We spend a lot of time in bed. If you’re interested in specifics, the average person spends 227,760 hours in bed over their lifetime, which equates to 26 years. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to ensure our beds are hygienic, healthy places to be. If you haven’t given much thought to deep cleaning your bed, from the headboard to your mattress (and everything in between), read on for our handy guide.
Your head is resting on your pillow for up to 8 hours a night, gathering sweat and dust in that time, so regular cleaning is a must. To make your job a little easier, consider investing in some pillow protectors - a form of inner pillowcase that you can remove and wash as needed. These extend the life of your pillow and are more hygienic - and particularly handy for those people with dust allergies. To clean your pillow itself, start by removing dust using a hand-held vacuum, or using the upholstery attachment on your standard hoover. Check the label to see if your pillow can be machine washed, and if not, use stain remover and a sponge. The most important thing here is to ensure your pillows dry completely - or else you’ll be risking a nasty case of mildew.
You’ll want to follow a similar routine when it comes to washing your duvet. Once you’re sure you’ve got rid of any dust, pop it in the washing machine on a gentle wash. Some duvets should only be washed by professional dry cleaners - so make sure it’s suitable for the machine before you press ‘start’. Dry your duvet using low heat, and add a few clean tennis balls to the dryer to ensure it stays nice and fluffy. Watch out: just because it’s dry on the outside doesn’t mean it’s dry on the inside. After it’s done in the dryer, consider leaving your duvet hanging for an additional 24 hours, to ensure all the inner filling is completely dry. Don’t worry - there’s no need to wash your duvet more than once a year, so this doesn’t have to become a regular part of your cleaning routine.
It’s a good idea to clean your bedsheets, duvet covers and pillow cases on a weekly basis (or slightly more often if you have pets that share your bed). Beyond adding them to your regular laundry cycle, you might want to spruce up your bedding with some extra deep-cleaning every so often. There’s no need to reach for the bleach: natural ingredients do the job nicely. Lemon juice and vinegar are both great options when it comes to soaking your sheets. Vinegar can be used to pre-soak your sheets before you throw them in the washing machine - just add a dash to a bucket of warm water. Once they’re soaked, throw them in along with the juice of one lemon (along with your normal detergent). Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent, so will help your sheets stay fresh and white.
Your mattress is the trickiest part of your bed to clean, but it’s much-needed. Start by spot-cleaning any stains. Blot the stain gently with a fresh cloth and some gentle, natural cleaning product. Never soak your mattress - some shouldn’t get wet at all, and you risk damaging it. Instead, tread with caution. Once the stains are gone, head to your kitchen cupboard to dig out the baking soda. Sprinkling a layer of baking soda on your mattress will help absorb any leftover odours or moisture in your mattress, cleaning it from the inside out. Leave the baking soda for as long as possible - 24 hours works best if you can sleep somewhere else for the night. Keep windows open for the duration of your mattress cleaning: the breeze will freshen up the room, and the sun’s UV rays will help kill any remaining bacteria. Once everything’s clean and dry, it’s time to flip the mattress and repeat the process, making sure to vacuum the underside which is more likely to have gathered dust. Some mattresses shouldn’t be flipped because of their design - in this case, you might want to consider rotating your mattress 180 degrees instead, to make sure each side gets equal wear.
The method you’ll use to clean your bed frame depends on the material it’s made from. If you’ve got an upholstered headboard, your biggest challenge will be stopping dust from becoming ingrained. Get into a good routine of vacuuming your headboard and bed frame on a weekly basis when you hoover the rest of your bedroom. It might look like there’s barely any dust, but once it’s ingrained in the headboard, it’s very tricky to remove. Before using a new cleaning product on your frame and headboard, make sure to carry out a spot test. You can never be 100% sure how the fabric or material will react, so spray a small amount on a hidden spot, so that if there is any damage, it won’t be visible. Once you’ve checked your bed reacts well to the cleaning product, give it a gentle once-over with a sponge. As with your mattress, your upholstered bed will react well to baking soda, so you can always try that out when you want go further with your deep-clean. When vacuuming your bedroom, don’t forget to pull the bed away from the wall and hoover underneath, too.
Remember - this isn’t a weekly or even a monthly task, so it won’t be a major burden. Scrubbing your bed isn’t the sexiest task out there, but it is important to add to your cleaning routine to ensure you get the best night’s sleep possible. Your bedroom should be a peaceful haven: somewhere you go to rest and relax after a long day, so it’s worth making it as luxurious as possible.
PS - here’s an extra top tip. If you’ve got young children or babies, use our Potty Spray to clean their changing mat after use. The Fig and Cassis scent will neutralise unwanted bathroom souvenirs, and as with all Colt & Willow products, you don’t have to worry about nasty phosphates or parabens.