How I Clean and Keep Things White

I am just going to be super forthright in saying… this is going to be a bizarre post. And it may not be for everyone, but it’s been a series of questions I get a lot:

How do I keep various things clean and white?

I’m selfishly compiling this post so that I can just send this or point to it the next time someone asks. But I’m also curious if anyone else has tips that I don’t know of. So feel free to share your own in a comment. (Spoiler alert: I’m OxyClean’s biggest fan.)

BEDDING (And White Clothing/Towels)

Yes! We have white sheets and white pillow cases and a white duvet. And yes, the dogs sleep with us. (I never thought I’d be someone who let their dogs sleep in bed, but here we are. I wouldn’t want it any other way.) I wash our bedding at least once a week, which I think is the bare minimum from a hygienic standpoint. I love freshly washed sheets– I hate putting the duvet back onto the insert 😂


I wash our bedding completely separately from everything else. I am obviously not worried about shrinkage or anything, so I set the washer to whites and the dryer to the highest dry and heat settings. I recently started using OxyClean High Def Detergent in lieu of my regular detergent (which I use on regular clothes still) and let me tell you, it’s a GAME CHANGER. I didn’t even know I could be this enthusiastic about detergent, but you’d think I was filming a TV commercial every time I marvel while pulling out our white bedding from the dryer. So. White. Every. Time.

I’ve long used the regular OxyClean powder, but I upgraded to this White Revive stuff and it’s even better. Truly I didn’t think regular OxyClean could be improved upon and I assumed I wouldn’t actually be able to tell the difference. It’s better. Trust me. For the bedding, I just throw a scoop of the powder in the drum of the washer before running it.


Our rugs get a lot of foot traffic. Between us and the dogs and our lack of mudroom, they take a beating. Honestly I vacuum every other day and that does a pretty good job at getting dirt up before it gets “stuck” in the rug. But there are times when more drastic measures are necessary. Spilled drinks, muddy dogs, dog puke (the worst) or whatever. Life happens. As uptight as I am, I’m surprisingly not a freak when it comes to the rugs. I think it’s because I know I can deal with any stain that comes our way. It’s actually very, very satisfying. (Apparently, this is 30: getting a thrill out of getting a stain out of a rug.)


So for small spots, I can mostly just use a toothbrush, a bowl of warm water, and some kind of spray. The key is to try to get as much of whatever it is out as fast as possible by blotting a towel. Then I soak the area with warm water and spray with some OxyClean MaxForce. I let that sit for 10-15 minutes and then use a toothbrush and warm water to scrub the stain away. Sometimes it takes a few rounds of fresh warm water to get the spray out. I just keep at it every 15 minutes or so until the stain disappears.

For bigger spots or when I’m going to clean the full rug, I switch to the Bissell Portable Cleaner. If you take only one recommendation from this post, let it be THIS MACHINE. I even bought one for my parents and have friends borrowing mine frequently. It does an amazing job with just warm water, but I always add the recommended amount of cleaner to it as well. The first time I ran the machine (on Mike’s rug that hadn’t been cleaned in who knows how long), I gagged when dumping out the dirty water tank. So satisfying to see all the dirt that came up! Hopefully you’re into sick things like this too, ha.

White Couch


White couches seem like an absolutely horrible idea. In theory, they should be. But I prefer them because you can see the dirt. With a darker colored couch, who knows what kind of stains are hiding. I clean the couch cushions every one to two weeks. I invested in a couch that is entirely slipcovered. The whole thing can be washed!


The process is pretty similar to washing the bedding with a few tweaks. First, I pre-treat any major stains with the Gel Stick. I wash the cushion covers in one load and then do the big base cover in a separate load. I add a scoop of the powder into the drum and fill it with water to presoak everything. (I had to read our washer’s manual to figure out how to do this because it was different from our last machine!) If the cushions were particularly dirty, I let them soak overnight. But usually an hour or two does the trick. Then I run the washer with the detergent and dry on high. Bam! Comes out like new.


I live normally in my sneakers so a little dirt here and there happens.


So it depends on the shoe, but I wash almost all of my sneakers in the washer. I pop them into a pillowcase (make sure it’s one that closes, like a sham) and fill the washer with towels so they don’t just bang around against nothing. Then I just air dry them in a sunny spot. If there’s a major spot, I spray a bit of the OxyClean onto the brush (not the shoe) and rub it into the sneaker. Then I repeat over and over with warm water until the stain is gone and then… air dry in a sunny spot!


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Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing Liquid is super effective too for stubborn stuff. It’s literally like blue dye, so weird right?

Courtney Jenney

I didn’t know I needed all of these tips until I read this blog post…. And now my Amazon cart is filled with cleaning supplies and detergent. THANK YOU for these tips! haha


I was just influenced to buy oxy! Hahahahaha question, do you experience any pilling or wearing on your duvet or other items from drying them on high heat? If so, any tips?


This post was so fun and satisfying to read, thanks for sharing 😀 Oxyclean should sponsor you!!

Becca Barnes

We’re moving into a new house and painting all our walls white and getting a white couch, as a dog owner I’ve been worried about this! Great tips! We have a cast iron white sink and I freaked when it started to stain. You can buy Kohler cast iron cleaner on Amazon for super cheap and it’s kept out sink looking new. It’s also great for white counter top stains!


I was wondering about your slip cover sofa….do you put them in the dryer? Do they need ironing/steaming? Yours always look lovely, but I’ve seen laundered slip covers look….wrinkly and not so crisp….I’m starting research on a new “kid friendly” sofa, so your post is super timely! Thanks!

Kate L

Hi! I have the a white couch from Pottery Barn from the same line but mine has square arms instead and I chose a non-slipcovered option. I use the Bissell Green machine for the sides and arms and then I machine wash the front and back cushion covers. Generally I hang them in a rack to dry (though the instructions do say they can be dried in the dryer). They do look a bit wrinkled once they’re dry but once you put them on the cushion it pulls the fabric taut and wrinkles don’t show. The salesperson also told me if you put them on 90% dry, instead of 100% that also helps it look nice and smooth. They dry quickly so it’s not really an issue. Hope this helps.


Literally was just wondering how to clean some white shoes I wore in the city yesterday so this post is VERY timely. Thanks for the tips!!

Grace K.

Ha! OxyClean should definitely consider sponsor work with you at some point–especially with how passionate you are about their products already. I find cleaning tips oddly satisfying, so this was very much my kind of post.

Liz Pratt

Wooohoo! I like this kind of post. When I asked a couple weeks ago about how you clean with the dogs you made it sound like you just don’t worry about it! 🤪 But clearly you have a really solid cleaning routine with your house. So pretty (house), so cute (doggies) and so clean!


I used to love oxy for carpets and upholstery spot cleaning. You need to check out Folex! My MIL used it on her all-white-everything house and I got hooked after finding it in her cleaning cabinet. It takes spots out immediately (no waiting) and doesn’t leave any marks. I’ve never had a problem w the stain disappearing immediately (and not reappearing). Amazing stuff. Like a magnet!


I second Folex, we discovered it during trials for cat accidents and it’s a miracle worker on our white/grey rug!! Spray, sit for a second, agitate with your finger and then blot up the residue with a cloth! Highly highly recommend.


I love OxyClean too! This is how I wash all of my stuff, because I have two small dogs as well, and it’s amazing how much dirt gets tracked into the house and in furniture/ bedding!


Not bizarre at all. Oxi Clean was my lifesaver when my kids were babies, now it’s my go-to against kid stains. My husband and I love the Bissell for use against cat puke, so much that we put two on our wedding registry.


This is so genius! I love your organization and set routine. You are an amazing person and have achieved great things.


This post is PERFECT timing and just what I needed! I just invested in a white couch and white bedding and will be needing all the cleaning tips! THANK YOU!

Valencia Gower

I’ve been using the oxy clean with my detergent to wash my slip covers. Gonna try these other products you have recommended. Look at me, 61, and getting cleaning advice from a 30 year old!!
I do not use hot water, however, for my whites. Over time I feel they yellow. Maybe you buy new ones before that ever happens.
You seriously dry your slip covers? I don’t think I could get mine back on the cushions.

Thanks, Carly


It seems like you clean and do laundry a lot! I have trouble keeping to a schedule and routine with this stuff – what is yours? Like is Monday always “wash the couch” day? Wednesday bedding? Apologies if you’ve posted this!


which material did you buy for your couch? I purchased a pottery barn couch on a whim only to find out that some slipcover can be wash and others not, wondering which one you went with, going to get a replacement.


I swear by MR. clean magic erasers for sneakers! I use them religiously on my Stan Smiths and they look like new every time I do it! Might not be the most eco friendly thing but I get several used out of the sponge by cutting it up and rinsing.