Real Life: White Slipcovers-keeping it clean.

I have gotten a lot of questions about my white slipcovers from readers and friends.
When I made these slipcovers many asked to give an update on how well the wore.
Here they are today, white as ever and fresh out of the wash:
and here they are a year ago (April 12th, 2012- so almost one year ago) right after I made them:

I have to say I am really thrilled with how easy they are to maintain. Prior to this was a life with microfiber.  Don't get me wrong- it definitely is stain resistant- but its just so much easier to toss the entire mess into the washing machine as opposed to spot cleaning and getting water ring marks. 
And microfiber really didn't go with the whole bright and casual beach feel I was after.

Here is how I keep it clean and bright folks.  I just did all my slipcovers in an effort to rid the house of germs and a spring clean.  I wash them about every 2-3 months (or more if we are extra messy). 
My usual routine was to spot clean with Resolve and toss in the washing machine with a cup of bleach.  

This works OK, but I would still get faint reminders.
 Here is a chair:
 before, coffee stain and lord knows what:

After, there is still a faint tinge of the "lord knows what" and coffee is gone:

My couches were totally trashed.
I have had sick kids laying on them, eating and spilling, and the worst offender was the multicolored Pedialyte freezer pops.  Straight up dye.  Sorry I don't have before shots, so use your imagination.
 I decided to take a new approach and it blew my mind just how white everything came out.

Here is my new go to method:

1) Mix up this magical potion: 1 part Dawn/ 2 parts hydrogen peroxide
Yes, you've seen it all over Pinterest and even my Mom has even been singing its praises, but it works! 

2) Spot treat all the stains. Let it sit for 10 minutes, rub into tough stains.

3) Fill your washing machine with warm water and add 1 cup bleach.  If you are afraid of bleach use a cup of OxiClean powder.  Add the slipcover and agitate it a bit so it is all submerged and in contact with the water. Its important not to overfill the machine. You want the slipcover to be able to move around in the water.

4) Now this is the important part. 
I paused my machine for about 30 minutes.  In the past I would just let the machine cycle, but there was always residual stains and rings left.  This time I was blown away with the difference, not one ring! 

Look how white they are!

OK, as I was writing this post I went into my kitchen to find my kids eating ice pops, red ones, and dripping on my latest slipcover.  
Just to show you the magic of Dawn and peroxide I whipped up a little insta-spot clean for you.

I poured a bit of Dawn/Peroxide on and rubbed in:
and here it is 10 minutes later, 
only a very faint red dot is left, all without going into the washing machine:
If I was totally neurotic I might toss this in for a cycle, but I'm not and a tiny red spot doesn't bother me.  It will have to wait a few weeks until the kids really trash it.

Anywho... Just wanted to share this with you and attempt to be a poster child for white slipcovers.
They really are easy, pretty and go with everything. 
And you can change your color schemes with the flick of a pillow.
I am off to continue the spring clean/ santization. Happy weekend!


Rachael said...

I totally appreciate this. We have white slip covered chairs and a white slip covered couch that's new. The chairs have done pretty well for a few years but the couch makes me more nervous since we have 4 kids but I will totally use your method when it needs it's first wash.



Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I hadn't heard that tip about the Dawn/peroxide combo, thanks for sharing. I had two chairs reupholstered in white denim about 18 months ago and know the day will come when I have to spot clean them. Now I can relax the next time my nephews visit.

McNeill said...

Thanks for sharing! There are so many remedies out there on's always nice to hear a recommendation.

I love the pale blue patterned pillows on your sofa--would you mind sharing the fabric name?

bluehydrangea said...

Great tips!! I have white slip covers that are now 8 years old, still looking good but could use some freshening up so I am off to try your method!! thanks!!

Jeane M. said...

White love how they're so easily matched with any color palettes. Got my eye on your next posts.

LindsB said...

I need to wash my slipcovers so bad- I think its about time I take them off and test out this dawn/peroxide combo this weekend. Yours came out great, I can only hope mine turn out as well :) said...

My white slipcovered sofa is due for a washing, can't wait to try the peroxide/dawn potion! Thanks for the tip!

Stacy Curran said...

Such great tips that I really need since I have a lot of white too! Thank you!

Bromeliad said...

Thanks. I got a spot on my DIY white slipcover. will give this a try.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely amazing! It's been a week and I am still in shock over the results. I turned two second (or third-hand?) white high-end beautifully-made custom slipcovers from disgusting to outstanding. I found the chairs online but was surprised to see the condition of the slipcovers when I arrived to pick them up, sooo dirty and stained... thankfully I found your post when I got home - thank you!!

Lucy Andrews said...

You have a set of immaculate slipcovers, Danika! And it would be such a shame if those stubborn dirt would mar their beauty. Good thing you found out about this amazing combination of Dawn and hydrogen peroxide solution. It removed the stains completely, while preserving their pristine glory. Thanks for sharing!

Lucy Andrews @ Safeclean by Guardsman


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