You could say that I’m a fan of the white sofa….. we have three. If I’m being particular I would tell you that this house is particularly fond of the IKEA Ektorp series of white sofas but if I’m being real- this girl don’t discriminate, give me ALL the white sofas. Something about a white sofa says chic, comfy and clean to me. I do understand however, that the cleanliness of a white sofa is what can lead so many to doubt the magic of a white sofa.
The question I am most often asked by friends, acquaintances, and random strangers in the grocery store who find out that we have three white sofas is…. “Don’t they get dirty”? To which I always reply “Why, yes they do”. The beauty of my IKEA sofas is that they are entirely slipcovered which means that I can wash them. Today I wanted to share with you how I maintain my IKEA sofas and why I love having white couches after 4+ years.
The first full sized Ektorp couch that we brought into our home was actually a hand-me-down from my parents. They gave it to us when we got married and if I counted correctly and remembered what year they bought the couch I’m pretty sure she’s going on 12 years old! It’s a great couch and the beauty of it is really in the slipcover, for a whopping $45 I can buy a new white slipcover at IKEA and have a brand new looking couch. We purchased our Ektorp loveseat in the fall and it was actually something we bought brand new- this should come as a shock, this honestly never happens. We just recently bought another full size Ektorp sofa and we scored this new guy on Craigslist for a seal at $80. This one has a little more character as the previous owners decided to discard the back cushions and replace them with 5 large down euro shams. It gives this couch a different look and that was totally fine with us. This sofa resides in our tv room and Grayson has a ball on movie nights hiding under the giant pillows with Scout (the dog).
It seems like with three white sofas there might be a lot of upkeep but honestly it’s way easier than you’d imagine. Let me tell you my favorite ways to keep my slipcovers white and bright!
1. Wash Me please!?
I wash my slipcovers about once every two weeks. I honestly don’t know what people do without slipcovered furniture. Before we bought our last full sized sofa we had a microfiber sofa in our tv room and it got to the point where it freaked me out a little bit to sit there. I need launderable surfaces people! If two weeks is too long for you and you feel like your slipcovers get really dirty really fast wash those puppies! A “duh” moment I had once was that just because one cushion is stained or dirty or my kid put a muddy foot on it doesn’t mean I have to wash the whole cover, I can unzip that one cushion and wash it up. Just remember, like any other textile product the longer a foreign substance sits on the fibers the more set in the particles will become and you may have a permanent stain. Stain stick is your best friend, so is an “oxy” prefixed laundry booster. STAY FAR FAR FAR away from bleach. There is nothing more devestating than a white slipcover turned yellow by bleach.
2. Break out the clothes line!
I would never recommend anyone dry their slipcover in the dryer, you may have some shrinkage issues if you do. Also, take full advantage of line drying your slipcover in full sun. You would not believe the stains I’ve seen completely sun bleached out of a slipcover. Not to gross anyone out but the most recent sofa we purchased- the craigslist find was NA-STY. As in it was probably never washed, ever. So It got a thorough washing with an extra scoop of oxy-clean and then I line dried that baby for two days and it’s practically stain free. There are some very light slightly less white areas but it looks pretty much brand new.
3. Flip those cushions!
This is usually the tip that people laugh at but I’m so totally serious about it. I have a 3 year old and a dog, we get the occasional dirt or stain. The great thing about all these cushions is that they can be flipped over. So in between washes I have an “everyday side” and a “company is coming side”, the everyday side is the side that may have a stain or the side that is just looking a little bit dingy. We leave the everyday side facing up/out on a daily basis and if we have friends coming over we just flip the cushions over and when they leave the cushions get flipped back. That’s how we maintain at least one really bright, white side in between washes.
4. Would you like a throw?
I make a habit out of keeping low maintenance throws around. I usually keep one draped across the back of the couch in Scouts favorite perching spot from where she mercilessly barks at all the neighborhood kids. I also will put one under Grayson when he’s on the couch playing or watching a movie. We don’t eat on our furniture, G will sometimes have crackers and cheese or fruit but as long as he’s on a blanket it’s all good.
Whooooo I feel like I had a ton to say about my sofas, I never knew I was so passionate about them! I hope that wasn’t too terribly much to read and I hope if you are considering making a white slipcovered sofa a part of your home this post has given you a few tips for future reference.
Do any of you guys have an IKEA couch? What color/pattern do you have? Do you love it or would you trade it in? I want to hear from you!