Chair pads are an easy and inexpensive way to add color and comfort to your dining room or kitchen. However, because they are often used around a dining table, food spills can be a problem. Luckily, they are usually easy to clean and may even be machine washable.
Manufacturer's Cleaning Instructions
Before you toss a chair pad in the washing machine, check its tag and read the manufacturer's care instructions. If the tag is still attached, it will most likely provide specific cleaning instructions.
Chair Pad Materials
If there are no instructions on the tag regarding cleaning, check the tag to see whether it lists the materials used to make the pad. If the pad is made of washable fabrics such as cotton, polyester or acrylic, it can probably be safely cleaned in a washing machine. However, it is wise to use cold water and the gentlest cycle available, and then hang to dry. If the pad is made of silk, linen, wool or rayon, or has some special treatment such as embroidery or cross-stitch, it is probably best to have the pad professionally dry cleaned.
Keep the Stuffing in Mind
If your chair pad is generously stuffed like a pillow, keep in mind that the agitation it is put through in the washer and dryer may cause the stuffing to shift, resulting in a pad with a lumpy, uneven shape. This can be prevented by either hand washing, spot cleaning or dry cleaning instead of machine washing. If it's too late and the pad is already lumpy, try using it (sitting on it) every day until the padding is equally redistributed. If your chair pad is stuffed with foam, hand washing is best.
Sandra Rousseau has been writing since 1990, covering such topics as home decorating, fashion, health, beauty, gardening and cooking. Her articles appear her hometown newspaper, the "Aledo Community News," and on various websites. Rousseau holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and advertising from the University of Texas at Arlington.