How to Wash Sofa Covers Without Shrinking

How to Wash Sofa Covers Without Shrinking

Sofa covers are a wonderful way to protect your furniture from spills, stains, and wear and tear. However, washing them improperly can lead to unwanted shrinkage and damage. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps to clean your sofa covers effectively while preserving their size and shape. Follow these simple yet crucial tips to keep your sofa looking as good as new.

Understanding the Material

Before diving into the washing process, it’s essential to understand the material of your sofa cover. In addition, different fabrics require different care methods. Common materials include cotton, linen, polyester, and blends. Read the care label or manufacturer’s instructions to identify the fabric.

Preparing for the Wash

Before you start washing your sofa covers, there are a few important preparatory steps to follow:

Check for Stains

Inspect the covers for any visible stains or spills. Treat these spots individually with a stain remover before washing the entire cover.

Remove Loose Debris

Shake or gently brush the covers to remove loose dirt, dust, and pet hair. This will prevent these particles from adhering during the wash.

Unzip or Detach

If your sofa covers are removable, unzip or detach them from the sofa cushions. This will ensure an even wash and prevent excessive friction during the cycle.

Choosing the Right Detergent

Selecting the right detergent is essential to maintain the integrity of your fabrics and prevent shrinkage. It begins with considering the fabric type at hand, whether delicate like silk or robust like cotton, and choosing a detergent that suits its needs. If your fabrics are colorful or patterned, opting for a color-safe detergent is crucial to prevent fading or bleeding. 

Therefore,  read and adhere to care labels, as they often provide specific recommendations for detergent selection. Steer clear of bleach, as it can be harsh on fabrics, causing damage and discoloration. Instead, opt for mild, gentle formulas that are designed to preserve your fabrics’ texture and structure. 

For an eco-friendly approach, consider biodegradable detergents that are free from harmful chemicals. Finally, before using a new detergent, perform a spot test on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t have any adverse effects on your fabrics. By making these informed choices, you can extend the life of your textiles and keep them looking their best.

Washing Your Sofa Covers

Now that you’ve prepared your sofa covers and selected the appropriate detergent, it’s time to proceed with the washing process:

Use Cold Water

Set your washing machine to the delicate or cold water cycle. Hot water can cause fabrics to shrink, so it’s best to use cold water for most materials.

Load Carefully

Place the sofa covers in the washing machine, ensuring they have enough room to move freely. Overcrowding the machine can lead to improper cleaning and potential damage.

Avoid Agitation

Choose the gentlest agitation setting on your machine to minimize friction. Excessive agitation can cause fibers to break and lead to shrinkage.

Skip the Spin Cycle

After the wash, skip the spin cycle to prevent wringing out excess water, which can also cause shrinkage. Instead, gently squeeze the covers to remove excess moisture.

Drying Your Sofa Covers

Proper drying is just as important as washing when it comes to preventing shrinkage:

Air Dry

Hang the sofa covers outside or on a drying rack. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can fade colors. Air drying is the safest method to maintain the covers’ size and shape.

Avoid Heat

Refrain from using a tumble dryer or high heat settings. Heat can cause fibers to contract and shrink. If you must use a dryer, select the lowest heat setting or air-dry mode.

Maintaining the Elasticity

If your sofa covers have elastic bands or straps, make sure to handle them with care:

After washing and drying, reattach the elastic bands or straps to their original positions. Stretch them gently to restore elasticity.

Checking for Shrinkage

Once your sofa covers are dry, it’s essential to check for any signs of shrinkage. If you notice a slight shrink, don’t worry; this can often be fixed by gently stretching the fabric.


By following these steps, you can effectively clean your sofa covers without worrying about unwanted shrinkage. Proper care and attention to detail will help your sofa covers maintain their appearance and longevity.

Readmore: How Much Is a 3-Seater Sofa?


Can I use regular laundry detergent for washing sofa covers?

Yes, you can use mild, color-safe laundry detergent for washing sofa covers. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals.

How often should I wash my sofa covers?

It’s advisable to wash sofa covers every few months or as needed, depending on usage and stains.

Can I iron sofa covers to remove wrinkles?

Ironing may not be necessary, but if you choose to do so, use a low heat setting and a pressing cloth to protect the fabric.