Monday, September 20, 2010

IKEA Ektorp Wash & Review

Hi There!  Thanks for stopping by once again.  It seems many of you are interested in the IKEA Ektorp sofas.  I don't blame ya.  These are some reasonably priced sofas and chairs with slipcovers.  That's my kinda thing.  You want to know if they're worth it and if they surpass their lower price tag.  You want to know if they wash well.  You want to know if they hold up to the wear and tear of kids and pets.  You want to know if it's gonna be something you'll like. 

You can find my initial review of the sofa, love seat, and Tullsta chairs here.  Now that I've washed them a bit, I'm back with more of a review. 

I will tell you.....I Still Love Them!  Maybe even more so since I now have couches that I can wash. 

I. Love. Them. 

I've had the couches since January of 2010 and they are just as comfy as ever.  They have the perfect amount of give, with the perfect amount of support.  They fit my family well.  The dog's favorite place to sleep is on the love seat. 

Oh, but what about the washing?  Come along with me as we tour a recent washing episode in my house.  You can find out what I do and at the end of this you'll find out what I think about washing slipcovers.  You're just super excited, aren't you?  I know I am....cause there's nothing like laundry to get your blood boiling. 

The picture above is the day before washing.  Not too bad.  The love seat is the dog's favorite and we usually cover it with a blanket when he sleeps on it.  Honestly, I often times don't remove the blanket unless company is coming over. 

Here's my love seat naked.  Stripped.  Going nude.  It looks better dressed. 

You can tell I strip the couches at night.  The kids are in bed and it makes it easier for me.  I can pile stuff up without fear of them jumping in it and getting it even more dirty. 

See.....the dog and kids track in dirt.  It gets in the crevices of the couch.  You can't freak out.  You have to know that these couches will get dirty.  Any couch does.  But you can wash these slipcovers.  Give me a, "Thank goodness!"  Washing lets you know they're clean.  I like that.

I did get a free second set of slipcovers with my couch and love seat when I ordered them.  That promo was my big incentive to order them.  I love having a second set.  I strip the couches down and put on the clean set.  Then the used/dirty covers can wait till I have time to do laundry.  Because if you know me.....laundry never gets done in one day here.  Ever.  I've tried. So the slipcovers sit in a laundry basket and a big IKEA bag until I can do them.

I keep my extra sets in a cedar chest that was passed down to us from Biker Boy's grandmother.  Just in case you were wondering.   

They get a little wrinkly because I'm not the best folder.  If you have trouble folding fitted sheets, these slipcovers are going to throw a whopper at you.  Plus, I'm not fond of ironing.....so I don't.  The slipcovers are a little wrinkly when they first get put on, but the wrinkles settle out.  Plus, I'm not about perfection here, so I don't mind. If you don't like wrinkles, you're going to have to do a little more. 

I washed according to the directions.  Mostly.  You can look at the IKEA website for any Ektorp product and find the instructions.  It basically says to remove cover, wash in hot water separately, do not bleach, do not tumble dry, and iron on high cycle.  You can dry clean on normal cycle.  Dry clean?  No thank you, not for me.

I did wash on hot with a mild detergent.  I did not tumble dry.  I've read reviews that the slip covers have shrank in the dryer.  They're made of cotton....they'll probably shrink if you dry them with high heat.  I think you could air fluff them in the dryer without heat, but I haven't attempted that.  The sun works wonders.  I dry mine outside in the sun.  The sun is a natural bleaching agent, so it gets out any marks that the detergent doesn't.  If it's ever muddy or wet out, I'll dry them inside on drying racks. 

Wondering about the no bleach part?  Yep, I saw that.  If you read my first review you'll know we had a grape juice incident on one of the cushions.  Yep, 100% grape juice on a white cover.  Knowing the directions say "No bleach" I was about freaking out.  I tried pouring hot water through the back of the slipcover to no avail and even tried some stain remover.  Nope.  Biker Boy sprayed some bleach on the offending spot and the grape juice disappeared before our eyes.  So while we didn't dump bleach into the machine (which I know some people have), we have used it happily as a spot treater.  And it works. 

Overall, I'm still as happy as can be with my Ektorp furniture.  It takes me 3 loads to wash 4 pieces of furniture, but really....I'm already doing laundry, so what's a few more loads?  I'm happy I can have clean couches anytime I see fit.  I highly recommend having a second set of covers if you've got little ones and pets.  I'm completely happy I went with the white, even with kids and pets.  I think slipcovers are worth the little bit of extra time to wash and dry.  I do find the couches as comfortable as day 1 and maybe even more comfortable.  Try them out in the store and remember that those ones have probably been sat on 10,000 times or more.  And don't be afraid to throw a blanket over them, especially on the muddy days.  Or dog days.  Or whatever day. 

So tell me, do you have any experience washing white slipcovers?  Rants or raves about Ektorp products?  Questions or comments?  As always, feel free to email me or comment.

Find my 2 year follow-up here. Also find a post with all my visitors' comments on the Ektorp line here.

* Just so you know, I was not compensated by IKEA in any way for this post.  We purchased the Ektorp products on our own and just love to share products that we love.*

59 comments:

  1. I've had my Ektorp since 04. I have a blue and white stripe and sage with offwhite piping. They are both cotton twill. I've put them in the dryer numerous times (live in an apt and don't have the space to hang) and they still fit quite well. Perhaps the length in the back was longer to begin with. I can't remember. It is a couple of inches off the ground and that suits me just fine for mopping purposes.

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  2. That is so good to know! The dryer could come in handy and I'm in agreement with the mopping part!

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  3. Thank you for the good news about the couch that I just purchased! So nice to know that you have kids & animals and are happy with them. I now have neither but love the white and the knowledge that they are washable!! Much appreciation!

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  4. Susan, thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you enjoy your new couch!

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  5. Hello,

    Thank you for the detailed feedback on your "Ektorp" experience. We have just ordered an Ektorp sofa and a chaise lounge. Your blog did a lot to reassure us of our decision. Looking forward to the delivery day...

    Rajeev

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  6. Rajeev, Thanks so much for stopping by! I truly hope your enjoy your new Ektorp products!

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  7. Our ektorp slipcover became discolored in just a few months. We had the grey and it began to turn orange. Ikea took it back and gave us a new one, but when we took the cushion covers for the exchange off we discovered the feathered top section had come unsewn and feathers were all over the cushion. I wish we'd had as good an experience with Ektorp.

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  8. Ihavehad my two ektorp white sofas for three years and i have pets and kids! I take them off and wash them about every three months, I put blue-o solution in the machine water before i add them and I pre soak them in the bath with nappy solution and warm water (every second wash i do with them, so aboutt 2 or 3 times a year).They continue to be fabulous, look great, hold their shape and people comment what lovely sofas they are. I could not be happier, I haven't dried them in the drier i just hang them out and live with a few feathers for 24 hours and put them back on, they look like new. I would by another ektorp sofa in a heatbeat!

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  9. It's good to hear both bad and good experiences. Thanks for taking the time to comment and let others know about your experiences with Ektorp. I'm still pleased with mine. They're going in the wash tomorrow!

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  10. I have the ektorp sofa chair and sofa in white and three dogs! i have had it for over a year now and the covers still look brand new despite what they have been through;) the trick to keeping them looking great is before washing i use oxiclean max force on any stains, then i wash them in a front loader with all free and clear detergent and a capful of bleach, i tumble them low in the drier leaving them a little damp then lay them out flat on our spare bed/the floor with the windows open and the fan on to dry. for the price you pay i am really surprised what great quality the slipcovers are.

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  11. Thanks for the info! I have been wanting the Ektorp sectional, but was worried about keeping it clean. A little googling led me to your blog. Great review. Thanks!

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  12. Thanks for stopping by Christine. I hope the Ektorp sectional works out for you, if you decide to get it. And thanks to everyone who stops by and to those who add comments and their own reviews!

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  13. Ive had my couch for 4 years, White, It says dryclean only. Im going to wash and hang dry it. If it doesnt work out ill get a new one. 50 bucks now Ikea of cours. hope it works though. looking for a good stain lifter that wont discolor the white????

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  14. I've started using powder oxi-clean on my white slip covers and I'm really happy with it. Lately I've been using powdered tide also. They're still clean! My son got bicycle grease on my love seat recently and I treated it with liquid spray oxi-clean and then washed in powdered tide with powder oxi-clean and it came out white again!

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  15. I've washed and dried my seat cushions, and the drying part is probably what has caused it to shrink and make the zipper rip from the cushion. So, I'd suggest using the washer to wash the cushion cover but don't use the dryer. As for the couch cover, washing it and drying it should be just fine as one of the comments mentioned (for mopping purposes)it will shrink a bit in inches from the ground.

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  16. I'm glad to know your happy with the sofas...I'm considering the slipcovered sectional...I have a slipcover I put on my old couch and I LOVE it...kids are nasty! Well, HUMANS are nasty...we don't eat anywhere but the table, but somehow there is always food in our couch...I'm more seriously considering the sofa now...THANKS

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  17. Thanks for your great reviews of EKTORP! With kids and pets and the low price tag of the sofa, I wasn't sure if the cushions or slipcovers would hold up... but you've put my worries to rest. Going out to buy one this month!

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  18. Thanks for stopping by Urban Farmgirl! I saw on your blog that you got a chaise, is that correct? I would love to hear what you think about it!

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  19. I am glad I found your blog through a google search we are about to buy an Ektorp Sofa. We are replaceing out Madrid 3 seater we purchased from SofaSofa in the UK, this is all hollow fibre filled and goes flat all the time.

    We tested the cusion bounce on the Ektorp in store and we were very happy with the bounce back on the cusions, we will get two different colour slip covers one being red to add some zest and zing to our mexican style lounge.

    On another note that may interest some customers, we also like this sofa now as they have stopped using feathers in the design and gone to man made wadding in the back cusions, being vegan we avoid buying such things.

    Ill let you know how it goes getting ours sofas, there are cheaper sofas from sofasofa in the UK but the downside is they have hollo fibre cusions and go flat very quick.

    jase

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    Replies
    1. Yes.. we are very happy about the feathers to man made wadding replacement!!

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  20. Thanks for stopping by and for all the info. I'd love to hear how the sofas work out for you and how you like them. I didn't know they stopped using feathers, that's great to know. I've had my sofas for nearly 2 years now and they still feel as great or even better than when we got them. Good luck with your sofas!

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  21. Hi there,
    Thanks for posting this! Since you also have pets, have you ever had to wash the down seat cushion covers? I have a cat who, while under the weather, decided that my Ektorp sofa would be a good place to go potty. Now I have to figure out the best way to thoroughly clean the cushion cover so that he doesn't return to the spot in the future.

    Thanks!

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  22. Hi Courtney,
    Fortunately my cat hasn't used the couch as her litter box yet. I haven't had to wash the seat cushion cover yet. If it happened to me I would probably spray the cushion with a pet stain and odor remover and then hose down the cushion and let it air dry really well. (We had to do that to a recliner without removable cushions once that the cat used as her litter box). Then I would spray it with a pet odor remover once more and let it dry so the cat wouldn't keep coming back to the scent. Walmart sells a great enzyme spray for removing pet odors in the pet section. I'm sure you can also find it some other sprays at other retailers and pet stores. Also...we still use that recliner we hosed down and the cat hasn't used it since. I can't say the same for my bath mat! Thanks for stopping by.

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  23. I just bought the Svanska Gray covered Ektorp sofa and love it; however it says to "Dry Clean" the cover which I don't want to be bothered with: because of the expense and the hassle. Have you any information about what
    happens to the cover when it is washed? If I can't wash it, I may return it and get another color. Please let e now as soon as you can !!! Thanks !!!

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  24. Hi New Ektorp Sofa Owner, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I've been away from my computer. I only have the white slip covers, so I'm not sure about the colored covers and washing them. I know the white covers say you can dry clean, but I wash them. I would suggest checking your return policy. Can you wash the covers once to see what happens and then return it? I know I wash a lot of my dry clean only clothes on a regular cycle, but then I air dry them. I don't use a dry cleaner either because of the hassle and cost. But I don't want to steer you wrong on something as large and costly as a slipcover. Maybe there will be someone else with colored covers that can comment sometime. I'm sorry I couldn't be more of a help in that area.

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  25. Chrissy.
    Thank you so much for continuing your review of the Ektorp sofa. You have helped solidify my decision to purchase. I do wonder though, about a comment made August 22, 2011. Jase said Ikea removed the feathers from the back pillows. I'm curious if Jase would comment on his/her experience with the Extorp sofa, that is if the purchase was made.

    Thank you again for all the information.

    Gloria

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  26. Gloria, thank you for stopping by! I would love to hear what you (and others) think of the Ektorp if you get it. I know it can help others in their decisions to hear all the good and the bad. I'm still pleased with my purchase of the Ektorps. My cushions have held up, even with the dog laying on top of the back cushions all the time.

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  27. Hello! I am searching for a small loveseat for my home's living room, and was wondering if the Ektorp would be a good fit. I love your post -- but I was wondering, when you first purchase the Ektorp, does it require any assembling? This is a post I wrote recently about small loveseats: http://momhomeguide.com/2012/02/10/is-our-furniture-too-fat/

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  28. Hi Lauren, thanks for stopping by. There is minimal assembly with the Ektorp. You have to screw the feet in and then put the slipcovers on. That's it! Good luck with the loveseat search!

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  29. I had my ektorp sectional (2 +2) for almost three years. We have 2 young girls, and no pets. I wash mine in hot water with BLEACH and have yet to have an issue. I've even used R.I.T. Whiten and brighten powder on a couple occasions and if anything, the covers come out nice and white, which I prefer over the dingy white they come as.

    However, when dried in the drier on the lowest setting (extra low on my machine) my covers have experienced severe shrinkage. I'm on my second set, both have shrank so badly that they have ripped at the seams and now is causing damage to the couch itself (the stapled Velcro strips along the bottom edge is pulling out -- didn't realize this until my 2 year old stepped on one of the staples which landed in the carpet.. Ouch!) I have tried setting them outside to air dry, one occasion a bird pooped on it and it had to re-washed, the second time squirrels decided they would be a cozy spot to nibble on some snacks.

    All-in-all, I love the sectional! But I hate the slipcovers. I will be calling ikea this time around for a FREE replacement, or begin looking for a sectional made of leather, which can be wiped clean....

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  30. Thanks for taking the time to write about the slipcovers. I haven't ever dried mine in the machine due to comments from others about them shrinking. I have discovered that after 2 years the zippers on mine were getting stuck. They weren't broken, but they were just hard to zip. My husband sprayed some silicone spray on them and they work like new now. I hope you're able to get some replacement slipcovers for free or else you can find something more suitable! Good luck!

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  31. I have a white ektorp sofa that I would like to spot clean. My dog rubbed dirt on the front but other than that its still pretty clean. Does anyone have any suggestions for spot cleaning the slip covers? Thanks!

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  32. I have had more dirt on my couch than I like to think about. I use Resolve spray (I think it was formerly called spray 'n wash) on the spot, rub it in, let it set 5 minutes and then wash in hot water. I've never had a problem with it not coming out. You could also do the spot remover spray and then run it under hot water if you just wanted to do the spot. Anyone else have suggestions? Anyone ever try one of those stain remover sticks that are meant for clothes?

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  33. Thanks so much for the tips on spot cleaning! I plan to try it out this weekend.

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  34. Why Ikea does not make a shrink resistant slipcover is beyond me. I used to have a mattisse covered couch I bought from Domain. Washed and dried the thing for over 7 years. No shrinkage. I still kick myself over deciding to give it away. I now have the Ektorp with the Redeby cover (no longer available). It is holding up much better. Once this couch wears out -that's it. I don't have drying racks or a clothes line and my husband won't sit on the floor until the couch dries all day. Now I have heard about aftermarket slipcovers made to fit the Ektorp. I may consider that if they are not too expensive.

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  35. I have a ektorp loveseat in white. After washing it once I noiced that it discoloured, white and off-white coloured. I washed it in cold water. Could that be the problem?
    Thanks
    Don

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  36. Hi Don,
    That's something that happens with the IKEA slipcovers, unfortunately. I mentioned that it happened to mine in a post, but it's not too noticeable so I deal with it. Did you happen to use a chlorine based bleach or washing liquid on it? The white slipcovers are really an off-white color so using any sort of bleach on them will turn it white. (Probably part of my problem). I'm not sure about the cold water, I've always washed mine in hot. If it's a big problem I'd contact IKEA customer service and see what help they can give you. If you haven't had the loveseat long, ask if they'll replace the cover (if you followed their washing directions). Thankfully the white slipcovers are fairly inexpensive to get a second set. Sorry if I wasn't more help, I hope you come to a happy conclusion. If all else fails....wash them with bleach and hope the whole thing turns white...as a last resort. Also make sure your washer isn't stuffed too full when washing, that could cause some areas to get more detergent than others and cause the spotting. Maybe wash the base cover separate from the pillow covers?

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  37. Thanks for taking the time to post. Found through google search. We have just the single chair but hearing how well the other pieces hold up make me want more. Need to get rid of bachelor couches!

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  38. Thanks for taking the time to comment and stop by Christi! If you end up getting more sofas, come on back and let us all know what you think of them. I'm looking for the good, bad, pretty, and ugly! And you gotta love the price of these sofas! Two and half years and I'm still loving them. Although...I'm guessing it's time to wash mine again...the dog has gotten a few of the covers filthy!

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  39. We have four Ektorp armchairs with white slipcovers that we really like...EXCEPT that I've had very poor outcomes when I washed individual covers on two occasions.

    In both cases I washed a single set of slipcovers in warm water with mild detergent. When I removed the large piece that covers the body of the chair from the washer, I discovered that the fabric in the middle of the top of the left arm of the cover had disintegrated and shredded apart creating a large gaping hole. We had owned the chairs beyond the warranty period, so we went back and purchased another set of covers.

    In the meantime, I did have one successful washing of another cover, but today, when I washed one of the covers the same thing happened as it did a year ago. This time the fabric was torn open on the upper arm of the main piece near the shoulder.

    We'll go back to buy another replacement set, but I'm obviously doing something wrong. Perhaps it's my washer, although it seems unlikely to me that it could be that destructive...however no one else in previous posts appears to have this problem.....Helen

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  40. Helen, Sorry to hear about the trouble with washing the covers. If something happens to new ones you buy, take them back...especially if they are under warranty. I guess the only things I can think of to ask you are 1) Have you looked in the washer to make sure there isn't anything sticking out of it to put holes in things? Do you get holes in other items? 2) Do you wash with the zippers open or closed? I always close my zippers when I wash to make sure they don't snag anything.

    Anyone else have any ideas for Helen?

    Sorry about your trouble and thanks for sharing it with us.

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  41. THANKYOU!! I don't have kids or a dog but I'm a naturally mucky pup myself and have been looking at the ektorp sofabed as an option for small flat with no spare room -washable bleachable covers!! HURRAH and THANKYOU!! what a great detailed review I guess.Sold.Thankyou so much


    Ballu

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  42. I recently bought the ektorp sofa on ebay (i didnt know it was an ektorp till i had it delivered) I managed to grab my self a bargain as i pain 4.99 for it :) well chuffed :) the only thing is it has no legs.... was wondering if you could take a picture so i can search for similar. thankyou :)

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  43. Has anyone had any experience with the Ektorp Jennylund chair? It's the perfect size for our nursery but the only reviews I can find for it are from Australia and are not good. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance!

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  44. Hi Kris,
    I don't know much about the Jennylund. I wish I could tell you something. Here's a few online things I found, that you may have already seen.

    Check out the comments at: http://romantichome.blogspot.com/2009/07/ikea-sofa-review.html

    This one turned it into a rocker: http://www.mrswigglebottom.com/2011/07/turning-chair-into-swivel-rocker.html

    From here: http://www.viewpoints.com/IKEA-Ektorp-Living-Room-Furniture-reviews it said, "We purchased an IKEA Ektorp loveseat and Jenny Lund chair in November of 2010 and we absolutely love it! It is very well made and can be dressed up or dressed down."

    And the comments from here: http://chriskauffman.blogspot.com/2009/07/ikea-slipcovered-sofas.html

    Good luck! And I'm assuming...since you mentioned nursery....congratulations on a little one!

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  45. I have 2 boys and our Ektorp sofa lives in their tv room. It is well used and I am happy to say that the covers go in our wash machine regularly and we have had no problems at all. The fabric is a off white corduroy and I often throw bleach into the machine and they come out like new. I would never have purchased a sofa in this colour as I am a self confessed neat freak but we bought it for a song off my sister years ago. At one stage my mom in law had it too so it really has done the rounds and still looks fantastic. The cover has stretched a little but I suspect my mom in law ironed it. I would love to get a new cover in a colour as they have a great selection at the moment but don't want to risk buying one that is not machine washable.

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  46. What a great conversation! I've just recently gotten a 2009 Ektorp Love seat and I love it. I want to get a slipcover for a different look but the 2009 is a little different than the current version (it seems to have gotten the more rounded hand rests in the 2010 and later versions). I didn't know this was the case when I accepted the piece and now I'm disappointed and feeling stuck with the color as is. Does ANYone have any ideas about where I can look for an older Ektorp slipcover? Any help would be appreciated.

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  47. Ask at IKEA if you could purchase one of the new slipcovers to see if it fits and make sure you can return it if it doesn't. That's one idea. Another is to look for other places that make slipcovers for Ektorps. Comfort Works is one place I know of, there are others. Contact them and ask them if their slipcovers will work. Good luck! I hope it works out for you!

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  48. I have washed our white ektorp slip covers in our front loader, delicate extended cycle with cold water, oxyclean and Persiil dtergent with excellent results. Air dry, or they will shrink for sure!

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  49. What a woman. Not only do you wash your covers all the time, you wrote an upbeat post with lots of pictures to show how!

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  50. Deena...You're the woman! Thanks for commenting and making me smile! I only wish I could wash covers all the time. Last time they sat on my laundry room floor for 3 weeks before I washed them and the current ones on my couch are sporting chocolate, muddy dog print, and all sorts of other things. Nothing like a bunch of throw pillows to cover it all up! Thanks for your upbeat comment, you rock!

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  51. do you still like your ikea couches after three years? thinking of getting them.....lmk. thanks!

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  52. Oh yes! I still love them. I don't regret getting them at all. I love the new slipcovers that are out now in the new IKEA catalog. I love the look of the light gray one with buttons near the bottom. It looks like it might not wrinkle nearly as badly as the white ones. Oh well, someday I could always get another set of slipcovers. But yes, I still adore my Ektorps and they're still as comfy as ever to me. Thanks for asking.

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  53. I was wondering if you had the measurements for the box that the sofa came in?

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    1. I'm sorry, I don't. I have a photo of the boxes sitting in our driveway here: http://homekidslife.blogspot.com/2010/03/white-sofas-children-ikea-ektorp-sofa.html
      That might give you an idea of the size, if they're still the same size now.

      Have you tried calling IKEA customer service and asking them? Have a great weekend!

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  54. Thanks for the detailed wash review its great. Just wonering have you ever washed the second slip cover - the piece with the feathers in??i I've only had my couch a few months and today my toddler fell asleep on it and did a wee in his sleep!! I've washed the outer slip cover but am wondering what to do with the inner one with feathers??? Any suggestions appreciated thanks in advance-

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    1. I've only ever washed the outer covers, so I don't have any tried and true advice for you. I assume you're talking about how to wash the cushion. I guess I can't remember if there is another removable cover...I should wash my slipcovers again and take a look! Maybe you could spray it with something and put it outside to dry? Here's a link to getting urine out of a couch: http://www.getsmellout.com/how-to-get-urine-smell-out-of-couch/

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    2. Thanks a lot for that. I've given it a wash with some upholstery spray and wet wipes so hopefully it will dry out ok!!

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    3. Thanks for writing this up. I have an Ektorp sofa with the Risane Natural cover. It says I can machine wash warm, but not tumble dry. I think I'll try the drying rack in the sun.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it. Comments will be moderated eventually. Computer use only occurs when kiddos are asleep or otherwise occupied. Thanks for your patience.

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