One of the best features of futon furniture is the fact that the covers can be replaced or, depending on the style and fabric, can be washed.
Designed to withstand the vigor of machine washers, futon covers are available in an assortment of prints, solid colors and sizes. While these washable covers can be mixed and matched to add some variety to interior decor, the main feature is that they are easy to keep clean. Unlike regular upholstery that may require professional cleaning, the occasional mess created by kids or pets is no problem with machine washable covers.
Typically, a machine washable futon cover has two large zippers. The full cover looks like a large sheet made of denim or some other material, and has a seam in the middle. To install it, spread out the cover, align the mattress against the seam, and then fold the cover over so that the entire futon mattress is covered. There are two zippers, one on each corner. Zip up the cover and that is all there is to placing a cover on a futon mattress. When it is wash time, simply unzip the futon cover and pull it off the mattress.
Especially after a few spins in the wash machine, the zippers on your futon cover may occasionally get caught. Trying to get the zipper to work can be frustrating.
It might be tempting, but do not try to force the jammed zipper because yanking it too hard could inadvertently break the zipper tab off or destroy the teeth. After the teeth have been coated, try zipping and unzipping the unit a few times. This will usually make the zipper work more smoothly. If a candle is not available, a bar of hand soap works, although not quite as well.
If the problem is not ‘stickiness’ because of age, dirt or other factors, a string or fabric from the futon cover might be caught in the zipper unit. Carefully remove the caught material or string that is jamming the zipper. The inner fabric is typically what gets caught, so a pair of tweezers might come in handy in order to grasp the material or thread. Gently pull the inner lining, thread or other material that is caught in the unit away from the zipper. Light tugging will work, provided that the zipper tab is not yanked. Forcing the zipper tab up or down will make the problem worse. Depending on how embedded the futon fabric or thread is in the zipper unit, teeth might get separated when the material is removed. Gently push the zipper teeth back into place and the zipper should work. It is helpful to check the length of the zipper and push the lining away from the zipper to prevent future snags. Re-zip and the problem should be fixed.
Despite the fact that they do not cost much, machine washable futon covers are quite durable and their zipper units are sturdy. Nonetheless, owning a couple of spare futon covers can come in handy if the zipper breaks.