Spring Allergy Cleaning - Tackle the Bedrooms
If you are going to do that annual deep clean, one of the most important rooms in the house is the bedroom. Because bedrooms have so many fiber surfaces they really collect dust and other household allergens. So, it is important to give them a good clean, but you have to be careful how and when you do it.
It is best to tackle the bedroom early in the day. That will give all the dust you stir up plenty of time to settle before you go to bed. First, turn your HEPA air cleaner onto its highest setting. Next, if you are highly allergic to dust mites and dust, then be sure to wear a mask when cleaning. Usually when I talk about cleaning strategies, I recommend to start at the top and work down. The bedroom has a slight deviation from this plan. Start with the bed.
Strip all bedding off the bed. This means sheets, blankets, duvets, duvet covers, zippered mattress, and pillow covers. Everything comes off. Washable linens go into the washer on either 140 degree water or if you want to use a cooler temperature then wash with some Allerwash. Same goes for curtains and dust ruffles and pillow shams. Tear that bed apart and if it is washable, get it in the wash. If you have bedding that is not washable, such as silk or wool, then take it outside while you are cleaning and expose it to the natural sunlight. Sunlight will refresh wool and silk. Be sure to lightly spray the non-washable bedding down with the ADMS Allergen Spray before you bring it back inside.
The reason is twofold, first the bedding might have picked up pollen or mold spore while outside and secondly, you want to treat the surfaces to denature the allergens that remain.
Now that the bed is torn apart and the washing started, its time to start cleaning. Once again. I start with the walls and work from the top to the bottom. When it comes to deep cleaning the bedroom, my Miele vacuum cleaner is my best friend. I extend the wand fully, put on the smooth floor brush, then start to vacuum from the top down starting in one corner and working my way around the room. Next vacuum and wipe down woodwork. If you have pictures on the wall, this is the time to take them down, clean them and put them back up. Pull furniture slightly away from walls so you can clean behind it. Now its time to clean the furniture. Start with the nightstand. Open the drawers and remove all items.
Tip: This is a good time to sort through and throw out items you don't need to keep and haven't used in last 6 months or a year. This is the hardest part for me because I want to hang onto everything.
Once the drawers are empty, I use the round dusting brush on my vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean the inside of the drawer and the rails where the drawers glide. Return the remaining contents and move on to the next drawer. Repeat this process for any chests and dressers. Make sure you have two trash bags handy. One is for things you are going to discard and the second is for things you are going to donate. Since everything is coming out of the drawers, this is a perfect time to sort and donate any clothing you aren't/won't be wearing.
Now, you are ready to wipe down the surfaces of the furniture. I first vacuum everything with my round dusting brush, then you can polish. If you have wood furniture and want a shine that doesn't attract dust, try the Eat My Dust furniture polish. I don't personally have much wood furniture in my house, but I recently used it to clean the pews and woodwork at church and was really impressed with its performance. Best of all, besides leaving no residue, it also doesn't leave any odor.
Since you had to stand the bed up to get the zippered cover off, this is a great time to vacuum under the bed and vacuum and wipe down the bed rails as well. Next, its time to wipe down the knick-knacks or wash them in the sink. Its not a good idea to have many dust catching knick-knacks in the bedroom, so this should just take a few minutes. If it takes very long to wipe down your knick-knacks it is a clear sign you have too many and this is a good time to decide what needs to stay out and what needs to be put away.
If you have the energy, its time to tackle the closet. Frankly, I do the closets separate. As part of the bedroom clean, I just make sure that the doors are cleaned and save the closet innards for another day.
Lastly, clean the floors thoroughly. Hopefully you have a hard surface floor that just needs a thorough vacuuming and steaming. If you have carpet, vacuum thoroughly and then treat with the X-Mite Carpet Powder or ADMS Spray as I described in the blog post on cleaning the living areas.
Bring cleaned bedding back into room. Zip back up mattress, pillows, and duvets. Put your freshly washed sheets on the bed and re-assemble. Leave the air cleaner on the high setting for the next couple of hours. Close the bedroom door. Now, treat yourself to a soak in the bath, a cup of tea or adult beverage of your choice, or just sit outside and swing. Just rest, you deserve it!
Til Next Time!
The Allergy Store