old country house blog

"THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!!!"

APRIL 16, 2012
Less that ONE month ago
I was so excited to show you our New sofa.
Remember?
The one that I bought.
The one that marked exactly the THIRD piece of NEW furniture that I had bought in almost 18 years of marriage?
Remember?
less than ONE MONTH ago!?

Isn’t…or I should say…wasn’t it beautiful?

What was I thinking?

THIS is what I came home to last night…

Seems with all of the rain and the mud and me not being home,
it was an OPEN invitation to 
a PIG FEST 
on the sofa
….wet muddy dogs had a BLAST while who knows who??? 
(NO ONE is fessing up!)
did who knows what!!!???
Can you tell that there is steam coming out of my ears?
and eyes?
do you understand why I can hear myself saying
“THIS is why we can’t have nice things!!”???
Hating myself for being so superficial and for caring so much and 
hating this house for being in the country surrounded by dirt and mud
and annoyed beyond words with the people I live with who expect me to 
flip out when we don’t have the right shampoo…
or can’t find their homework they “just had in my hand!”
or race to shut the front door so as not to “Air Condition the outdoors!” 
…but who can’t understand why I am
 “SO UPSET!”
over a stupid couch.
“Why did you get a white couch anyway?”
they ask.
…good question.
Guess I must have been dreaming.

It was like a science experiment…or one of those detergent commercials
“See how dirty we can make this sofa?”
Except the bad part is….
.It did not get clean,
the water saving new washer made it worse, if that was possible…
in fact, the other cushion covers, that I had to wash
so they would all be faded and gross…to the same extent
and the muddy ones, 
ALSO picked up the dirt and got disgusting in the washer.

I am ashamed to say that last night
I went to bed and cried myself to sleep.


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21 thoughts on “"THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!!!"

  1. Can you bleach them?? I have off white slip covered sofas, and I have often been frustrated that I cannot bleach them. Also, IKEA sells white slip covers for very reasonable prices, and I have been told by an aquaintance who uses them on a non IKEA sofa that they wash well, and that she occasionally bleaches them with great results. When she washes them, she puts them in the sun to dry, and no ironing is needed. If your frame is a similar size to one of the IKEA sofas, perhaps that would be a possible solution? Good luck!! I feel your pain. I somehow got a mud stain on my brand new Amy Butler rug not long ago, and I had the same thought…why do I try to buy nice things?:)

  2. Can you bleach them?? I have off white slip covered sofas, and I have often been frustrated that I cannot bleach them. Also, IKEA sells white slip covers for very reasonable prices, and I have been told by an aquaintance who uses them on a non IKEA sofa that they wash well, and that she occasionally bleaches them with great results. When she washes them, she puts them in the sun to dry, and no ironing is needed. If your frame is a similar size to one of the IKEA sofas, perhaps that would be a possible solution? Good luck!! I feel your pain. I somehow got a mud stain on my brand new Amy Butler rug not long ago, and I had the same thought…why do I try to buy nice things?:)

  3. I actually got the white because I thought once it gets dirty I can bleach it. Course did not expect that to be in 3 weeks. and I am hesitating because once I do, there is no turning back and I have to bleach the whole thing. The body and the cushions. To tell you the truth I wish I had just turned them over and not washed them. I just made a bad situation worse.

  4. Oh no. I also have a dog who gets very muddy and two little guys (who get muddy too). I have an unfitted slip cover from PB on one couch that I wash tons and our other couch is PB couch from Craigslist. We got that for $100. I just thought I’ll wait until the kids and the dog get bigger to get a really really nice couch. You may be able to bleach them or use a stain remover in the wash.

  5. Put them out in the sun today and see if that helps. I have found oxyclean to work better than bleach in getting the red mud out. I use both the powder you add to the whole cycle and the stain stick type product that you apply directly. The last one I absolutely swear by.
    Good luck.

  6. I assume the slipcover is a denim or duck cotton material? Mud and chlorophyll (grass) will bind to the cotton fibers resulting in stubborn stains. Mud and grass stains aren’t just dirt and grass. There can be greases and oils as well. I used to be chemist in homecare products(laundry detergents) for Procter and Gamble. So I have seen some narly laundry stains.

    Wet the slipcover & cushion covers, then apply a paste/ slurry of detergent. Do not use a liquid detergent as they contain dyes unless it is a perfume free detergent (no dyes) Oxydol powder (or Tide w/ stain release) will work great for this. Use equal parts of detergent and water to make the paste. Use an old tooth brush or scrub brush and work on the center of the stain out. Let this soak for 1-3 hours. Rinse (I use the bathtub since I don’t have a utility sink) and repeat. It will most likely take several tries but it will come clean. Once you get the majority of ground mud out you will want to run it through the wash. Do not use bleach as bleach over time weakens the fibers and actually causes yellowing. White vinegar is a great way to brighten and whiten.

    If you still find residual stains after several attempts, Lestoil is a great alternative. Make a solution equal parts of Lestoil and water and repeat the process.

    The trick is not to put in the dryer before getting all the stain out or it will set. Mud and grass stains are reversible from the dryer set but will take longer to remove.

    I hope this helps!

  7. I have no suggestions for you because I have two slipcovered (thank goodness just cheapo “Sure Fit” slipcovers over hideously green plaid) couches that look about the same. My dogs tend to go straight to their same two spots and after a couple of years they are stained. I have already been wondering what to do when I replace the couches in the future. I saw that one person (Maria from Dreamy Whites) used french linens over her slipcovered furniture so she could easily wash them. I have leather in our family room where we live because of the dogs. It is easy to clean. 🙂 There is nothing wrong with feeling the way you do…we all want our homes to be clean and look nice. 😉 And you can’t get rid of your family or dog. 😉 I’m “pinning” this for the suggestions in the comments. 🙂

  8. Oh man. I feel your angst. I’d try soaking them in Oxyclean in the bathtub or sink for a little bit. My mother in law also used club soda on carpet stains that gets out everything even cranberry juice. Soak and blot. Maybe worth a try.

  9. I know how you feel. With 2 dogs, 3 kids and a husband that insists on eating while sitting on the couch, I simply cannot have the beautiful pale colors I would love. Dark colors on the furniture with pretty pillows to add color is the best that I can do. Good luck.

  10. Oh, I’m so sorry!! I so feel for you! This past week, our cat had diarrhea on my NEW Pottery Barn rug 3 times, threw up on it twice and then the dog threw up on it in the same day!! I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, too 🙁 With 6 kids, sometimes I just want to give up with the cleaning. NOTHING ever stays clean for more than 5 minutes. I really, really, feel your pain. (but I LOVE my little white dress painting!!! AND it’s up high and sturdy where no one can damage it. I’ll send pics when I get my room back together, I swear.) Have you tried bleach??

  11. Ok, I went back and read everyone’s comments and you’ve been asked about bleach a dozen times, but I really liked Tonya’s advice! It then reminded me that a while back I bought a bunch of linen napkins at yard sales and got them white white again by soaking them with Oxyclean powder dissolved in water. Must be similar to the Oxydol powder she recommended. I’ll bet that will work! There’s hope after all 🙂

  12. Ohhhhhhh my dear,
    wow…I guess you now have a lived in look to the “new” couch.
    It would have sent me to bed in tears too, and who knows when they would have dried up? I’d be puffy eyes for days……
    If there is a bright side, at least the dog didn’t sit on your non slip covered couches, no washing, bleaching or turning over those cushions.
    Sounds like some very smart ladies have offered you some great cleaning advise…. please keep us updated!
    dee dee

  13. Okay- update, last night I tried cleaning the area with oxy clean. Now the stain is gone! Trouble is—so is the color in the spots I treated, so I have ivory cushions with white spots all over!!! now I have to try to wash them in oxylcean to get the whole cushion to match….ay ya yay!

  14. Oh Lesli, I’m so sorry. I would have cried too. You’ll fix it. I think the kids, hubby (and dog!) owe you a new set of slipcovers for Mother’s Day. And roses and chocolates and a trip to Tahiti! Melissa from Inspired Room often keeps a colorful, washable quilt over her sofa to add a layer of protection. Sounds like you’ve got a handle on the situation at this point, but I really do feel for you!

  15. Thank you Bettsi- When I tell you that I kept the plastic over my chevron one for 6 months I am not exaggeating, I eventually used extra chevron fabric and made a matching “cover” which I keep over it to keep it from getting “dogged”. I always have a quilt on the white one, it just was a busy day, the quilt lay on the other end and the dogs had a party.
    The saddest news of all is that I now have a stainless sofa…however a blotchy one, it looks like horrible and I am probably going to have to eventually get new slipcovers made. I wish I had just flipped the covers. It would ahve bought me time.

  16. Ohhhh… I know EXACTLY how you feel.
    In another life, I too had white sofas delivered. Mine lasted ONE DAY!!! ONE DAY!!!
    Young daughter (5 or 6 at the time) left a felt tipped pen TIP DOWN on the seat.
    By the time I found it the dark blue stain was the size of a dinner plate.
    My daughter turned 38 recently, so there’s proof I didn’t do what I’d threatened to do. 🙂
    I feel for you… Really truly. 🙁

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