a polyurethane form cushion loose on a couch ready to clean

How to Clean Polyurethane Foam Cushions

Polyurethane foam cushions have become an integral part of many homes and offices, providing comfort and support in various furniture pieces, from sofas to mattresses. While they’re known for their resilience and durability, these cushions can accumulate dirt, stains, and odors over time.

To clean polyurethane foam cushions, vacuum regularly and spot clean using a mild soap solution. For deeper cleaning, immerse in a mild soap mixture, rinse thoroughly, and air dry.

Keeping them clean and fresh is essential to ensure they serve you well for years. Here are three effective methods on how to clean polyurethane foam cushions.

Vacuuming and Spot Cleaning Polyurethane Foam Cushions

This method focuses on addressing dust, particles, and specific stains that accumulate on polyurethane foam cushions. Vacuuming picks up loose debris while spot cleaning targets individual marks.

  1. Begin with Vacuuming: Ensure you have a clean upholstery attachment. Thoroughly go over the cushion surface to collect all loose particles.
  2. Prepare a Gentle Cleaning Mix: Combine a few drops of mild dishwashing detergent with lukewarm water.
  3. Spot Test: It’s essential to test the cleaning mix on a hidden area to ensure no discoloration occurs.
  4. Address the Stain: Dip a soft cloth into your mix, wring out the extra liquid, and dab gently the stained area on the polyurethane foam cushion. Refrain from rubbing, so the stain doesn’t spread.
  5. Rinse and Let Dry: Use another cloth dampened with clean water to wipe away soap residue. Place the cushion in a well-ventilated spot for air drying, keeping it away from direct sunlight.
  6. Brush the Surface: Once dry, use a soft-bristled brush to gently brush the cushion. This helps restore the texture and ensure any residual debris is removed.
  7. Rotate and Repeat: If your cushion is stained or dirty on both sides, repeat the cleaning process on the other side. This ensures a thorough cleaning.
  8. Fluff the Cushion: After cleaning, gently fluff the cushion to maintain its shape and comfort.

This approach helps clean your polyurethane foam cushions and keep them looking fresh This will extend their life and maintain their comfort.

Deep Cleaning Polyurethane Foam Cushions with Mild Soap Solution

This approach is designed for a more comprehensive cleaning of the entire cushion, especially when they look or feel a bit grimy.

  1. Preparation of Soap Solution: Mix a quart of lukewarm water with a tablespoon of mild liquid soap.
  2. Submerge and Squeeze: Immerse the cushion into the prepared solution. Press gently multiple times to allow the solution to soak into the foam.
  3. Rinse Thoroughly: After soaking, rinse the cushion with running water to wash away all the soap.
  4. Press Out Excess Water: Once rinsed, gently press the polyurethane foam cushion between two clean towels to extract excess moisture. Avoid wringing, which can distort the foam’s shape.
  5. Air Dry Properly: Set the cushion in a breezy, shaded area, ensuring it dries completely before its next use.
  6. Inspect for Residue: After drying, check for any soap residue or spots. If found, lightly dab with a cloth moistened with clean water.
  7. Refresh with Fabric Spray: For a pleasant scent, mist the cushion lightly with a fabric freshener or a mix of water and a few drops of essential oil.
  8. Store Properly: If the cushion won’t be used immediately after cleaning, store in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent yellowing and degradation.

Adopting this cleaning method occasionally can help rejuvenate your polyurethane foam cushions, ensuring they remain comfortable and visually appealing.

Baking Soda for Freshening Polyurethane Foam Cushions

When odors become a concern, baking soda serves as an excellent natural solution. This approach is about removing unwanted smells and giving your polyurethane foam cushions a fresh feel.

  1. Spread Baking Soda Generously: Cover the entire cushion surface with baking soda, ensuring even distribution.
  2. Allow for Absorption: Let the baking soda sit undisturbed on the polyurethane foam cushion for several hours or overnight if possible.
  3. Vacuum Thoroughly: Use an upholstery attachment to vacuum off all the baking soda from the cushion. Ensure all residues are removed.
  4. Check for Remaining Odors: Sniff the cushion to detect any lingering smells. If present, repeat the baking soda treatment.
  5. Position for Optimal Airflow: Place the cushion near an open window or in a well-ventilated space to allow fresh air to circulate through it.
  6. Use Natural Fresheners: A light mist of a diluted essential oil mix (choose a scent you love) can enhance the fresh feel. Always test a small section before spraying the entire cushion.
  7. Rotate Cushions: If your furniture has multiple cushions, rotate them regularly to ensure even usage and wear. This also helps in even odor distribution and prevention.
  8. Protect from Direct Sunlight: Once freshened, ensure the polyurethane foam cushion isn’t exposed to strong sunlight, which can degrade the foam and cause discoloration.

This baking soda cleaning method offers an effective way to combat and eliminate odors, ensuring a pleasant experience every time you use your polyurethane foam cushion.


Can I use a steam cleaner to clean polyurethane foam cushions?

Steam cleaning isn’t advised for polyurethane foam cushions. The combination of heat and moisture might harm the foam, reducing its durability.

How can I remove stains from polyurethane foam cushions without damaging them?

Opt for a mild soap solution and gentle spot cleaning. Before using any cleaning agent, always do a patch test on an inconspicuous area to ensure no color changes occur. Refrain from using aggressive chemicals, as these can harm the foam.

How often should I clean my polyurethane foam cushions?

Regular maintenance involves vacuuming your cushions once a month and spot cleaning when needed. For a deeper clean, consider doing it every 4-6 months or when the cushion appears dirty.

Can I use bleach to clean polyurethane foam cushions?

Avoid bleach and other strong chemicals. They can cause damage, including color loss and foam degradation. Stick to gentler cleaning methods.

Is it safe to machine wash the polyurethane foam cushion covers?

Before machine washing any covers, check the care label. Some covers are machine washable, while others might shrink or lose color. When in doubt, hand wash or dry clean.

Are there any natural cleaning alternatives for polyurethane foam?

Apart from baking soda, white vinegar mixed with water can serve as a gentle cleaning agent for spot cleaning. Always remember to do a patch test before using it extensively.


Keeping your polyurethane foam cushions clean is essential for longevity and overall aesthetic appeal. Whether it’s a simple vacuuming, a deeper clean, or an odor-fighting baking soda treatment, there’s a method to address your cushion’s needs. Remember to steer clear of harsh chemicals and always test any cleaning solutions on a hidden spot first.