How to Keep a White Duvet Cover Clean (Even With a Dog!)

I’d always assumed that I couldn’t have a white duvet cover, because we have a dog.

It seems that all white decor is all the rage (is that an expression people still use? no? oops). All over Pinterest and Instagram, ladies are showcasing their crisp white interiors. I enjoy looking at them but often wonder how livable those spaces are.

Do those people not spill on themselves? Do they not drag in all kinds of city dirt? Do they not have dogs?

Our space is nothing like that (it’s been described by others as “artsy” and “eclectic”), but a white duvet is a classic look that I’ve always loved.

One day, Pinterest got the best of me and I found myself at Target, buying a white duvet cover. Three months (and many washes) later, it’s still on our bed and it’s still crisp white. Here’s how we keep our white duvet cover clean, even with a dog.

How to Keep Your White Duvet Cover Clean (Even With a Dog!) - Cleaning tips for your white duvet cover, a helpful tutorial for dog owners who want to embrace the crisp white trend! |

1. Don’t Invest in the Best

Before buying a nice, high-thread count white duvet cover, we bought a test duvet. A test duvet? Isn’t that a huge waste of money? Eh, it kind of is. But it’s better to spend $30 to find out if something works for you than spend $100 to find out immediately that it doesn’t.

We bought the cheapest white duvet cover I found, this RE one from Target. It was $29.99, plus we got it 10% off  (a sale that is currently running now actually using the code HOMESAVE10), and we have the Target RedCard so our total was about $25.

I figured, if we absolutely couldn’t keep it clean, we could buy a different duvet cover or go back to our old one and at least we wouldn’t have spent a ton of money. Now that I know I can keep it clean, I guess we could buy a nicer one but you know what? This inexpensive Target one is working just fine so it’s actually still on our bed.

2. Drape a blanket over the end of the bed

Because of how our bedroom is arranged, Archie consistently jumps on the bottom third of the bed, since that’s the part that sticks out into the room.

We have a light quilt draped over the bottom third of the bed to act as his landing area. Even if he moves around after that, his paws have already been wiped off by the initial jump.

The blanket draped at the bottom of our bed gets dirty pretty quickly, but it’s also a lot easier to wash than a duvet. Ours is a soft blue color but you could have this be white as well. We throw this blanket in the wash frequently, since it catches most of the dirt and is easier to wash than the duvet cover.

3. Regular washes with Oxi-Clean or Bleach

We wash our fitted sheet and duvet once a week (we don’t use a flat sheet). We use hot water, dye and scent free detergent, and add Oxi-Clean or bleach.

I honestly can’t tell which works better but I know bleach can be harsh on fabrics so I try to alternate. Either way, every stain has come out.

I’ve heard that hot water sets stains but have not found this to be true with dirt. Additionally, I always do sheets in hot water to get them squeaky clean (and disinfected).

4. Handle big messes immediately

At some point, your dog will get on your white duvet with muddy paws. That or he’ll grab your fiancés muddy shoe and bring it in to bed (was that example too specific? Cause it’s happened at least 3 times). A mess will happen at some point.

Each time this has happened, we’ve handled it as quickly as possible. I spot treat with an Oxi-Clean spray and throw it in the washer immediately. Stains that dry are much more difficult to get out.

Another stain trick? If you can still see the stain after the wash, don’t put it in the dryer. Spot treat it again and re-wash.

5. Don’t Allow Your Dog On Your Bed


Try telling that to Archie. I don’t care what color our bedspread is, Archie needs his memory foam and he needs his cuddles. We’ve never attempted to keep him off the bed, and always assumed that he’d sleep with us (after he was done crate training).

But honestly, I’m astounded at how easy it has been to have a white duvet cover and to keep it clean, even with a dog. So if you’re a fellow dog parent, don’t be afraid of the white duvet!


  • I’ve been debating getting a white duvet cover forrrreverrr. I have the same worries. 1. How the heck to people keep white ANYTHING so stark white? I spill coffee on basically everything. 2. how do you keep a bedspread white when you have a pup that sleeps in the bed? Especially considering that Paxton thinks the entire bed is his anyway. Also, totally agree with the laughing at number 5. Puppies need cuddles.

    Thanks for sharing, I’m gonna take the leap and get the white duvet that I’ve been dreaming of 🙂

    • I really thought I could never have a white duvet because of Archie but it honestly hasn’t been that hard. I would just make sure you put a blanket across the end of the bed because his landing area where he jumps does get dirty. I also notice like leaf pieces and small sticks and stuff that get stuck to his feathers more on the white duvet but I just shake them off and vacuum.

  • It’s so hard to keep my sheets clean – I have a black cat! But I wash them all the time and lint roll the crap out of them.


    • I’m so used to Archie’s blonde hair that I totally forget that people have animals with black hair. Our old bedspread was dark and Archie’s hair showed up all over it. We’d have to literally roll the top of our bed with those sticky rollers.

  • Yes these things are common sense to me but to many they will not be

    • Definitely, Jo-Anne. I thought for years though that I couldn’t have a white duvet cover because I was sure that it would get dirty and stay that way. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to pull off keeping it clean!

  • one day when I have my own washer and dryer I will totally get a white duvet!!

    • We somehow lucked out and have this itty bitty washer and dryer (they are stacked) in our apartment but we also have a commercial size washer and dryer in the basement. I’m so thankful to be done with quarters for laundry.

  • Kait

    We have all white everything, because when we first got married, I raided a Pottery Barn outlet and believe me when I tell you–it was the worst decision I ever made. I have kept one thing white (our bed comforter) using the above tips, but I tell my husband all the time–all white err-thing looks good in two places–Instagram and Pinterest! I love your post for this very sentiment!!

    • Can you tell me what else you got for your registry that was white? We didn’t register for towels because we have them but I did register for a white dishes set. What do you recommend? I’d love any advice you have because I’m totally stumped about our registry.

      • Kait

        We got a white duvet cover, white plates, a white/cream colored headboard, cream colored sofa, chair & ottoman and all white linens (towels, wash cloths, etc). Admittedly, the only white thing I still want are the towels (they’re super easy to bleach and great for company who use face washes that typically stain towels), but we have since sold the couch, chair & ottoman (too much money to risk ruining with dirt, dogs, staining, etc. and vacuuming daily got old QUICK). We LOVE our white dishes (Williams Sonoma), because they go with everything and are sturdy. Registry items we could have bypassed: a second set of cutlery, cake stands (I think we got 3). If I could do my registry all over again I would want gift cards to Costco or the option of having guests donate to a honeymoon fund where they can buy you specific experiences. If I think of anything else, I’ll be sure to pass it along! XO

  • I have the exact same scenario! We have a mostly white duvet from Ikea and just this month had our first case of muddy puppy feet! I know I really should get a blanket for the edge. But our usual problems are dog hair (black dog) and pieces of chew toys. Nothing like rolling over to find a graveyard of Frisbee pieces.

    • This somehow made me grateful that Archie’s fur (which there is a freaking ton of) is gold and not black. His hair doesn’t really show up on the duvet.
      My worst dog toy experience? I woke up and there was a bully stick between my face and my pillow. I about died.

  • Jae

    Thanks for the tip, Nadine! We’d probably get the same duvet you got today! 😀

    • I thought we’d upgrade to a nicer duvet cover but our $25 looks nice and feels good too.

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