Can You Wash Cushion Covers in the Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Cushion Covers in the Washing Machine

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Yes, you can wash cushion covers in the washing machine, but it depends on the fabric they are made of. Before tossing them in, check the label for laundry symbols and follow these guidelines for a successful wash.

Cushion covers are an integral part of home decor, adding comfort and style to our living spaces. Over time, they can accumulate dust, stains, and odors, making cleaning a necessity. But can you toss them into your washing machine without causing damage? The short answer is yes, you can wash cushion covers in the washing machine, but it’s important to take some factors into consideration.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the dos and don’ts of washing cushion covers, the steps to follow, alternative cleaning methods, and address some frequently asked questions.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Cushion Covers in the Washing Machine


  • Check the Label: The first step is to check the manufacturer’s advice on the label of your cushion cover. Look for laundry symbols, which will provide essential information about how to care for the fabric. These symbols will guide you on whether machine washing is safe and at what temperature.
  • Spot Clean First: If you’re uncertain about machine washing, start by spot cleaning the cushion cover. This gentle approach can help remove minor stains and spills without subjecting the entire cover to a wash cycle.
  • Use a Gentle Cycle: If you decide to machine wash your cushion covers, select the gentlest cycle available. Use a cold water setting, a low spin speed, and avoid heavy-duty or abrasive cycles. Treating your covers delicately is key to preserving their quality.
  • Use a Dye-Free Detergent: To prevent any risk of discoloration or damage to the cushion cover fabric, opt for a dye-free detergent. This will minimize the chances of color bleeding and ensure your covers stay vibrant.
  • Air Dry: After washing, resist the urge to tumble dry your cushion covers. Instead, allow them to air dry naturally. This method helps maintain the shape and integrity of the fabric, preventing any potential shrinkage.


  • Don’t Use Hot Water: Hot water can cause shrinkage and damage delicate cushion cover fabrics. Stick to cold water or a low-temperature setting.
  • Don’t Overload the Machine: Avoid overloading your washing machine with too many cushion covers at once. This can lead to ineffective cleaning and increased wear and tear.
  • Don’t Use Bleach: Bleach can harm the color and fabric of your cushion covers. Always opt for a gentle detergent.
  • Don’t Mix with Other Fabrics: Washing your cushion covers with other items may lead to color transfer or damage. It’s best to wash them separately.
  • Don’t Skip the Label: Ignoring the manufacturer’s instructions is a recipe for trouble. Always follow the care recommendations provided on the label.

Steps To Wash Cushion Covers In The Washing Machine:

Step 1

Preparation: Before washing, make sure to remove any inserts or padding from the cushion covers. This will prevent clumping and ensure a thorough wash.

Step 2

Spot Clean if Necessary: If there are specific stains or spots on the cushion covers, treat them with a stain remover or a mild detergent and a soft brush. Allow the spot cleaner to sit for a few minutes before rinsing.

Step 3

Check the Label: As mentioned earlier, the label is your best friend. Review the laundry symbols to confirm that machine washing is recommended.

Step 4

Load the Machine: Place the cushion covers into the washing machine. Be mindful not to overload the machine, as this can lead to ineffective cleaning and potential damage.

Step 5

Select a Gentle Cycle: Choose a cold water or delicate cycle with a low spin speed. This will ensure a gentle cleaning process that won’t harm the fabric.

Step 6

Use Dye-Free Detergent: Add a small amount of dye-free detergent to the machine. Avoid overloading with detergent, as excess soap can be difficult to rinse out.

Step 7

Start the Wash: Begin the wash cycle and let the machine do its job. Remember to follow the temperature settings as per the label instructions.

Step 8

Air Dry: Once the cycle is complete, remove the cushion covers from the machine and let them air dry. Avoid direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure can fade colors. Make sure they are completely dry before putting them back on your cushions.

Alternative Washing Methods for Cushion Covers:

While machine washing is a convenient option for many cushion covers, there are alternative methods to consider:

  • Hand Washing: For delicate fabrics or covers that aren’t machine washable, hand washing is a gentle alternative. Fill a basin with cold water and a small amount of mild detergent. Gently agitate the water, soak the cover, and then rinse thoroughly. Finally, air dry as usual.
  • Professional Cleaning: If you’re unsure about washing your cushion covers yourself, or if they have complex fabrics or intricate designs, it’s wise to seek professional cleaning services. They have the expertise and equipment to clean and preserve your covers effectively.
  • Dry Cleaning: Certain cushion cover materials, such as silk or wool, may require dry cleaning. Check the care label and take them to a trusted dry cleaner for proper care.


Can I wash all cushion covers in the washing machine?

Answer: No, not all cushion covers are suitable for machine washing. Always check the care label for specific instructions.

Can I use regular detergent for washing cushion covers?

Answer: It’s best to use a dye-free, mild detergent to avoid any potential damage to the fabric or color.

How often should I wash my cushion covers?

Answer: The frequency of washing depends on usage and personal preference. However, it’s a good idea to wash them when they appear soiled or stained.

Can I iron cushion covers after washing?

Answer: Ironing cushion covers should be done cautiously, and only if the care label permits it. Use a low heat setting and a cloth as a barrier to protect the fabric.

What if my cushion covers are too large for the washing machine?

Answer: If your cushion covers are oversized, consider spot cleaning or using a laundromat with larger machines. Alternatively, opt for professional cleaning services.

Final Words:

Maintaining the cleanliness and appearance of your cushion covers is essential to keeping your living spaces inviting and comfortable. Yes, you can wash cushion covers in the washing machine, but it’s crucial to follow the care instructions on the label and choose the right settings to ensure the longevity of your covers. When in doubt, spot cleaning, professional cleaning, or alternative methods are viable options to keep your cushion covers in pristine condition. With proper care, your cushion covers can continue to enhance the beauty and comfort of your home for years to come.

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