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How to Wash and Care for Cushion Covers

In this quick guide, we share a few easy ways you can wash your cushion inserts, pillows and cushion covers to keep them looking great. Tips include ideas for cushions from linen, cotton to velvet, and for different types of pillow inners.

Can I wash my Cushions?

In some cases yes and in most cases, placing your cushion covers in a normal domestic washing machine is like putting them into a torture chamber. There are a few main issues we need to address

  • Detergent - Normal off the shelf detergents can have chemicals such as optical brighteners, which can effect the colour of your cushions, the most common issue is fading of the print.
  • Spin Cycle - Most washing machines can spin a very fast rates, up to 1400/rpm (or in plain language your delicate cushion cover will do a lap of your washing machine 1400 times in a minute!). The most common issues here are the fabric is at its weakest when wet so this may cause stretching, shrinking and in some cases rips and tears due to the high spin rates.
  • Tumble dry - Tumble drying is not recommended for almost all fabrics. issues can be shrinkage of the fabric. Best to leave cushion on a flat surface to dry, no sun as this can cause fading.
  • Ironing - Irons can be great on most cottons, linens etc. Though polyester can melt if the iron is too hot. Best to invert cushion cover and iron on a low heat. Small test first to check all is ok.
  • Zippers - Zippers can get caught in the washing machine. The most common issues are ripping of the zipper or ripping of the fabric.

Our recommended cleaning instructions 

Check First

All Fabrics are different and need to be treated differently. It is always best to consult your care instructions first or contact us at Thread Candy, we are always happy to help.

For example Sunbrella cushions will have different care instructions to Warwick or Tommy Bahama. Linen and Cotton cushions will have different care instruction to that of outdoor polyester and velvet cushions.

Dry Clean

In most cases it is best to take your cushion covers to a professional to do a proper clean. Please don't risk destroying your lovely new cushions.

Please also note some fabrics cannot be dry cleaned, so best to check first.

Spot Clean

For minor spills or marks, spot clean is a great option. Use a soft clean cloth with a small amount of water to blot the stain (no rubbing please this may pill some fabrics). Then press with a clean paper towel. Leave to dry.

If the stain is a little more stubborn you can use a upholstery shampoo in a small area first to test. Best not to use a detergent as this may effect the fabric.

Hand Wash

Hand washing is a great alternative to spot cleaning. Use a cold water with a clean cloth with some upholstery shampoo. dry on a flat surface with no sun light.


Cushion Inserts

Polyester Fill

If you have a spill on your cushion and your cushion insert gets effected the best treatment is 

  • Cold hand wash
  • gentle squeeze
  • drip dry

Best not to put the insert in the washing machine as they may end up a little flat.