprayers or only one of the two, you can also do that. Just be aware that it’s much more effective when the two are combined.


No one wants to use furniture that smells and is covered in stains. That especially goes for a futon, which is intended to double as a bed.

It isn’t hard to clean and disinfect a futon, but you’ll want to take the right steps to prevent stains from setting into the fabric.

We put together this guide with instructions on how to clean your futon and included information on how to get the mattress clean of urine in case of a bodily accident. We hope you found it helpful. If you did, leave a comment or share this article on your social media networks.

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