Bring your couch back to life after lockdown lounging

Reviving a saggy, musty sofa is easier than you think

: There are quick and easy ways to revive sagging backs, limp seats, musty odours and lacklustre fabrics.

Our couches have been heavily relied upon during the lockdowns of the past two years. As a result, they may be looking a little past their best. Fear not! There are quick and easy ways to revive sagging backs, limp seats, musty odours and lacklustre fabrics.

The first step on a couch overhaul is to clean and deodorise. I always begin with a vacuum down of the entire couch, making sure I use the upholstery attachment. This will release the worst trapped outdoors, dust, skin particles (I know) dirt etc. Don’t forget the back and bottom too. Next, you’ll have some staining or marks on the most worn places. Before you go in with a cleaner, you need to be aware of the type of fabric you are dealing with to avoid watermarks, dyes running, fibres wearing or the fabric shrinking. Thankfully you don’t need to be a fabric expert to tell as couches have care labels, just like clothes, to tell you how to treat them well. This is usually on a seam that sits underneath the seat cushions, at the back. On this label you’ll see one of the following

S - solvents only

Water - water is fine here


WS - both of the above

X - You cannot get this fabric wet at all

Now you know what you can use, you can set about removing stains and marks. Strip the cushions so you can work freely on a large table and avoid soaking the filling.

While your covers dry it’s time to deodourise - you’ll need a night for this. Simply sprinkle the goddess that is bicarbonate of soda over the cushion inners and base of the sofa and leave over night. If you have pets, you can also do the arms. When you hoover her off in the morning she’ll be taking the odours with her and leaving your sofa odour free.

Now it’s time for the real SHEiy. Sagging cushions. If feather, you’ll be able to massage and shake them back to their original shape. However, most couches now have a synthetic filling which will reduce by around 30 per cent in the first two years. These often becoming lumpy and stiff in areas. Many people will replace the entire inner, but not in this haus. We will make good in a few simple steps.

Most cushion inners will not have a zip to let you access the filling, so you’ll need to neatly unpick the stitches along the shortest side (less sewing later!) to be able to get your hand inside and work the magic. Starting in the top corner, start to pull apart the filling to remove clumps and open the filling back up to its original fluffy state. You’ll see it start to increase in size and softness. As you go, start to push the filling up and out so it is even and filling the top corners again as it should.

If you have extremely limp cushions that have been saggy for a long time, or you love the overstuffed look, you could benefit from some additional filler. This is inexpensive and available from large home stores and online. Just work into the original filling to revive the cushions to their former glory and look like a feather-filled queen.

Once plumped and primed, you can hand sew the seam back up and pop the cover back on. To keep her in her glorious state, vacuum weekly, massage regularly and where you can, rotate your cushions to avoid sagging. C’est bon!