Saturday, March 17, 2012

the lazy girls way to clean a white ektorp slipcovered couch

Disclaimer:  This works for me and hopefully it will work for you.  But I in no way guarantee this, I am just sharing what has worked for me.

Okay I feel better now.  I have a lovely corner ektorp sofa with a white slipcover.

The only reason I bought this couch was because miss mustard seed told me I could.  I'm serious.  She did a whole post on how she has a white slipcovered sofa from ikea and even though she has two toddlers and a youth pastor husband, with youth kids eating pizza on her couch every weekend, it has held up.  And if that wasn't enough she explained that every year after Christmas the white slipcovers go on sale for 50 bucks and she gets a new one.  SOLD!

I got mine about 8 months ago.  I will get a new slip cover every year.  The corner sofa is 100 bucks.  But in the meantime it needs to be clean.  I have 2 teenagers, a dog and a cat that shed.  I don't limit my kids eating on the sofa.  When they have sleepovers it's usually on this couch.  With the oily teenage heads and cheetos and pizza etc.  I'm a thrill seeker what can I say.  The first time I thought it needed a cleaning I washed the whole thing.  Not horrible, but if I  can avoid it again I will.  

Here is the system I have come up with for cleaning it.  I did this two months ago and have been watching the fabric where I cleaned and it seems absolutely fine.  

Here's what you will need.  A bleach pen, a white soft cloth and a 1 to 1 ratio of hydrogen peroxide and water.  This last item needs to be made and handy before you start bleaching.

Here's the stain.  I believe it is chef boyardee.  I take the pen and just put the bleach over the stain.  Then I very closely watch it.  It can take from 2 seconds to about 20, but it's quick.  As soon as the stain is gone I take the hydrogen peroxide solution and saturate the area with it and then take the other end of the towel to sop up any extra liquid.  This is key because hydrogen peroxide apparently neutralizes the bleach, so you don't damage the material or the foam underneath.  Today I did 5 spots.  The last time I did this was 2 months ago and I did 2.  So this seems to work.  

Tips for washing your slipcover

1.  Be ok with a shabby chic look.  A slipcover means a shlumpy look.  If you aren't comfortable with that, it's not for you.

2.  Don't dry the slipcover completely.  If its a little damp the material stretches and it's easier to get back on.  Mine actually dried completely and then didn't fit back on.  I rewashed it and then tried again and it was fine.  You are supposed to have it drycleaned, but once again I'm a thrill seeker and washed and dried it.

3.  Plan on buying a new slipcover every year.  White is just not going to hold up for all time, that's why I went with ikea.  I knew I could afford a yearly slipcover.  


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  1. This is really handy to know, thanks for sharing!

  2. You are welcome Colleen. I suggest trying an area that's not to obvious first and then go for it!

  3. Hi Lisa! I have been wanting a white Ektorp for years, and even though lots of bloggers with white slipcovered couches swear they are easy to clean even when you have little ones I've still been too afraid to try it. But I'm really considering it now that I've read your post! I love the look of the comfy loose slipcovers and love that they are so cheaply replaced! I have a 10, 8, and 3 year old - all boys! So I guess if I get one I'm a thrill seeker, too! haha! :)

  4. I'm back! Just one question... which color white did you get? The super white white that is 100% cotton or the creamy white that is a linen/cotton blend? I would prefer the creamy white, but that one says dry clean only. :(

  5. I have the white, not the linen blend. I didn't want any color because I wanted to bleach it and not worry about an off white color. It says dry clean only, but I don't dry clean it. I wash and then dry but pull it out of the dryer still damp. Pli
    Us now that I bleach pen it, I really don't need to wash it at all