I bought these cushion covers and at home I noticed a small sentence on the label: "Do not wash".

How do you clean these covers? I wanted to wash them first to get the new fabric smell off these covers. They are made of 88% cotton and 12% linen. What could possibly go wrong if I just wash them at 30°?

  • There might be nothing wrong with the fabric; but, the dye might not be a mordant dye and will run or bleed when it gets wet. If this is the case, a non-water cleaning method must be used such as "dry" cleaning. While there are ways to make a dye "fast" like boiling in salt water, the colours will change in unpredictable ways. An alternate way would be to try washing it as a "delicate" fabric with appropriate detergents. Be sure to "test" whether it will work on some part that is less visible before you treat the whole piece. Good luck.
    – Stan
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 3:54

3 Answers 3


The label is probably due either to the linen content of the fabric (linen products are frequently labeled as dry-clean only) or the use of dyes that are not water-fast. The complete care instructions read as follows:

Do not wash. Do not bleach. Do not tumble dry. Iron, high temperature. Dryclean, normal cycle.

Some things to consider:

  1. Air them out on a clothesline to get the smell out. I don't see "do not line dry" in the care instructions, only "do not tumble dry".
  2. Try an "air fluff" (zero heat) or low/delicate dryer cycle; optionally add a dryer sheet for fragrance. Enclose the cushion cover in a protective mesh laundry bag to mitigate damage. Stain release sprays, special dryer sheets and protective mesh bags are often sold together as "home dry cleaning" kits.
  3. If you are willing to potentially sacrifice one in an experiment, run it through the laundry on delicate cycle by itself, with no other articles in the cycle, so worst case you only ruin one - if the dyes are not water-fast, any other articles in the same cycle would be discolored by dyes leaching from the cushion cover.

Depending on your location and the time of year, you can put the cushion in the snow and shove it around a bit. After leaving it for 15 minutes or so, take it inside to dry. The snow should have absorbed any stains and fumes. This also works for carpets.

Good luck.


Use a non-toxic clear (Similar To 409-Carpet Cleaner but a non-toxic) and rub it in with a toothbrush. Let it stand for a couple of hours and then wet a toothbrush with JUST WATER and go back over it and let it dry. Should Be a slow process but from personal experience it works very well.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.