If you’re looking to whiten a slipcover, I have a DIY for you. It is a simple four step process. I recently purchased chairs online from Laylaloou and they were a slightly different color than I expected. It was a beautiful vintage raw slipcovered chair, but it had a more green hue to it. As-is, it didn’t fit our home, so I decided to take it into my own hands and try a DIY whitening method. It works on most fabrics.
This was the chair before:
Not bad, but I wanted a lighter brighter fabric for my space. This is the chair after my whitening process:
I was so impressed with how true white these slipcovers pulled to. I was concerned through the process with how yellow they were, but I think my whitening process is my go-to from now on!
To see this process on video, check out my how to video on Instagram.
I’ve also provided a detailed step by step process below. But, remember every fabric/project will be different. Some will take longer than others, some won’t work as well as others, and some will require more steps. I always go into it remembering that I can always dye the fabric if I don’t like the result.
- Step one: Get your Rit Color Remover, Rit White Wash, and bleach together. On a side note, this took me a few days between moming and laundry needs because you must wash between steps. I chose to do the hot water in the sink method, but you can use the washer, or in a pot on the stove as well. I think the pot or sink is the best way for a longer soak and also a more even stripping process because you can’t intervene in the washer cycle.
- Step two: Start with the Rit Color Remover. Follow the directions on the box of the color remover. I filled a sink with boiling water from the stove, put the color remover in, and dropped the slipcovers right in. The color started leaving the slipcovers immediately, which was cool to watch. I stirred and flipped occasionally through every step of the process to make sure it was stripping evenly. I did this by flipping with my hands and stirring/poking with a spoon. I left the slipcovers in for a long time until I was satisfied with the color that had been removed. This will be different for every piece.
- Step three: After washing I used the same technique with the Rit White-Wash in the sink. Follow the directions on the box. This was another long process but it was cool to see the yellow tones come out of the white slipcovers. When I thought the white-wash did all it could, I took them out and washed them again.
- Step four: When taking the slipcovers out of the wash, I still saw some yellow tones in the slipcovers so I decided to do a bleach soak in the sink with the slipcovers. You won’t want to soak in bleach for very long because they can turn a yellow/green tint if you soak too long. I did it for about 10 minutes with stirring them around.
I hung the slipcovers to dry and they whitened even more in the drying process. I’m very happy with how these turned out and they have a very fresh cozy cottage farmhouse look now. I hope this tutorial helps you fall in love with textile pieces in your home again! If you’re looking for another DIY project, check out this DIY Bleached Wood Trunk.