It’s a very easy thing to do… you notice your sofa cushions are a little dingy, which is perfectly normal with kids, pets and normal usage. So you decide to do-it-yourself and wash the cushion covers. They come out looking nice. But you also notice a little problem. The colors aren’t as bright as they used to be, and it takes a lot of effort to get the covers back over the foam cushions themselves. In fact, for one cushion, you can’t even get it zipped up all the way. The reason is that cushion covers are not designed to be washed like normal laundry. “But it has zippers!” you exclaim. That’s for the convenience of the furniture manufacturing company or the upholsterer.
Keep these points in mind if you are tempted to wash your cushion covers:
1. When you wash the cushion covers, there is some danger in fabric shrinkage and dye loss. If this happens, not much you can do to fix it.
2. Shrinkage typically occurs in the drier, so if you are tempted to wash your own cushion covers, hang them to dry (but remember there is always risk).
3. Dyes are funny things. The dyes on your favorite t-shirts are pretty tough and durable and last a long time, but on upholstery they can bleed or fade.
4. Putting cushion covers in the laundry can also cause problems with the integrity of the fabric, such as any latex backing that could be present; delamination, or the separation of the face fiber and backing, can occur.