OK, so the couch is essential. It’s where you sleep when your bed feels like it’s made of jagged rocks. It’s where you eat microwaved meals in front of the TV; it’s where you spend that precious time with your family or sitting alone reading a book; heck, sometimes it’s the only thing standing between you and a good night’s rest on the hardwood floor (and if that isn’t love I don’t know what is).
So, when something goes wrong with this versatile piece of furniture, it can be a bit frustrating, whether it just needs a minor repair or its legs have entirely given up on life. Fortunately for me, I was able to refurbish my couch by fixing broken springs and cleaning out a few dirty spots, and I’m going to share the process with you. So let’s get started!
Causes of Broken Couch Springs
By the time you’re noticing that the springs in your couch are broken, it’s probably been going on for a while. Here are a few likely causes of broken couch springs:
1. The springs themselves were made with low-quality material, like inferior steel or iron, so they were more prone to breakage
2. The springs weren’t properly insulated when they were installed, leading them to get damaged by bumps to the couch
3. The springs have been exposed to frequent moisture from spills and pets, causing them to rust or otherwise degrade
4. Your couch has taken a massive impact or fall that damaged the springs
How To Fix Broken Couch Springs? 8 Easy to Follow Steps
STEP 1: Removing broken springs (and deciding if it can save the sofa)
First things first, remove all of the cushions or other removable parts from your couch. It’ll be easier that way when it comes time to fix the springs.
All kidding aside, if your sofa is completely busted beyond repair, you might as well move. If it’s not, however, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
STEP 2: Moving your couch out of the way
When removing broken springs from couches, this is pretty much the most crucial step because if you don’t follow it correctly, you could damage other parts of yourself (seriously!). It’s also one of those things that seems simple but isn’t necessarily self-explanatory, so I’m going to go into detail here.
Move your couch out into the open, away from any walls or other pieces of furniture that could be damaged by falling springs. A good rule of thumb is to roll it out from its current resting spot so that there’s at least a half-foot between the couch and the wall. Moving on, don’t move your couch into an area where you can get trapped under it if something goes wrong (I’m looking at you, laundry room). During my adventures in spring repair, I’ve heard horror stories about couches falling downstairs and people getting caught under them; these situations are perilous and should be avoided at all costs.
*Note: If you do need to move your couch onto stairs (or any other inclined surface), make sure someone is holding up the back end of the couch while another person rolls it forward/backward.*
STEP 3: Removing old upholstery
Now that your couch is safely out of the way, it’s time to remove the old upholstery. This part isn’t difficult but can be awkward, so I recommend finding a helper for this step if you have one available.
STEP 4: Finding broken springs
OK, now you’ve moved your couch and are looking at some exposed springs with no idea where to start. Well, there are usually two or three underneath each cushion on most couches (for those of us who had more than one broken spring on our couches the first time around, imagine how many springs need a replacement!). Another thing that will help is knowing where to look: A good starting point is the spots where you can see visible signs of aging. This could be discoloration (and thus dirt), rusting, worn fabric, or even sagging cushions; whatever it is, make a mental note about where it is because this will help determine where the broken springs are located.
Once you know where to look, poke around under your couch cushions with something like a broom handle (or the wooden rod your upholstery came with) and feel for any uneven bumps.
*Note: If you’re having trouble finding them poking around with something pointy should work just fine once it’s in between two springs, but if that doesn’t work, try pushing down on the center of an unbroken spring until it bends enough to feel the broken one underneath.
Also Read: How to Fix a Squeaky Bed?
STEP 5: Removing rusty or stubborn springs
Well, I hate to say it, but you’re more than likely going to run into a few rusty springs on your couch at some point. These things can be such holes, and I’ve found that the best way to pull them out is NOT with pliers. What does work well for those nasty buggers? A pair of vice grips (also known as locking pliers) and a rubber mallet :
*Note: If you don’t have vice grips sitting around your house or if they aren’t big enough, you can use a regular set of pliers along with a metal hammer, but this will make things more complex, and you run the risk of damaging the springs. This should be your last option if possible!*
STEP 6: Putting new upholstery on
Hooray! You’ve removed all of your broken springs, and now it’s time to put on some new ones (and reattach the old fabric). First up is putting those loose springs back into place; take one side at a time and push them underneath the couch as far as they’ll go, then use pliers to bend each end as close as you can to where it originally was (this isn’t necessary but usually looks better). Now that everything is in place, bring your fabric back over to the front of the couch and staple it in place; this is where you want to be careful not to pull too tightly, or you’ll end up with all sorts of wrinkles that will make for an ugly finished product (believe me, I learned this the hard way). The best way to do this is by starting on one side and pulling just enough so that everything lines up nicely before stapling.
STEP 7: Attaching your cushions
Finally, it’s time to put your cushions back on! Before doing anything, thread the rod through the new fabric, then attach each cushion while keeping in mind that they need to be relatively even when looking at them from above (and remember: no wrinkles!). *Note: Before attaching your cushions, try sitting on the couch to make sure everything lines up correctly and that it’s comfortable*
And there you have it! Your broken couch is now fixed (if not better than before). Good luck with your future seating arrangements!
STEP 8: Finishing touches
Now all you need to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy your newly repaired couch. If anything feels off or if you can see any loose staples, don’t be afraid to go back in there and fix them; keep in mind that you want this project to look as professional as possible so take your time when doing these touchups. Now, doesn’t that feel nice?
Has your couch seen better days? It may be time for a new one, but if you’re not ready to part with your old friend just yet, it might be worth giving it a new life! With a little handy work and some inexpensive materials, you can replace those broken couch springs and get that old sofa looking like new again.