How To Clean 7 Sneaky Dirty Spots In Your Bedroom
If you’ve decluttered your bedroom lately, congratulations (Marie Kondo would be proud.)! However, just because it’s tidy doesn’t mean it’s clean. Here are some of the most neglected spots in your bedroom, and how to keep them April fresh.
It’s easy to overlook window treatments in your cleaning routine (if the sun shines through they’re clean, right?). But cloth drapes and curtains collect pollen, dust, and even mold — especially if you open your windows frequently. They need a good wash a couple times a year. Check the cleaning instructions; many curtains are machine-washable, while others need to be dry-cleaned. To maintain between washes, vacuum monthly on a low setting using an upholstery attachment. For blinds: Wipe each slat with a damp cloth and all-purpose cleaning solution to remove grime. When dry, do a quick once-over with a dryer sheet to help keep dust from settling.
Floors are obvious. Baseboards? Not so much, especially if the color blends in with your walls.
Because they’re close to the ground, baseboards collect lots of dirt, dust, and pet hair. To clean, use a vacuum attachment to suck up dirt, and then wipe with a damp cloth every change of season. Hate bending down? This tip from Merry Maids requires no kneeling: Pull an old sock over a yardstick (fasten with a rubber band), and dust baseboards once a week.
3. Ceiling fans
You usually can’t see how dirty the top of the fan blades are (and maybe you don’t want to see!). But when dust bunnies start flying around the room, you’ll know why. We love this cleaning tip from Martha Stewart: Stand on a step stool (or your mattress) to reach the fan,and drape a pillowcase over each blade. Pressing your hands on either side, slide the case off the blade to catch the build-up,and then throw it in the wash. Do this every month or so to keep the fan from collecting dust.
4. Under the bed
When’s the last time you voluntarily peeked under your adjustable bed frame? It’s a breeding ground for everything from dust to dropped snacks; don’t wait longer than 2 weeks to clean it. If you use that area for storage (like winter clothes), make sure to pack items in vacuum-sealed bags instead of plastic bins, which can trap moisture and lead to mold, according to the American Cleaning Institute. A bed skirt is another magnet for dust and hair; make sure to remove it and throw it in the wash every three or four weeks.
You may never give a thought to cleaning your mattress because it’s almost always covered up. But your mattress will stay fresher if you spot clean it every few months with mild detergent or hand soap. (A gel memory foam mattress should never be submerged in water or dry-cleaned, FYI.) The best way to defend against staining and moisture on any mattress is to use a water-resistant mattress protector and machine wash it every two months; it will also help you sleep cool, which means fewer sweat stains on your mattress.
Not to gross you out, but pillows accumulate oil, sweat, and dead skin, not to mention allergens like dust and pet hair — none of which are super-visible. Because pillows are made from a variety of materials, there’s no one-size-fits-all cleaning “reco.” Some can be machine-washed on the gentle cycle and hung dry. But memory foam pillows should never be submerged in water; spot clean only. To extend the life of your pillow, use a pillow protector that you change and wash weekly with other bedding. If your pillow gets stained or spotted, use a little baking soda mixed with salt and water to freshen. By the way, if you are looking for the best pillow for side sleepers, your search has come to an end.
Whether yours is made from wood, metal, or upholstery, don’t neglect this dirt magnet that’s inches away from your face. To clean a fabric headboard, vacuum to remove dust, then blot any stains instead of rubbing. Spot clean with mild soap and water. For a wooden headboard, be sure to use products specifically made to clean wood; too much water and harsh soap can leave stains. And for metal, gently use a fine steel wool pad to remove oil and grease. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a bedroom that’s tidy and clean.