Top cleaning experts show us where the dirt is hiding in your bedroom and how to tackle it like a pro
Summer is in the air and so are allergens, dust and dirt that have accumulated in your bedroom over the past few months. It’s time for a deep clean to ensure your space is the most sleep-inducing, restful oasis it can be. It’s worth the effort – sweet dreams and a sparkling clean sleep environment await.
What’s that? You don’t like to clean? We get it…
A deep clean of your bedroom doesn’t have to be a painful exercise, say the cleaning experts we consulted, from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia. Here are their squeakiest, cleanest tips for creating a healthy, clean bedroom you’ll adore sleeping in.
Declutter your bedroom like a ninja
Get serious about getting rid of the extraneous stuff in your bedroom, says Marty Basher, a home organization expert with Modular Closets. “We don’t always realize how significant our clutter is until it fully takes over our life,” he says. “It’s truly frustrating to feel like your home is caving in on you, things are lost and you’re stressed from trying to manage it. The good news is with some hard work and determination, you can declutter your home and keep it that way.”
He says before you start the decluttering process, it’s important to shift your focus on living more simply. Remind yourself often that life is so much more than the material items you collect. The more we collect stuff, the more space we need to store the stuff and the more attention it takes away from the important things, whether that’s family, friends or a hobby.
A cluttered life full of stuff is actually very stressful.
Basher offers these simple tips:
- Keep a donate and sell box handy. Store a couple of bins in an extra closet, basement or storage area that’s easy to get to. Whenever you come across a piece of clothing or household item you no longer want, stick it in one of the bins right away. Drop off items at a charity once a month or every few months depending on how much you have. Or sell them on Craig’s List or buy-and-sell Facebook pages. And reorganize your bedroom to maximize and enjoy the new, open space.
- Limit keepsake items. There are the sentimental, heirloom items that are given to us from family and the sentimental items we collect during our own life. Don’t feel obligated to keep all these things. It’s wonderful to have a few select items to remember our family members, but how much do we really need?
- Refresh your mattress. “Keeping your bed clean is very important for your good night’s sleep and for how you will feel in the morning,” says Jane Wilson, Fantastic Cleaners, Melbourne, Australia. The mattress often gets neglected but we produce over 26 gallons of sweat each year during sleep (ick!). Vacuum your mattress thoroughly once a month, then sprinkle some baking soda all over it. Leave for about half an hour. It will soak all the oils and odors. Then, vacuum the mattress once more.
Tackle sneaky allergen zones in your bedroom
Under the bed, behind the wardrobe and behind the nightstands accumulate lots of dust, hair and other debris and need extra attention during a spring clean, says Lucy Norman, End to End Cleaning Services company, based in London.
- Clean the corners inside the wardrobe and all drawers. Depending on your pillows, you can wash them in your washing machine to sanitize them. Give your pillows a good thump as well and change your pillow covers at least once a week.
- Cut down on allergy triggers by keeping pets out of the bedroom. Their fur can cause rashes and unpleasant itching. Also, mop and vacuum your bedroom regularly. When it comes to the big spring cleaning, mop the top, back and underneath of all furniture. Clean your windows, walls and the interior of all furniture to remove all dust particles, which might cause allergies. Do keep your bedroom windows and terrace door closed during spring as pollen can easily get inside.
- Use homemade cleaning solutions. For an easy and cheap spring clean, use lime juice, baking soda, vinegar and dish soap.
- Clean top to bottom. Dmitri Kara, a senior expert with Fantastic Cleaners says if you have a ceiling fan, that’s where you should start. “I would strongly advise people to use a steam cleaner once every two or three months for upholstery, bedding and curtains,” he suggests. “If you do not have one, you could rent. However, it’s crucial to always ventilate the room thoroughly, for mold and mildew could develop if you fail to properly dry off the fabric, especially when steaming mattresses.”
Quick shortcuts for cleaning mattresses & pillows
Pressed for time? Lauren Haynes, cleaning and organizing expert at Star Domestic Cleaners, recommends refreshing your mattress and pillows by sprinkling a cup of baking soda and let it settle for a few hours. You could add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to make your bedroom smell great. Then vacuum pillows and mattress.
Charlotte Bailey-Anderson, a cleaning expert at Manchester Cleaner, a UK based cleaning company suggests stripping and washing bedding on your machine’s hottest setting to eliminate dust mites and other allergens – each week. To spruce up your pillows, first check the manufacturer’ care label that the pillows can be washed. If yes, use the gentle cycle in your machine using a homemade laundry solution made from 2 cups of soap flakes and 1 cup each of baking soda, washing soda and borax. Dry pillows completely in your dryer on low setting. To bring back their fluff, dry with dryer ball or a tennis ball in a sock.
Finding the hidden sources of dirt in your bedroom
Bailey-Anderson points to window tracks as a oft-forgotten area to clean. “Most of us associate window cleaning only with washing the glass,” she says. “But you should clean your window tracks at least twice per year to prevent dirt buildup.
- Want to truly clean your window tracks and make them sparkle? Sprinkle a little baking soda over the window tracks, especially in the corners. Mix equal parts of water and white vinegar. Cover the baking soda with the mixture and leave it for five minutes. Scrub the window tracks with a toothbrush, then wipe.
- Curtains too can harbor everything from dirt, dust mites and pollen to bacteria and mold. To keep your bedroom cleaner and protect your health, vacuum them regularly using the upholstery attachment. Start vacuuming top to bottom for a better result. Also, check the manufacturer’s label to see if washing is an option. If so, wash the curtains on the delicate cycle using cold setting, then dry on a low-heat setting and rehang them fresh from the dryer to prevent wrinkles.
- Houseplants can accumulate dust, mold and bacteria. Spray leaves with lukewarm water and wipe big leaves with a damp cloth. Apply a little bit of mineral oil onto the leaves using a paper towel and make them shiny for months.
- Look up to your ceiling fan and you might see the blades have collected dirt and debris. When you turn on the fan, all that filth is spreads across your bedroom. Clean it with a slightly damp pillowcase, placed over each blade of the fan and wiped down, catching the dust inside of the case. Apply dusting spray to provide a layer of moisture that keeps the dust away and leaves a shine.
Follow the five D’s to clean your bedroom
Paloma Baillie, a Los Angeles-based certified coach/professional organizer and one of the D.I.Y. experts on 5miles (Decluttering? Yes, There’s an App), has her approach to decluttering that she calls “D-Day.”
The15-year organization veteran says you should tackle cleaning one room, one project, at a time. “The average American home has dozens of unused items, so most of us have plenty of clutter we can get rid of,” she says. “This can help rid toxic accumulation within our bedroom and personal spaces and, in turn, rest easier at night.”
Here are her 5 Ds.
- Disco. Create a cleaning playlist to motivate you to get moving and making cleaning “almost” fun.
- Discover. Open closets and boxes you haven’t seen in over a year. Throw away trash and discard or sell those things you haven’t worn or used in the last six months. Remember, shoe boxes can be repurposed and re-labeled, so hold onto those.
- Declutter. Look at what’s in your room and ask yourself these questions. Does the item improve your life? Does it really hold sentimental value? Would it be hard to replace? If the answer to those questions is no, it’s time for that item to go.
- Donate. Choose your favorite charity shop and create a tax write-off for your return.
- Disinfect. Use green and eco-friendly products to make your bedroom smell beautiful with lemon.