Looking for a simple solution to get stains out of slipcovers? Here’s the BEST TIP to get your slipcovers sparkling clean.

Don’t these couches look clean and creamy white?

Beautiful and serene. Right?

Ummmm.

No. Not even close.

Those pictures are taken from far away and there are pillows covering up the stains and I’ve flipped the cushions over more times than I can count. Once upon a time the slipcovers were a beautiful off-white. When they showed up at the house the slipcovers were perfect. But then? Life happened. There are kids and parties and Dr. Pepper and pink lemonade and spills and Buddy and his muddy paw prints.

I have taken off the slipcovers and washed them and washed them and no matter what I do they never look like they did when they showed up at the house four years ago.

Until yesterday.

I saw a tip online months ago that I thought I’d try and I ordered a product I’d never heard of before and put it in the laundry room and forgot all about it.

Then yesterday? I was about to put the slipcovers in timeout because they were SO DIRTY and I suddenly I remembered about that tip that I never tried.

So I tried it.

AND WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE THE RESULTS.

First?

Let’s keep it real.

Sigh.

I was worried we might not be friends anymore if I showed you the worst of the stains, so I settled for these. Trust me when I say that these are the BEST of the cushions. And they are all stained on both sides because I keep flipping the cushions over when we have company. Pink lemonade with a little one-sided dog footprint and tons of coffee drips.

This slipcover has lived a very full life.

So let’s start with the product that I used.

It’s called Molly’s Suds and I saw someone online using it to whiten and brighten their sheets, so I ordered it and then forgot all about it—remember. Just between us—what was I thinking?

IT. IS. AMAZING.

Here’s the size that I ordered (which goes a long way). And here’s a little more about Molly’s Suds from their listing:

  • Chlorine-Free whitner
  • Formulated with strict ingredient integrity using only earth and plant-derived ingredients that safely return to the earth
  • Natural laundry booster lightly scented with pure natural lemon essential oil rather than synthetic fragrances, dyes, and contaminants
  • Whitens and brightens lights and colors (SO TRUE)
  • Natural clothes whitener and bleach alternative laundry stain remover for clothing
  • Breaks down hard water, stains, and oils in fabrics
  • Whitening laundry powder that safely eliminates yellowing and greying from lights and whites to brighten clothes and colors
  • Safe to use on whites, bright colors, and mixed color fabrics *test an inconspicuous area first

Sounds incredible right? See why I had to order it? But does it work?  Let me show you the results.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of two cushions.

And here’s what’s amazing.

This picture does not even do it justice. There is such a difference between the cushions. The back cushions weren’t even dirty, but I’m washing them too now so they all match because the bottom cushions are so much lighter. I took tons of videos of the process that show it even better and I’m posting them today over on my Instagram stories so you can see the results even better.

Here are my best tips if you have stains like this on your slipcovers (or other textiles).

There were actually two sets of instructions on the package.

I followed the one for excessive stains (of course I did). 🙂

How To Get Stains Out of Slipcovers

1. Find a big bin or bucket

I needed to soak the slipcovers before I put them into the washer because I have a front loader.

If you have a top loader, you could probably just soak them in there instead. I think the soaking is the key to getting rid of stains.

There were directions on the package if you wanted to just wash the textiles, but I was worried that these stains were too stubborn for just the washing machine.

2. Add Molly’s  Suds

At first, I added a scoop of Molly’s Suds to the bin, but then I found it was easier if you dissolved the detergent in a smaller container and then added it to the larger bin.

Then I added more hot water and made sure the detergent was completely dissolved before I added the slipcovers.

3. Add the slipcovers

I removed the slipcovers from the couch cushions and added them two at a time to the bin making sure the cushion cover is submerged in the water.

I tested the product first on one cushion cover. And after I soaked it and washed it?

I KNEW WE HAD A WINNER.

I ran around pulling off all the cushion covers and telling anyone who would listen to me how excited I was about how clean the cushions and the slipcover were.

4. Wash them in the washer

Remove them from the bin and wring out any excess water. Then I washed them on the regular laundry cycle. Also, I know this is Captain Obvious of stain removal, but I wanted to put it here just in case.

If you wash the slipcover and the stain doesn’t come out?

DO NOT DRY IT.

Drying it is like setting the stain.

Instead? Soak and wash again to try to get the stain out. You can see Molly’s Suds here.

All is right in slipcover land.

Everything is washed and clean and stain-free.

I’m so so so SO HAPPY I found this amazing product that literally changed my slipcovers life. I’m on to sheets and pillows and duvet covers and making all the textiles in our house a little whiter and brighter.

And just in case you needed a few other laundry tips?

Here are some more of my favorites.

laundry tips for delicates

1. Add a Tide pen to your purse (or purses)

This is the tip that has saved many an outfit.

I’m just messy.

I’m going too fast and talking too much and getting it all on my clothes.

The key with stains is you want to treat them right away. I found this set of three Tide pens so I”m always at the ever ready. Make sure to add a little water when you use it. I’ve found this makes it work better.

I put one in the car, one in my purse and one in my traveling bag.

I’ve already used them more times than I can count.

2. For really tough stains Fels-Naptha also really works

I discovered Fels-Naptha when Zack played baseball.

I could NOT keep those white pants clean.

And then another mom told me about Fels-Naptha. It’s totally old school and comes in a bar. Best stain purchase you will ever make.

Every laundry room needs one.

Use the end of the bar and rub it into the stain and wash as normal.

3. Simple laundry tip for oil stains

All stains are not created equal.

And oil?

Specifically, salad dressing oil is one of the worst.

If you have an oil spill, for the best chance of success, you want to act as quickly as possible.

Blue Dawn Detergent is your friend.

Rub it into the stain with a brush like this to get the stain out of all the fibers and immediately wash per washing instructions.

laundry tips and ideas

4. Pay attention to fabric care labels

This has saved me with many a garment.

The fabric care labels are there for a reason.

If it says to wash in cold, wash in cold. If it says “delicate” and “don’t dry” make sure to follow the instructions.

Your clothes will last so much longer if you just follow the care instructions.

5. Wear something twice without washing

Someone gave me this advice and just between us?

It was hard to follow.

I felt like if I wore it once? It had to be washed.

But truly? If you wore it and there aren’t any stains and you didn’t run a mile in it or climb a mountain?

It can probably go back into your closet for one more wear.

Clothes actually last so much longer if you don’t wash them as often.

Quick tip: I have everything folded perfectly in my closet using this handy tool. I use it and love it all the time.

6. Use mesh lingerie bags

This is the best tip ever. I never knew about these before someone else told me about these bags.

It started when I snagged a sweater with the hook on the back of my bra.

(total aside: you should always hook these together before washing.)

But lingerie lasts so much longer if you use these bags to wash them. It prevents everything from being stretched out or getting tangled up together and ripping.

Protect your unmentionables (as my grandma used to call them) in the wash with lingerie bags.

7. Don’t dry everything

I don’t dry half of what I wash.

Here’s what I dry:

  • jeans
  • pants
  • sweatshirts
  • older pajamas
  • velour clothing
  • acrylic (on low heat)

Here’s what I don’t dry:

  • sweaters
  • blouses with ruffles
  • swimsuits
  • tops with embellishments
  • shoes
  • tights
  • wool (never ever ever)

I love a drying rack that pulls out like this.

Many times, I’ll also lay a towel on top of the washer and dryer and lay the clothes flat to dry.

8. Use less detergent

ESPECIALLY if you have a front loader.

I know this seems counterintuitive, but using less detergent is actually better.

If there’s too much soap, it can bubble up and those bubbles get trapped in the clothes and leave a sticky mess.

Most detergents now are so high-powered that you just need a small amount.

9. Turn dark-colored clothes inside out

One of the easiest laundry tips, I’ve found to reduce fading is to turn dark clothes inside out.

Especially black pants and shirts.

Turning them inside out reduces the friction on the front of the fabric and puts all the friction on the inside instead (that no one will ever see).

12. Simple laundry tip to reduce wrinkles

The easiest laundry tip? Always remove your clothes from the dryer as soon as possible.

This prevents wrinkles from setting in and clothes looking frumpy.

I also have stopped ironing and started using a steamer instead. It saves SO MUCH time.

Instead of going back and forth with the iron, the steamer just swipes over the top of the shirt or blouse or dress and all the wrinkles disappear.

This is the steamer I have and love.

I hope this post inspired you today.

Truth?

Laundry can actually be fun.

Taking care of the slipcovers you have and getting stains out and making them last longer is so rewarding.

Here’s to a day that’s whiter and brighter.

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disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post

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Comments

  1. Image for Karen Mary Karen Mary

    Oh yay! Ordered Molly's and will be cleaning my slipcovers this weekend! Just in time for spring cleaning. (Also ordered some Fels for my daughter to try on the grands' baseball uniforms. Now that will be a miracle!) Thanks for the inspiration and helpful tips! PS: Your readers might also like the tips in my article on washing kids' sports uniforms. https://caretokeep.com/wash-kids-sports-uniforms/

  2. Image for Kim Kim

    Glad you mentioned the Fels Naptha. My grandmother used it on everything! Have used it with stains and a dab of Dawn dish soap. It also brightens vintage linens. Glad your cushions turned out alright and now you have a remedy for future spills, because life happens and we don't live in museums. Agreed about not drying everything and all of your suggestions are "spot" on ;) Wanted to add that sometimes air dried clothing can have a rough texture. I use a green scrub pad that you can purchase from any grocery store and lightly brush over piling, etc. The clothes look like new.

  3. Image for va in NC va in NC

    Great info--- will be ordering the Molly product. Hate stains but life happens. Don't have slipcovers but would like to get them. Do you have source for good ones like yours. Also love your blouse can you share info on it. You save me so much time with your tips. Thank you for all the info. Blessings,

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Of course! It came from Elizbeth Wilson Designs a couple of years ago! She has similar ones now! Here's the link to her shop: https://bit.ly/3mKbFHr And the slipcovers came with the couch---I wish I had a good slipcover source, but I haven't found one I really liked enough to recommend it! Let me know if you have any other questions!

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Of course! It came from Elizbeth Wilson Designs a couple of years ago! She has similar ones now! Here's the link to her shop (affiliate): https://bit.ly/3mKbFHr Let me know if you have any other questions! KariAnne

  4. Image for Christine Christine

    I’ve ordered the soap, thank you for sharing. I like your soap box with the scoop attached. Would you please share your source 😊

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Christine, Of course! Here are the links for those (affiliate): https://bit.ly/3hOmIbv https://bit.ly/2V5BelB happy day! KariAnne

  5. Image for Karyn Karyn

    I'm sort of stuck on the fact that you wash your lingerie in the washer. I was taught to never, ever put anything so delicate in the washer. Hand wash only. A little tip: for a lot of air-dried items, if they're a bit stiff, or scratchy, toss them in the dryer without heat. They will soften up nicely. Thank you for a couple of tips that I either forgot, or just didn't know.

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Karyn, I should have qualified. I don't really have super delicate anything! Most of my stuff is all pretty sturdy and I've never had a problem before! If I had something super delicate, I'd probably hand wash it! KariAnne

  6. Image for Linda Linda

    Thank you for this great advice, I ordered it. Another good tip about whitening and darkening blue jeans is to use Mrs. Stewart’s Concentrated Liquid Bluing - does both but read instructions carefully - best to mix with warm water first.

  7. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    I have seen Molly's Suds before - I will def have to try that. What a great informative post. And I must say your blouse is adorable. I really love v-necklines and that is just so flattering on you, KA.

  8. Image for Lee Stearns Lee Stearns

    This goes back to the fridge organizing tips from the other day… sorry but I just opened MY fridge and there it was! I use placemats on each shelf with a piece of rubber non slip shelf liner under them! Looks nice and so simple to wipe off! I got mine for $2. A piece at Walmart! Perfect size for my side by side fridge! How about that… sharing a tip with the “ Queen of Useful Tips”!!

  9. Image for Susan Susan

    Any recommendations for cleaning sofa/chair cushions when the covers cannot be removed and washed in the washer? Thanks so much!

  10. Image for Allie Denham Allie Denham

    Happy Saturday KariAnne ! Where did you purchase your slipcovered sofa and the brand ?! My daughter purchased theirs from Rooms To Go but very limited colors... They are 6 years old, and with 2 small children and a dog, they launder well !!! Allie

  11. Image for Linda Hovgaard Linda Hovgaard

    Such a great and informative article! Thank you! I learned a lot of valuable tips! Your home is beautiful!

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