How to Care for Your IKEA EKTORP Furniture

I know our friends and family probably thought we were a little nuts to have white furniture in our living room, and honestly I had no idea how they would hold up, but as affordable as these two pieces are ($399 for the sofa, $379 for the love seat), it was worth a shot. Plus, I knew I could always replace the slipcovers with a different color for cheap ($49 for the sofa, $39 for the love seat).
IKEA Ektorp Care Tips
This set is so comfortable. After the first few weeks, I was really irritated with myself for paying as much as we did for our old set knowing now that they weren't nearly as comfortable as these are. The cushions are really thick and you can't feel the frame of the arms. These are also very easy to assemble. Don't let the fact that you have to assemble the arms scare you though because anyone can do it!
Having chosen the white slipcovers, I knew that I would have to deal with these showing dirt more than the other color choices. I was willing to deal with that because I had a very specific decor in mind for our new house. For instance, the back of the arm of the love seat gets dirty a little faster than the rest of the love seat because Sam rubs up against that spot when he turns that corner. You have to be really, really short or be on the ground to actually see it though. :)
So here is a picture of the love seat, where the kids sit most often. You can definitely see the dirt up close in this light, but honestly from a few feet away you don't even notice it. Depending on what time of day it is, the dirt might not even show. The picture above where Sam is laying against the slipcover is the same sofa before I washed the slipcovers and you can't even tell the slipcovers need to be washed. That doesn't mean I'm going to let it stay dirty though. ;)
My 3 must-haves for IKEA EKTORP furniture are:
A garment steamer to remove the wrinkles. You will want one of these right away because the slipcovers come with creases from being folded. I use the Conair Extreme Steam Fabric Steamer with Dual Heat.
I was so impressed at how white our bath towels came out of the wash after using OxiClean White Revive Powder so I tried it on the slipcovers with regular laundry detergent and bleach and I was really happy with the results.
Lint rollers are a must for white slipcovers. Really though, everyone should be using lint rollers on their furniture on a regular basis. The lint from clothing and blankets is noticeably more prevalent on white slipcovers, but it's on all furniture (obviously).
In case you are curious as to what the frame looks like without slipcover and cushions, there it is above!
The above picture shows how wrinkly the slipcovers are before I used the hand steamer.
I could have spent a little more time with the fabric steamer to get every single wrinkle out, but what for? If a slightly disheveled looking sofa is not your thing, don't go with these. I don't want my furniture to look perfect. I want it to look comfortable so when my guests come over, they are not afraid to sit down.
All in all, I love our IKEA EKTORP sofa and love seat. I love them so much that I would like to sell our old set that is in our lower level living room (which is only a few years old) and replace it with another IKEA EKTORP set!
Click the link below to see more images plus see how I scored throw pillows for under $12 each!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Liz Perryman
    on Nov 30, 2016

    What breed of dog is Sam?

  • Sas16616227
    on Jan 20, 2017

    Why do you want to sell your old set and replace it with a new set? Are they wearing out?

    • Thank you for clarifying that Laura! Saspen, these are most definitely not wearing out. This set has held up the best out of any furniture I have ever owned. The cushions have not flattened at all and being able to wash the cushion covers keeps the set looking brand new at all times. I'm 100% happy with this set!

Join the conversation

2 of 13 comments
  • Dixie Patricia Cockrell
    on Jul 22, 2017

    pillows $12.00, not slip covers, which were $39 - $49.00 each.
  • Julee Bates Spaits
    on Dec 29, 2017

    I have the same sofa and loveseat but IKEA didn't offer the navy blue I wanted for the slipcovers so I went with white and used RIT dye in Navy Blue and they came out perfect. I know this is sort of off topic but I just wanted to point out that you're not limited to the colors that Ikea offers, this fabric holds dye really well and when they get dirty I just throw them in the washing machine.
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