How to Clean a Bean Bag: Quick and Easy Steps

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This guy gets it (the joy of bean bags…that is)

If you’re a homebody and don’t own a bean bag, you’re totally missing out.

I know that sounds like an overly bold statement. But I firmly believe that a homebody can never have too many chilling spots.

Bean bags are the perfect in-between when a couch just isn’t cutting it, but you don’t quite want to lie in bed.

I also love it as a workstation when I need to be creative and want to avoid the overly serious feeling of a desk and an (ergonomic) swivel chair.

If you are a bean bag owner and religiously use it as I do, you probably notice that over time, they can accumulate dirt, stains, and odor from daily use. As much as I hate doing this, you need to clean it regularly to maintain that fresh, comfy feeling (and keep it durable for years to come).

You might have to use different methods and materials depending on what your bean bags are made of, and how much stain, dirt and dust you want to eliminate.

Let’s dig into what you need to do to clean your bean bags so you can stay comfortable and chilled for years to come.

Key Takeaway: The best way to clean your bean bags will vary depending on what it’s made out of. For materials like cotton, vinyl, olefin, faux fur/suede, and corduroy, water and soap/mild detergent should suffice. With materials like leather however, you may need a special soap.

What Are Bean Bags Made Out Of?

Bean bags come a variety of materials and price points, allowing you to choose based on your needs and decor preferences. Some common materials include cotton, corduroy, suede, velvet, leather, and vinyl. As for the fillings, you’ll typically find polystyrene beads or shredded memory foam.

Me every day

Each material comes with its own set of pros and cons in terms of price, comfort, and maintenance. If affordability if your primary concern, you’re probably looking at cotton and corduroy. If price isn’t too much of an issue for you, then you can also look at leather, suede, and velvet—which tend to be on the higher end of the price range.

As with anything, you often get what you pay for. For example, cheaper bean bags might not last as long as their higher-end counterparts.

Best Cleaning Method for Different Types of Bean Bags

Let’s move on to what you came to this article for, which is how to clean your bean bag.

Again, there are no hard and fast rules because it depends on the materials. Some materials require little more than soap and water, while other materials have a more…involved method.

In this section, we’ll outline the best cleaning techniques for various types of bean bags.

Vinyl, Cotton and Olefin

For vinyl and cotton bean bags, a simple surface clean should suffice. Add a mild detergent or soap to warm water and dip a clean cloth into the solution. Gently rub the surface using a circular motion to remove dirt and stains.


Cleaning velvet involves a mild dish soap, a vacuum with a soft-bristle attachment (or a fabric brush), a cleaning cloth, and of course, water. First, you’ll want to vacuum or brush off any lint or dirt that might be hanging around the surface. Then spot clean using a damp cloth. If water doesn’t cut it, include a water/dish soap mix and dab it gently over the velvet.

Faux Fur

Faux fur bean bag covers require a gentle approach. First, vacuum the fur with an upholstery attachment to remove dirt and debris. Use a mild detergent mixed with water and a clean cloth for spot cleaning. If you’re up for taking an extra step, comb it with a wide-tooth comb to keep it uber soft.


Leather bean bags need a bit of special care. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently remove dust and dirt from the surface. And if you want to deep clean, you’ll probably have to get a leather specific cleaner (typically known as ‘saddle soap‘). Follow the instructions on the product, and test a small patch to make sure that the product is compatible with your bean bag.

Faux Suede

You can clean faux suede bean bag covers with a soft-bristled brush, a toothbrush, or a slightly damp cloth with mild detergent. Avoid soaking or over-wetting the material because this can damage the delicate fibers.


For Corduroy bean bags, you can vacuum the covers with an upholstery attachment to remove dirt and debris. For spot cleaning, dampen a clean cloth with a mild detergent mixed with water and dab the stained area.

Leather bean bags might require specialty products.

What Not to Do

Now that you know what you need to do to clean your bean bags, let’s move on to what you shouldn’t do, because this is just as important as what you should do.

1. Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals or Cleaners

This could potentially damage the material and cause it to deteriorate over time. Stick to mild soap and water, or for more high-maintenance materials like leather, use a detergent specifically made to clean leather.

2. Avoid scrubbing too hard or using abrasive materials like steel wool or rough sponges

These can scratch the fabric and leave it looking worse than before. A gentle rub with a soft cloth or sponge is the best way to tackle stains and dirt.

3. Don’t Wet Your Bean Bags Cover Excessively

This can cause the filling to become damp. If your bean bag has a removable outer cover, you’ll want to remove it and clean it separately, following the washing instructions on the tag. Avoid submerging your bean bag in water if it doesn’t have a removable cover.

4. Don’t attempt to machine wash or machine dry your bean bag

Unless your bean bag says that it’s machine washable, ignoring these instructions could ruin your bean bag’s shape or cause the filling to melt or clump together.

5. Don’t leave your bean bag outside or expose it to direct sunlight for extended periods of time

Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause fading and may weaken the fabric, reducing the lifespan of your bean bag. After cleaning, allow your bean bag to air dry indoors or in a well-ventilated, shaded area.

Owning (and using) a bean bag is truly one of the great joys in a homebody’s life. And what better way to add to that than ensuring that you precious relaxation spot is always clean and comfortable to sit in?

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