How To Dye A Slipcover For Sofa? Best Tub Method

If you’re unsure how to dye a slipcover for sofa, you can read these three steps. This easy-to-follow guide uses the bathtub method, where you’re essentially soaking the slipcover in dye. We have also included another technique that uses the washing machine to select your preferred technique.

Are you also interested in dying on the sofa directly? We have written a tutorial on how to dye a couch that you can check out.  Otherwise, let’s get started!

How To Dye A Slipcover For Sofa


How To Dye A Sofa Slipcover


Step 1. Fill the tub with dye

  • Protect the bathtub from staining by lining it with a plastic sheet and then taping the edges to secure it in place
  • Fill the bathtub with hot water and mix in the dye according to its instructions
  • Follow the ratio recommended by the dye brand and mix evenly
  • Typically, the ratio is three gallons of dyed water for every pound of slipcover
  • Some dyes are mixed with a bit of liquid detergent to ensure that the color will penetrate the fabric

Step 2. Soak the slipcover

  • Submerge the slipcover in the tub to ensure that it will be dyed evenly
  • Soak for 15 minutes and stir the fabric around
  • Add the included fixative by the dye brand and soak the slipcover more according to the brand’s recommendations
  • Some products require a specific fixative, especially when drying different materials such as cotton, linen, nylon, and silk
  • Make a vinegar fixative by mixing two cups of hot water and a cup of white vinegar
  • A soda ash fixative depends on the dye itself, but it’s usually four cups of water for every cup of soda ash or sodium carbonate
  • For the salt fixative, cotton slipcovers will benefit from a solution of four cups of hot water and a cup of table salt
  • Stir the slipcover in the dye water with fixative every five minutes 

Step 3. Rinse and dry the slipcover

  • Drain the bathtub and rinse the dyed slipcover under running water
  • You can also soak it in clear water, replace it once the water becomes colored, and repeat
  • Continue until the water becomes clear
  • If the bathtub had some stains, use a paste made from water and baking soda
  • You can also run the slipcover in the washing machine for three rinse cycles
  • Check the slipcover material for compatibility with the dryer
  • Use the dryer accordingly but do not overdry the cover
  • Take it out while still damp and finish the drying by draping the fabric over the shower rod or chair

How To Dye Cushion Covers In Washing Machine

Another popular method for dying fabric that even dye brands use for their instructions is washing machines. Most people prefer this method if the slipcover is machine washable because you don’t need to do the fabric stirring yourself. The only downside is that the washing machine should be big enough to allow the movement of the slipcover inside. 


  1. Place the slipcover inside the washing machine and set it in hot water cycle with extended rinse cycle and highest water level
  2. Read and follow the dye instructions diligently
  3. Pour the dye into the detergent dispenser and follow with two to four cups of hot water to prevent staining
  4. Run the washing machine for 10 minutes and add a fixative
  5. Finish one cycle and then use mild detergent and warm water
  6. Dry the slipcover accordingly but take it out while still damp
  7. If the washing machine has residual color, add in some rags to help remove the stain and then run it at the highest level with hot water
  8. Add bleach or vinegar on the next cycle, and then wipe the washer interior

Should I Dye My Slipcover In The Tub Or Washing Machine?

If you’re unsure whether to dye the slipcover in the tub or washing machine, check its material and size. It must fit well in the washing machine, and the material should not be delicate like natural fibers. On the contrary, avoid using the bathtub for dying synthetic fabrics because a consistent temperature is crucial to color them successfully. 

Can You Dye A White Slipcover?

You can dye a white slipcover, and it’s the best one to get the actual color you want to achieve. Otherwise, dyes are pretty translucent, and using them on colored slipcovers gives you a combination of their color and the slipcover’s color. You can also adjust the intensity of the color by using neutral-colored fabrics. 

How do you know how much dye to color the slipcover? Weigh the fabric and follow the dye’s recommendations. A pound of material will usually need half a bottle of liquid dye or one whole package of powdered dye. Furthermore, don’t forget to check if the dye can successfully color your fabric material. 



If you want to change the sofa’s look, you can change the slipcover’s color instead. In this tutorial, you have learned how to dye a slipcover for a sofa in the tub or the washing machine. The secret is checking the dye’s compatibility with your slipcover’s material and if the fibers are safe for the washer. 

But what if you have a leather sofa? The good news is you can paint this material directly. Here is a guide on how to paint a leather sofa if your couch has no cover to dye. 


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