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How to Clean and Maintain Your Bean Bag Using a Washing Machine

Maintaining the cleanliness and freshness of your bean bag is essential for ultimate relaxation. But how do you go about properly cleaning and maintaining it? In this article, we will guide you through step-by-step instructions on how to effectively clean and maintain your bean bag. 

We understand that maintaining a clean and fresh bean bag can be challenging, especially with daily use and potential spills. However, with our tried-and-tested methods, you can confidently tackle dirt, stains, and odors, ensuring that your bean bag remains a welcoming spot for relaxation and leisure.

Why proper cleaning and maintenance is important for bean bags

Bean bags are versatile and comfortable seating options that can easily accumulate dirt, stains, and unpleasant odors over time. Regular cleaning and maintenance not only ensure a hygienic seating experience but also help prolong the lifespan of your bean bag.

When left uncleaned, dirt and dust particles can embed themselves into the fabric, making it look dull and worn out. Stains, whether from spilled drinks or food, can leave unsightly marks that are difficult to remove. Additionally, unattended spills can lead to unpleasant odors, making your bean bag less inviting.

By properly cleaning and maintaining your bean bag, you can restore its appearance, remove stubborn stains, and eliminate any lingering odors, providing you with a clean and fresh seating option for your relaxation needs.

Understanding the material of your bean bag

Before diving into the cleaning process, it's crucial to understand the material your bean bag is made of. Bean bags come in various materials such as cotton, polyester, nylon, leather and microfiber, each requiring different cleaning methods.

Check the manufacturer's instructions or the tag attached to your bean bag to identify the material. This information will help you determine the appropriate cleaning products and techniques to use, ensuring that you don't accidentally damage the fabric.

Note that some bean bags are made of materials that can’t be washed in the machine. They would require an alternative method such as dry cleaning. Again, it’s absolutely essential that you consult the manufacturer's instructions. For the purposes of this article we are assuming the material is washable. 

Preparing your bean bag for washing

Once you've identified the material, it's time to prepare your bean bag for washing. Start by removing the insert and any other accessories that may be attached to the bean bag cover. These should be cleaned separately, following the manufacturer's instructions.

Monkey Mind bean bags for example are designed in a way that makes washing easier. Our bean bags consist of two covers: the handwoven cotton fabric outer cover and the inner cover that holds the filling. You can easily take off the outer cover and pop it in the washing machine.

If there’s a significant amount of dirt visible at the surface of the bean bag cover, you can give the bean bag a thorough vacuuming to remove the loose dirt and debris. Use a handheld vacuum or the brush attachment of your regular vacuum cleaner to gently clean the surface and crevices of the bean bag. 

Step-by-step guide

Now that your bean bag cover is prepped, it's time to clean it using a washing machine. Follow these step-by-step instructions for the best results:

  1. Check the manufacturer's instructions: as we mentioned above, some bean bags may not be suitable for machine washing. If the instructions advise against it, consider alternative cleaning methods.
  2. Use a gentle cycle: Set your washing machine to a gentle cycle with cold water. High temperatures can damage certain materials, so it's crucial to use cold water to prevent shrinking or color fading. For Monkey Mind bean bags we recommend using water below 100F.
  3. Use a mild detergent: Add a small amount of mild detergent to the washing machine. Harsh chemicals or bleach can be too abrasive for bean bag fabric, so opt for a gentle detergent that is suitable for the material. We recommend using natural detergent for our bean bags. 
  4. Load the bean bag: Place the bean bag into the washing machine, ensuring that it has enough space to move freely. Avoid overloading the machine, as it can lead to uneven cleaning and potential damage to the bean bag.
  5. Start the washing cycle: Once everything is in place, start the washing cycle. 

Drying your bean bag after washing

Proper drying is essential to prevent mold and mildew growth on your bean bag. We recommend air drying in indirect sunlight.

Note that some bean bags may not be safely tumble dried depending on the material they are made of. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions before machine drying. Monkey Mind bean bags can be tumble dried; we recommend using a low temperature. 

Spot cleaning for small stains and spills

While machine washing is suitable for overall cleaning, spot cleaning is the go-to method for dealing with small stains and spills. Here's how to effectively spot clean your bean bag:

  1. Blot the stain: For liquid spills, immediately blot the area with a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Avoid rubbing, as it can spread the stain further.
  2. Prepare a cleaning solution: Mix a small amount of mild (preferably natural) detergent with cold water to create a cleaning solution. The ratio of detergent to water should be mild to avoid leaving any residue on the fabric.
  3. Test on a hidden area: Before applying the cleaning solution to the stained area, test it on a hidden or inconspicuous part of the bean bag to ensure it doesn't cause any discoloration or damage.
  4. Gently clean the stain: Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution and gently dab the stained area. Avoid scrubbing vigorously, as it can damage the fabric. Continue blotting until the stain is removed or lightened.
  5. Rinse and dry: After the stain is cleaned, rinse the area with cold water to remove any remaining detergent. Blot the area with a clean cloth to dry it thoroughly.

Regular maintenance tips for your bean bag

To keep your bean bag looking and feeling fresh, incorporate these regular maintenance tips into your cleaning routine:

  1. Vacuum regularly: Use a handheld vacuum or the brush attachment of your regular vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt and debris from the surface and crevices of your bean bag.
  2. Rotate and fluff: Regularly rotate and fluff your bean bag to prevent uneven wear and maintain its shape. This step distributes the filling evenly and prevents it from settling in one area.
  3. Avoid direct sunlight: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can fade the colors and weaken the fabric of your bean bag. Keep it away from windows or use curtains or blinds to protect it from harsh sunlight. However note that some bean bags may be weather-proof; always follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
  4. Store properly: If you need to store your bean bag for an extended period, ensure it is clean and completely dry before doing so. Store it in a cool, dry place away from pests and moisture.

Common mistakes to avoid when washing a bean bag

While cleaning your bean bag, it's essential to avoid these common mistakes to prevent damage and preserve its quality:

  1. Using excessively hot water: Hot water can cause shrinking, fading, and damage to certain materials. Stick to cold water for machine washing to maintain the longevity of your bean bag.
  2. Overloading the washing machine: Overloading the washing machine can lead to inadequate cleaning and potential damage to your bean bag. Follow the manufacturer's instructions regarding the appropriate load size.
  3. Using harsh chemicals or bleach: Harsh chemicals and bleach can be too abrasive for bean bag fabric, leading to discoloration or weakening of the material. Stick to mild or natural detergents specifically recommended for the fabric.
  4. Skipping the drying process: Proper drying is crucial to prevent mold and mildew growth. 

Alternative methods for cleaning bean bags

Although using a washing machine is a convenient and effective method for cleaning bean bags, it may not be suitable for all materials. Here are some alternative methods to consider:

  1. Handwashing: For delicate materials or bean bags that cannot be machine washed, handwashing is a gentle and effective option. Fill a bathtub or large container with cold water and mild detergent, and gently agitate the bean bag. Rinse thoroughly and air dry as mentioned earlier.
  2. Professional cleaning: If you're unsure about cleaning your bean bag yourself or if it requires specialized care, consider taking it to a professional cleaner. They have the expertise and equipment to handle various materials and stains effectively.
  3. Spot cleaning products: There are numerous spot cleaning products available in the market specifically designed for different types of stains and fabrics. Follow the instructions on the product carefully and test it on a hidden area before using it on the entire bean bag.