How to Take Apart a Couch to Throw Away

Whether you are taking your sofa to the tip or simply putting it out for collection, you may find yourself wondering how to get a sofa through a door. You aren’t overcomplicating it. It’s a real challenge. Sofas are notoriously bulky and difficult to transport, mainly when they are L-shaped, so you must know how to take your sofa apart before throwing it away, especially if you need to fit it into your car. 

In fact, the ‘Moving Sofa Problem’ is a long-lived dilemma, explored by mathematician John Hammersley in 1968 to discover the largest radius that can fit around a corner. The answer? Well, put it this way, it is considerably easier to get your sofa through the door if you’re getting rid of it, as you can dismantle it into smaller, more manageable pieces. 

But how do you dismantle a sofa?

1. Separate cushions from the sofa 

You should start by removing your couch’s cushions. This can take no time at all if they are loose and detached, but if they have been sewn on, you will need to know how to remove attached sofa cushions. 

For attached cushions, you simply need to use a box cutter to separate these from the rest of the fabric that they are attached to. Alternatively, this can be achieved with a sharp knife or cutter, so long as you are careful when doing so. 

2. If it is a sofa bed, remove the mattress

Some sofas double up as a bed, meaning that there is usually a mattress hidden beneath the cushions and frame. If yours fits this description, you should remember to remove the mattress before taking apart the rest of the sofa bed, particularly if you are looking to keep and reuse it. To remove the mattress, all you need to do is pull the bed out and lift it off and out from the frame. 

If you happen to be saying goodbye to your mattress too, there are plenty of ways to get rid of it, including but not limited to our affordable mattress removal service.

3. Remove the upholstery 

Next, you need to remove the upholstery from the sofa, since this will expose the couch’s frame and enable you to deconstruct it properly later. More often than not, upholstery is fastened using staples, so all you need to do is remove these, either with a staple puller or any other tool. 

Beware, however, that if you are planning to reuse and upcycle the fabric, you should approach this stage more carefully to preserve the material for later use. However, if you are disposing of it along with the couch, cutting it with scissors or ripping it by hand may be slightly quicker and more effective. 

4. Take off the sofa legs 

Next, you need to know how to remove sofa legs to dismantle the sofa properly. In order to do this, you should flip the sofa onto its side or back to expose the various different screws that keep the sofa legs connected.

If your sofa has legs with screw tops, then all you need to do is hold and twist the leg counter-clockwise to loosen and later remove the legs. Other legs may be connected with screws or strong glue, so you will need a screwdriver or a saw to disconnect the legs. 

5. Deconstruct the frame 

Since every sofa will be constructed differently, they will need to be deconstructed differently, too. Depending on how the sofa is held together, you may need various tools, particularly if the fasteners used vary. Whilst deconstructing the frame, you should work on breaking it down one piece at a time. 

If you feel that the parts are still fairly awkward or heavy to manage after deconstructing them, we recommend cutting down the larger components even further using a handsaw, making them more manageable to lift and dispose of. 

There are also some more specific approaches you can take depending on your sofa, which we have detailed below.

How to remove the end of a recliner sofa

To remove the recliner from the rest of the couch, you simply need to lift and pull the cushions away before unscrewing any screws beneath these that keep the unit attached to the other seats. Once you have tackled those screws, you should eventually be able to pull the recliner away from the end of the sofa, making it far easier to deconstruct as a result. 

You will also want to dismantle the footrest and armrests on a recliner sofa, which can be done by extending the recliner and undoing any screws and bolts you can see.

How to remove the back of a sofa 

You may also need to separate the back of the recliner sofa, which you need to release the rear locking levers to do, since this will loosen it. Usually, using a flat-head screwdriver will do this job well.

How to detach an arm from your sofa 

After removing the staples holding the upholstery over the arms, you need to lift the upholstery as much as possible, exposing the screws and fasteners you need to remove. Once you can see these, simply remove any screws and bolts using a screwdriver or wrench. After doing this, the arms should be fairly loose, enabling you to pull them right off. 

Hire a professional sofa removal company

It is no secret that taking apart a couch to throw away consumes a lot of hassle, time and energy. Not to mention that most of us won’t have the required tools at home to make the job as quick and easy as we would like. Fortunately, you can eliminate all of this hassle when you book a one-off sofa removal service with us. 

We are highly experienced and offer a wide range of expert furniture disposal services at affordable prices. As one of the leading waste collection companies out there, you can trust us to collect, transport and dispose of your sofa responsibly, allowing you to sit back and relax.