THE HOUSE CLEANING SERIES TIPS: THE BEDROOM
Is that thing under your feet a rug or a life size dust bunny?
On average, we spend about a third of our life sleeping. Our bedroom becomes our sanctuary, a place where we can unwind and relax and a place where we lay our head and dream a little dream. Have you ever thought about how clean your bedroom really is? Is it spotless, comforting and inviting? Or, can you write your name in the dust on your night stand? Could your sheets walk themselves to the washing machine because you forgot the last time they were washed? Is that thing under your feet a rug or a life size dust bunny?
A 2013 survey from the American Cleaning Institute states that when spring cleaning, 76% of those polled put cleaning the bedroom at the top of the priority list. Do you?
‘You remember some bedrooms you have slept in. There are bedrooms you like to remember and others you would like to forget’ – Carl Sandburg
How often should you clean your bedroom? Hint: Probably more often than you do. A neat and tidy bedroom isn’t necessarily a clean bedroom. If you want to remember your bedroom, in a good way, here are a few cleaning tips to make it the sanctuary you deserve. The first place to start with cleaning the bedroom is up. Yes, up.
Dust is common in most homes and the bedroom is no exception. It collects on light fixtures, ceiling fans, furniture, electronics even artwork. Dusting with a dry cloth only moves the dust around and leaves it floating in the air. Some swear by microfiber cloths, feather or even lambswool dusters while others swear by a method that involves moisture like polishing spray or polishing wipes.
In order to track the dust and prevent it from entering the air, a dusting method with moisture is the way to go. Dusting once a week will keep your bedroom looking and feeling clean but will also help the air quality while you snooze. Make sure you dust all of the furniture, including the top and sides. Don’t forget the lamps, lamp shades and the top of your doors and even window ledges. Starting with the highest object, the dust not captured falls and allows you to collect it as you move about the room.
Another often missed area of a clean bedroom is the wall. Yes, believe it not, walls collect dust. It never hurts to run a damp cloth over your walls a few times a year. It’s amazing what you can’t see!
By starting from the top, you bring the unwanted dust bunnies down to a more manageable level and the next phase of cleaning can begin: the bed. Whether you count down the hours until you can rest your head or dread sleeping because of a snoring partner, the bed, or mattress, is the most important part of the bedroom. It is also the one item that is often neglected. Cleaning it requires a little elbow grease.
On a side note: Because of the amount of time we spend in our beds and the amount of time we keep our mattresses, they absorbs dead skin cells, body sweat and even dust mites. Yup, you might not be sleeping alone! It is suggested that you thoroughly clean your mattress every six months. Here’s how:
Remove your sheets and pillowcases. Wash them (weekly) in hot water. Also take this time to wash your bedspread, blankets and mattress covers, which should all be laundered monthly, also in hot water. (Washing in hot water helps sanitize and prevent allergens).
After, use a hand held vacuum with attachments to clean the entire surface of your mattress. Pay special attention to cleaning the crevasses. Next, sprinkle baking soda onto the entire mattress surface. Let sit for 1 hour then vacuum. If there are stains, make a paste from baking soda, water and salt. Apply to the stain, let sit for 30 minutes. Wipe up with cold water and a clean rag. One easy trick to help prolong the life of your mattress: Use a waterproof mattress pad. This will help set a barrier between you and your sleeping surface.
One more item from your bed that needs a good cleaning every three to six months is your pillows. For this, it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. (Most can be washed at home on the gentle cycle). This is another item that can have an extended life if you use a waterproof pillow case. Now that we’ve covered areas starting at the top and the bed itself, it’s time to consider a few other areas in your bedroom that need a good cleaning.
‘Out of site and out of mind’ sounds like a good reason to not clean under the bed or under furniture. In fact, these areas are breeding grounds for dust. It’s easy to push dust and dirt around without knowing it. Clean these areas at least once a month for a clean and healthy bedroom. How long has it been since you’ve cleaned your windows? It never hurts to give the inside and outside a good once over with glass cleaner or a 50/50 mix of water and white distilled vinegar.
Curtains are another bedroom item that’s easy to forget when it comes to cleaning. They are dust and odor magnets. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning to get the best outcome. Window blinds are a great option for bedrooms but probably one of the most difficult things to clean. If you have vinyl or wood blinds that cannot be removed from the window, try using an attachment from your hand held vacuum, or, run a clean, old sock under cold water and wring dry. Put the sock over your hand and run it along both sides of the blades. Make sure to rinse the sock as needed and repeat.
If you can remove your vinyl blinds from the window, place them in your shower or bathtub. Open the blinds and gently spray water on both sides. Hang in the shower or bathtub to dry or wipe down each blade with a clean cloth. You’ll be surprised how much dust sticks to blinds!
Flooring is often overlooked when cleaning a bedroom. Rugs that can go into a washing machine should be washed monthly. Those that cannot should be professionally cleaned twice a year, in-between vacuuming, of course. Carpet should be vacuumed weekly and hard surface floors should be cleaned weekly as well. For hard surface floors, refer to the manufacturers cleaning instructions.
Cleaning your bedroom can seem like an overwhelming task but doing it thoroughly one time and setting schedules to maintain specific areas makes all the difference. Who knows? You might even sleep better.
— Amanda Pokorny