This tutorial & shop for how to launder a white slipcovered sofa
has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.
All opinions are mine alone. #StickItToLint #CollectiveBiasWhen we bought this white slipcovered sofa last spring, my mom thought we were out of our minds. I mean, two black dogs, two preteen boys, and a busy family schedule...I can see where she was going with that. But, the beauty of a slipcovered sofa? It can be washed, y'all. And it looks brand spanking new every time.
This is quite possibly my favorite sofa we've ever owned. Having a white sofa is great for decorating...just switch out the throw pillows and you have an entirely new look (I can't wait to show you guys the holiday pillows that are going on this couch in December...squeallll!). Check out how easy a white slipcovered couch is to launder below.
We bought the sectional version of this couch...it's fantastic for kids' sleepovers. And this room acts as a second guest room when we have large quantities of guests in town visiting (my nieces told me it was great to sleep on!). We truly put a ton of wear and tear on this baby. I've gotten to where I wash it about every six weeks, or after a sleepover with preteen boys (definitely after a sleepover).
Besides the kids, this is my main culprit for this couch getting a *little* dirty. Her resting spot is on the floor against the couch. She switches spots, too, so there's this horizontal line on the bottom half of the couch of black dachshund hair. Niiiiiice.
The most important part of the slipcover-washing is the prep. Mainly dog hair removal, y'all...it's no joke. I use both the Scotch-Brite™ Printed Lint Roller and the Scotch-Brite™ 50% Stickier Lint Roller to make the removal process a breeze. The first time I washed this thing, I neglected this step. The dog hair does not come off in the wash by itself...it just gets moved around to other parts of the couch's surface. Or it ends up clogging up the rubber lining of my washing machine (and cleaning that thing is the bane of my existence. So gross.).
Removing the dog hair is the most critical part of this..and the Scotch-Brite™ Brand makes it so much easier.
And who doesn't love a cute print on a lint roller, right? Some of the best uses for these are soft surfaces like clothing, upholstery, carpet etc. These not only keep my couch clean, but also our wardrobes, too! These can be used on pants, coats, sweaters, dresses, suits, formal wear and more. The Scotch-Brite™ Printed Lint Roller brings a fun bit of creativity to household chores, while keeping up the performance. There are designs on every sheet. I love keeping these in the side pocket of my car, too...they're just so cute!
I grabbed my Scotch-Brite™ Brand lint rollers at my local Walmart.
I found these in the cleaning aisle, but they can also be found in the Sewing & Notions or Closet & Laundry Sections of the store. The Scotch-Brite™ Lint Rollers are wonderful for so many soft surfaces in the home...including window screens, the felt under dining room chairs, and more.
I start by using the printed lint roller on all the cushions. Be sure to get into the piping area really well, too...lots of fun stuff hides out in there (gag). I will use the roller at an angle and allow its edge to roll the piping area, while gently pulling the piping with my hand not holding the lint roller.
For the dog's infamous line of demarcation, I turn to the Scotch-Brite™ 50% Stickier Lint Roller. I use this roller once the cushions are removed, too, to roll up the crumbs some people tend to leave behind (my youngest...have mercy).
Right now, the Scotch-Brite™ 50% Stickier Lint Roller has a 10-sheet bonus on it! This roller is fabulous for large debris pick-up such as pet hair, thread, glitter, sand, crumbs, and more. It has 50% more adhesive to grab more than just the usual stuff...it's great when you want to avoid hauling out your big vacuum cleaner (and cumbersome attachments) to vacuum the mess.
Again, you can find this in the cleaning aisle of your Walmart.
Next, I spot clean all of the stains. Doing this in the daytime is key...the natural light from the window helps me see all the spots.
My homemade pretreater is made up of:
- 4 drops lemongrass essential oil
- 4 drops lemon essential oil
- 2 drops of dish soap
- 1 cup of water.
Mix ingredients together in a glass spray bottle (with the citrus in the essential oils, you'll need glass) and shake well. Shake well before each use, too.
I spray the pretreatment solution directly on the spots.
Once the stains have been sprayed, I use a fingernail brush (this one's for the couch only...no manicures!) and gently work the solution into the stain a bit. An actual scrub brush would be too harsh and cause pilling of the fabric...I've found a manicure brush works perfectly and is nice and gentle.
After this, I allow the spot to sit for a couple of hours and set in a bit. Since my washer isn't enormous, it takes me three loads to wash all of the pieces of the couch. I usually do the treated pieces last, so they have a chance to sit for a bit with the pretreater in place.
Then it's removal time! I unzip the cushions and take the covers to the laundry room.
My kids refer to the couch, in this state of undress, as the naked couch.
Again, I do three loads for the entire sofa. Usually the bottom cushion covers in one, the top ones in another, and the base piece in a third. I add a bit of oxygenated cleaner to the tub, along with the detergent to its compartment. I do not use fabric softener on this. I prefer the clean canvas couch to feel a bit stiffer...it seems to wrinkle less that way. If it's super dirty (post preteen sleepover dirty), I add a tiny bit of bleach to that compartment on my washer.
Not only is washing this couch great for aesthetic reasons, but it's also great for the germaphobe that lives deep within me. If there's a bug running through the house, its victim seems to camp out on this couch (this couch is in the TV room, so it can serve as a sick bay, too). Being able to actually launder this thing after a sickie has wallowed on it for a couple of days is ridiculously liberating. Back in the day when my kids were littles, I can recall hosing our old couch down post-bug with disinfecting spray (shudder)...which is not its intended purpose.
Here's the biggest tip: do not dry this thing much at all! You want to put the slipcovers back on slightly damp. This helps with wrinkling, as well as the stretching process of putting the covers back on. For me, drying each load on low for 12 minutes works best. The cover gets enough heat to take out most of the "big" moisture, but still leaves the piece damp enough to make recovering not so stressful. And, don't leave your house during this process...you want to pull it out and put it back on as quickly as possible. Keeping the loads moving through quickly and efficiently is the best way to do it...don't let them sit in the dryer after it turns off for any amount of time.
Pull the covers as taut as possible to stretch them back on (they do tend to slightly shrink with every wash...but that helps with the anti-wrinkle process). I never iron these...just pulling them taut and stretching on the recovering process does the trick and removes *most* of the wrinkles.
There is truly nothing like a fresh, clean couch. I'd say this even rivals clean sheets day in our house! It practically glows when it's all clean. And don't worry about those few wrinkles that may still be there...they fall out in a day or so. Plus, let's face it...this is a super casual couch. Wrinkles are a part of life, right?
Give each of your throw pillows a good chop and call it good. I think pillow chopping may be a southern thing, but this couch isn't dressed without a few good chops, y'all.
For even more good, clean fun and lint-rolling inspiration, click here.