NEW YORK - Spring has finally arrived, and many people are in the throes of spring cleaning. But there's one spot many people overlook, and it's somewhere you spend a lot of time -- the bed.
Consumer Reports says it's a good idea to periodically clean up your pillows and mattress, and is even good for your health.
"Cleaning your mattress and pillows, it removes dust mites, dirt and other allergens," Consumer Reports' Sara Morrow said. "Plus, over time, it'll help keep your mattress in good condition."
But what's the best way to do it? First, clean your mattress with your vacuum's upholstery or crevice attachment.
Next, deodorize. Sprinkle a one-pound box of baking soda over the entire surface of the mattress.
"We recommend leaving it there for about 24 hours," Morrow said. "So before you start this, you'll want to make sure you've made other sleeping arrangements for the night."
For pillows, fluff them every day to keep their shape and remove any dust.
Then, once a month, run the pillows through the dryer on the no-heat cycle or hang them up outside on a breezy, sunny day.
If needed, some pillows can be washed.
"Memory foam and latex are two that you shouldn't wash, because they're extremely difficult to dry thoroughly," Morrow said. "Instead, just spot treat any stains with a damp cloth and mild detergent."
For feather and down pillows, submerge them in warm water and a small amount of powder detergent. Knead gently, press out extra water, then roll in a towel to dry. Throw your pillows in dryer on the no-air or air-dry setting.
"Just be patient, because it can take hours for pillows to completely dry," Morrow said. "And we want a completely dry pillow to prevent any mold or mildew."
You can add in a couple of towels to speed up the drying, and a clean tennis ball or two to keep the pillows from clumping in the dryer.