Can You Tumble Dry Sofa Cushions? (is it safe or will it damage them)
You should always consult the care label on your sofa cushions but as a general rule they should never be tumble dried.
This applies to the cushions and the cushion covers.
Cushions and cushion covers can become damaged if subjected to high heat and the rough treatment from the tumbling motion of a tumble dryer.
This is why we recommend air drying your sofa cushions and cushion covers.
What The Tumble Dryer Symbols Mean On Sofa Cushions
There are only likely to be 2 or 3 of the following symbols that apply to sofa cushions but we have included all of the symbols that relate to tumble drying for your information.
- Square With White Circle And A Black X On Top – This symbol indicates the item should not be tumble dried. This is the most common symbol on sofa cushions.
- Square With White Circle – This is the symbol which is used to indicate that the item can be tumble dried. It is sometimes possible to find this symbol on sofa cushions.
- Square With Black Circle – This symbol signifies that the item can be tumble dried using the no heat setting. You might sometimes find this symbol on sofa cushions.
- Square With White Circle, One Black Dot In Circle – This is the symbol which indicates that the item can be tumble dried using the low heat setting. This could, in some cases, be found on sofa cushions.
- Square With White Circle, Two Black Dots In Circle – This indicates you can tumble dry this item using medium heat. It is unlikely that you’ll find this symbol on sofa cushions.
- Square With White Circle, Three Black Dots In Circle – This symbol indicates that the item can be tumble dried using the high heat setting. It is very unlikely that you’ll find this symbol on sofa cushions.
How To Dry Sofa Cushions Without A Tumble Dryer
It is recommended that you never tumble dry sofa cushions which means you’ll need to find an alternative way to get them dry.
Below we have listed the best ways we have found to dry your sofa cushions.
You should always start by dabbing the surface of the sofa cushions with a dry towel to remove as much excess water as possible.
It is also a good idea to lay the sofa cushion on a towel and place another towel on top of the sofa cushion and apply gentle pressure to squeeze as much water from the cushion as possible.
Then you can;
Air Dry Your Sofa Cushions On A Washing Line
If the weather permits, hanging your sofa cushions on a washing line, rotary clothesline or a retractable clothes line is a great natural way to get them dry.
Depending on the thickness of the cushions, they could take several hours to fully dry.
Air Drying Your Sofa Cushions On An Airer
Clothes horses, or airers can be used outdoors or indoors. Simply lay the sofa cushions flat on the racks of the airer until they are dry.
You can speed up the drying process by placing the airer close (but not too close) to a radiator.
Other ways to speed up the drying times indoors include;
Using An Electric Fan To Decrease Drying Times Indoors
Allowing an electric fan to blow onto the sofa cushions can simulate a gentle breeze. This will help to speed up the drying process, especially if you open a window to allow excess moisture to escape.
SEE ALSO: Bladeless Fans That We Love
Using A Hair Dryer To Reduce Drying Times
You can reduce the drying time for your sofa cushions by directing a hair dryer (on the low heat setting) at the cushion.
Ensure that you keep the hair dryer moving and never allow it to concentrate on any area for too long.
A Dehumidifier Can Ensure Shorter Drying Times
Placing a dehumidifier in the same room as your drying sofa cushions will help to remove moisture faster. This leads to faster overall drying times.
What Happens If You Tumble Dry Sofa Cushions
If you do decide to tumble dry your sofa cushions you should be prepared for;
Shrinking Sofa Cushions
The materials used to make sofa cushions varies, but many materials will shrink if exposed to high temperatures.
Melting Sofa Cushions
Many sofa cushions are made from a type of foam which could melt if exposed to high temperatures.
Damaged Sofa Cushions
The cushion cover can become damaged in a tumble dryer even at low temperatures. The stitching can become frayed, the zippers can become broken and the material can rip and tear, all from the tumbling action of the drum.
Frequently Asked Questions
Even though the care label on sofa cushions might indicate it is OK to tumble dry them, it is never 100% safe to tumble dry sofa cushions. These cushions could shrink, tear or in some cases melt in a tumble dryer.
To get moisture out of a couch cushion you can direct a hair dryer on the low heat setting across the cushion. Be sure to keep the nozzle moving and never concentrate on one particular area for too long.
The best way to dry a sofa cushion without using a tumble dryer is to air dry it. This can be done on a washing line or rotary line or even a retractable washing line, or on an airer. You can decrease drying times by using a dehumidifier in the same room as the drying sofa cushion.
Air drying couch cushions is the recommended way of drying them. Using a tumble dryer can damage the couch cushions and should be avoided.
How long it will take a wet couch to dry is dependent on many factors; The thickness of the couch, the temperature, the moisture content in the atmosphere etc, but as a rough guide it will take around 6 hours before the couch can be sat on.