After owning (white) slipcovered sofas for a couple of years now, it seems like a good time to give an update on how they’re working for our family and if the “ease” of washable covers is really worth it.
We have a pair of the IKEA Ektorp sofas in our living room, and I’ll stand by my opinion that for the price and the comfort, they’re a great fit for our not-so-gentle family of seven. But the washable slipcovers? Not so washable, after all.
I started out like every other slipcover owner in America who said “I’ll just throw them in the washer.” Truth be told, there’s no such thing as “just throwing them” anywhere. In a perfect world, I guess you would take them off every month or so. My average, I’m ashamed to admit, is more like once a year. We’re not suppose to, but “we” eat snacks (and ice cream and popcorn and salsa) in front of the TV and I just got tired of worrying about it, which leaves us with less then crisp white couches.
Look closely. Someone–who shall remain nameless–decided to eat chocolate ice cream while paying more attention to a ballgame. . .
While I can take the covers off by myself, the pain of getting them back on the frame is more of a two-man job. They say not to bleach them, but I’ve tried it–along with OxiClean and stain sprays and everything else I’ve read online that’s been recommended. The verdict? The white doesn’t come out white. (This could be due to my once-a-year-washing schedule.) And it’s a lot of trouble, I tell you, to go through the process of washing them and get a dingy result.
So, the alternative is to buy new slipcovers–or a new sofa. . . For our IKEA Ektorp, a new cover is $250. I’m sure it varies but a quick Google search says the average cost to have a sofa cleaned is between $100-$150. Although the “new” doesn’t last extremely long around here (for anything), I still feel like new slipcovers are a good investment for a few years, at least. While I’m speaking from the experience of having white sofas, I think you could get away with keeping the covers even longer if it were a darker color. . .
What’s been your experience with slipcovered furniture?
Do you think it’s worth it?