What Is the Best Way to Clean My Couch Cushions?

by | May 4, 2021 | Ask the Expert, Furniture Cleaning, Furniture Upholstery | 0 comments


We bought a couch several years ago and recently had a spill on one of the cushions. What is the best way to clean it? The store we bought it from said they thought the fabric was polyester and the cleaning code was W.

Does that mean the cover for the cushion can just go in the washing machine?  Thanks!


May 9, 2020


Most popularly priced textured fabrics are polyesters.

The old cleaning code system where W stands for cleanable with water-based products is very general. It was basically established as a way for furniture retailers to give a quick and safe general answer to one of the most commonly asked questions.

Since the introduction of the internet, there is a better way to find the best cleaning method.

​Go to Google and search for “How do I clean a [type of stain] from a  [type of fabric] couch?”.

For example: “How do I clean a mustard stain from a polyester couch?”

You should get over a dozen articles on best methods for cleaning polyester couches and possibly one or two that will address your specific type of stain.

Spot cleaning is normally done for areas of the couch that are not easily removable. In your specific case, it is theoretically possible to put a polyester cushion cover in a washing machine, but you need to be very careful not to use hot or warm water and not to use heat in the dryer. Otherwise there is a risk the fabric will shrink.

Also, use a gentle cycle. Washing covers repeatedly can cause seams to weaken. As a rule, I generally prefer to dry clean cushion covers or slipcovers.

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Jeff Frank

Jeff Frank

Furniture Consultant

Jeff Frank is a 45 year  furniture industry veteran. He created this blog to provide detailed facts, inside information & advice for furniture shoppers. 




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