21 Tips for Cleaning Your Bed

March 23, 2018 · Mattress Warehouse
hand placing pink daisy on white sheets

Spring cleaning isn't just limited to a few months out of the year. No matter what season it is, you should keep your bedroom in tip-top shape for optimal sleep hygiene.

Be sure to give your bedroom a good scrub. We spend roughly one-third of our lives sleeping, so that space deserves some extra love. After all, who doesn’t love curling up in a clean pair of sheets at the end of a long day?

Not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! Here’s a list of our spring cleaning tips, from how to clean a mattress to laundry tips for your linens to overall bedroom maintenance advice, that can help you get your bedroom be the cleanest space in your home.

Mattress Cleaning Tips

Vacuum The Top Of Your Mattress

First, remove your mattress protector (if you have one.) Then, using a brush attachment, vacuum over the top of your mattress, making sure to get into the grooves of the quilting — you’ll be surprised by how much dust, hair and crumbs from late-night snacking can end up there!

Remove Surface Stains

There are multiple methods for removing stains, both chemically and naturally:

  • Create a solution of hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap and baking soda in a reusable spray bottle and spray stains. Then blot dry with a clean rag.
  • Combine lemon juice and salt to make a paste and apply to stained areas. Let it stand for up to an hour and then wipe off residual salt with a clean rag.
  • Use a non-toxic fabric cleaner to chemically break down stains and odors.

Remember: The best way to prevent surface stains is to protect your mattress investment with a mattress protector.

    Eliminate Mattress Odor

    Sometimes, odor-eliminating sprays just don’t cut it. Oils from your skin and hair can seep into your mattress over time and create long-lasting odor.

    To fight tough odors, sprinkle baking soda over the surface of your mattress and let it sit for a few hours. This will allow it to absorb excess liquid from the stain removal process, as well as any sweat, oil or other liquids that have soaked into your mattress.

    After some hours have passed, you can vacuum up the baking soda. Be sure to remove excess powder from all crevices.

    Read more: Taking Care of Your New Mattress

    Flip Or Rotate Your Mattress

    If you’ve had the same mattress for a while and you typically sleep on the same side of the bed each night, it’s possible your mattress is wearing down unevenly, which can lead to troublesome sleep for people prone to back or neck pain.

    A great way to freshen up your bed is to flip or rotate your mattress — you’ll feel like your mattress is brand new!

    If you have a one-sided mattress, like a pillow-top, rotate your mattress 180 degrees so that the top is now at the foot of your bed. For a two-sided mattress (think of more traditional mattress styles), flip the mattress entirely and then freshen using the previously mentioned baking soda method.

    Cover And Protect Your Mattress

    Mattress protectors can significantly help prolong the life of your mattress by preventing dirt, oil and other debris from tainting the surface of your mattress. They are also crucial to the prevention of bed bugs, so make sure you go out and pick up a mattress cover if you don’t already have one (especially if you live in an urban area).

    Read more: Are You Protecting Your Mattress Investment?

    Pillow Cleaning Tips

    Check To See If Your Pillows Need To Be Replaced

    Most people keep the same pillows for years and don’t realize they need to be replaced! Here’s a test to see if your pillows are still in good condition: fold your pillow in half and if it doesn't pop open immediately, it’s time to toss it. Note: this test works best for synthetic pillows. If you have down pillows, you’ll be able to tell the quality of the pillow simply by feeling it — the stuffing should feel light and evenly dispersed, not clumpy.

    Tip: You can recycle old pillows by using their stuffing for animal beds or throw pillows!

    Wash Your Pillows Gently

    Remove your pillow protectors if you have them. Pillow protectors are great for people who suffer from allergies and can help keep your pillows cleaner for longer. (You should wash these every few weeks.)

    It’s important to wash your pillows according to the instructions on the care label, as some pillows cannot be machine-washed. Be sure to use a liquid detergent and run an additional rinse cycle post-washing to avoid residue buildup in your pillow’s stuffing. Note: you should always wash pillows two at a time to keep your washing machine balanced.

    Tip: To minimize clumping while washing, roll up your pillows lengthwise and secure with rubber bands.

    Dry Pillows Thoroughly

    Make sure to read the care label before drying your pillows to see if they can be put in the dryer. If not, lay your pillows flat to dry.

    Tip: Toss a couple clean tennis balls in the dryer with your pillows to speed up the drying process and prevent clumping.

    Bedding Cleaning Tips

    Wash Your Sheets, Pillowcases, And Comforters Frequently

    Your sheets and pillowcases get the most direct contact with your body when you sleep, so it makes sense that they should be cleaned the most frequently.

    "The longest you should wait before changing out your sheets is two weeks," says Carolyn Forte, director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab. "Weekly is even better."

    How often you wash your bedding will depend on whether or not you have a duvet or a comforter. Comforters and duvet covers should be washed every week or two. If you consistently use a top sheet or blanket underneath your comforter, you may be able to stretch the time between washings to once a month.

    Duvet covers protect the comforter insert from most dirt and oil, so the insert will only need to be washed a few times a year unless you’ve spilled something that has seeped through the cover.

    Note: You should never try to cram your bedding into your washing machine. If your bedding is too large for your washer, you may need to visit a laundromat.

    Occasionally Wash Blankets And Throw Pillows

    Blankets and throw pillows should be washed according to how frequently they’re actually used, so blankets and pillows used strictly for decorative purposes only need to be washed a few times a year. You should still air them out every few weeks to prevent dust from accumulating, especially if you’re allergy-prone.

    Avoid Common Washing Mistakes

    Be aware of these common mistakes when washing your bedding — unless you want to end up with a shrunken, wrinkled mess!

    • Never overload the washer. You shouldn’t cram your sheets or comforter into your washing machine, especially if your washer has an agitator in the middle. Your bedding won’t be able to move and get an even cleaning. Worst of all, there’s an increased chance of wrinkling and even tearing.
    • Don’t use the wrong setting. It's fine to wash your bedding on a regular cycle. Unless there’s a serious mess to clean, you don’t need to wash on a heavy-duty setting — it’s just a waste of water.
    • Avoid drying bedding for too long or on high heat. For the best results, you should tumble dry on a low heat setting for the shortest amount of time possible. It may be tempting to crank up the heat to minimize dry time, but you risk shrinking and wrinkling your sheets.

    Read more: Keeping Your Sheets Clean

    Bedroom Cleaning Tips

    Occasionally Wash Your Bed Skirt

    “It's a good idea to wash your bed skirts every three weeks, since dust and debris builds up around the base of the bed,” says RepairClinic laundry expert Chris Zeisler. Dry-clean only bed skirts can be tumble-dried on a low heat setting with a dryer sheet if they’re not heavily soiled (the dryer sheet will trap the dust).

    Wipe Down Your Headboard, Footboard, And Bed Frame

    Oil and bacteria that builds up on pillowcases can transfer to your headboard while you sleep, so it’s a good idea to give your bed frame a good cleaning every once in a while, especially during cold and flu season!

    Fabric headboards require a little more maintenance than their wooden and metal counterparts. Use a wand or brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to eliminate any dust that has accumulated on the surface. Then, spray the headboard with some fabric cleaner to maintain the quality of the fabric and kill any germs.

    Clean The Walls Surrounding Your Bed

    If you don’t have a headboard or footboard and your bed is pushed up against walls, you should wipe down those surrounding walls every few weeks, as dust, dead skin cells and bacteria from pillows can build up on those surfaces as well.

    Gently wipe down painted walls using a mixture of mild soap and water or a diluted white vinegar solution.

    Vacuum Or Sweep Under The Bed

    Dust and debris can build up under your bed pretty quickly, which can aggravate allergy symptoms. Carpets retain dust, which makes hardwood floors the more ideal choice for those with severe allergies.

    If you have carpet in your bedroom, you should vacuum at least once a week (and consider getting a HEPA filter if you don’t already have one).

    Dust Off Surfaces Near Your Sleeping Space

    Be sure to wipe down your furniture (nightstands, dressers, etc.) once a week with microfiber cloths and surface cleaners to reduce allergens in your bedroom.

    Wipe Down Light Switches, Fixtures, And Ceiling Fans

    With warmer weather on the horizon, you’ll likely be using your ceiling fan more frequently, so it’s important to make sure you’re not spreading dust around your bedroom each time you turn the fan on. Gently wipe down the blades of your ceiling fan (when your fan is off, of course!) from center to tip with a damp cloth or paper towel.

    Vacuum Drapes, Wash Curtains, And Clean Blinds

    Curtains and blinds can retain a lot of dust and if you’re someone who likes to open their windows when there’s a nice breeze, you’re allowing all of that dust to blow into your bedroom.

    Drapes should be vacuumed at least once a month, if not more, especially if you have pets since they bring extra allergens into your home. For machine-washable curtains, wash and dry according to the instructions on the care label. You should also vacuum your blinds every week or two with a brush attachment, moving from left to right (moving up and down can damage the slats).

    Eliminate Clutter Around Your Sleeping Space

    The more items you have sitting around on your dresser, nightstands, bookshelf, etc., the more dust that can collect in your sleep space. Toss whatever you don’t need and do some reorganization to cut back on clutter in your bedroom.

    Maintain Air Quality In Your Bedroom

    Dust isn’t the only bedroom allergen that can aggravate your symptoms. Mold, mildew, and pollen can all enter your sleep space, irritating you when you’re trying to rest.

    Use an air conditioner (with a HEPA filter) to cool your space rather than opening windows to keep pollen out of your home. You should also use a dehumidifier if you live in a damp climate to reduce the chances of mold and mildew growth.

    Shower Before You Go To Bed

    Showering at night allows you to rinse off any pollen, dust, dirt and oil that has accumulated on your body throughout the day, which helps keep your bed cleaner for longer. Note: blow dry your hair before bed to prevent mold and mildew from growing on your pillows.

    Step into spring with a new mattress.

    Sometimes you need to know when to throw in the towel. If even your best efforts can’t seem to clean your mattress, it might be time for a new one. Visit your local Mattress Warehouse to get fit for your perfect mattress — our bedMatch technology uses scientific calculations to identify the beds that are right for you.