This post is all about why I learned that a slipcovered sofa is the best option for people with kids and pets– includes all the reasons why, several examples of popular bloggers who have them and love them, and also what cleaning products I use to get them bright white every time.
Stop! I know what you are thinking! I used to think the same thing too…
For the first 8 years of our marriage I was convinced that the best type of sofa to have when you have small children would be one that could hide dirt, and one that I could scrub clean if I needed to. We had a tan microfiber couch for years (didn’t everyone?) and it was fine. Only problem was when it got dirty, which with little ones, was all the time. If I tried to scrub a spot out, it left a water or “clean” mark. We had the entire thing cleaned a few times, but it was expensive and a pain in the butt.
So, I found out about some decent twill PB slipcovers, which I decided to try out in a bluish-gray color. They were definitely a step up, because I could remove them and wash them whenever I wanted. Only problem they got ‘untucked’ every time someone sat on them and I seemed to be the only one that knew how to tuck them in properly to look nice. Which only lasted until the next time someone sat on them or the kids jumped on them.
So I started noticing my favorite design blogs and the sofas they had. Almost all of them had white slipcovered sofas! I still told myself they were impractical with small children, but I couldn’t deny how seamlessly they looked with so many different design tastes. Then, the more I paid attention, I found that these white slipcovered sofas were owned by actual families with children and/or pets! Were they couch nazis? How could they keep them clean?!? I asked a friend with small children, who owned a slipcovered white sofa, how she kept them clean and she told me she could get pretty much anything out of them. Her 3 boys had spilled or ‘stained’ those slipcovers with nearly everything you can imagine, and she was able to get almost everything out. And if they started looked dingy after several years, she would just buy new slipcovers (with Ikea couches, slipcovers only cost $50).
So, that was it. I was convinced, if she could do it, I could do it. I knew I wanted the Ikea Ektorp sofa and love seat because of the price. Because we don’t live near an Ikea we were fortunate enough to buy them from a friend of mine, moving out of state, so we just bought new slipcovers when we visited an Ikea store on our family vacation.
We have had them for nearly a year and I LOVE them. I’d recommend them to ANYONE!
So here are 3 big reasons why you need a white slipcovered sofa:
1- More Hygienic
Think about all the dirt, grime, bacteria (anyone been sick and sat or lay on your couch?), dead skin, and natural oils from your skin and hair you (and whoever else sits on your couch) leave behind when spending any amount of time on sitting on your couch…. now think of all that compounding over days, weeks, months… maybe even years! YUCK! The only way to get rid of that is to have it professionally cleaned to to try to do it yourself! Which brings me to reason number…
2- Less Expensive
On a regular upholstered couch, you’d have to call a professional to come clean it, to get out stains and all the aforementioned grime. Which would cost you AT LEAST $100 (and usually around $150 or more) to come work on it. And if they didn’t get it clean the first time, they would charge you AGAIN to come clean it again or just simply tell you the stain(s) won’t come out. Oh, and if you had a home steam-cleaner (which aren’t cheap machines), those soak your cushions and take MUCH longer to dry than slipcovers do, which can potentially cause mildew if moisture traps in the foam too long! If you have kids or pets, plan on that professional cleaning every 3 months to keep it hygienic. You’d be spending at around $600 per year JUST to have it cleaned. With slipcovers, you can throw them in the wash for the cost of detergent and stain removers. Speaking of throwing them in the wash…
Tips to Keeping White Slipcovers WHITE:
1. Remove and wash at least once a month
The longer the dirt sits in there, the harder it is to get completely white again. If you don’t have the rule of ‘no eating on the couch’ or you have several pets, expect to wash them once a week. We don’t allow eating in the living room, so we wash them once a month. Either way, removing them to wash is really no big deal, since they are pretty easy to remove. They aren’t supposed to be dried in the dryer (can shrink and get super wrinkly), but as a time-saver you can dry them about half-way and and let them air-dry the rest of the way, or just put them on slightly damp. I’ve done both ways and they dry pretty fast, with no wrinkles.
2. Remove cover as soon as you notice a worrisome spot
Some stains, once set or really dried, actually dye the material, making it more difficult to remove. I always will dilute a spot with water as soon as I see it, and dab with a washcloth, to remove as much as possible ahead of time, and to prevent the spot from drying. My family owned a carpet and upholstery cleaning business for 15+ years, so I grew up giving customer’s advice on how to treat and prevent stains. I always told people to dilute with water, whenever possible!
3. Pretreat stains
4. Use good laundry detergent with add-in stain remover
I actually prefer Tide with bleach alternative, but regular Tide works good too and always add in the Clorox 2 Stain Remover AND the OxiClean White Revive. Don’t worry, I’m not compensated to say any of this… these are honestly products I use and have paid for! 🙂
4. Soak/Wash in HOT water, twice if necessary
The hot water allows the cotton fibers to relax and release the dirt better, allowing stains to wash out better, and it also is more sanitary, since hot water kills bacteria. I allow my slips to soak in the hot soapy water for a bit before resuming the cycle, but if you have front-loading washers, then just run the cycle a couple of times.
5. Use sun bleaching or a little liquid bleach for extra stubborn stains
I’ve only had to use liquid bleach once for a permanent marker stain, which faded out out after a few washes. I also know people that swear but sun bleaching, which is a great non-toxic solution, especially if you live in a sunny area!
I’ve gotten out pen, marker, crayon, chocolate, blood (small amount), juice, and of course regular dirt.
Now, lastly, the third reason, and maybe the most convincing!
Here are some of my friends, who also happen to be brilliant designers, who all have have and LOVE white slipcovers!
NOTE: PLEASE PIN BELOW IMAGES FROM THEIR ORIGINAL SOURCES!
Lucy with Craftberry Bush
Lucy has 3 kids and a dog, Brody, pictured here:
Jen with City Farmhouse
Jen has 2 little boys and actually did a post about her tips for white slipcovers.
Jennifer with Town and Country Living
Jennifer has grandkids over and has a couple of cute cats, and wrote about these new ruffled slipcovers recently.
Danielle with Finding Silver Pennies
Danielle has 2 boys and a dog, Poppy.
Jennifer with Dear Lillie
Jennifer is has two little girls, but also has extra kids over a lot since her husband is a basketball coach.
Liz with Liz Marie Blog
Liz has 2 little pups, Bella & Bear.
Kelly with View Along the Way
Kelly has a couple of cute little kiddos, and did a post about her review of white slipcovers!
Bre with rooms FOR rent
Bre has two little kids, a boy and a girl.
Kristen with Ella Claire Blog
Kristen has ALSO has two little kiddos!
So, ya see? All these girls have their own unique style and their white slipcovered sofas or chairs work beautifully in each space. So think twice before you splurge on a big fancy upholstered sofa or loveseat… Maybe a white slipcovered option is better (and more hygienic) for your family!
**This post contains affiliate links**