blog 2.png

Spring Cleaning for a Healthier You

We interrupted our series on our mattress education to address something a little more appropriate in the current situation. As COVID-19 spreads, many people are reasonably scared. Everyone is hunkered down and millions of people are staying home. We know that this is a scary time. People are wearing gloves and masks everywhere. Hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies are in limited supply. But in all the chaos the world is still turning, and spring is here. I can't believe I missed the first day of spring! But that means it is time to do spring cleaning. There has never been a more critical time than now for spring cleaning.

We need to rid our homes of bacteria and germs to keep our families safe. Most people start in the kitchen or the bathrooms. But consider this — when you are sick, where do you go? To bed! When you have a cold or flu you climb into bed, pull the covers over your head, and grumble at the world.

If that's not enough to motivate you to consider the importance of spring cleaning your bedroom, consider these facts...

  • We shed approximately 500 million cells daily, most of which slough off while you toss and turn in bed at night. That makes a feeding ground for dust mites.
  • I know it's gross to think about, but even dust mites have to go to the bathroom and where do you think they go? You guessed it — your bed. Dust mite feces is not only totally gross to think about, but it can trigger asthma, allergies, itchy inflamed skin, acne, and more.
  • According to WebMD, lab tests found that swabs from pillowcases that were unwashed for a week harbored more than 17,000 times more colonies of bacteria than samples taken from a toilet seat! On average, pillows can harbor over 350,000 different bacteria. Yes, that is three hundred and fifty thousand. It's not a typo.
  • While I love my fur-babies as if they were my own flesh and blood, sleeping with your pets can greatly increase these numbers.
  • Numbers are also worse if you snack in bed or if you sleep with kids, or if you are an excessive sweater or if you sleep in the nude.
  • A dirty pillow can also damage your hair and skin!
  • Up to 1/3rd of a pillow's weight can be made up of bugs, dead skin, mites, and their feces. The average unwashed pillow can contain 16 species of fungi.

Once you stop cringing, please continue to read on to learn how we can work to have a healthier sleep environment. Let's cover some basics — we know everyone thinks you need to run out and buy all sorts of toxic chemicals, but the trick is preventative care.

Create a routine and stick to it. It's not easy, I will admit, but a routine will help keep your bed, pillow, and yourself in better hygienic health. I use the seasons to remind me. Everyone knows about spring cleaning, but how about in the fall you take the time to vacuum your bed? Yes, I said vacuum your bed. Now, before you hoist that heavy thing up to put it on your bed remember that hose and all those attachments you never thought you would use? Well, the one with the bristles on it is called an upholstery attachment. Use it! Simple as that. The upholstery attachment was designed for fabrics such as mattresses, chairs, couches, and even drapes (with caution). So as I was saying, create a routine. My tip for remembering when to rotate your mattress is that it springs forward and falls backward, so I flip it in the spring and fall (if you have a flippable mattress) and then spring it in summer and winter. So now that it's spring, let's flip that sucker. First, strip that mattress down and vacuum it, then flip it and vacuum the other side, not forgetting the sides of the mattress and the box spring.

im 1.png

Those of us that are classified as Millennials may not remember people taking their furniture outside, but I have family that still takes a lot of their furniture outdoors in the spring. I thought they were a little crazy. I never understood why, but recently found out that the reason they did it was to air out their furniture. With modern-day central air, the air in our homes can get stagnant. Sometimes the furniture needs to breathe (as do the rooms the furniture occupies for that matter). If you can't carry it outside, open all the windows and doors in your home on a nice spring day and let the sunshine in. Not only is that vitamin D good for you, but the UV rays and heat from the sun will help kill off bacteria. That 5th-grade science lesson is all coming back to you right now, isn't it? We are remembering how bacteria, mold, and mildew don't grow very well in sunlight. See, our grandparents weren't crazy after all. Well maybe they were, but not for this reason.

Okay, so now the room is breathing, the furniture is basking in the sunlight, and it's time to move on to the ever-dreaded laundry. Here are some tips; USE HOT WATER. It sounds so simple, I know, and that's because it is. We have been programmed to think that the hot water setting on our washers is bad, but if you can get your hot water to a sizzling 140°F, then it is killing off those germs and bacteria. If your hot water heater just won't participate and reach 140°F, then simply run an iron over your sheets, pillowcases, and even your pillow after you wash and dry them. (Okay, so some of you may have to stop here and go borrow an iron from your mom.)

Did you know another thing that our ancestors did makes total sense too? Dry your sheets in the sunshine! Let mother nature blow those sheets dry for you. Not only does the UV rays kill bacteria in your bed, but it does so in your sheets as well. You'll find that they will feel softer and smoother. Oh, and one very important thing, skip the fabric softener. It leaves a nasty waxy residue that just makes your sheets hold onto skin oils and dirt and grime even more. Some commercial fabric softeners even have animal fats in them. YUCK! Instead, use white vinegar and maybe a drop of lavender essential oil if you have it on hand. Simply add the white vinegar to the rinse cycle like you normally would add the fabric softener. (You should try this on socks too. I know it's not bed-related but I swear you will totally love the difference).

im 2.png

So now that we know how to clean let's talk about frequency. Your linens should be cleaned a lot more frequently than people think.

  • Vacuum your bed when you do spring cleaning.
  • Wash sheets weekly (if you are an excessive sweater, have acne, or pets, every 2-3 days.)
  • Wash your bed skirt every 3-6 months.
  • Wash your mattress pad at least four times a year (usually when you flip and rotate your mattress.)
  • Comforters, duvets, and blankets should be washed every 30-60 days.
  • Wash all linens after a cold.

It may not be the general consensus, but I like the idea of replacing my mattress pads every 3-5 years, along with the pillows. It's time to toss that old pillow and upgrade it to a new one. Check out our new line of pillows!

One more thing, for those of us that have foam pillows — we can't put them in the washer and dryer like regular pillows, but they can still be spot cleaned with warm water. That also means you can't get that 140-degree heat to wash it, but you can still set them outside in the sun on a hot sunny day. I also recommend using protectors like our Sleep Tite Pillow Protectors and our Sleep Tite Mattress Protectors which are designed specifically to stop dust mites and allergens — and they are all water-resistant.

So if you have made it this far into my blog, I know you will be spring cleaning your bedroom probably tonight. When you wake up after an exhausting day thoroughly cleaning your bedroom you will be ready to take on the rest of the house.

Good luck to you during this trying time. Stay safe and healthy. I hope this post helps you in your search for a better night's sleep! God bless you and good night, my friends.