Need to take apart a couch, but don’t know where to begin? If you’re throwing away a sofa, breaking it down first can save you the backbreaking work of hauling it to the curb in one piece. If you’ve rented a dumpster to dispose of your furniture, this can also help you save space inside the container for the rest of your items. Luckily, taking apart a couch to throw away isn’t as hard as it seems, and we’ll show you how it’s done in six easy steps.
How to Take Apart a Couch to Throw Away
Before diving in, make sure you have the right equipment to tackle your couch breakdown. Each sofa is different, but there are a few tools that will come in handy as you begin to take apart your couch – luckily, most can be found in any homeowner’s essential tool collection.
Tools Needed to Dismantle a Sofa:
- Allen wrench
- Box cutter
- Staple puller
- Hammer with a claw (for nail removal)
1. Set the Cushions Aside
The first step to taking apart a couch is to remove the cushions. If your sofa has loose cushions, set them aside for now. If your cushions are attached, leave them until you are ready to remove the upholstery.
2. Remove the Mattress (If Taking Apart a Sofa Bed)
If you’re disassembling a sofa bed, you’ll want to remove the mattress before starting to break the couch down. Pull out the bed and take the mattress off. Then, unscrew the hinge arms connecting the metal frame to the rest of the bed to remove it.
How do I throw away a sofa bed mattress?
Your options will vary depending on the size of the mattress and your location, but our mattress disposal guide can help you find the best solution near you.
3. Start Removing the Upholstery
In order to break down a couch’s frame underneath, you’ll have to remove the covering. Most upholstery is fastened by staples, which can be removed using a staple puller, if you’re going to reuse the fabric. But when taking apart a couch to throw it away, you don’t need to worry about preserving the upholstery, so it’s OK to simply rip or cut the fabric off by hand too. If your cushions are attached, now’s the time to use a box cutter to separate them from the rest of the fabric.
4. Remove the Legs
Once the upholstery is removed, flip the couch on its side and remove the legs using a screwdriver or saw. Some couches may have legs with screwtops – if that’s the case, simply grab the leg and twist it counter-clockwise to remove it.
5. Take Apart the Rest of the Frame
Every couch is a little different, so this step will vary depending on the kind you have. You may need just one tool or multiple, but either way, this might take a while. Disassemble the couch yourself one piece at a time. You may need to use a handsaw to cut some of the larger pieces down to a manageable size.
When it comes to taking apart the couch frame, first look at the fasteners to determine what tool you’ll need to remove them. Use the chart below for help:
The Different Types of Screw Heads:
- a. Slot Head
- b. Phillips Head
- c. Pozidriv
- d. Torx Drive
- e. Allen
- f. Square Recess
- g. Tri-Wing
- h. Torq-Set
- i. Spanner
6. Save Any Upholstery or Cushions You Want to Reuse
If the fabric and pillows from the couch are still in good shape, why not reuse them? After you’re done taking apart the couch, dig through the scraps to see if you’d like to hang onto anything. If some or all of the fabric is in good condition, you can save and repurpose it for new projects.
What to Do With Old Couch Cushions:
- Use them as floor pillows in your child’s playroom.
- Donate them to a local animal shelter for their furry residents to curl up on.
- Put it in your own dog’s kennel for them to use as a bed.
- Slip a waterproof cover over them and use them to cushion outdoor seating
Once You’ve Broken Down Your Sofa, Find the Right Disposal Option
After you’ve taken apart the couch and sifted through the scraps, it’s time to find the best way to get rid of the rest of the debris. Furniture disposal options can vary depending on your location, so take your time to research and find the right one. Disassembling a couch yourself can be time-consuming, but once your couch is broken down, it will be much easier – and probably less expensive – to throw away.
Need to throw something else away? Check out our other disposal guides to find the right solution for your needs, or go ahead and rent one of our residential debris dumpsters to handle the removal.
I broke down an entire sectional and repurposed the brackets, footrests, wood beams, upholstery, armrests, foam and liner for a mini couch for my toddler’s game room ?
What a great idea! Thanks for reading, Joel.
Very good idea blacking down a sofa, the only problem I have is there’s metal work in the frame, not sure how I would cope with this any ideas
I need someone to help me with my sofa
I need help removing a heavy leather sofa, I seem to remember when the put it together it slid in on rails I think.
That’s very informative! Didn’t know taking off a couch was a skillful job, not that I have ever taken a couch apart! Sounds interesting.
Thank you, and thanks for reading, George!
Thank you ever so much for this, I have a 2 seater loveseat to take to the dump, and only a midsize car to do it – this has saved me from hours of trying to figure out if i could saw right through it 🙂
I had a huge power recliner sofa that we tried to give away but it we could NOT get it through my doorway. We ended up taking the door off the hinges and remove metal weatherstripping. The recipient ended up not coming to get it and we decided to take it apart and try to repurpose/recycle as much as possible. That’s when I used this post, and it was a sanity saver!