How to wash a Slipcover II



Hello there.  This past week I washed the slipcovers and did something a little different.  You can read how I've been washing them right here in this post from 2010! The sofa is this Pottery Barn Basic, we've had it now for over 10 years and the cover was starting to look dingy.  The creases near the rolled arm were not coming clean like they used to.  I happened upon a small bottle of Tide at the .99 store and decided to give it a try and all I can say is wow.  Just wow.  The slipcovers came out so clean!  So I thought I'd share this with you.


The first thing I do is remove the slipcovers and always wash the bottom or body slipcover first.


But this time before I removed the slipcover I spot treated with Tide Simply Clean and Fresh detergent and washed them in cold water on the normal setting with the same Tide detergent.



I hang it on the clothesline to dry and then proceed to the cushion covers.  It was really hot last week so they dried in under and hour.



I always put the covers back on slightly damp because they are stretchier when damp and also because I can smooth out most of the wrinkles.


So really it's the same procedure as I always follow but I just amped up the cleaning power.  You can get the Tide Simply Clean and Fresh detergent here.  I have no idea if this is a harmful detergent or not, all I know is that my slipcover is like brand new again so that's something for you to consider before trying it.  xo


44 comments

  1. I have to wash our slipcovers frequently too as they are white!
    If there are any stains I use the Method grapefruit spray to treat them before washing in the machine...it seems to work well.
    Could you discuss why you use vitamin B12 Janet? I think I might be deficient in it and plan to ask my physician.

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    1. leslie i take b12 bc it can only be found in animal products and some cereals that have it added. i would talk to your doctor bc as far as i know the body stores it for a long time and if you regularly eat meat it should not be a problem. x

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  2. Very helpful; I learned early-on that it was fairly pointless to buy a slipcover for an older sofa because I think you really need something custom-fitted to the actual sofa. I got so tired of adjusting the slipcover every time I sat on it (afterwards). Have always wanted the white slipcovers but I have dogs (in multiples); easy enough now, I see, to keep the covers clean, so thanks. I think covers may now be in my future. I know you'd said years ago that they held up to your growing sons!

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    1. yes, those 2 slipcovers on the chairs are over 25 years old now. i can hardly believe that! and they held up beautifully with 3 boys and dogs and cats. it's an easy job washing them, hard to get started but once i am it is super easy. :)

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  3. Just beautiful! I like that you found the Tide at the. 99 cent store. I will look for this at mine and keep on hand for my extra needed items. Thank you.❤

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    1. good idea nancy. when i saw how well it worked i picked up a couple more bottles to keep just for this purpose! x

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  4. Thanks for the Tide tip. I need something for a stain on a white bedspread. We have the IKEA sectional and 3 slipcovers--white, tan, and red. Presently, the red one is on for the fall and holiday season. I love being able to have a clean sectional. Slipcovers are the best. I do have to take the bottom part of the slipcover to the laundromat, though. Too big for my washer.

    Your living area is warm and welcoming!

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    1. isabella my suggestion would be to treat the spot with the tide and then wash it all in the tide too. i think that's how you'll get the best results. x

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  5. You said you spotted treated first: what detergent did you actually wash them in? 7th generation?

    Thanks

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    1. thanks for pointing that out, i'll correct it. i washed them in the tide too. i think that is what made them sooooo bright white again. x

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  6. I have a front loading: Can the Tide be used in front loaders or will it suds up too much?

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    1. mine is front loading too. i had no problems with it at all.

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  7. Good to know about the Tide. I know many people, including my stepmom, the most frugal woman on earth, swear by it. But I buy Sam's Eco's and my whites are getting a little dingy. So will have to try this. Thanks! Amazing how much joy I can get from housekeeping. :)

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    1. michelle, isn't it amazing. lol. this little bottle completely brightened my sofa and day! xo

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  8. Janet,
    How was the smell of that Tide? When I walk around my neighborhood, I can smell an awful, very intense chemical odor of Tide detergent and would not want that on something in my house. Often when I buy at thrift stores I have to wash things and leave them in the sun for days to remove the odor.

    I imagine they may make a non-scented version, but how was "Simply Fresh & Clean"? And I don't doubt it's terribly toxic, but if it saves you from needing to buy a new slipcover, that's good.

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    1. i'm gonna be dead set honest with you cara, bc i'm used to such mild scents from my normal detergents it seemed overwhelming to me at first. but the scent did go away after a few hours, maybe because i hang dry them? but i will use it again bc it made such a dramatic impact and extended the life of this slipcover. and btw, walking thru my neighborhood on laundry day takes me back to my childhood:) x

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  9. Nothing worse than dingy looking whites. And yay for prolonging the use of ones items. For my white towels, shirts and curtains I use washing soda. It works wonders. I live in the city so my curtains can get quite gray. I wash them using the anti-crease programme (same with blouses to skip ironing) and coming out straight from the washing machine I hang them back up. They are practically wrinkle-free.

    Tanja

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  10. I have used Tide for years and my whites are always sparkling white and colors are bright as new.
    The trick is never putting the clothes in the dryer.

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    1. thanks joanne. i rarely dry any of my clothes either. x

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  11. I watched an episode of America’s Test Kitchen on stain removal. They said that the water temperature was critical. The hotter the better. I experimented with it when my guy had to take some really strong medicines for bladder cancer - think orange stained pants ... pretreat and use hot water presto!

    My laundry question is about using “ blue-ing.” Supposedly it makes yellowing whites white again. Has anyone ever used it and, if so, where did you get it?

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    1. yes, i've heard about the hotter the water the better too. with slipcovers i cannot afford any shrinkage so it's always cold. i've seen blueing in the laundry section of the market but have never used it! x

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  12. Recently, my mother passed along a laundry tip from years ago ... pre-soak your laundry in water and detergent overnight. You can even load the clothes in the washer and use the detergent you will use for the load.

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    1. that's a great tip, i bet greasy things would really benefit from that. x

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  13. I recently discovered Grandma's Secret Spot Remover and its been a godsend for my white blouses and jeans. Gets out all the most stubborn stains like soy sauce, ink, mustard, etc. Available at fabric stores and Amazon.

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  14. I am about to wash my sofa slipcovers and had a coupon for that brand of Tide so I am really looking forward to having them all happy and clean!
    Little things make me supremely happy!
    pve

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  15. What fabric are your slipcovers? I've had good success washing denim but twill, not so much - it's a big struggle to get them back on the sofa or chair unless they're still pretty damp.

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    1. mine are 100% cotton canvas. it is a bit of a workout, something like wrestling a crocodile but it doesn't take long. lol x

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  16. I've tried other detergents and even made my own but I've come back to Tide. It really is the best. I use it to spot treat too.
    Your living room looks so beautiful and sparkling clean!

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    1. thank you betty. my mom always used tide but i never have until this. and i know lots of people swear by tide. x

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  17. Are your chairs Pottery Barn, too? I have been trying to find slip covers to change the look of a room. Not as easy as I thought! My chairs are very similar to yours.

    Love your blog! I am glad you are posting more often.

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    1. no they are not maxly. they are old Sherrill chairs.

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  18. I am getting slipcovers also. Doesn't canvas come in weights? What weight is your cotton canvas? That would be so much better than denim for the cats!

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    1. sorry but i have no idea of the weight of this canvas. when you go to the upholsterer he/she will give you samples to choose from. i'd say mine are medium. x

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  19. TIPS TIPS and MORE TIPS!
    I think YOU should have your OWN SHOW!!!!!!!!!!
    XX

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    1. thanks elizabeth but it would be pretty dull. :) x

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  20. Well Janet this was a great and timely post. My slipcovers are a disaster. My dog has chosen to use them as a napkin so we have some kibble issues to deal with. Any additional help would be greatly appreciated. ; )))

    xoxo

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    1. well i never let my dogs on the sofa's but i think that may now be against the law kelley! :) x

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  21. this is a different but related question. I wonder is anyone else has problems with fitted sheets shrinking so much that it is impossible to put back on the bed? I had sheets for my single bed which I had for years. which fit. A couple of years ago I purchased a queen sized bed and two sets of sheets. in spite of washing in cold water and minimal drying, I could no longer use them. I bought another set of name brand sheets, same thing. I was given a couple of gift cards and did buy a set of modal sheets. quite expensive, which don't shrink. I like them but wondering what others thoughts on this might be. either techniques or brands which don't shrink.
    Darby

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    1. i have not had that problem darby. i used to have a super thick mattress and getting sheets to fit it was a problem but now our mattress is pretty normal size so they fit easily. i'm currently using a set from Tuesday Morning by Peacock Alley and they fit and are super soft. x

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  22. I think Tide is the bomb for getting things clean.

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    1. well i cannot argue that kristien. my slipcovers haven't been this clean in years! x

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