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Wash Slipcovers to Freshen Up Furniture

March 4, 2024

Wash Slipcovers to Freshen Up Furniture

Why It’s Important to Wash Slipcovers

Slipcovers are a great way to protect your furniture and change up your decor. However, they can get dirty over time from spills, pet hair, dirt, and regular wear and tear. Washing slipcovers regularly keeps them looking fresh, extends their lifespan, and keeps your furniture clean underneath. Here are some of the key reasons why you should wash slipcovers periodically:

Protect Investment in Furniture

Frequent washing protects the investment you’ve made in your furniture. Dirt and grime wear down fabric fibers over time. A build-up of contaminants can also lead to stubborn stains. Regular laundering helps avoid permanent damage.

Remove Allergens

Pet dander, dust mites, and pollen settle into slipcovers. For those with allergies or asthma, the contaminants can trigger reactions. A thorough washing removes these allergens from the fabric. This helps create a healthier indoor environment.

Freshen Look

Over time, slipcovers fade slightly and look dingy. Laundering revives the colors and makes them look new again, restoring your room’s decorative scheme. A fresh slipcover can give a piece of furniture new life at a fraction of replacement cost.

Save Money

Washing costs less than replacing worn out slipcovers. With periodic laundering, you can extend the life of your slipcovers by years. You save money by not having to buy new slipcovers or reupholster furniture frequently.

Preparation Tips Before Washing

Follow these simple steps to prep your slipcovers for a successful wash. Proper preparation prevents damage and improves cleaning results.

  • Check care labels – Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to use the right water temperature, wash method, and dryer settings.

  • Brush off debris – Use a lint roller or soft brush to remove crumbs, dirt, and hair beforehand. This prevents it from getting ground into the fabric during the wash cycle.

  • Apply stain treatment – Pretreat any spots and stains with a targeted stain remover or spray before washing.

  • Close zippers/fasteners – Fully zip or snap together any closures so the fabric moves freely and washes evenly during the cycle.

  • Wash similar colors – Group light and dark colors to prevent dye transfer issues. Whites may need their own separate loads.

  • Use gentle cycle – Choose a delicate or gentle cycle, which cleans thoroughly with less stress on fabrics.

Washing Machine Steps for Slipcovers

Washing your slipcovers properly is simple by following these steps:

1. Pretreat Stains

Apply a stain treatment stick, spray, or paste directly onto problem spots like food stains before washing. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to penetrate the fibers before laundering.

2. Load Washer

Place slipcovers loosely into the washing machine drum. Avoid overloading for best results.

3. Select Gentle Cycle

Choose the gentle or delicate cycle on your washing machine. This uses a slower agitation method to get items clean while being gentle.

4. Set Water Temperature

Use cold or warm water according to the care label specifications. Heat can cause dye loss, shrinking, or fading.

5. Add Mild Detergent

Use a high efficiency, mild laundry detergent. Powder detergents often work better than liquid for slipcovers. Avoid bleach and fabric softener.

6. Allow Extra Rinse Cycle

Run an additional rinse cycle after washing to remove all traces of detergent residue which can weaken fabrics over time.

7. Air Dry

Tumble dry on low if needed. But air drying is ideal to prevent heat damage to fabrics. Lay flat or hang to dry.

Special Tips for Problem Stains & Odors

For tough stains or built up odors, try these advanced cleaning methods:

  • Mix baking soda and water into a paste to gently scrub out grease, dirt buildup, or odors from fabric. Let sit 5-10 minutes before washing.

  • Make a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts warm water in a spray bottle. Mist generously over pet urine stains. Allow 30 minutes to work before washing as usual. The vinegar neutralizes the ammonia in pet urine.

  • For ink or dye stains, apply isopropyl alcohol to the area using a sponge or cotton ball. Change out the swab as it picks up the stain to prevent spreading. Once stain is removed, launder as normal.

  • For musty odors, add 1/2 cup of borax powder to the wash cycle. Its antifungal properties help remove mildew smells from fabric.


Washing slipcovers is easy to do at home and keeps them fresh for longer. By following fabric care instructions, pretreating stains, using a gentle wash cycle, and air drying, you can safely clean slipcovers and extend their lifespan. The small amount of effort pays off in money saved and a revived furniture look.

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