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Preventing Allergies and Promoting Health

What you Forgot to Add to your Spring Cleaning List

Every year, over 50 million Americans struggle with allergies, most of which are caused by allergens that can be found within their own home. In an attempt to remove these allergens, many people partake in the yearly event of spring cleaning. On top of allergens, a spring clean is a good way to rid your home of other germs and dirt that could also be impacting your health.

If you are one to join in on the spring clean frenzy, you may have overlooked one of the biggest sources of allergens and other germs in your home: your bed.

What’s Lurking in Your Pillow:

There are many unwanted things that get absorbed into the depths of your pillow each time that you rest your head for a seemingly peaceful night’s sleep.

Dust Mites

  • You may be disturbed to know that eight-legged, microscopic dust mites are, more often than not, the cause of allergies and asthma, and they reside in your pillow and mattress. They survive by feeding off the flakes of skin that people shed and are attracted to the humidity from a person's emitted body heat. Every day, a human adult sheds about a gram and a half of skin, capable of sustaining one million dust mites, which easily finds its way onto, and inside, pillows each night.

Skin Irritants

  • Not only can an unhygienic pillow cause allergies, it can also lead to trouble for your skin. Each night, your pillow absorbs things such as bacteria, makeup, oils, etc. Then, the next time you lay on your pillow, these various elements get stuck in your pores and cause inflammation and breakouts.

What’s Absorbed into Your Mattress:

Mold, mildew, and more — your mattress suffers the same issues as your pillow on a larger scale, and then some.

Pet Allergens

If you have pets, they could be adding more allergens to your sleeping arrangements. Typically when it comes to dogs, what causes allergic reactions are their dander (dead skin), saliva, and urine. Even if they don't sleep on the bed this could still be an issue, because their dander can travel to areas where the dog has never been. This potentially leads to breathing trouble, irritated eyes and/or skin, and a runny or stuffy nose.

Additionally, the potential accidents can soak through your mattress and lead to mold or mildew growth, something that can be detrimental to your health. Mayo Clinic notes that mold can lead to things like coughing, irritated eyes, and more. Further, when linked with asthma, it can lead to airway troubles such as restricted breathing.


If you’re a big caffeine drinker throughout the day, it increases your heart rate, keeping you up at night, and leads to excessive sweating when you finally are sleeping. Whether it's due to a large vanilla latte, or you are simply someone that sweats a lot at night, all of this sweat will then soak deep into your mattress where it will linger. On top of this leaving ugly stains and being unhygienic, sweat also has the potential to lead to mold and mildew growth.

Cleaning Tips:

Don’t worry! This doesn’t mean you have to throw out your bed every other week to stay clean and healthy.

Eliminate Dust Mites

  • Wash your bedding regularly; your sheets and pillow cases should be washed a minimum of once a week and your other bedding, such as comforters, should be washed once a month in hot water. As far as stuffed animals are concerned, wash them regularly and, whenever possible, keep them off the bed.
  • Your vacuum is also a useful tool; you could either use an upholstery attachment on your vacuum or a handheld vacuum on your mattress to get rid of a lot of dust mites.    

Remove Accidents  

  • There are four cleaners you can use to eradicate the odors and allergens of urine from your mattress: Borax, Baking Soda, Vinegar, or diluted Hydrogen Peroxide. It should be noted that, to a degree, Borax is toxic, and it is recommended that you try the others first.
    • For the powders: dampen the area, cover it with the cleaner, rub the cleaner into the mattress with a cloth or paper towel, then vacuum what remains.
    • For the liquids: spray the area, blot off the excess moisture, then let the spot air dry.

Tackle Sweat Stains, Germs, and Odors

  • The first step to removing all of the negative effects of sweat is to vacuum the entire mattress. This will make sure that you don’t work in any dust or allergens into the mattress while you are trying to clean.
  • Next, use a sponge to spot clean any stains that you see by combining 2 parts hydrogen peroxide to 1 part non-bleach dish soap. After the mixture rests for twenty minutes, dampen a rag with cold water and use it to clean any remnants.
  • After spot cleaning, you can use distilled vinegar in a spray bottle to disinfect the mattress. To do this, simply spray the formula onto the mattress then let it dry by turning on fans and opening windows. As the mattress dries, the strong vinegar scent dissipates.
  • Once it's dry, the last step is to refresh your mattress using baking soda. With a light hand, uniformly sprinkle it onto the entire surface of your mattress; it will absorb and neutralize the odor. After an hour, remove the baking soda with a vacuum.

Prevention is Your Safest Bet:

While there are many ways to clean your bedding and the surface of your mattress, the inevitable truth is that you can’t thoroughly wash your bed— there are still traces of these allergens out of reach. This is why it is much better to have prevention methods in place, instead of attempting to fix the problem after the fact. Taking preventative measures will make spring cleaning more efficient and more effective.

Set Yourself up for Success

  • At night, remove any makeup or face products you've applied, then wash your face to remove any germs or allergens that found its way onto your face throughout the day, to avoid any of this getting to your pillow.
  • Another strategy to reduce the gunk on your pillow is applying night-time products half an hour before you plan on sleeping instead of right before bed.
  • In terms of your bed setup, keep your mattress off of your bedroom floor with a bed frame.

Guard Your Bed

  • Even after vacuuming, there may still be dust mites since they are inside furniture, out of reach. A mattress and pillow cover is one way you can stop them in their tracks. By establishing a barrier that separates the dust mites from you, it won’t trigger allergies and prevents the new dead skin flakes that you shed from getting to them, keeping them from thriving. It also makes cleaning your bedding practically effortless.

Allergies are a common issue afflicting many, with one of the biggest sources of allergens being people's own bed. Spring cleaning is a useful tactic to combat this issue, but an even more useful and practical tactic is taking preemptive measures to prevent allergens in the first place.

We hope these tips are able to help you evade some allergies and improve your spring cleaning routine.

The Ultimate Mattress Protection to Keep your Room Free of Allergens - Get the sleep you need in a clean environment with the following Protect-A-Bed products that keep your bedding hygienic:

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