Cushions make the perfect finishing touch for any sofa, bed or chair. We’re pretty demanding of them though – plumping them up, sitting on them and leaning on them, even when we’re enjoying snacks while watching TV.

This is why it’s important to make sure you take good care of your cushion covers. If they are well-made they should be tough enough to withstand everything that is asked of them. However it still pays to get into good cleaning habits with them from the beginning.

Firstly, it’s always best to buy cushions with removable covers. If they don’t have these covers they are virtually impossible to wash. You’re limited to spot-cleaning which isn’t always successful. If they have removable covers you can also replace the inner cushions if they become flat or misshapen.

Check the inside of the cushion cover for washing instructions. These should be included and adhered to in order to keep them in good condition. Turn them inside out before you wash them, and make sure you stick to the right temperature.

Of course you won’t need to wash them all the time. Sometimes all that will be required is a quick vacuum to get rid of any hair, dust or dirt that might be lingering. Get into the habit of plumping them up once you’ve done this too, to ward off the dreaded ‘flat cushion’ effect!

If you start cleaning new cushions regularly from the time you get them, they won’t get old or tired-looking long before their time. You’ll be able to prevent any dirt or dust from getting ground into the fabric. This will also keep them smelling great.

There’s another advantage of regularly vacuuming your cushions too. If you suffer from allergies or you own pets that get up on the sofa or bed (or wherever else you have your cushions) you’ll have pet hair and other allergens to think about. Regular vacuuming gets rid of all these if you use the appropriate attachment on your vacuum. Even better, if you have a vacuum designed to pick up pet hair you’ll find the task even easier.

Of course many of us don’t get the time to do these jobs as regularly as we would like. In this case, hiring a cleaner perhaps once or twice a month could make the world of difference to how good your cushions look for the long term.