How to Wash Cushions With No Zipper

When cushions and pillows have a zippered cover, it’s easy to simply remove and wash the covering. But what about cushions without a removable covering? And what about cleaning outdoor cushions?

Read on to learn how!

How to Wash Cushions with No Zipper

how to wash cushions with no zipper

Notes before you start

First, check all indoor and patio cushions for any labels or manufacturer instructions. There may be information on how to clean the cushions whether it’s hand washing, machine washing, or even dry cleaning.

Before you use any soap or cleaning solvents, test a small amount on an inconspicuous spot on the cushions to ensure that they won’t damage or discolor the cushions.

Mix the soap with water, apply a small amount on a corner of the pillow, and then dab it with a white cloth. If any color comes off the pillow and onto the cloth, you’ll know that soap won’t work for the cushion.

Hand Washing Cushions With a Non-Removable Cover

To clean throw pillows or wash the cushions by hand:

  • First, wipe off any pieces of hair or dirt. Use a handheld vacuum to remove as much dirt as possible.
  • Next, make a soap solution by mixing mild detergent or soap with water.
  • Dip a rag into the solution and gently work it into the cushion, paying extra attention to stains and heavily soiled spots.
  • Once the cushion is all washed, let it air out to dry and make sure it is thoroughly dry before using it again.

For stained areas, you can use a soft-bristled brush (for example a toothbrush) to gently scrub the stain.

Machine Washing Cushions

Can cushions and decorative pillows be washed in the washing machine? It depends on the fabric.

Some materials are more delicate than others. If the cushions don’t have care instructions, we’ll need to know the type of material and whether we can wash it in the washer.

  • Cotton, linen, and polyester cushions can go in the washing machine on a delicate, cold cycle.
  • Wash foam pillows by hand.
  • Leather, fur, velvet, silk, and wool cushions should not go in the washing machine but get washed gently by hand with a specialized cleaner for its material.

For cushions that we can wash in the machine, always use delicate and cold cycles.

Can You Wash Sofa Cushions in the Washing Machine?

Always check if the cushions have manufacturer care instructions on their labels before washing them. If the sofa cushions are safe for the machine you can wash them on a cold, gentle cycle.

However, most sofa cushions are too large to fit into your washing machine. If the sofa cushions have removable covers remove them and wash just the covers.

Can You Wash Couch Pillows that Say Spot Clean Only?

can you wash couch pillows that say spot clean only

Cushions labeled as spot-clean only shouldn’t go into the washing machine. Wash them by hand as I mentioned above.

Ideally, use a cleaner safe for or that mentions it’s good for the cushion material. Suppose the cushion cover is leather; spot-clean the pillow with a leather cleaner.

Always remember to test the cleaner first to ensure it won’t damage the fabric.

How to Remove Certain Types of Stains on Pillow Covers

how to remove certain types of stains on pillow covers

While spot-cleaning, vacuuming, and washing are enough to refresh cushions and pillow protectors, some types of stains will mean more work.


It can be incredibly complicated to remove an ink stain – even more so on delicate material! The ink from washable markers might easily wash off, but ink from permanent markers or pens might not.

  • If the ink is still wet, sprinkle some cornstarch or salt on the ink stain to absorb it.
  • Test a small amount of rubbing alcohol, hairspray, or hand sanitizer on the cushion to ensure that it doesn’t damage the fabric. If the cushion’s color holds up, blot the ink stain with the solution and see if it helps get it off.
  • Keep working at it if it’s removing the ink then hand wash or machine wash the pillow as usual.


Bloodstains are stubborn. Never use hot water to wash out bloodstains as the heat will set the stain.

  • If the blood is fresh, pour some salt on the stain to draw out as much as possible.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.
  • Next, test a bit of hydrogen peroxide on the corner of the pillow to see if it will ruin the fabric. Hopefully, the color won’t run, and you can soak the stain with hydrogen peroxide.
  • Let it sit for a few hours and then launder as usual in cold water.


Spills from marinara, soy sauce, and other condiments can stain cushions but fortunately not all are super hard to get out. Again, it depends on what’s in the sauce that spilled.

  • Apply a stain remover immediately to the stain and let it sit for a few hours. You can also make your own stain remover with a solution of vinegar, water, and dish soap.
  • Wash or spot-clean the cushions as usual with cold water, and repeat if necessary.

Urine Stains

  • Make a solution of vinegar, water, and mild detergent or mild soap and apply it to the urine stain.
  • Let the solution sit overnight before washing the cushion in cold water.

Wine and Beer

Parties and hosting guests tend to make a mess on sofas, rugs, and outdoor furniture despite their best intentions. Red wine is among the most challenging stains to wash out, by the way!

To get out wine stains on pillows:

  • Apply a stain remover and hydrogen peroxide to the stain and let it sit for a few hours or overnight.
  • Spot clean it with cold water and repeat as needed.

For beer stains on pillows:

  • Apply a mixture of vinegar, water, and dishwashing detergent.
  • Let the cushion absorb the mixture before washing as usual.


  • For clear soda stains, wash the cushions as usual. (Dark soda stains may need a bit more effort.)
  • Apply a stain remover or hydrogen peroxide to the stain before washing.
  • Repeat if necessary.

How Do You Clean a Non-Removable Couch Cushion?

how do you clean a non removable couch cushion

With so many sofas having non-removable cushions, it’s definitely a little bit of a mystery (or hassle!) when figuring out how to wash cushions with no zipper.

  • Microfiber non-removable couch cushions should be vacuumed regularly and spot-cleaned as necessary.
  • For stubborn stains, apply a shampoo formulated for sofas.
  • Wipe down leather couch cushions with a special leather cleaner or with a damp cloth.

How Can I Dry My Wet Couch Cushions?

how can i dry my wet couch cushions

  • Airy-dry wet couch cushions. Don’t put indoor or outdoor cushions in the dryer as they may get damaged or shrink.
  • Be careful with heat! If there are still stains on the pillows, the heat from the dryer will set them.

How Long Does it Take for Couch Cushions to Dry?

It depends on how wet the cushions are. Cushions that were spot-cleaned may dry in a few hours.

On the other hand, cushions washed in a washing machine, completely hand-washed, or patio cushions left out in the rain can take a day or more to completely dry.