When we moved into our house, I was really excited to have everything white : white walls, white furniture, white linens. I just love the fresh, crisp, and bright aesthetic that white brings into a home – it feels refreshing and it’s a truly timeless look. Especially having come from dark rental homes and apartments with terrible carpet and minimal windows, the possibility of bright and white just made me really happy. And it still does!
When some people see how I have so much white in our home, I often get questions on how I keep everything that way – how is it even doable?? they ask (and maybe you’ve thought this too!) It’s something many people have a hesitation towards.
I am here to say that it’s not only doable but actually very helpful to have white as a dominant color in your home. This is true even with little kids! I learned quite a few tips over the years for maintaining the whites in your home and keeping things fresh and bright, and learning how to incorporate more of this color into decor.
Read on to find out!
Why White Works Really Well
The towels and sheets in our linen closet and the furniture in our living spaces are predominately white. White is actually really easy to take care of and is surprisingly livable and practical, for a few reasons :
You can see the dirt
White doesn’t somehow get dirtier than other colors. If you have colored or dark towels, furniture, and linens, they’re still getting just as dirty as their white counterparts – you just can’t see it as well! I like having white items so that I am able to see the dirty spots which allows me to address the dirt and keep it cleaner overall.
You can tackle stains better
Similar to what I mentioned above, you can see the stains, which allows you to treat them. Also, it’s often easier to tackle stains on white rather than colored items which can discolor
Whites don’t fade
With colored or darker towels and linens in the past, I would deal with fading, color transferring, or accidental bleaching. Not so with whites!
It feels unified and fresh
White creates a calming and streamlined look. It goes with everything else and creates a great base for any accent colors you might want to add in.
Tips for Keeping Towels White, Bright, and Soft
- Choose high-quality towels
- You use towels every day and will use them forever – so it’s a good idea to invest in all matching, high-quality towels! My favorite towels are from Target.
- Use an extra rinse cycle at the end of washes
- I always add an extra rinse cycle to my towel loads.
- Add vinegar in lieu of fabric softener
- Fabric softener builds up an additional coating on your towels that will eventually feel not-so-soft. Use white vinegar in its place instead! This will help them stay super soft and smelling fresh.
- Occasionally run vinegar-only washes
- It also helps to occasionally wash your whites with only vinegar and no detergent. It really works.
- Don’t use the hottest temperature for drying
- This can burn the edges of the small loops in the towels, making them feel rough
Tips for Keeping White Furniture Clean
- Don’t wear shoes in the house
- We are strictly a no-shoes-inside household! I’m Japanese this is something the Asian countries do as part of their culture so part of the reason for this is it’s just how I grew up. I like that it shows respect for the home, and our shoes are also so dirty! Seriously, just think about all the dirt, germs, and who knows what else you’re stepping in all day… and then allowing all that to track into your home. I think this is a big factor in how I keep our home clean. This is especially helpful for light rugs!
- Use durable, washable fabrics
- My white couch is actually removable cushion covers made in a white denim fabric I can throw in the wash anytime, which is SO convenient. My white outdoor furniture is made with a performance fabric that I can hose down. The common theme is having pieces you can wash easily when an inevitable spill does happen, and like I mentioned before, white doesn’t fade or discolor in the process so maintenance and washing it is easier.
- Take care of it with regular professional cleanings
- In addition to occasionally washing and cleaning my furniture, I try to have a professional cleaning done about once a quarter. I use Coconut Cleaning Co which is local to Arizona, but any local carpet and furniture cleaner will do! (You can use code MIKA50 for 50% off your first cleaning!)
- Use a carpet and furniture cleaner
- We have this cleaner and it is amazing. Sorry if this is TMI but many of you are moms so let me give you an example: Paige threw up after eating a RED POPSICLE all over our white dining room chair. After one cleaning using this machine and the remover below – you can’t even tell it happened.
- This carpet stain remover is like magic on lighter carpet and rugs!
- We don’t have pets
- We don’t have pets which I’m sure makes keeping furniture clean much easier than if we did. I’m not saying don’t have pets – just saying I’m sure this is a big contributor on how we are able to keep our white furniture white 😉
Tips for Keeping Sheets White and Crisp
- Wash your bedding regularly using the appropriate setting on your washer
- I have “a bright white” and “steam” options, but any setting that looks applicable will do. For any stains, I use this spray first and I make sure the stain is gone before going into the dryer (because heat will “set” a stain).
- Use an oxygenating whitening powder in your wash
- Take sheets and bedding out of the dryer as soon as you can
- This helps to keep them wrinkle-free. I have a few different materials of white sheets, with percale being the most wrinkle-prone and microfiber being the more wrinkle-resistant.
Bonus tip :
Magic erasers are great for many surfaces (I use them for shoes and luggage, too!) But beware on lacquered cabinetry or paint on walls – it can rub it off in some cases. For that, a simple light soap and water solution with a microfiber towel works, and when all else fails on walls it’s handy to have touch-up paint around!
If you want more cleaning tips, be sure to check out my online course The Organization Masterclass – there’s an entire module on cleaning! And check out my Home FAQ post as well for any questions you have about the design of our home 🙂