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How to Clean Your Slipcovers

How to Clean Your Slipcovers

Photo image: Ellen Kennon

If you're lucky enough to have a good looking set of custom slipcovers, or merely a slipcovered chair, be sure you know whether it can be washed, spot cleaned or dry cleaned.  Slipcovers aren't my thing. The only thing I can slipcover is an ottoman or a table, but I've heard the agonizing cries of those who have plopped their slipcovers in the washer and dryer only to find they can't get them back on their furniture. One very talented slipcover seamstress I used to work with always washed and dried the fabric prior to cutting out slipcovers to avoid shrinkage.

Here's a handy guide to cleaning your slipcovers:

1.  Read the cleaning instructions

2.  If washable, remove slipcover and inspect it for any rips, tears, stains. (Check this out for tear repair

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3.  Spot clean all stains with a laundry stick

4.  Wash on the gentle cycle in cold water, lay flat to dry or hang outside to line dry

5.  If it hasn't been previously washed, I would have it dry cleaned. Don't take a chance. Mark the stains with a safety pin and point them out to the dry cleaner.

6.  If the slipcover is made from fabric with a raised design like crewel work, absolutely have it dry cleaned.

Some people do tumble dry their slipcovers but having seen the disasters, I would always hang it to dry.

Also be sure to read the care instructions to see if you can press your slipcover after it has been cleaned.

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