In my home with a dog, a cat, a boy, a baby, a husband and a fair few rambunctious parties– my slipcovers take a beating. Perhaps choosing off-white wasn’t my smartest move, but I am not afraid to launder them!
However, washing upholstery fabric requires a few must-follow steps otherwise don’t attempt this at home. I would not want you to ruin your sofa!
Take out the pillow inserts before washing. Do NOT consider washing any sofa parts with the cushions inside.
Read the manufacturers label. Some fabrics are not suitable for a wet process and require dry cleaning only. If in doubt, call them. All major sofa brands have a technical customer service number you can ring.
If you’re really unsure but want to clean your covers, I recommend spot treating them with a scrubbing brush, bowl of luke water water and grocery store variety upholstery cleaner foam. Next, remove the covers and tumble them in your dryer on permanent press with a large handful of dryer sheets. Just skip the washing machine.
If they ARE suitable to wash, put them in your machine on the setting DELICATE or COLD, COLD with delicate detergent, such as Woolite. Make sure there’s ample space for them to agitate in the machine. Depending on the size of your washer and the size of your sofa, you may have to do this across a few loads.
Once the wash is complete, lay the covers on a flat surface or laundry line to dry. Mine are too heavy for pegs, so I hang them over the line, but I remove them before they dry so as to avoid a crease.
Do not put them in your dryer. ONLY dry slipcovers can go in a dryer. Never wet ones, they may shrink if you do.
Before they completely dry [but are close] put the inserts back in them. This is very important. Do NOT wait until the covers are dry otherwise the piping may curl. The covers will be tight and that’s okay. A day of sitting will stretch them back to normal.
For extra freshness, tuck a few dryer sheets inside the covers before you zip them back up.