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How to dismantle a sofa for disposal

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Lottie Leggett
Flat pack sofas

Whether you’re moving house, or have recently decorated, there comes a time when you need to get rid of your old sofa to make way for a new one. But rather than leaving it on Facebook Marketplace for months, or tying it to the roof of the car and hoping you make it to the tip, there are plenty of other ways to dispose of your old sofa that are much easier, and better, for everyone. 

Disposing of your old sofa

There are several ways to get rid of an old sofa. The first is to hire a skip, dismantle the framework and dispose of it. The second, is to use an old sofa removal service, while the third is to consider donating the piece to charity. 

Hiring a skip is an affordable option for anyone doing large home renovations or a big clear out. They’re a great way to dispose of masses of waste all at once. If you use a reputable skip hire company, they’ll also make sure any collected items are disposed of responsibly - rather than ending up in landfill.

Whether you’re about to move house, or have just bought a new sofa, old sofa removal services take the hassle out of the whole process for you. If you’ve bought a new Swyft sofa, for example, you can take advantage of our partnership with Clearabee. Even if you’re still waiting for yours to be delivered. Simply head to their side and upload your customer receipt from your Swyft order to access their removal services. 

With Clearabee, your sofa will be collected and responsibly disposed of. To prove it, you’ll even receive a Waste Transfer Notice that’ll show you just how much of your old sofa has been reused or recycled, rather than going into landfill. 

Alternatively, you can donate your old furniture to someone more in need. As the old saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Just because you’re no longer using your sofa, doesn’t mean it’s not still got life left in it. Donating your sofa to charity could be a total lifeline for someone looking to make their home a little more relaxing on a small budget. 

For more information, check out this article: How and why to donate a sofa to charity.

How to dismantle the sofa

Although you don’t necessarily need to dismantle your sofa for Clearabee to collect, it may help you to get the sofa out of the lounge or house when needed. Other sofa recycling services may expect you to separate as many of the individual materials used, to make it easier for them to collect.

You might also find that there are parts of your old sofa that you actually like and want to use yourself. 

Whatever the reason for needing to dismantle your sofa, you can follow the simple instructions below to help. 

Remove the cushions

Of course, the first, and easiest bit of the disassembly is the cushions. These can be quickly thrown off to expose the frame and upholstery. If the cushions are built in, don’t try to remove these just yet; just take off the ones that can be removed freely. 

If you’re looking to donate your old sofa, it’s a good idea to give any removables a good wash or steam beforehand. Alternatively, you might want to keep the cushions as additional seating if they work with your decor. Store them behind closed doors if you’re not keen on their pattern, and whip them out when the kids have their friends over. 

Tear out the upholstery

Next, you’ll need to remove the upholstery. This consists of the fabric and foam padding on the frame. Most sofa padding and fabric will be kept in place with industrial staples, so you’ll need a staple puller or knife to help you pull them out. 

If you don’t want to keep the foam or fabric, you could also use this as an opportunity to test your strength and simply try to rip it all off instead!

Reusing sofa fabric

For those that love a craft project, you can remove each staple separately so that the sofa fabric can be reused. It may be perfect for creating a few cushions to sell, to make shopping bags or even to reupholster an armchair. 

Animal shelters may also be interested in your old upholstery foam. This can be great padding for new arrivals. Look at local shelter Facebook pages to see what sorts of supplies they’re looking for. 

How to remove the legs from your sofa

Once you’ve removed the upholstery, the next step is to remove the legs. The best way to do this is to turn the sofa on its side, or completely upside down. 

A lot of sofas will have easy-to-detach legs as it can often help people get the piece through narrow door frames or corridors. You can usually just twist off the legs until the end screw is out. Alternatively, if the legs are screwed into place with external screws, use a screwdriver to remove them. 

Disassemble the frame

The frame is the trickiest part to dismantle. If you’re using a removal service, they are more than likely able to take the frame in a single piece. However, if you’re struggling to get it out of the house, you’re using a small skip or looking to take it to a recycling plant yourself, you might find it easier to separate the frame. 

You might need a few different tools to get the job done, including a number of different headed screwdrivers and a handsaw. You’ll easily be able to identify what tool you’ll need from the heads of any visible screws. 

Once those have been removed, you may find cutting the frame with a handsaw helps to break down the sofa into more manageable pieces. 

Now that your old sofa is dismantled and ready for disposal, it’s time for the fun bit - investing in your new couch! If you’ve not already done so, browse the Swyft sofa range to find your perfect new seating space, and don’t forget to take full advantage of Clearabee’s responsible removal service.

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