Life with a Dog / 02


Life hack #2: Maintaining white sheets with animals

I get asked this question a lot (especially on Instagram), so I thought it was time I formally addressed the whole how do you keep white sheets white with dogs sleeping in your bed – question.  I’ll share my secret, though you may already know it.

I should start by saying I am probably the worst offender of the “no dogs in the bed” rule. It’s not even a rule in our house because honestly, we just don’t care. I like my dogs too much to say no when they jump up, do that ridiculously cute thing where they spin ten times, and collapse into the crook of my legs. I like being close to them. I kick them out when they’re farty or have dirty paws, but other than that we all sleep together. Two humans, two dogs and a drooly cat. Call Neve Campbell, we’ve got a Party of Five up in here.

Whether you choose to have your dogs on the bed or not is completely up to you. But if you do, and you don’t want to compromise the minimal look of having crisp, white sheets, here’s a cool hack I’ve found not only keeps white sheets white, but also removes any unwanted odors that come along with having animals around.
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Here’s what I do:

Gather sheets and pillowcases as a load all to themselves. I typically do this on a day when I have a few extra minutes to devote to the process. Add 1/2 c baking soda to the wash cycle before putting your sheets in. Next, add sheets and your detergent as usual and wash using a warm water cycle. Then, add 1/2 cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle (if you have a high efficiency machine, you can add this where the fabric softener would go). The white vinegar will soften and help remove odors…don’t worry about the smell it will rinse out. Finally, dry on low to medium heat.
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Other tips I’ve learned:

- Choose sheets made of linen or a cotton-sateen blend with a high thread count. Low-thread count cotton and materials like jersey attract hair like a magnet, so you’ll want to avoid these.
- Keep 2-3 sets of sheets and rotate them
- Have alternative places for your dog(s) to sleep such as a dog bed on the floor so they don’t spend all their time in your bed
- Throw a quilt or blanket over your top sheet when you leave the house
- Bathe your dog(s) regularly
- Furminate your animals – if you have a dog who sheds, this tool will change your life.

So, that’s my secret for keeping our sheets white despite having two sometimes dirty dogs. Have you found any creative ways to keep your white sheets bright white and odor-free? I’d love to learn about them!

More LIFE WITH A DOG tips, here.

  • Jen

    Thank you! Trying this today. (I was at least one of those in IG asking about the white sheets.) I’m curious…how often do you change your sheets?!

    • nic

      Hi Jen! Glad you’re going to give it a try. We change the sheets every other Sunday-ish. ;)