Friday, 21 March 2014

Spring Cleaning? Don't Forget Your Bed!

Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and more and more people are making the brave decision to ditch their winter coats. Spring is in the air!

Of course, we associate spring with new life and (slightly) warmer weather, but traditionally it’s also during this time of year that we “spring clean” our homes, and the bedroom is no exception to this.


Since sleep is so important to your wellbeing, cleaning your bedding and mattress is vital. So here are some handy hints and tips that will help get your bed daisy-fresh!



  • Vacuuming the mattress on both sides will help to remove dust and dust mites, which can cause allergies.
  • If it’s a sunny day, you can take your mattress outside for a few hours to air. This helps prevent the buildup of moisture.
  • Another way to freshen up your mattress is to sprinkle it with bicarbonate of soda, a natural deodoriser. For extra freshness you can add a few drops of lavender oil to the bicarbonate of soda before you sprinkle it on the bed. Leave it for an hour and then hoover it off.
  • A citrus cleanser or diluted washing up liquid will help remove simple stains. Leave it for ten minutes and then blot away the excess liquid before wiping away the cleanser with a damp cloth. It’s important not to put too much water or cleanser on the mattress, as dampness can cause mould and mildew.
  • For stronger stains, try applying a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and immediately blotting with a clean cloth. If this doesn’t work, you can try applying some laundry detergent directly onto the stain before brushing with a cloth. Remember to use only cold water on bloodstains, as hot water will set them.
  • Hollow fibre and down pillows can be washed in the washing machine, although down pillows in particular will take a very long time to dry if you don’t have a tumble dryer. If possible, you should wash two pillows at a time to balance the load. Use a mild liquid detergent and set the washer on a gentle cycle. Run the rinse cycle twice to ensure that the detergent is completely washed out.
  • When drying the pillows in a dryer, put a couple of tennis balls into some socks and put them in there too to help fluff up the pillows. Use a low setting for synthetic pillows and air dry for feather pillows. Make sure the pillows are completely dry before putting them back on the bed.
  • Foam pillows shouldn’t be washed in a washing machine. Instead you can wash them by hand using warm water and a little mild detergent. Then rinse them several times to ensure that the detergent is washed out, squeeze gently to get rid of excess water, and leave to air-dry out of direct sunlight. Again, ensure the pillows are completely dry before using them.
  • Don't forget that if you've had your pillows for more than two years or your mattress for more than seven, it might be time to replace them. To test a synthetic fibre pillow, put it on a firm, flat surface, fold it in half lengthways and place a shoe on top. If the pillow unfolds, knocking the shoe off, it's still fine. For down or feather pillows, you can use a similar test — squeeze as much air out of the pillow as possible and don't weight the pillow down. To determine whether a foam pillow is still properly supporting you, check whether it regains its original shape when you press down on it with your hand.
  • The Sleep Council can help you determine if you need to replace your mattress.