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 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.
TOOTHBRUSH + OXYCLEAN SPRAY
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!