Spring cleaning - Image courtesy of khongkitwiriyachan at FreeDigitalPhotos.netQ. During my spring cleaning, I washed my couch cushion cover. It is now too small, entirely off-color, and crumbly on the inside when I got it out of the laundry. What happened?

A. The fabric covering for stuffed furniture and cushions is known as upholstery. The covers on the cushions usually have a zipper, giving rise to the myth that the cushions can be taken out and the cover can be cleaned, much like a pillowcase to a bed set. This is not true–in fact, the zipper was put on for the convenience of the manufacturer. Most manufacturers do not expect the cover to be removed from the cushion during use or cleaning.

One should never remove cushion covers for separate dry cleaning or washing. Any tumble cleaning method can destroy the back and shrink or otherwise damage the upholstery fabric. There are several different cleaning methods from spot cleaning to a light rub that can work on upholstery. Since each fabric is different and the correct process is not obviously apparent, the best thing to do is take the item to us with the cushion inside the casing. Our experts at BRYAN’S Cleaners & Laundry will take care of the rest!