Whitie Tightie

Some folks think I am crazy for buying a white couch.  I think the exact words were “insane” “stupid” and “why don’t you just give me your money?!”  but in actuality, our couch is probably the best thing we have ever bought.  BECAUSE it is white. 

So here’s the story….we bought our house, had a loveseat (pictured below), and decided to splurge if we found an extra deep sofa that we both loved. 

A couple months later, we did find that beauty at Pottery Barn outlet (here’s the VERY old post about it) and it lasted us all three years in the last house and the past year in this one….still unmarred by the likes of rough-and-rowdy Bower boys. 

Some folks were asking repeatedly how we kept it spotless.  So this post is for you guys.  The ones with dalmations for white slipcovers. 

Firstly – you should know, we eat on this couch….every. single. day.  And we spill, smear, sweat, bleed and dribble on this bad boy.  To date, we do not have any stains or lasting marks.  And I credit it to two things…one being the quality of the upholstery used to make the slipcover.  It’s just the standard ole canvas twill stuff…but it has held up great.  even against the red koolaid with chocolate on top.  The other thing that I think has helped our couch is the way we wash it.  And I have decided to share that with ya today with some very old photos.

First – strip.  Take it all off.  unzip, unbutton, undo it all.  let’s get dirty.  (how’s that for a thats-what-he-said montage). 

Next – Pretreat.  I use the Oxi-Clean laundry spray.  I am sure that a lot of other brands could do just the same.  I put all the cushions that have pretreated areas aside and spray – making note of what has what spots or spills or stains.  It should also be noted that I am super liberal with the pretreater.  If pretreater was a political viewpoint….I’d be democrat.  A swinging democrat that streaked and got arrested at baseball games. 

Then comes the other ingredients…bleach…full serving….laundry detergent….full serving….NO softener (unless you use something natural like vinegar because it’s just one more thing your washer has to get out next wash!)…and pretreater (I use either oxi-clean or just some extra detergent).

Then comes the settings.  I use one of two settings.  Whites – hot/cold, with steam, and a heavy soil level or Sanitize – extra hot/cold, with steam, and a heavy soil level.  It’s also important to only use a medium spin cycle because these are really heavy items and could screw up your machine if all of the guts are pushed to one side.  It takes me two separate loads to do our couch. 

Now here’s the real kick in the pants….after you wash the slipcover – take out each piece from the washer and INSPECT thoroughly before putting the guy into the dryer.  Once you dry a stain…it’s in.  DON’T DRY A STAIN.  Instead of setting that in for life – just redo the whole washing process for that piece and inspect again.

I also just dry normally…regular heat until it’s extra dry.  I’ve heard that some folks leave theirs slightly damp so that they can actually get their cushions back into the slipcover…but we’ve never had a problem.  Besides….I like my cushion covers like I like Jeremy’s shorts….extra tight :)  

So there you have it…our very white couch. 

Now I’m back to sorting through a bazillion Atlanta Aquarium photos and editing some photoshoots while simultaneously painting something :)

p.s.  John & Sherry insisted that I get on Instagram.  I succumbed to the peer pressure.  I also succumbed to the word succumbed :)  I’m under “bowerpowerblog” if you wanna join in on the fun. 



  1. Angela says

    I finally got the courage to wash my slip covers. I’m so glad I did. They were so bad, nothing could make them worse. They’re red so they do fade some. I think if you have a color like that I would recommend washing all pieces every time you wash so they fade evenly.

  2. Anne says

    Is that a Pottery Barn slipcover? You bleach it and it doesn’t yellow it. Instructions say no bleach. I have an old PB comfort sofa I bought on Craigslist and would like to bleach the cover but am afraid to.

  3. Rebecca says

    We have had our PB couch for about 4 years now and I can get out individual spot stains, but you can see where I did spot removal, because the overall couch is just dingy. I’m super nervous to bleach it. I don’t think ours was ever a bright white–kind of an off-white. Was yours a bright white to begin with?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *