Our upholstery has gotten quite soiled from everyday use. I noticed that they have zippers on them. Is it okay to take the cushion covers off and wash them in the washing machine?
Cushions are made with zippers for ease of manufacture and to ensure proper fabric tension once stuffed with foam. Upholstered fabric is not intended to be washed in your machine.
We don’t recommend it since people who wash their cushions in a washing machine tend to have problems after replacing the foam. These problems include shrunken fabric and ill fitting cushions (smaller than before washing). Seam tearing can also happen once someone sits on the ultra tight fabric. Some fabrics will stretch after washing leaving your cushions with a rippled appearance.
Clothing detergents contain chemicals that are not designed for upholstery cleaning. One in particular is optical brighteners which will leave your cushion fabric much brighter than the rest of the sofa. This brightness cannot be matched by us. Other chemicals may strip the colors from the fabric leaving the cushions with a faded look. Bleaching agents can weaken fabric and over time and cause small tears to appear.
The upholstery label listing fabric type and cleaning instructions is usually incorrect. Something listed as being water washable may actually required solvents to safely clean. Washing incorrectly may ruin the fabric permanently. This is why we test fabrics before cleaning and select the cleaning process that is appropriate for the fabric despite the label.
Vacuum your upholstery as often as possible, rotate and flip cushions for even wear, clean up spills as they happen and budget to clean professionally every 18 months.