Can You Wash Seat Cushions In Washing Machine?



Can You Wash Seat Cushions In Washing Machine

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Yes, you can wash seat cushions in a washing machine if they are made of washable fabrics such as cotton, polyester, or acrylic.

Seat cushions play a crucial role in adding comfort and style to our homes. Over time, they can accumulate dust, stains, and odors, leading to the question of whether you can toss them into the washing machine to restore their freshness.

In this article, we will delve into this topic, providing you with valuable insights, dos, and don’ts, and alternative methods for effectively washing your seat cushions.

Dos and Don’ts of Wash Seat Cushions In Washing Machine


  • Check Fabric Care Labels: Before attempting to wash your seat cushions, check the fabric care labels. Fabrics like cotton, polyester, or acrylic are generally safe to machine wash. Follow any specific instructions provided on the label.
  • Remove Covers and Fillings: If your seat cushions have removable covers, take them off before washing. Ensure that any fillings, such as foam or batting, are also removable if possible.
  • Zipper Closure: If your cushion covers have zippers, ensure they are securely closed before placing them in the washing machine. This prevents the filling from spilling out during the wash.
  • Use a Gentle Cycle: When washing seat cushion covers, use a gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine. This minimizes agitation, which can help prevent wear and tear on the fabric.
  • Cold Water: Opt for cold water rather than hot or warm water. Hot water can cause some fabrics to shrink or fade.
  • Mild Detergent: Use a mild, color-safe detergent to protect the fabric’s color and integrity.
  • Balance the Load: Ensure your washing machine is not overloaded. A balanced load allows the cushions to be cleaned thoroughly without excessive strain on the machine.
  • Air Dry: After washing, avoid using a dryer. Instead, let the cushion covers air dry naturally. Hanging them on a clothesline or laying them flat on a clean surface is ideal.


  • Machine Wash Non-Removable Cushions: If your seat cushions are not designed with removable covers and fillings, avoid machine washing them. In such cases, consider alternative cleaning methods (discussed later in this article).
  • Use Bleach: Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals when washing seat cushion covers. These can damage the fabric and affect the colors.
  • Overload the Machine: Overloading your washing machine can lead to poor cleaning results and potential damage to the cushions.
  • Use a High Spin Cycle: High spin cycles can be too harsh on delicate fabrics. Stick to gentle cycles for seat cushion covers.

Steps To Wash Seat Cushions In The Washing Machine

If your seat cushions have removable covers and are made of washable fabrics, here are the steps to wash them safely in a washing machine:

Step 1

Prepare Cushion Covers: Remove the cushion covers from the cushions. If there are zippers, ensure they are securely closed.

Step 2

Check Fabric Care Labels: Examine the fabric care labels on the covers for specific washing instructions. Follow any recommendations provided.

Step 3

Load the Machine: Place the cushion covers in the washing machine. Be mindful not to overload the machine; leave enough room for proper cleaning.

Step 4

Use a Gentle Cycle: Select the gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine. This cycle minimizes agitation and reduces the risk of damage.

Step 5

Choose Cold Water: Opt for a cold water wash to prevent potential shrinking or fading of the fabric.

Step 6

Add Mild Detergent: Pour a small amount of mild detergent into the detergent compartment of the machine. Be cautious not to use too much detergent, as excess soap can be difficult to rinse out.

Step 7

Start the Wash: Begin the washing machine cycle, following the settings you’ve chosen.

Step 8

Air Dry: After the cycle is complete, remove the cushion covers from the machine. Do not use a dryer, as heat can damage the fabric and cause shrinking. Instead, hang the covers on a clothesline or lay them flat on a clean surface to air dry.

Alternative Washing Methods For Seat Cushions

If your seat cushions are not suitable for machine washing due to their non-removable covers or materials that are not machine-friendly, consider these alternative cleaning methods:

  • Spot Cleaning: Use a mixture of mild detergent and water to spot clean stains on the cushions. Gently blot the affected area with a clean cloth or sponge.
  • Steam Cleaning: Steam cleaning can effectively remove dirt and odors from seat cushions. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your steam cleaner and use an upholstery attachment.
  • Professional Cleaning: For stubborn stains or heavily soiled cushions, consider hiring a professional upholstery cleaner. They have specialized equipment and expertise to clean various types of seat cushions.
  • Vacuuming: Regularly vacuum your seat cushions to remove dust and debris. Use a soft brush attachment to prevent damage to the fabric.
  • Sunlight and Fresh Air: If your cushions are not heavily soiled but need a refresh, place them outside in the sun and fresh air. This can help eliminate odors and revitalize the cushions.


Can I wash seat cushions made of leather or suede in the washing machine?

Answer: No, you should not wash seat cushions made of leather or suede in the washing machine. These materials require special care and cleaning methods. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional cleaning services for such cushions.

Can I use fabric softener when washing seat cushion covers?

Answer: It’s best to avoid using fabric softener when washing seat cushion covers, as it may leave a residue on the fabric. This residue can affect the appearance and texture of the fabric.

How often should I wash my seat cushions?

Answer: The frequency of washing seat cushions depends on their use and exposure to dirt and spills. As a general guideline, aim to clean them when they appear dirty or develop noticeable odors.

Can I use a front-loading washing machine for seat cushion covers?

Answer: Yes, front-loading washing machines are generally suitable for washing seat cushion covers. Just ensure you follow the dos and don’ts mentioned earlier to protect the fabric.

Can I iron seat cushion covers after washing?

Answer: Ironing seat cushion covers is not usually necessary and can potentially damage the fabric. If needed, use a low heat setting and a pressing cloth to prevent direct contact between the iron and the fabric.

Final Words

In conclusion, you can indeed wash seat cushions in a washing machine if they are made of washable fabrics like cotton, polyester, or acrylic. Following the dos and don’ts, as well as the steps provided, will help you maintain the cleanliness and freshness of your seat cushions. For cushions with non-removable covers or special materials, alternative cleaning methods like spot cleaning, steam cleaning, or professional upholstery cleaning are recommended.

By giving your seat cushions the care they deserve, you can continue to enjoy their comfort and aesthetic appeal in your home.

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