While the two ‘most important’ areas in the home to clean are your kitchen and bathroom, we spend around one third of our life sleeping. So our bedrooms are likely picking up more germs than we might realise and, therefore, you need to clean in your bedroom.
But, do you know which areas in the bedroom are the most forgotten about when it comes to cleaning? You might remember to change your bed but when was the last time you hoovered underneath that bed? To help, MattressNextDay have shared what you should clean, and how often you should be doing that.
Eight unexpected dirty areas in your bedroom, revealed
Just how many of these areas in your bedroom do you forget?
1. Your bedroom carpet and rugs could be impacting the airflow in your room
How often you should clean: Once a week
When was the last time you used shampoo on your carpet? Or hoovered your bedroom? If you have a carpet in your bedroom or a rug, it could be impacting airflow and, subsequently, your health.
Carpets and rugs in the bedroom can become clogged with dust, dirt and all manner of unpleasant items, particularly if you walk through your room with your shoes. Therefore, your room is likely to become more clogged with smells and stuffy. While you should be hoovering regularly, it’s important to deep clean your carpets twice a year.
At a minimum, you should be hoovering the bedroom once a week. And, that’s whether it looks like it is needed or not. Floors can collect dust and dirt and leaving them longer could lead to health issues, particularly for those with allergies and asthma.
2. Clean your mattress to prevent bed bugs and mites from appearing
How often you should clean: Every six months
Let’s get down to the cold, hard facts. A mattress, typically, lasts around eight years, and you’ll spend two and a half years of those lying on it. So, it can become home for allergens, bed bugs, sweat, pet hairs and even dust mites. In fact, the average mattress can hold between 100,000 to up to 1 million dust mites.
People with dust mite allergies or asthma should be particularly careful and reduce dust in their homes.
Those with allergies could suffer from mild symptoms - sneezing, runny nose and congestion - to severe, chronic symptoms. This is similar to those with asthma, who are at risk of increased flare-ups due to the presence of dust mites.
Bed bugs can also live on your mattress, without feeding, for up to one whole year. Female bed bugs also produce around 200-500 eggs over two months. These hatch in about a week, so as soon as you find a bed bug, you need to act fast.
With that in mind, you want to be cleaning your mattress every six months. You should:
- Strip the bed of all bedding and wash them on a high setting to eliminate any bacteria or germs.
- Vacuum the mattress after stripping the bed.
- Use a stain remover if you have any stains to get rid of. You can purchase mattress stain removers for this step. Spray the cleaner onto a cloth and then blot at the stain, as opposed to further rubbing it in. Ideally, you should be doing this as soon as the stain sets in.
- Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on the mattress and leave for as long as you can. The longer you leave, the more likely it will take up the odours.
- Vacuum again to remove any of the bicarbonate of soda and leave to air.
- If you can, flip the mattress and do the same to the other side.
- Protect your clean mattress by using mattress protectors and toppers.
3. Make sure to clean under your bed to prevent dust mites
How often you should clean: Every two weeks
Let’s face it, cleaning under the bed is a chore. Dust, hair, food and, of course, dust mites can collect under your bed, which again could even make you ill.
One of the easiest ways to vacuum under your bed would be to set away the robot vacuum cleaners. But, not everyone has those. If your hoover has extension wands and hoses, these will come in handy for getting to hard to reach places under the bed.
You can also use your hairdryer to blow dust out from under the bed, so you can then hoover it up. You should be doing this, at least, twice a month to ensure those mites don’t have time to gather and cause health issues.
4. Unwashed duvets can harbour up to 20,000 dust mites and their faeces
How often you should clean: Every two to three months
We also can’t forget the bed. You might change your sheets regularly but what about the actual duvet and the pillows?
A duvet that isn’t washed the recommended number of times can harbour more than 20,000 dust mites alone. Not only that but research has suggested that faeces from dust mites can also impact our skin, making it more susceptible to allergens and irritants.
It stands to reason as you use your duvet every night - particularly if you don’t change for the seasons - so you need to keep on top of it. Wash your duvet on a high setting of 60 degrees - if the material allows, such as synthetic fibres - and dry in your dryer or outside. But, always check the label before washing.
5. Dirty pillows and pillowcases can contain fungus
How often you should clean: Your pillows every six months / Your pillowcases every week
Alongside your duvet, your pillows need a good wash every now and then. In fact, twice a year for your pillows.
A study found that if you never wash them or your pillowcases, fungus can build up. Not only can this fungus trigger allergic reactions, but it could also affect your lungs and other organs.
Again, check the labels before washing and try to do so on a high setting to kill all germs and bacteria.
If your pillows are getting old, it might be time to change them. To see if this is the case, fold your pillow in half and squeeze out the air. Let the pillow go and if it unfolds back to its original shape, then it has enough filling to support your beck and head. If it doesn’t spring back then it’s lost its support and needs to be replaced.
6. Your fake plants are a magnet for dust and can make you ill unless regularly cleaned
How often you should clean: Once a week
While taking care of fake plants is a lot less demanding than real houseplants, they do still require maintenance. That is, fake plants can trap dust and other airborne particles. Not only do these affect the overall look of your plants, but they can impact your health if not regularly cleaned.
Most fake plants are made from polyester or nylon, some from silk. Their material determines how you clean it. For instance, silk plants can’t get wet as the dye will run.
If in doubt, clean with a dry cloth and dust every week.
7. Your bedroom lamp switch can harbour as many germs as your bin
How often you should clean: Once a week
Light switches and lamps are commonly forgotten about when it comes to cleaning. But it’s those touchpoints that can harbour the most germs and bacteria. Especially if you use your lamp everyday. In fact, scientists discovered that light switches can harbour as many germs as a bin.
For a bedroom lamp, you need to be dusting the actual lamp once a week. You can also clean with a damp microfiber cloth and gently clean the lamp. The switches should also be cleaned, at least, weekly or more if they are in regular use.
8. Unwashed makeup bags can contain E.coli
How often you should clean: Once a month
Can you remember the last time you cleaned your makeup bag?
Dead skin cells and bacteria from your brushes are transferred to your make-up bag after every application, which will explain why researchers discovered that up to 90% of makeup bags had been contaminated with superbugs such as E.coli due to people not properly cleaning their makeup bags or products.
As well as regularly cleaning your make-up bag, you should also make sure to store it in a cool, dry place such as a drawer. Also, make sure that all of your products' lids are tightly shut when not in use as the moist air can enter into your products and create the perfect humid conditions for bacterial growth.
Give your makeup bags a deep clean every month. This includes removing all products and wiping those down, as well as inside and outside the bag. Make sure you allow it to properly dry before you zip it up, as moisture creates a perfect breeding ground for more germs and bacteria.
If you are interested in even more of our gross bedroom habits, read up on what Brits are really doing in bed.