How to Clean a Futon Cover

Futon covers are available in a variety of materials and colors, each with their own instructions for cleaning. To find out the best way to clean your cover, read the directions on the sewn in label carefully. Most covers can be cleaned in one of the three following ways: machine washing, dry cleaning, or spot cleaning.

How to Machine Wash a Futon Cover

You Will Need:

  • Washer/Dryer
  • Detergent

Cleaning Process:

  1. Begin by removing the cover from the futon.
  2. Locate the tag on the inside and review any special cleaning instructions.
  3. If your futon does not have care instructions, you can either default to these instructions or have it dry cleaned.
  4. Pre-treat any stains or spots that need special care with your choice of stain remover. Be sure it is safe for the fabric type of your futon cover.
  5. Place the cover in the washing machine. It should loosely fit, if you have to “stuff” it in the washing machine, then your machine is too small and you need to take it to a laundromat where they have oversized washers and dryers.
  6. Add the appropriate amount of laundry detergent. Use caution with detergents containing bleach as they may discolor your cover.
  7. Wash the cover using the cold wash/cold rinse cycle unless your care instructions specify to use warm water.
  8. When complete, remove the cover from the washer and place in dryer. Again, if your dryer is too small to allow proper circulation of air during the drying cycle, take it to a Laundromat to use the oversized dryers.
  9. Tumble dry on the heat setting suggested on the care instructions. If no instructions are available use the “low heat” or “no heat” setting until the cover is completely dry.
  10. It may be necessary to remove the cover part way through the drying cycle and flip it around to ensure even drying.
  11. When the cover is completely dry, remove from dryer and replace on futon mattress.

Dry Cleaning Your Futon Cover

If your futon cover requires dry cleaning, you will need to find a reputable cleaner.

Futon Spot Removal

Removing small spots from your cover should be done on those covers that cannot be washed or dry cleaned and to keep the cover clean in between washes.

You Will Need:

  • Mild, Non-Bleach Detergent
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Clean White Cloths
  • Small bucket or large bowl

Removal Process:

  1. Mix a small amount of detergent with the water in the bucket/bowl.
  2. Moisten the sponge in the detergent water and gently rub the spot you are cleaning until the dirt is removed. Be careful not to saturate the area because the extra water will soak into the mattress and can cause more problems if it doesn’t dry properly.
  3. Use the clean white towels to wipe off any remaining soap and soak up surface water.
  4. Rinse out the sponge thoroughly and remoisten with fresh water.
  5. Use the sponge to rinse the area and remove all soap. Be thorough in rinsing or the soap will leave a white residue after it dries.
  6. Gently blot with the towel to press out any remaining water and dry the area as much as possible.
  7. Allow area to air-dry thoroughly.

Additional Tips

  • Keep your futon out of direct sunlight to avoid fading and drying of the fabric. Ideally, the futon should be placed in a part of the room that is away from the window.
  • Continually turn your futon to avoid excessive wear and tear in one spot. Flip your futon once a month alternating side to side, and top to bottom.
  • If possible, it’s a good idea to take your futon mattress outside to air it out every six months.


  1. Toby says:

    To whom it may concern. I left my futon for about six months; my futon has become quite dirty. However, I cannot remove the futon cover, because there are irremovable buttons, how should I clean my futon mattress without removing the cover; I need to definitely clean it well so I don’t get Hanta Virus (a mouse disease). If you could let me know whether to steam clean or shampoo it or bring it to the dry cleaners and ask them if they would dry clean the whole thing. Please let me know what to do.


  2. Bruton says:

    My futon is quite dirty and I cannot remove the buttons so what is the best way to clean it myself?

  3. Michele says:

    Unfortunately, my daughter’s futon, purchased for Christmas and only used for 5 months, was taken from her, used by others, and now finally returned, it is disgusting; very disgusted at all the lies. I want to sterilize her mattress. How can I clean the entire mattress without causing damage?

  4. Melanie says:

    This is the article that you need: How to Clean a Mattress.
    If you want to wash it, this article can help: How to Wash a Mattress.

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