Monday, March 10, 2014

68 Monthly Clean Home Challenge: Vacuum Mattresses

Welcome back to the Monthly Clean Home Challenge daily task!  I am on a quest to maintain a clean and organized home in less time and the goal is simple; four daily tasks, four weekly tasks and one additional quick task each week day. 

In no particular order, here are the individual tasks I am tackling each day this month:

  1. Make cleaning supplies
  2. Cycle clean appliances
  3. Clean out cars
  4. Clean out microwave
  5. Wipe down cabinets/appliances
  6. Wipe down trim/doors
  7. Clean out one drawer
  8. Clean out fridge
  9. Clean out freezer
  10. Vacuum under furniture
  11. Vacuum mattresses
  12. Clean oven
  13. Clean out one closet
  14. Wash out garbage can/recycle bin
  15. Wash windows
  16. Scrub grout
  17. Clean out one cabinet
  18. File paper piles
  19. Purge bathroom toiletries
  20. Clean out pantry

Today I am chatting about the extra task:  Vacuum Mattresses


There are 101 gross reasons why we vacuum our mattresses, and honestly, it is something that I didn't know we should be doing until I read it in a cleaning book a few years ago.  


This is another quick task to essentially lift dust and freshen things up a bit.  I actually cheated and did this task yesterday while washing our bed linens.


Each weekend we spend a little extra time tossing our bedding, towels and cleaning rags through the wash.  Yesterday, once the bedding was stripped from the bed, I took the added step of vacuuming all of the mattresses.  The process is as basic and simple as it sounds; using a clean vacuum attachment I just carefully run it over each mattress making sure I get down into all of the crevasses.  The process only takes about a minute per bed, making this another one of those, "Why don't I do this more often?" tasks.


After I am done vacuuming, I sprinkle a very thin layer of baking soda/lavender oil mixture over the mattress.  Doing this sucks out any odors and leaves the bed feeling and smelling fresh.  The baking soda absorbs into the mattress during the couple of hours that the bedding goes through the wash and dry cycle.  Then, I return the bedding to the mattress until next week.  {Vacuum first, very thin layer of baking soda/lavender second, return sheets and bedding to the bed third}.

For the baking soda/lavender combo, I just punched holes into the top of a mason jar lid with a nail and hammer.  That turned the jar into a shaker, which comes in really handy during a few of these household cleaning tasks.


Now that a week of cleaning has gone by, how have you been feeling about the process?  I have been loving hearing from everyone joining in on the challenge with me.  It may still be winter outside, but the inside of our home has never felt more spring-like!


Looking for something?  Check out my favorite cleaning products below:



68 comments:

  1. Love all of the ideas!!!! It is also nice as I feel like I'm cleaning along with everyone. I use an old Parmesan cheese container (of course after cleaning it out) for baking soda. It is nice as you can pour or sprinkle.

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    1. I totally never thought about vacuuming my mattress. The idea of reusing the Parmesan container is brilliant!

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  2. LOVE these posts! I would love to see step by step pics of your daily cleaning tasks too...dusting, cleaning bathrooms, etc.! Thanks for all the inspiration!!! You rock!!!

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  3. I have enjoyed this series so much! It has modivated me to write my own list and get to it! And they are simple enough that I can get them done before we head outside to play in the afternoons! Thanks for the push!!
    ~ Megan

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  4. Wait - you leave the baking soda on the mattress and just put the sheets on top? I think I'd feel the need to vacuum again to get it off before putting the sheets on. Am I misunderstanding something here?

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    1. Yep! It absorbs into the mattress while the sheets are being washed/dried. Then, you just vacuum it up during the next round of bed cleaning. Not only does it absorb any existing odors, it also absorbs new as well. I once read that average person sweats up to a pint per night {not sure how true that is}, but the baking soda will assist with keeping your mattress fresh. xoxo!

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    2. I live in the humid of humid places and I totally agree with the sweating a pint a night!

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    3. Absolutely vacuum the mattresses ... it really helps folks with allergies to dust etc. I have mattress covers (the breathable type) and also vacuuming the mattress, if only once p/month, it optimizes the function of those covers. Love this challenge .... and seeing my house looking squeaky cleaner day by day!

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    4. Do you do the baking soda/lavender oil on the pillows as well?

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    5. I do not Maria, but those can be tossed in the wash {just be sure to check care instructions as they differ based on pillow type}

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  5. This is something I must do! I haven't done it in forever. Thanks for the reminder!
    check out my blog: lovendlaughter.blogspot.com

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  6. I never thought to vacuum the mattress, either ;) We'll do it when we change the sheets. Quick question, though: what's the baking soda to lavender oil ratio? Thanks!

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    1. I just put three drops into my small jar of baking soda and I noticed the pleasant scent. A little goes a long way. :) xo!

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  7. Thanks Jen! I love all your ideas. Question- all my mattresses have covers on them which get washed monthly. Would you recommend the baking soda mixture go directly onto the mattress or the cover? Thoughts??

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    1. Hello!

      We use mattress covers as well. I put the baking soda directly on the mattress and cover with the mattress pad and sheets. xo!

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  8. I would be curious to know your answer regarding the above question as well! Thanks for the great cleaning tips!

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  9. Thanks so much for the cleaning challenge! It's made it more manageable for me to follow a list with the steps broken down. We are in the market for a new vacuum. Just curious to know what kind you use and how you like it. Thanks!

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    1. We have been long time Dyson fans! They are easy to maintain and are powerful enough to keep up with our family of five plus two furry pups. :) xo!

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  10. Hi Jen,
    My Mom is allergic to lavendar. Is there any other scent that you can recommend, but still relaxing and smells good?
    Thanks. Keep posting...love it!

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    1. While lavender is the most used and tops this list - there are 6 other suggestions of essential oils that could be used in the baking soda to help calm and relax. http://aromamuse.com/2010/02/08/setting-the-stage-for-quality-sleep/

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    2. Hi Kim!

      I am personally not too familiar with other scents as I am a huge fan of lavender personally, however, I did a quick search for you and found these alternatives: Neroli, Geranium, Bergamot and Ylang-Ylang.

      xo!

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  11. I have been loving these posts!!! So far I have cleaned out the microwave, washing machine, dish washer, and the fridge is tomorrow. Thank you! My husband says thanks to you too. :)

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  12. OMG can you just move in with us? Love this. Can't wait to move and set up a really organized home.

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  13. Hi Jen, I love your pretty, friendly blog! Definitely a safe happy place.

    A labor saving option, plastic zipper mattress covers that encase the whole mattress and make it waterproof and dust proof. I just wipe mine down super fast with a sanitizing wipe or spritz with some cleaner and dust off. The mattress stays perfectly new, safe from dust, flu misfortunes etc. The plastic most inexpensive kind are not noticeable even if you don't use a fabric mattress pad. Especially nice on the kids beds!

    Thanks!

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  14. That's a great idea with the lavender oil - I think I'd use a different essential oil though - as I can't stand lavender! Perhaps something else to promote deep sleep or calm.

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  15. Hi Jen! Great idea for the baking soda and lavender oil. I vacuum our mattress every week whilst I do the sheets. After a while it becomes part of the routine and I know our mattress will last longer and be hygienic! I vacuum dust the sides, top of headboard and along each wooden length of the bed. I have a special brush element to my vacuum, and a special element that is an animal hair one too. I use the brush element to dust the wooden bed, and the animal one to do the mattress. I purchased both of these as extras on the manufacturers website, which is quite standard for most vacuum cleaners I believe.

    Thanks Jen, an inspiration as always! xo

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  16. I didn't know this, will defiantly be doing it though!

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  17. Jen, this is such a great idea! Especially for us pet owners. Thanks for the tip :)

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  18. I am loving this series…
    I DO vacuum my mattresses, however I do not use the baking soda tip. I might:) Our apartment is very dusty, 15 floor, and once I switched to Dyson (I LOVE that beast!) I fell in love with vacuuming. :) It does make a difference.

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  19. I love all your ideas! Thank you!

    I am in the market for a new vacuum - which kind do you have and do you like it? Thanks!

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  20. Jen, I am absolutely LOVING these cleaning posts! I recently went out and bought lemon essential oil to make the vinegar/water/oil cleaner and it works amazing! I used it to clean my hardwood floors and am slowly tackling all of the white doors and trim throughout my home. So easy! I feel so much better about using this mixture than something store bought with who knows what ingredients in it.
    I'm definitely going to take the extra step to do this mattress cleaning, as well. Thanks for the push to get out and clean! :)

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  21. I always vacuum up the baking soda after letting it sit for a while...didn't know you should leave it on. Not sure I can bring myself to do that. I love the idea of adding essential oil to the BS, that I can do :) I started vacuuming the mattresses once a month after reading an article as well. The idea of it being filled with gross stuff that we cant see is disgusting!

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  22. I vacuum my mattress every time I change my linens or turn my mattress. I also do the baking soda and lavender combo, great for helping you drift off to sleep!

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  23. What kind of vacuum are you using?

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  24. I tried searching your site but came up with nothing, what kind of EO's do you use and where do you purchase them?
    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Kandice!

      I purchase them on Amazon. I try to find scents I enjoy and sort by price and rating {always read descriptions/reviews to be sure you are getting the real thing}. You can also purchase them at many natural food markets as well.

      xo!

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  25. Do you vacuum your mattresses every sheet change?

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    1. Not every - we wash once per week, and vacuum 1-2 times per month. xo!

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  26. Hi Jen! What type of lavender do you use and where were you able to purchase it? I've heard you can get it cheaper on Amazon but that some essential oils aren't "the real deal".

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Holly!

      I do purchase mine on Amazon, but I try to read reviews and check out the packaging first. The lavender oil I use was purchased on amazon here: http://amzn.to/1quvLOR and seems like the real deal to me. :)

      xo!

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  27. I've been loving reading your cleaning tips!! I actually just rotated and vacuumed my mattress this weekend too! Although, due to severe allergies, I use Febreze unscented allergen reducer. Works like a charm! Thanks so much for sharing the "normal" household tasks with us, even though they aren't always fun or glamorous. xoxo Ruth

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  28. Great reminder I need to do this step this week with washing the bedding.

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  29. May sound like a silly question. Buy what type of vacumn attachment do you use?

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    1. Hi Laura!

      You can use a simple brush attachment, but we have an attachment that is similar to the base of our vacuum, only a much smaller version which attaches to the wand. It seems to work great!

      xo!

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  30. Great idea - this is one of those jobs that is so easy but you never think of doing!

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  31. Great tips and thanks for sharing. I am just curious about what vacuum cleaner you use and really like. I have the worst luck with stupid vacuums. I would love a Dyson (the one he suggests for pet owners & Vern Yip loves this one and he has kids and pets) but they are very expensive. Can you share some info on this, please?

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    1. Hi Debbie!

      We use the Dyson DC41 Animal Vacuum: http://bit.ly/1iyEjDp

      We switched to Dyson about 7 years ago and have been very happy with them compared to other models we have tried {we use both a push vac and a hand/stick vac}. To keep cost down, we always watch daily flash sites and purchase them refurbished and they come just like new {woot.com is a good one to keep an eye on}.

      xoxo!

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  32. I love this idea of a month to a clean home. It seems like a lot of daily tasks though. I work full time and I struggle just to do get the daily chores done and most of my proper cleaning has to wait until the weekend - which I kind of resent because that's when I want/need to relax. I love having a clean house though - can you suggest ways to achieve the same kind of program for those of us that have to work full time :-(

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    1. I can totally understand how you feel, in fact, this was designed to be for busy people who do work full time {although it may not seem like blogging is a full time job, I also run a shop and spend over 40 hours working per week, as does my husband plus we have boys in school and sports}. The overall goal is to do less cleaning on the weekends when we are all home together by doing an extra quick 5-15 minute task each day {while working on another cleaning task or after the kids go to bed}. If the daily task is too much, maybe schedule one single weekend day per month instead of doing something each day? I selected extra tasks that are typically forgotten/overlooked and that I want to accomplish quickly so that I can reduce how much time I am "spring cleaning" and scrambling before company shows us, etc...

      xoxo!

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  33. Do you think you could use the baking soda/lavender oil mixture on carpet? Kind of like a make your own Carpet Fresh. I'm not a fan of that product but imagine this baking soda/lavender oil mixture would work the same way.

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    1. Sounds like that is a yes! :) Check out this great post here: http://lifeasmom.com/2013/09/all-natural-home-air-freshener-and-carpet-deodorizer.html

      xoxo!

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  34. Hi! I am loving these posts! Thank you SO much! We have a 2 inch memory foam topper on top of our mattress and I wash the cover on it frequently but wondered if you had any suggestions for cleaning it? I'm not sure it would withstand the vacuum but obviously needs to be cleaned as well!! Thanks!

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    1. Hi Rebecca!

      After a little googling around, it looks like you can vacuum memory foam. I am imagine you would just have to be careful/selective about the attachments you select.

      http://www.overstock.com/guides/how-to-clean-memory-foam

      http://www.ehow.com/how_5743725_care-memory-foam-mattresses.html

      Hope that helps! xoxo!

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  35. Wonderful tip... I am behind but will play catch up for the monthly clean home challenge...i'm not a fan of cleaning but a little bit a day...will pay off.

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  36. Jen, tell me about your stick vacuum. Is it your daily vacuum? What brand do you suggest?

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  37. Ha! I work full time and have 5 kids...I'm going to have to play catch up on the weekend - wish me luck!

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  38. Jen, I have been reading your blog for years and absolutely love it! I get so much inspiration from your posts and especially your beautiful photographs! I look forward to every new post which is why it is kind of surprising when I realized I have never commented before. I just had to say that I made a shaker out of a mason jar just 3 days ago and it is such a wonderful idea! Mine is for oxyclean which I use to clean my white kitchen sink. Since I don't consider myself the most creative person, I thought it was pretty clever at the time (even though I'm sure the idea has been around for ages) so when I saw it pop up on your blog within the same week it made me smile. Thanks for all you do!

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    1. Hi Allison!

      Thank you so much for the sweetness and for sticking with me over the years. :) I am so happy you took a moment to comment!

      And love that you use the shaker for your sink! I recently put one in the bathroom but never thought to put one by the sink, even though I use baking soda for scrubbing our sink from time to time. Now you have given me an idea! Thank you! xoxo!

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  39. As a non cleaner I understand why you'd do this if you didn't have a mattress protector but if you have a mattress protector that has a plastic lining what's the point of vacuuming? I don't think anything is getting into our mattress!

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  40. I am loving this blog!!! You can teach an old dog new tricks! Thank you!!!!

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  41. Thanks for your amazing suggestion! I really enjoy reading your blog, it is very useful n its easy to read too!
    I have a little suggestion for your spring cleaning plan! I have recently heard that we should clean our washing machine more often, have u thought about that? Apparently the gap between the drum and the machine hides a lot of dirt, grease and other yucky stuff! Maybe you can do a 'tub clean' (if your washer has this function) or you can use some special powder or tub cleaning :) hope this is helpful!

    Thank you for your amazing blog again! xxx

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  42. I didn't have a mason jar on hand to use, and so I ended up taking a small round Gladware bowl and I poked holes into the lid. It's smaller than a mason jar, but it was a great, cheap solution so that I could still have a shaker without stopping myself from moving forward on this without that on hand (or feeling that I needed to go buy one).
    This is the type of container I used: http://www.glad.com/images/glamour/mini-round1.png

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    1. Great solution! Thank you for sharing! :)

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  43. Hi Jen!! you are sooo inspirational!! Not a day passes by without checking your blog....I looove the way you decorate your home. I'm newly married, and love crafts and organizing. I'm so thankful for coming across this blog and joining this wonderful community who have similar interests:) I have always been a silent spectator here...:P and had this question for a very long time....Can you pls share how you clean your throw pillows?? I have a few polyester ones, few of plush fabric and few cotton. Thanks for inspiring!! Waiting for a book from you!!:D

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    1. Thank you so much for taking a moment to leave me such a kind comment! I sincerely appreciate you checking in! :) Congrats on your recent marriage, so exciting!!

      I occasionally wash the throw pillow covers and inserts based on the care instructions provided on the product tags. If I ever struggle finding instructions, I either do a quick google search based on specific materials, or default to our gentlest cycle and turn the dryer on an air dry cycle.

      xoxo!

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