Fresh linens are the key to a good night’s sleep. Pillows and mattresses are not easy to clean. Yet, keeping them unwashed for long can cause build up of bacteria, allergens and dead skin, which can lead to breeding of dust mites and bed bugs. Infrequent cleaning of pillows and mattresses can also cause allergies and other health problems.
Read on for some simple techniques for cleaning and freshening up these bedding accessories.
1. Vacuuming Mattresses
Vacuuming your mattress every couple of weeks is a good way to reduce dust mites. Turn the mattress over at least twice a year and vacuum to remove dust mites from the underside as well. For extra protection, seal your mattress with a plastic cover.
2. The Concoction for Fresh Mattresses
Freshen up your mattresses by using this great concoction. Take one cup of baking powder and add a few drops of lavender oil into it. Shake well. Sprinkle over your mattress with a strainer. Leave it for an hour or so before thoroughly vacuuming again. The baking soda absorbs the moisture and dirt from the mattress. The lavender oil deodorizes it.
Another technique is rubbing your mattress with hydrogen peroxide or ammonia. After a thorough rinse with water dry it out in the sun for a day.
3. Washing Instructions for Pillows
Wash your pillows at least thrice a year.
Before you take your pillows and throw them into the washing machine read the instructions first. Usually a front loading washer suits all types of pillows. Always use a gentle washing cycle to prevent damage.
For down pillows, use detergents that are made especially for washing feather materials. You can also use detergents labelled “free” – these do not have any additives or perfumes. Also avoid dryer sheets and fabric softeners with down pillows.
Foam filled pillows can be washed in machines as well. The care labels always mention the recommended heat setting. Stick to it.
If you find that your pillow has developed mould or is musty, add vinegar into the wash cycle. Adding half a cup of baking soda into the wash will take care of bad odour.
4. Remove Excess Moisture & Maintain Fluffiness
Always run a second spin cycle for all pillows to get rid of excess moisture. Use two tennis balls packed into two socks in the machine while drying the pillows. The tennis balls beat the pillows during the drying cycle and ensure that they come out fluffy. Otherwise, the material inside may clump up and you get clean but ‘flat’ pillows. Placing the tennis ball inside the socks prevents the smell (if any) of the tennis ball getting transferred to your pillow.
5. Pillow Covers and Fabric Sprays
Using pillow cases and protective covers is the most efficient way of keeping pillows fresh. They keep out sweat and dust from pillows. Fabric sprays are available in various fragrances. Use these sprays once in a while to keep pillows smelling fresh. Some of them help removing allergens as well.
Use these great tips to keep your bedroom fresh and clean and enjoy a good night’s sleep.