How To Wash Your Sheets
Do you know the last time you washed your sheets and pillowcases? If you had to think about it, then it’s probably been too long. Ideally, sheets and pillowcases should be washed on a weekly basis, but not everyone heeds this housekeeping rule.
What’s more is that many people don’t know how to properly wash their bedclothes and accessories. Well, we’re here to set the record straight. Read on to learn the right way to clean your bedding so that you can have exceptionally sweet dreams.
How to Wash Your Sheets and Pillowcases
If you’re like many people, you toss your sheets in the washer with your towels. Bedding experts say that’s a major faux pas because towels have a nasty habit of producing lint, which can stick to your sheets. That doesn’t exactly make for smooth sleeping.
To get softer linens and extend the lifespan of your bedding, wash sheets and pillowcases by themselves. Additionally, use a very gentle detergent and warm water (rather than scalding hot). The latter will prevent your sheets from shrinking too much.
How to Wash Your Duvet Covers and Comforters
In a perfect world, duvet covers and comforters would be cleaned as often as your sheets. However, these covers are usually bulky and require a trip to the laundromat or dry cleaner.
Aim to clean duvet covers and comforters at least once every month or two, unless you sleep with no top sheet. In that case, you’ll want to clean them as close to weekly as you can.
If your duvet cover will fit in a washer, that’s great. Read the tag first to ensure that it’s machine washable and follow any washing instructions. Duvet covers that have been soiled or stained will need to be soaked in cold water before washing. Naturally, you’ll need a large basin to accommodate the cover, and a clean bathtub will serve the purpose nicely. Let the duvet cover soak for at least an hour. Wring it out as much as possible before transferring it to the washing machine.
As with your sheets, you’ll want to wash duvet covers without any towel companions. And be careful to evenly distribute the cover in your washing machine so that the weight of the fabric doesn’t knock the washer off balance. Keep an ear out for that awful knocking sound that serves as warning that you need to stop the washer and redistribute the duvet cover.
Unless you’re lucky enough to own an industrial-sized washing machine, your comforter will need to be taken to the laundromat or the dry cleaner. Check the tag to determine which, and follow all cleaning instructions to the letter so that your comforter lasts a long, long time.
How to Wash Your Pillows
Pillows are stuffed with a variety of different materials. The stuffing will determine how to wash your pillows. You should wash your pillows at least once or twice a year.
Down and fiber pillows
These types of pillows can be cleaned in a washing machine. Before washing your down or fiber pillows, check the cleaning instructions and follow the directions. If there are no instructions, wash your pillows on the gentle cycle with the same gentle detergent you used to clean your sheets. As with your sheets, warm water is better than hot.
You’ll want to let the pillows take an extra rinse cycle or two to ensure all the detergent gets out. Additionally, overloading the washer can knock it off balance, so don’t wash more than two pillows at one time. And don’t wring out down pillows. You’ll damage the feathers inside.
You can dry the pillows in your dryer on low heat. Toss a couple of tennis balls into the dryer to keep pillows fluffy.
Foam pillows and the washing machine don’t mix, so you’ll have to hand wash these. However, foam pillows typically have cloth covers that you can unzip. Those can be washed after you remove the foam.
If your foam pillows are stained or soiled, you can spot clean the foam with a damp cloth. You’ll need to let the pillows dry completely before returning them to the bed so they don’t mold. Otherwise, you can use a handheld vacuum to clean the foam. Don’t vacuum the foam while the pillow is wet, as it’s not safe and can tear the pillow.
To clean the pillow covers, follow the cleaning instructions on the tag. If there are none, you can follow the above directions for washing sheets and pillowcases.
If you have specialty pillows—like a water pillow or a pillow stuffed with buckwheat—you’ll need to check your manufacturer’s instructions for washing.
How to Wash Your Mattress Pad
Mattress pads are also made from a wide range of materials, and should be cleaned every three months or so. Here again, the steps you take to clean your mattress pad will depend on what it’s made of. Below you’ll find instructions on how to clean three common types of mattress pads.
Cotton and vinyl-backed mattress pads
Both of these mattress pads can be cleaned in the washing machine. Before you get started, check to see if there are any cleaning instructions on the tag. Typically, you can wash these mattress pads just as you would your sheets, but with even cooler water. Use a gentle detergent for this bedding, and dry it at the temperature recommended on the tag. You can toss a few tennis balls into the dryer with your mattress pad to keep it from getting lumpy.
Down mattress pads
Down mattress pads are washed very similarly to cotton and vinyl-backed mattress pads. However, you’ll want to check your down comforter for holes before washing. Additionally, these comforters should be washed on the delicate cycle in cool water with gentle cleaner or specialized down cleaner. Down mattress pads should be rinsed twice to make sure all the detergent gets out of the feathers.
These comforters should be dried on the lowest heat setting, and you can also throw a few tennis balls into the dryer to revitalize the fluff of the feathers.
Now that you know how to properly clean all of your bedding, you might be in the mood to completely clean your bedroom. You’re in luck; Merry Maids has a bedroom cleaning checklist that can help you get the job done quickly.
How to Wash and Dry a Waterproof Mattress Cover
How to Wash and Dry a Waterproof Mattress Cover
- 1 Sealy Tempur-Pedic Memory Foam Mattress Care Instructions
- 2 Does a Memory Foam Mattress Need a Protective Covering?
- 3 Use a Duvet Cover as a Blanket
- 4 Keep Mattress Covers on Beds
Waterproof mattress covers keep spills and leaks away from your bed, but they’re not impervious to getting dirty. Regularly wash your mattress cover to get rid of dirt and odor. Most waterproof covers have a cloth top and vinyl backing, so they’re typically safe to clean in the washing machine.
Waterproof Mattress Cover Care
Launder your waterproof mattress cover in the washing machine in cold or warm water, on a gentle or delicate setting. Use a bleach-free laundry detergent — bleach can damage the waterproof backing of some covers. After washing, tumble-dry the cover on a low-heat setting. It’s safe to dry the cover with other items, such as sheets or clothing. Don’t use high heat; doing so damages the vinyl. Do not iron the cover or have it dry cleaned. If your waterproof mattress cover is new, wash it before using it for the first time. Laundering helps remove packaging odors and softens the cover.
How to Wash a Mattress Protector and Topper
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When it comes to protecting our mattress, using a mattress protector is a must. However, do you know how to wash a mattress protector and how often you need to?
Can You Wash a Mattress Protector?
First of all yes, you can definitely wash a mattress protector like you would your new set of sheets. That is the main reason for having one, since you are unable to wash your mattress.
While sleeping, we lose fluid, skin cells and any dirt on our bodies will rub off in the sheets. These tiny particles will push tough the fibers as we toss and turn, eventually making their way down and into the mattress.
Once inside of the mattress, it is almost impossible to pull it all back out, even with spot cleaning and vacuuming the top of your mattress.
Instead of having to worry about what’s falling through the cracks of your mattress and degrading its lifespan, opt to own and use a mattress protector.
A mattress protector is a thin fitted sheet that goes on your bare mattress and sits underneath your fitted and flat sheets. Most of the top rated mattress protectors are 100% waterproof and can hold more than a liter of liquid before you need to change it.
They are also engineered to be breathable through a cotton/terry blend that absorbs yet allows air to flow through so that you are not sweating due to the extra layer underneath you.
How to Wash a Mattress Protector
Whether you need to spot clean or completely launder your mattress protector then follow these steps to take care of spills, stains and regular refreshing.
If you catch spills or accidents in time, you can spot clean your mattress protector instead of having to wash it between scheduled washes.
The best way to be able to spot clean is to do it as soon as the accident occurs or as soon as you notice it. Putting off spot cleaning may result in set in stains or permanent yellowing of your mattress protector and needing to wash it instead.
- Use a paper towel to blot up the excess moisture. (A paper towel will pull most of the liquid out)
- Do not rub the area, this can damage the mattress protector fibers and spread the stain further.
- Mix a little mild detergent with water to make it thinner and pour it in a spray bottle. (always use a spray bottle for spot cleaning since it controls the flow and keeps you from over soaking a spot)
- Agitate the detergent a little with your fingers to help awaken it. (Again, don’t scrub or rub)
- Use a clean cloth dipped in water to blot up the detergent
- Dip the soapy cloth in clean water and squeeze out the excess and repeat until there is no more soap on the mattress protector.
- Follow up with using paper towels to blot out any excess moisture to help your mattress protector dry faster.
- Allow it to air dry by hanging it up.
- Once fully dried replace and continue to use
It is important to control how much water you are using to spot clean. You don’t want to over soak the area with detergent or water, this won’t clean it any better and will take a longer amount of time to dry.
Less is better, because you can always work up to using more if needed. You cannot work backwards from over soaking the area or adding too much soap.
Also spraying too much detergent or not watering it down a little can cause too much soap residue to get into the fibers and be difficult to remove it all. More soap does not mean cleaner, it just equals out to more work needed to rinse it.
You should strive to wash your mattress protector once a month. You can stretch it to once every two months if your sheets are changed regularly and you don’t have many spills or accidents.
Your mattress protector needs to be laundered regularly due to the buildup of dirt, dead skin cells, dust mites and odors. Washing your mattress protector will also restore the freshness of it to keep allergens under control.
- Set your washer to the cold water and gentle/delicate cycle.
- Add in a bleach free laundry detergent or a natural one you can create at home. (Bleach can damage the waterproof backing)
- Place your mattress protector in the washer with your sheets or alone.
- Let the washer run through the entire cycle and skip the fabric softener, this will reduce the absorbency of the mattress protector.
- For the best drying results hang up your mattress protector to dry. If you need it quicker then you can place it in the dry on a no heat or low heat setting. (place damp towels in with it to help dry and fluff it up.)
The best thing you need to remember about washing your mattress protector is that you need to avoid high heat settings. Similar to washing wool, and other sensitive materials, washing or drying with heat can damage the waterproof backing, shrink it and reduce it’s ability to protect your mattress.
Can You Wash a Mattress Topper?
If you have a mattress topper, it is a little different from a mattress protector. A mattress topper, sometimes referred to as a pad, is a padded cushion that fits on your mattress like a fitted sheet would.
The main difference between the two is that a topper is used to add a layer of cushion to your mattress where as a mattress protector adds little to no cushion and offers waterproof protection.
A good mattress pad will make your night’s sleep a lot better. It doesn’t provide any protection for your mattress though.
You can wash most mattress toppers. Cotton and polyester blends are able to washed and dried following the same instructions as above. Since it is a thicker version of a mattress protector it may need to be dried a little longer.
If you have a memory foam or egg crate mattress topper then you may not be able to wash it as easily. You can vacuum the top to pull out any debris or dust and spot clean as needed
Now that you know more about how to wash a mattress protector and the best schedule for taking care of it, you can begin to work it into your cleaning routine. Keeping your mattress protector clean and functioning will help extend the life of your mattress underneath since it is catch all of the daily wear and tear.
How Often Do You Need to Wash Your Mattress Pad?
You do lay on it eight hours a night, after all.
There’s nothing that ruins the feeling of just-cleaned sheets like realizing that your protective mattress pad is looking a little. yellow. We all know you’re supposed to wash your sheets every one or two weeks, but what about this pesky thing under your sheets? Our expert is here to share her wisdom.
But first things first, when we say mattress pad, we mean a traditional protective covering like this. Pillowy toppers are a different story since they come in so many varieties (consult the care label for the best washing instructions), and the foam versions can’t be washed at all. You’ll want to replace your topper when they’re not comfortable or supportive anymore.
But here’s the scoop on mattress pads:
You should wash your mattress pad every couple months.
"It’s only necessary to wash your mattress pad several times per year," says Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. "Sheets generally take more wear and tear than a mattress pad which is why they are washed more often."
This makes sense: You lay directly on top of the sheets, so they’re the first line of defense against body oils and dust getting to your mattress. Your mattress pad bears of that brunt, too, but not quite as much.
Forte recommends following the care label for specific cleaning directions, but in general, most mattress pads can be machine-washed in warm water and tumbled on low to dry.
But there are some exceptions.
If you have allergies, or let your dog or cat sleep in your bed, you might need to clean your pad more often. Gauge how much you should increase the frequency by considering the severity of your symptoms or how much your pet sheds. By trial and error, you might find that it’s necessary to wash the pad as often as weekly.
And if you spill food or drink, notice a stain, or find that it’s stretched out, wash the pad immediately.
Earn bonus points if you clean your mattress while the protector is in the wash.
It’s not everyday you have a bare mattress, so Forte recommends using this time to vacuum up dust (sprinkle the mattress with a little baking soda first to absorb odors). You can also spot-treat any stains, or spray the mattress with Lysol to kill bacteria. Just allow it to dry fully before making the bed again.
How to clean a mattress pad
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Just because you don’t sleep directly on mattress pads doesn’t mean they don’t get dirty.
Between dust mites and dead skin, spilled food and drinks, bladder leaks (or worse), mattress pads collect some gross stuff. So how do we clean them? The fact is, since mattress pads come in an assortment of materials — cotton, plastic-backed, foam, egg crate, down — there is no universal way to do it. That’s why TODAY Home asked green-cleaning expert Leslie Reichert for advice on tackling this chore. Not only does she know the best way to clean, she keeps it eco-friendly.
How to clean a cotton mattress pad
"Most manufacturers recommend cleaning cotton mattress pads at least every two or three months, depending on use," said Reichert. "Always follow the instructions on the care label, but, as a general rule, machine wash on warm or cool using a mild detergent."
Tumble dry on the lowest temperature recommended, using wool or rubber dryer balls or a few tennis balls to keep the pad fluffy. If machine drying is not recommended, then air dry.
How to clean a vinyl-backed mattress pad
Always follow the instructions on the care label of the pad, but, in general, vinyl-backed mattress pads can be machine washed in cold or warm water on a gentle cycle using mild detergent. Never use bleach on these pads, cautions Reichert, as it may damage the backing. Also, to assure an equal distribution of laundry detergent, allow the machine to fill with water, add the detergent, swish to mix andthenadd the pad into it.
If machine drying is recommended, tumble dry on low heat only. High heat will damage the vinyl. Toss in a few dryer balls or tennis balls to help the pad dry more evenly.
If air drying is recommended, hang the pad outside on a clothesline. If you don’t have clothespins to fasten the pad to the clothesline, drape across the line with the vinyl side facing up. Once that side is dry, drape the pad across the line with the cotton side up.
To avoid odors, mold or mildew, make sure the pad is completely dry before putting it on the bed.
Yes, you CAN fold a fitted sheet neatly
How to clean a foam mattress pad
Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning foam mattress pads because foam pads are more delicate than fabric versions. They can shred and tear in washing machines and melt when dried at high temperatures. "Your best bet is to spot clean them," Reichert said.
To spot clean, begin by vacuuming both sides of the pad. Next, clean stains with an enzyme-based cleaner, such as Oxi-Clean or a solution made from equal parts water, distilled white vinegar and lemon juice. To keep the stain from spreading, start applying cleaner on the outside of the stain and work in circles toward the center. Allow the cleaning solution to sit on the stain for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse by soaking a clean sponge in cool water and blotting water into the stained area. Remove water by blotting with a clean towel. Continue until most moisture is removed. Or, remove excess water using a wet/dry vacuum. Allow pad to air dry by laying it on a flat surface, turning occasionally so it can dry evenly.
If the entire pad needs to be cleaned, lightly spray with a solution of one part mild, low-sudsing detergent to two parts water, or use equal parts water, lemon juice and white vinegar. If extra cleaning power is needed, you can add an enzyme cleaner. Allow the solution to sit on the pad for 20-30 minutes. Rinse lightly in the tub or shower using a hand-held shower head. Squeeze — never wring out! — the extra water, or remove it by using a wet/dry vacuum. Lay the pad flat for several days, turning a couple of times a day, so it can dry evenly.
If you don’t have the space or time needed to dry a foam pad, consider spot cleaning or replacing the pad altogether.
How to clean an egg crate mattress topper
The first step to cleaning an egg crate is to vacuum it on both sides to remove dirt and debris. If the manufacturer’s care label indicates that the egg crate is machine washable, wash it only in a commercial or oversize washer because agitator-type machines may tear the foam, Reichert suggests. Use a gentle cycle and a small amount of mild detergent.
If machine washing is not an option, consider spot-cleaning the egg crate. Spray the stained areas with a solution made from equal parts water, distilled white vinegar and lemon juice. Allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse the stained areas completely in the shower. Fold and press the egg crate or use a wet/dry vacuum to remove excess water.
Lay the egg crate on a dry, flat surface to dry. To prevent mold, mildew and odors, do not place egg crate on the bed until it is completely dry.