We try our best to keep our bedrooms clean. After all, they’re our own private sanctuaries. We vacuum the carpet, do laundry, and wipe away dust. On the surface everything looks good, but if you inspect closely there’s often more grime left over than you bargained for. Despite well intentioned cleaning efforts, there are several bedroom surfaces that may need more attention than they’re currently getting. In fact, some areas are overlooked altogether. Whether you consider yourself an average cleaner or a home maintenance master, read on to discover some of the most neglected spots in the bedroom.
Yes, we all wash our sheets, but do they get washed enough and properly? Sheets are in close contact with our skin. This means that dead skin cells and oils come off on them. We also track in grime from other parts of the house. If you snack in bed or have pets who sleep on the bed, you have even more build-up to worry about. According to experts, you should wash your sheets every one to two weeks. In the summer months you may want to increase the frequency, as people tend to sweat more at this time and, consequently, sheets get dirty faster. When washing sheets, use hot water (130-150°F) and a hot dryer cycle to kill all germs.
While it’s true that you can’t exactly toss your mattress in the wash, you do still need to keep it clean. As with bed sheets, mattresses accumulate dust and mites over time. You don’t want to be surrounded by creepy crawly little creatures while you sleep. To keep your mattress in tip top shape, every six months, put the upholstery attachment on your vacuum and run it along the mattress surface. To remove any stains, wipe them with a slightly dampened cloth and a bit of upholstery shampoo. Be sure to let the area dry completely before covering it as you don’t want mold to grow in your mattress. To further help keep dust and dust mites out of your mattress, invest in a good mattress pad. For those with dust allergies, an anti-allergen encasement can help.
In many homes, pillows are used night after night and almost never get cleaned. Pillow cases are usually removed and washed with the sheets, but the pillows themselves are overlooked. If you think about it, pillows see a lot of abuse. They are drooled on, sweated on, and anything that doesn’t get washed off of our faces at the end of the day gets rubbed off onto them. Not to mention, dust mites love to live inside them. If you thought that dust mites on the sheets was bad, imagine them nestled up beside your face. Fortunately, pillows can go in the washing machine and dryer. Wash them in hot water on a gentle cycle. Be sure they are fully dried before putting them back on the bed. For homes where allergies are a big issue, you can also find anti-allergen encasements for pillows.
The laundry hamper is an item that few people think to clean, yet it regularly holds all of your dirty clothes. If you have a hamper made of a hard material, be sure to regularly wipe it down with a damp cloth and disinfecting solution (be sure it’s not bleaching as you don’t want to wreck your clothes). If you have a cloth hamper, toss it in the wash once a month or so. Also, while you’re cleaning the inside of the hampers don’t forget to wipe down the outside, too.
If you have a TV in your bedroom you should definitely be wiping down the remote on a regular basis. Hygiene studies have shown that remote controls are three times dirtier than anything else in the room, and act as a breeding ground for dirt and bacteria. Even worse, when people are sick they tend to sit in bed and watch TV. Clean the germs off your remote using an antibacterial wipe or soft cloth and a light spray of disinfectant, particularly if you share your room and remote with someone else.
Dirt, dust, and germs live all over. Completely eradicating them is nearly impossible, but it’s a good idea to keep them to a minimum, especially in the bedroom. The bedroom is a place to recharge and recover, so you want it to be the healthiest place it can possibly be.