Sure, you change your sheets every week, but what about the rest of the bed? Your mattress and pillows get dirty, too. On average, you probably spend at least six or seven hours in bed every night. That's a long time to be somewhere that's not as clean as it could be. Follow these tips every few months and you'll rest easier knowing your whole bed is fresh.
1. Ditch Dust
The easiest way to tackle dust is to use the upholstery tool on your vacuum cleaner to go over the top and sides of the mattress and as much of the box spring as you can access. Press firmly on the tool to draw out dust beneath the fabric's surface. Then use the crevice tool to get into the quilting, along the edge welting, and where any pillow top is attached. If you have a garment steamer, go over the mattress with the steamer before you vacuum to help kill and remove dust mites lurking near the surface.
2. Zap Stains
Depending on the quality of your mattress protector (if you don’t have a good one, get one!), chances are your mattress may have some stains on it. The easiest way to remove them is with an upholstery cleaner formulated to remove pet stains. Avoid over-wetting the mattress and let it dry thoroughly before making the bed. Also, be sure to read the “do’s and don’ts” of your mattress care beforehand, as the use of cleaning supplies on the mattress may void your warranty.
3. Kill Odors
For any telltale odors, spray the mattress and box spring with a disinfecting spray, like Lysol. It's safe to use on fabric and kills bacteria that causes odors. To freshen your mattress between cleanings, lightly sprinkle some baking soda onto the fabric, wait 15 minutes and then vacuum.
4. Don’t Forget About the Pillows
Down and Fiberfill pillows can be thrown into the washer, preferably a front or top-loading washer without an agitator. For best results, wash two pillows at a time to help keep the washer balanced. If you have an agitator-style top loader, place the pillows in the tub vertically, so it's less likely they'll get wrapped around and damaged by the agitator.
If your pillow has a care label, definitely read that and follow the directions. If not or you've clipped off the tag, use warm water and opt for the gentle cycle. It's also a good idea to add on an extra cold-water rinse and spin. Tumble dry the pillows on low heat, fluffing and turning them often.
Unfortunately, you can't put foam pillows into the washing machine, but if there's a removable cover, you can wash that according to the care instructions on the tag. To remove dust from a foam pillow, vacuum both sides with your vacuum's upholstery tool. If possible, dial down the suction level to make the job a bit easier to do. Or, tumble the pillow in the dryer on the no heat or air-only cycle for 20 minutes. Spot-clean any soiled areas with a cloth dipped in a mild sudsy solution. Rinse with a damp cloth. Allow the pillow to air dry completely before putting it back on the bed.
Some foam pillows include instructions for hand washing. If you choose to follow them, be very gentle. Wet foam is heavy and tears easily. To help pillows stay cleaner longer, use liners under your pillowcases and wash them monthly.