How to Clean & Wash a Bean Bag?

Cleaning and washing a bean bag yourself is a must-have skill if you own a bean bag. Proper cleaning and washing processes will increase the lifetime of a bean bag drastically.

Most of us clean our houses regularly but cleaning furniture has become a nightmare that we are familiar with. Thankfully, bean bags are not a part of that nightmare if you know what you are doing as they have evolved into a user-friendly product throughout these long years they spend serving us.

With this article, I will help you be one of those who knows what they are doing when cleaning your bean bag chair or bed.

How to clean and wash bean bag chairs

Table of Contents

Nine Steps to Clean and Wash a Bean Bag

You might have bought your bean bag to keep in the living room and chill on it with a hot cup of coffee in your hand, or you might have bought it for your kids to play and relax on it. 

Maybe it is for your pup or kitten, or maybe it is for you to spend long office hours in your home office without any back or neck pains.

No matter the reason you bought it, for whom it is given, or where it is at, it is a must that you clean it at least once a few months, and you know how to do it by yourself. 

Let me walk you through nine steps that will help you to clean your bean bag thoroughly and make it like new.

1. Read the Tags

One of the most or perhaps the most important thing you should do before starting to clean your bean bags is reading the tags which came with it. 

This tag is not just a marketing tool that is sewn into the bean bag. 

It is where you find information starting from the temperature of the water you should use to clean it to the drying methods best suit the bags.

Without the help of this tag, you might shrink, ruin colors or even rip your bean bag, and only with this information will you be able to do what needs to be done the correct way.

Some of the fabrics shouldn’t be in the washing machine, and some materials react to different levels of heat in different manners, and the only way you would know this is through the contents of the tags.

Not all bean bags are the same, and not all of them are made from the same materials. 

It would be best if you read the tag mainly because it will help you carry out the instructions follows this to suit your bean bag and that in return will make your bean bag last for a long time while giving you less trouble with the time pass.

2. Unzip the Bean Bag

Most bean bags come with zippers without handles these days, and they are a blessing if you are with kids or domestic animals in your house.

These safety childproof zippers keep dangerous materials inside the bean bag, which would otherwise be choking hazards that would seriously harm those little ones and loving pets. 

But these no-handle zippers would be a challenge for you when you want to unzip the bean bag to clean it. So let me help you to unzip the bean bag within few steps.

First, find a paper clip or a similar thing that would help you open that zipper with no handle. You could also use a corn cob holder, and it will be as good as a paper clip.

Now carefully insert the paper clip you found or the corn cob holder of yours into the hole in the zipper where you would find a handle of the zipper if it had been there.

You would be able to move the zipper by now.

Pull the zipper up and down a bit and see whether you could move it freely without much effort. Now you are ready to remove the cover of your bean bag to clean it.

how to open a bean bag zipper

Keep these points in mind when you are unlocking the zipper of your bean bag.

Do not try to force the paper clip or corn cob holder through the hole of the zipper. Instead, find a smaller paper clip and use it as a handle.

Do not use any lubricants on the zipper hole to make it easier for the paper clip to slide in.

Ensure that you have inserted the paper clip through the right side of the zipper hole, as the zipper won’t unlock itself if you haven’t put it from the right side.

The above steps allow you to unlock the bean bag zipper and unzip the bag when you need to clean it or refill it.

Always remember to remove the paperclip from the zipper after you are done. 

Always keep in mind that the suffocation and inhalation of the polystyrene petals in these bags are a serious risk that could even be fatal for children, pets, and yourself. 

Read our full guide on opening a safety zippers in bean bags.

3. Remove Outer Cover

You can’t remove the outer cover of every type of bean bag. Some bean bags are completely sealed. For example, bean bags with natural fillers like beans or rice are sealed in this way.

This fact is one reason you should read the tag that comes with the bean bag, as it will tell you if your bean bag’s cover should be removed and cleaned.

Removing the cover would not be a big mess if you take your time and work through it carefully. However, there will always be a spillage of beans, and you can’t get around it. 

It is always better not to do this in your living room because of this. You better create a workspace for this beforehand.

It is good to choose a tiled floor for your workspace as it will help you clean after you completed your task.

You should also clean the floor before you start your work and try to find a place with minimum to no furniture around.

Your work will be much easier if your bean bag is with an inner liner, and this is something you should look for when you’re shopping for your bean bag.

4. Remove Visible Stain

Stains are a common sight on bean bags if your kids or your pets use them regularly.

Removing these stains is much easier if you could start the cleaning process when you get the stain on your bean bag and don’t even have to take the cover out to do that. 

The first thing you should do is wiping out the spill using dry doweling. But this wiping will still leave a stain on your bean bag, and you should clean it by using washing soap. 

Pour some of it on the stain directly and leave it for half an hour. Then you can use a clean rag and cold water to scrab the area of the stain.

The process is almost the same even if you did it as a part of your cleaning routine, and the cover would even be easier to handle as it is removed from the bag.

Use a stain remover and a cloth and rub it away with cold water.

5. Soak the Cover

You could soak the cover in water with stain removers after removing such visible stain to clean it better.

However, you should be careful to clean the surface of the bean bag cover before soaking it in water to remove any dirt that might be on it. 

You can do this by using a piece of cloth and some liquid detergent. Put the liquid detergent in your cloth and wipe the surface of the bean bag cover to do it.

Now you can soak the cover of your bean bag in water mixed with stain removers for five to ten minutes.

You could also rub out any other stains still visible on the bean bag cover by rubbing them in a circular motion while still in the water.

Do not keep it in the water for any more than ten minutes since it could harm your bean bag.

Take a note not to use anything such as brushes with stiff fiber to rub off the stains of your bean bag covers as they could harm the surface of your bean bag cover, and it would be near impossible to repair it mimicking the way it originally was.

6. Wash your Bean Bag

You can either wash your bean bag cover using a washing machine or wash it with your hand.

But check the information that comes with the bean bag to know whether it is washing machine friendly. 

If you choose to wash it through a washing machine, you may use a bit of detergent but never use liquid fabric softeners. Instead, you may wash it on the delicate cycle.

7. Air-dry the Bean Bag Cover

You should not use a tumble dryer to dry your bean bag unless your bean bag tag says you could do that.

It is always better to air dry your bean bag cover to prevent it from being ruined or a fire hazard that could harm you and your household items. 

Air drying is the safest and also the most natural option you have to dry your bean bag, yet it is not a fast way to dry your bean bag cover. You should be patient and let it dry till it is thoroughly dried since there is no way to rush it. 

You can dry your bean bag cover outside, and it will get dry much quicker if it is exposed to the fresh and natural air.

8. Reassemble the Bean Bag

You are almost at the end of our guide to clean your ban bag cover. All the cleaning and washing steps related to your bean bag cleaning process are over, and it’s time to reassemble the bean bag. 

However, make sure that all the materials are well dried, or they will ruin your bean bag and its functions.

Next, pour the beans into the bag or put the inner bag into the outer cover. Now zip the cover, and you are almost done.

Remember to remove the paper clip or the corn cob holder you used to open or close the cover from the zipper before you put your bean bag away.

This step prevents your kids or pets from accidentally opening the bean bag cover and exposing themselves to the hazardous materials inside the bean bag. 

It is crucial that you remember this as the materials inside the bean bag could be fatal, as mentioned earlier in this article.

Read our bean bag refill DIY guide so you can do this step properly.

9. Clean up Bean Bag Beans

refill beanbag

Now you are at the final step of our process, and this would be either the most challenging or the most straightforward task you have had so far.

But, of course, it all depends on whether you followed the instruction above carefully, especially when preparing a small workspace to unzip your bean bag cover.

No matter how hard you try, you can’t stop the small bean bag beans from getting out of the cover and finding themselves in the most unthinkable places on your floor if you take them out from the bean bag.

You could easily collect these small bean bag beans by a vacuum if you had created an enclosed and empty work environment on a tiled floor.

The vacuum cleaner is the best choice to collect these beans even if you hadn’t created the earlier said and important to have a workspace.

You should also be careful when you dispose of these beans as they could be hazardous, as mentioned in the above steps. 

Different Cleaning Approaches for Different Materials

Easiest to clean: Bean bag chairs with cotton or cloth covers.

You will need a few things to clean your cloth bean bag chair. Collect a large container that suits to keep the beans inside, an appropriate laundry detergent (bleaching-free), some soft cloths, and a capable stain remover. 

Once you are ready with all the necessaries, you can unzip the cover of the bean bag carefully. Then, collect all the beans to the large container you got and keep it safe. 

Now you can start cleaning the cover by dusting it. Dust the cover well to remove visible dirt or hair on it. If dusting is not sufficient, you can use your vacuum cleaner to remove dirt. 

Once you complete soft cleaning, it is better to check the entire surface of the bag.

If there are any small damages, make sure you repair it before you start washing. Otherwise, you will end up with big holes!

Then you can apply some stain remover that works for your bean bag cover to eliminate all the stains on the surface.

After you finish cleaning, put your bean bag cover to the washing machine, as instructed in the bean bag cover.

Hey, what are you thinking? Have you lost the instructions? Then it’s better to set your washing machine to a mild wash with bleach-free laundry detergent in cold water for a safe wash. 

Once you finish washing, make sure your cover is free of soap. Otherwise, you can clean it again to rinse all the detergent from the surface. Now you can let the bean bag cover dry adequately. 

Finally, you can fill the beans back to your cleaned cover. Now your bean bag chair is ready to use. 

Cleaning a Vinyl Cover Bean Bag

You can use a container to keep the beans, appropriate laundry detergent, some soft cloths, a soft-bristled toothbrush, suitable stain remover, and a pale of warm water for cleaning. 

First, carefully remove the beans in the sack into the container—flat the cover on the floor or a table. Then you can prepare the solution for cleaning using warm water and detergent.

Using a soft cloth, clean the surface gently to remove all dirt. 

If there are any stains, you can use some stain remover on it using your soft-bristled toothbrush. Once you clean all the dirt and stains, you can rinse the cover with water using a cloth. 

After cleaning the entire surface, let the cover dry thoroughly. Now you can fill the beans back to the sack and feel the comfort of your bean bag chair.

Bean Bag with a Suede Cover

To deep clean a Suede bean bag cover, you may need a brush, suede eraser, or a small towel (terry fabric), and a metal brush. 

If there are any stains and dirt on the cover, you can use a moistened towel or the suede eraser to remove it. 

To last the texture of the cover long, you can brush the surface in a circular motion with the metal brush.

Bean Bag Chair with a Plush Cover

For plush covers, you may need a cloth and a hairbrush (Better a plastic bristle one) to clean. 

First, take the fabric and moist it. Then rub on the stains on the cover carefully.

Then you can wipe and dust the entire surface to remove dirt. If it is not sufficient, then you can use a vacuum cleaner too for better results. 

Finally, you can brush the cover using the hairbrush for a smooth, elegant look. 

Bean Bag Chair Cover is of Velour or Velvet

Collect a piece of fabric and some mild liquid detergent. Moist your cloth and wipe the entire surface to remove dirt.

Then soak the cloth with liquid detergent and rub on the stain in a circular motion. 

Once you clean all the stain and dirt, you can air-dry the cover. 

Bean Bag Chairs Finished using Leather

If you want to last long the shiny leather look of your bean bag, clean it as often as you can. Dust the surface of the bean bag cover daily with a dry towel, and you can use a moist towel on the surface once a fortnight. 

If there are any stains, you can apply some mild liquid detergent into a towel and rub carefully on stains.

For a more shiny, elegant look, you can use a leather conditioner tri-annually. 

Posh Bean Bag Chair
If you want to know how to Sanitize a Bean Bag properly, please read our guide on how to sanitize a bean bag here.

Maintenance Tips for Bean Bags

Clean the stains immediately

It would be best if you cleaned anything which gets spilled on your bean bag immediately, as the longer you keep it on, the harder it will be to remove it from the bean bag cover. 

The first thing you must do is wipe away any of the spilled liquid or material still on the bean bag, and you can use an absorbing material to soak up the spill, which would be much more effective than wiping it away could spread it much further.

There will still be a stain where the spill was, and you can use some washing-up soap and cold water to remove that. Then, add the washing soap directly into the stain.

You can also use stain removers, and they would work much better than any soap you can find. 

However, make sure not to use a stain remover that contains strong bleaches, as that might wash away the colors of your bean bag cover. You could always ask about that from the seller before buying the stain remover to be sure of it.

You have to let it sit on the stain for at least half an hour.

Now you can wash away the soap or stain remover with the stain under it. Always remember to use cold water in this process, as hot water could set the stain and make it even harder to remove.

So, dampen a clean piece of cloth in cold water and use it to wash away the soap or the stain remover.

You could also scrub the area if the stain is still there after you washed the soap thoroughly. 

Ensure not to use brushes with stiff fiber to scrub the bean bag cover as they could harm the cover. You should also remember to use cold water in this part of the process too.

Now you can let it dry and use it after it is thoroughly dried.

Vacuum the Bean Bag Weekly

You can keep your bean bag fresh by cleaning it at least once a week. This step is essential if you are with children or pets as they would no doubly bring dust and such other filth into your house and onto your bean bag.

It’s not just dust from outside but also tiny particles of food which they would enjoy while sitting and relaxing on the bean bag.

You could deal with these situations in two ways, and the best way among them is vacuuming the bean bag at least once a week.

You might even have to do this more frequently depending on the place you keep the bean bag as well as who sits on it.

You could also use a microfiber cloth to dust the bean bag, but it won’t be as effective as cleaning it using a vacuum cleaner.

Whatever the way you choose, keep doing it regularly with a minimum duration of once a week. Also, be careful not to harm the cover of the bean bag while you are cleaning it.

Remove Odor of Bean Bag Chairs

Removing odor from bean bags

Due to many reasons, your bean bag chair can give a bad smell. Handling this odor issue differs from the severity and the cause of the odor. 

If you have a mild odor, you can try this simple way. Collect all the beans of the bean bag chair to a basket carefully and keep it in contact with air for a few days.

Once the odor is gone, you can collect the beans back to the bag and use it. 

If this doesn’t work, you can use baking soda for your beans. Sprinkle beans of the bag with baking soda and shake it in a bin. Make sure you don’t transfer baking soda back to the cover when you fill it again.

Another way to remove the odor is sachets of odor absorbing materials. If none of these works for you, you can think of replacing the beans.

Especially when the smell is due to pet urine, it is hard to remove from the beans. Better, go for a new bean bag chair. 

Cleaning Outdoor Bean Bags

comfortable bean bag

Are you interested in having an outdoor bean bag chair? Or are you already having one? Then these tips will be helpful for you to keep your bean bag chair clean and long-lasting.

Firstly:  Do remember not to keep your bean bag chair outside directly exposing to the sun. In other words, keep your bean bag chair in a sheltered place. It will help your bean bag color to last longer without fading. 

Secondly: Keep your bean bag chair in a dry place, which is very important for the beans inside your bean bag chair. Wet beans will cause unpleasant odor and also matters for the quality of the chair. 

In case of sudden rain or by accidentally gets wet, clean the chair as soon as possible. 

There is a large variety of bean bags available: Bean bag covers with UV protection, waterproof, dirt-repellent, in various colors and shapes, and lot more.

You can think of these options if you are planning to invest in a new bean bag chair for outdoor use. Spending on such a bean bag chair, which suits your budget, will always be a wise investment. 

Key Points on Cleaning & Washing

  • Whether you use the bean bag chair outdoors or indoors, keep your chair in a dry place. The dryness of the space is essential to maintain the quality of the beans of your bean bag chair. 
  • Never postpone cleaning your bean bag chair. Let’s say you spill some food on the cover by mistake. Clean it immediately. It will protect your bean bag from permanent stains.
  • Never use detergents, which include bleaching chemicals. It is very harmful to the cover of the bean bag chair despite the material used to make the cover.
  • Never use a tumble dryer to dry your bean bag chair cover. 
  • Never iron the cover.
  • Avoid sweat. Don’t sit in the bean bag chair with sweat. If you need to rest when you are sweaty, use a towel on the chair cover. 
  • It is crucial to keep your bean bag chair away from pets. Scratches or their urine may cause you to put your loving bean bag chair to trash. You can get a special pet bean bag chair for them.

Are there lice in the bean bag cover?

At first, you can vacuum your bean bag chair. Then you can apply a few drops of tea tree oil to warm water and spray it to the cover.

You can use a spray bottle for that and make sure you do it without soaking the cover.

Then cover the chair with a plastic bag or an appropriate case and leave it for a few days. It will remove lice and will give a fresh smell for your chair.

How do you Clean Bean Bags without Removing Beans?

You can clean a bean bag without removing its beans or even taking its cover out. But you should understand that this process won’t be as effective as cleaning it by taking the cover out. 

You can vacuum your bean bag to remove any dust or food particles on it, and this is something you should do at least once a week, as mentioned above in the article.

You could also dust it with a microfiber cloth once a week, but it won’t as effective as vacuum cleaning the bean bag. 

But you should not do either of them in the case of having a spill on your bean bag. You should first soak the spill with a clean cloth and remove it from the bean bag cover in such a case. You should not move the bean bag if it is with such a spill as that would make the spill spread more. 

You can apply stain removers n stains on the bean bag cover and rub those stains away with cold water after leaving the stain removers on them for at least half an hour.

You could also use soap solutions instead of stain removers.

However, you should be careful not to let water leak into the bean bag while you are cleaning it without removing the cover.

You should also select your stain removers carefully as some tend to remove the colors on the fabric while removing the stain on it.

how to clean microsuede Furniture

Can you wash a Bean Bag in the Washing Machine?

You can wash a bean bag in the washing machine in most cases, but you should always check the instructions that come with your bean bag before you attempt to do such a thing as your bean bag might not be washing machine friendly though happening that is rare. 

You would have to hand wash your bean bag if it is not washing machine-friendly. So, this is something you should look into when you go shopping for your new bean bag.

Never put your whole bean bag in the washing machine as that is with the protentional of damaging your bean bag as well as your washing machine.

Instead, always remove the cover and wash that cover in the washing machine.

You should also never use fabric softeners when you wash your bean bag cover, which would also harm the cover fabric.

You can use a bit of liquid detergent if you wish, and always make sure to use the delicate cycle to wash it. 

It is also better if you soak the cover in water for five to ten minutes before you put it into the washing machine, and you are advised to wipe away any spills, or such things are on the bean bag before you put it into the washing machine.

Are Polystyrene Beads Washable?

Well, you can clean the polystyrene beads of a bean bag. But the type of cleaning that is done to these polystyrene beads does not qualify as a washing.

Of course, you could wash a bean bag full of polystyrene beads while the beads are still there, but you don’t take them out to wash because it is challenging to manage the number of beans in one bean bag.

However, you can spray an antibacterial spray on these polystyrene beads to make sure they are clean. You could even create an antibacterial cleaner at home.

To create this antibacterial cleaner:

  1. Mix 3 cups of water with half a cup of white vinegar.
  2. Add 10 to 15 drops of lavender to it, and you will be ready to put them in your antibacterial spray bottle.
  3. Remember to shake and mix it well before using.

But I think it’s always better to replace the beans in the bag rather than cleaning it if you think there’s something mixed with them.

Polystyrene beans are both comparatively cheaper, and you can order them easily from the same company which sold you the bean bag to get a high-quality product. But always make sure to recycle the beans properly.

How to Wash a Bean Bag Cover?

The first thing to do before washing your bean bag cover or even removing it from the bean bag is to read the instructions that come with your bean bag as they will tell you everything you need to know, from where to find the zipper of the cover to the needed level of heat of the water.

Then you will have to use a paper clip to unlock the zipper and open it to remove the cover.

It’s always better to remove any visible stains on the bean bag cover first, and you could use a stain remover and a clean piece of cloth to do it.

You should soak the cover in water mixed with stain removers for around 5 to 10 minutes.

Then you can wash it by hand or using a washing matching as you wish. But make sure to check whether your bean bag is a washing machine-friendly one or not.

You should also keep in mind not to use any fabric softeners when you wash your bean bag cover.

However, you could use a bit of liquid detergent if you wish. Now all you have to do is air-drying the bean bag cover but make sure it is thoroughly dried before you try and resemble it.

best bean bag chair

Are Bean Bags and their Filling Washable?

You can wash the bean bag and beans filling as a whole, or you can remove the cover of the bean bag chair and wash it separately.

However, it is much more suitable to wash the bean bag separately if possible, as it is more effective than washing it with the beans inside it. 

But keep in mind that there are some bean bags which you can’t remove the cover at all too.

You could either hand wash or use a washing machine to wash your bean bag cover, but you must read the instructions that come with the bean bag before doing that as some bean bags are not washing marching friendly. 

However, while washing the bean bag chair is the most effective way, it is not the only way to clean a bean bag chair. You could also vacuum a bean bag chair or dust it with a microfiber cloth to remove any dust, food partials, or such that might be on it. 

Infect, you should vacuum or dust your bean bag at least once a week and wash it at least once a month to make it both healthy and refreshing.


The strategy to clean the bean bag chair differs from the materials used for the cover. You can clean your bean bag chair accordingly. Apart from that, 

  • If there are any damages in the cover, repair those before you wash it. 
  • If you use a washing machine, follow the instructions given in the bean bag chair label. Otherwise, mild wash in cold water. 
  • Never use bleaching products to clean your bean bag cover. 
  • Do not use irons or tumble dryers on bean bag covers.
  • Keep your bean bag dry always and away from pets. 

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