Get a SPRING on Your Spring Cleaning – Clean Your Matress

Spring into Cleaning Your Mattress

Spring into Cleaning Your Mattress

While the wind blows and the snow swirls outside its hard to think about spring, much less about spring-cleaning.  We’d much rather snuggle under a blanket in front of a warm fire than get out the vacuum and the Windex.  Play a game of Scrabble with the kids instead of shaking out the curtains.  We spend hours and hours inside at this time of year, which is exactly why it is the best time of year to do a cleaning chore that you may not even do during spring-cleaning:  clean your mattress.

We spend approximately a third of our lives in our beds. Personally, I think a good chunk of that time is during the winter!  With it getting dark earlier, and the sun coming up later in the morning, it is very easy to spend more time curled up among the pillows than we do during the summer.  We wash our sheets and mattress pads on a regular basis, but what about the mattress itself?  We can’t shove it into the washing machine, even those supersize ones at the Laundromat.  A mattress can filled up with pounds of dust mites, sloughed off skin cells and dust.  So what can you do?

Cleaning a mattress is actually relatively easy to do.  The first step is to strip all the linens, including the mattress pad and dust ruffle if you have one.  Wash them on HOT water.  Use the hose attachment for your vacuum and vacuum the entire mattress – top, sides and bottom.  Now might also be a good time to flip your mattress.

Next, if your mattress is stained at all there are several ways to get the stains out.  While you can use commercial cleaners like upholstery cleaners to remove most spots, I prefer to keep as many chemicals away from my bed as I can.  A paste of baking soda will take out many stains.  So will a mild dish soap solution or a vinegar and water spray.  Rinse with clear water after treating the stain, blot with a clean white cloth, and let it dry.  If the mattress is heavily soiled, you can use a steam cleaner.  Again, you can use a steam cleaner that uses cleaning fluid or you can use a chemical free cleaner.  Commercial cleaning machines can be rented at many home improvement or grocery stores.  Be sure to let the mattress dry thoroughly (about 4 hours) before making the bed up with clean sheets.

If your mattress doesn’t need to be steam cleaned, use a sieve and sprinkle a fine coating of baking soda over the mattress.  Let it sit for about half an hour and then vacuum it up.  I love a tip I read on makeitdo.com:  combine about 1 cup of baking soda and 4 drops of lavender essential oil in a jar. You can use any essential oil you like the smell of, but I like the lavender because of its calming effect.  Shake it up to combine and then use the sieve to sprinkle it on the mattress.  Let it sit for about an hour, and then vacuum it up.  Remake the bed with your fresh clean sheets.

Now you can snuggle in a fresh, clean, sweet smelling bed. You’ll breathe better, and sleep easier for the rest of the winter.

 

At The Preferred Vacuums we have all you will need to freshen up the springs.

Cleaning Out the Holiday Left Overs…It’s Time!

Holiday Leftovers throughout…Cleaning Out the Fridge and the Pantry…from leftovers to spices start fresh in the New Year!

The holiday’s always mean food, and lots of it.  If your family is like mine, we make large quantities of everything for holiday meals.  After all, you don’t want someone to go hungry, and you never know who might stop by unexpectedly.  By the time the football games are over on New Year’s day, your fridge is overflowing with containers full of leftovers, and your pantry shelves are stuffed with all those ingredients you thought you “might” need.  Now is the perfect time to clean it all out and get a fresh start for the new year.

A garbage can, a sink full of soapy water, counter space, a spray bottle of window cleaner, lots of cleaning cloths and an empty dishwasher are the tools you need to take your refrigerator from to cluttered to know what’s in there to clean and organized.  Start on the top shelf and work your way down.  Take everything off the shelf.  Holiday leftovers go straight into the trash, plastic food containers into the dishwasher.  Open everything.  If it looks funny, smells funny or you have any doubt about it, throw it.  Make sure to check expiration dates. The things you want to keep, set on the counter.  Take the shelf out and put it in the soapy water.  Wipe the walls down with the window cleaner.  Don’t put anything back in yet.

Once you have the shelves done, clean out the crisper and meat drawer.  Don’t forget to clean under the meat drawer!  Wash the drawers in the soapy water.  Next, tackle the shelves on door.  Throw out all the jars with a little bit of this and a little bit of that in them.  Now that you have everything out of the fridge, and clean shelves put back in, you can put what’s left on the counter back in.  Try to keep like things together – all the salad dressings in one area, jellies and jams in another.  That way you will be able to see at a glance what you have.

Now that you are done with the fridge, it’s time to move on to the pantry.  If you have an excess of items that you bought, or double bought, for the holidays and it’s unlikely you will use them in the next month or so, consider donating them to a food pantry.  Many people donate before the holidays, which helps ensure that the less fortunate have holiday dinners.  Food pantries often find their shelves depleted at this time of year and will be grateful for the donations.  Group all the canned vegetables together in one area, the soups in another.  Make sure that flours and sugars are in airtight containers.

Go through your spices. Open each jar and smell it.  We all have those jars of spices that we bought to make a specific recipe and have never used again.  If it doesn’t have a fragrance, toss it.  No smell means no taste. If it’s a spice you use often, write it down on your grocery list and replace it.  If you can’t remember the last time you used ground turmeric in a recipe, don’t replace it until you need it.

Besides being able to see what you have in both the pantry and the refrigerator, you’ll find that taking a couple of hours to give these areas a fresh start gives you sense of accomplishment.  And if, like many of us, you made the age old New Year’s resolution to lose weight, you’ll find it might just be a little easier to keep with an emptier fridge!