It may be hard to believe (or not, depending on your sleep habits), but did you know that the average American will spend about 36 years of their life in bed? That's a lot of time between the sheets. While you're certainly familiar with advice and products that'll help you get sound slumbers, having a clean bed should be high on your list for optimal sleep hygiene. Here's what you should know.
Washing your pillows at least every three months will rid them of skin cells, dust mites, moisture, and body oils — in addition to keeping them white and fresh smelling. Wondering when it's time to replace a pillow? Fold it in half. If your pillow pops back to normal, it's good to go. If it stays folded? Time to say goodbye and buy new.
Don't: Cram too many sheets into the washer — they need room to move in order to get the most thorough washing.
Do: Use a gentle detergent, like this 4-ingredient DIY solution for sensitive skin.
Don't: Don't be heavy-handed with the detergent. If you use more soap than recommended, your sheets might not get completely rinsed.
Do: Choose the hottest washing temperature suggested by your sheets' manufacturer — this will help kill germs, and remove dust mites and allergens.
Don't: Over-dry your linens.
To begin, vacuum your mattress to rid it of any debris, pet hair, or crumbs. (No judgment if you eat in bed.) If you have any stains, let's clean those up, okay? A simple solution of one teaspoon laundry detergent mixed with one cup of warm water will do the trick. Just gently scrub the solution into the stain and let the mattress dry overnight. Repeat if needed. To deodorize, baking soda is the best for absorbing odors. We love mixing a box of baking soda with 20 drops of essential oil (like lavender, eucalyptus, or peppermint), and then, after letting the mixture sit for an hour before using, sprinkling the mixture on your mattress. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and vacuum right up.
First, clean up anything that might need to be cleaned. Then spray a light amount of disinfectant (like Lysol or this DIY solution) on the mattress. Don't oversaturate. Simply let dry for 15 minutes. You might want to consider getting a mattress protector that you can easily wash each week.
For this, chlorine bleach is best. Add one cup to chlorine bleach to the hottest wash cycle, and then add your linens. But did you know that you could also use a pine oil disinfectant on colored sheets? They have properties that kill germs and bacteria on fabric, not just floors. And one cup of the pine oil disinfectant to a hot wash cycle along with your sheets.
It's pretty gross. Pets can bring in allergens from the outdoors. They can track in dirt and feces. But listen, if you're like many of us, logic doesn't rule when it comes to the decision of letting our pets sleep with us — because they are just so cute and cozy. If you do choose to let your furry ones snuggle up with you, just follow all the previous advice for keeping your bed as clean and dirt-free as possible.