When it comes to your sleep space, a clean bedroom goes way beyond freshly laundered sheets.
The room where you spend roughly one-third of your time can absorb a lot of dirt, dust, and more. And once you get to thinking about it, it’s enough to keep you up at night.
What’s under the bed? A dust bunny monster? Something unthinkable? And have you ever really examined what’s on your ceiling fan?
Don’t fret. A fuzzy ceiling fan isn’t something to stress over, nor is it an indicator of your moral character. It’s just a common spot that gets overlooked during a run-of-the mill cleaning. Sometimes decluttering routines only focus on prioritizing high-traffic and high-touch surfaces.
“Most of the time, we don’t clean [ceiling fans] because it will involve a greater physical effort — because they’re hard-to-reach areas,” says Alex Varela, general manager of Dallas Maids. “Plenty of other spots in your bedroom and bathroom are like this too.” (Side eye to you, baseboards.)
“Besides ceiling fans, under the bed, and the closet,” Varela says, “I would also mention the space behind and underneath your furniture is commonly overlooked. Your windows also tend to be missed in the daily or weekly cleaning schedule.”
“Everyone dusts their dresser and their nightstand,” says Johnny Pallares, owner of De La Rosa House Cleaning in Phoenix. “But they always forget the headboard, which accumulates just as much dust.”
Want to make sure those tricky spaces are cleaned and not storing up enough dust to become a monster under your bed? We’ll walk you through which tricky spaces to clean in your bedroom on a bi-weekly and monthly basis.
Cleaning tools that make dusting, grime removal, and maintenance easier
Before you embark on your cleaning journey, be sure to have these helpful tools. Having them on hand is key to making hard to clean areas easier to reach:
- eco-friendly liquid cleaning solution
- vacuum with a pole attachment and brush
- flexible dust mop
- scrub brush drill kit
- scrub sponge
- old pillowcase
- old toothbrush
- microfiber cleaning cloths
Having the right toolkit on hand is helpful for making this process quick and easy. Plus, the benefits of deep cleaning your room can go beyond peace of mind.
“A space that hasn’t been cleaned can provide a scenario for bacteria and other germs to grow,” Varela says. Add mold and dust mites to the list of bad guys that can prosper, which can be particularly troubling for those living with allergies.
Even though sleep disorders often go undiagnosed by people with allergies, one study found a high frequency of sleep disorders in patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) and other respiratory allergies induced by house dust mites. “If you’re allergic, they can cause you to have a bad night of sleep,” Varela says.
1. Derail those dust bunnies from a distance
Tools: Vacuum with a pole attachment and brush, flexible dust mop, or microfiber cloth attached to the end of a broom
How to clean: Under the bed, behind nightstands, between the headboard and wall, underneath the dresser... these are places where dust bunnies like to make their warren. And it’s up to you to hunt them down. One way of tackling them without succumbing to a sneezing fit is using a pole vacuum attachment with a brush — a tip from Pallares.
“Pet fur, bacteria, and insects tend to build up under the bed if the area is left unattended,” says Pallares. This attachment can also help with hard-to-reach areas, like behind chairs or bookcases. “It is really important that you consistently clean it.”
Pro Tip: If you have hard floors, a flexible dustmop also works. Or try securing a microfiber cloth via rubber band to any flat and narrow cleaning apparatus. Even the end of a traditional broom will do.
Sleep benefit: Fewer allergies to haunt and disrupt your slumber.
2. Crush dust build-up on blinds and in baseboards in one swipe
Tools: Scrub sponge
How to clean: Got nooks and crannies? Who doesn’t? “Take a classic scrub sponge and make a slight cut using a box cutter,” Varela says. The slit is perfect for wiping down small flat surfaces like blinds, HVAC registers, window rails, baseboards, and more.
Sleep benefits: Feel the room change from dingy to dreamy as you confirm that every hidden space has been wiped clean.
3. Slay the ceiling fan without leaving dust on your sheets
Tools: An old pillowcase
How to clean: Bedroom ceiling fans are often positioned right over the bed to keep us cool throughout our slumber. But that makes them complicated to clean. You don’t want all that fuzz falling on your mattress... or face as you sleep.
But here’s a hack: Just grab an old pillowcase, says Varela. Encase the fan blade, wipe, and let the dust fall inside. You can follow up with a rag dampened with water or mild cleaning solution if the blades are still grimy.
Sleep benefits: Next time you make up your bed, or turn on the fan, you won’t whack down a bunch of detritus when you unfurl your duvet.
4. Weed out your wardrobe
Tools: Eco-friendly cleaning solution + dust mop or vacuum
How to clean: Forget skeletons or bad fashion in your closet. Pallares is worried about the dust that collects on the shelves and floors. “Give your closet a thorough dusting once a month,” he says.
He recommends wiping down surfaces with an eco-friendly cleaner and dust mopping or vacuuming the bottom of the closet. This is also a good time to straighten up any wayward folding or wonky hanging.
Sleep benefits: “Cleaning and organizing regularly can improve our well-being, asleep or awake,” Varela says. It’s the magic of decluttering the bedroom.
5. Wash and dust your walls
Tools: Baseboard duster (but for the walls only)
How to clean: Our walls and ceiling collect dust and dirt too. And, as much as we don’t like to think about it, tiny webs collect in corners or near artwork. But scrubbing walls sounds like a laborious task Cinderella’s stepmother forced her to do, especially without the right tools.
A dedicated wall dusting-and-cleaning tool can make the chore a cinch. You know, in case you have a ball to get to. A telescoping vacuum attachment can also slay webs on the fly.
Sleep benefit: Whacking down cobwebs decreases the chances you’ll see creepy crawlies. That alone should make you rest better.
Have an ensuite bathroom? Plan to incorporate your bathroom into your regular cleaning schedule, too, with these tips.
6. Get ahead of your shower head
Tools: Old toothbrush + vinegar and baking soda
How to clean: When was the last time you peered underneath your faucet at its head? Um, never. Yet, it’s part of your evening routine. “It can grow mold and truly keep you up at night thinking about how many times you’ve rinsed your toothbrush in it,” says Sara San Angelo, known as The Cleaning Lady. She recommends keeping an old toothbrush on hand for scrubbing lose grime.
You can do the same with your tub faucet or your shower head, which can also get grimy. “Hard water build up can clog your shower head and make it not work as efficiently,” says Amy Anderson, a lifestyle blogger at DIY Candy.
Pro-tip: Both San Angelo and Anderson recommend a soaking trick. Put vinegar and baking soda in a plastic bag. Then secure the bag around the faucet or shower head with an elastic band and fill with warm water. Let soak for several hours or overnight while in bed.
Sleep benefit: In addition to a cleaner shower head and faucet, you just might gain improved water pressure. That can help relax those muscles if you like to wash up before bed.
7. Take your tile to task
Tools: Scrub brush drill kit
How to clean: Cleaning tile grout often involves a little elbow grease to go after grime. But a handy tool can prevent the task from taking a toll on your joints. Invest in a scrub brush drill bit kit.
“This will do a much better job of scrubbing the grout clean than you could ever do by hand,” says Bill Samuel, a home rehabber, general contractor, and real estate developer at Blue Ladder Development.
Sleep benefit: You’ll feel like you totally owned that mildew without exhausting yourself on your hands and knees.
8. Pretty-up your porcelain
Tools: Handled scrub brush + microfiber cleaning cloth
How to clean: The toilet basin and behind the bowl can get kind of gruesome if neglected. These spots are where condensation, germs, toilet paper dust, and stray hairs, can form a crust. Who wants to look at that as the last thing they see before sleep?
Vinegar and water, along with a handled scrub brush can get the job done.
“Make sure to scrub the entire area and then scrub again with water once that’s done,” says Adriana Aziz, operations manager for MaidForYou. You can follow up one more time with a dry microfiber cloth, wiping in one direction, to lift any remaining debris and get that bowl gleaming.
Sleep benefit: You’ll no longer have to stare at a grimy bowl and mentally end your day with a reminder of your to-do list when you get ready for bed.
Following a cleaning schedule
Creating a cleaning schedule can help you stay on top of keeping dust at bay. Here's a hack: Set up a cleaning calendar where you tackle one or two tricky items along with your regular weekly run-through. Then you’ll never feel like you’re having to do a laborious deeper dive.
“Obviously, each person has a different thermostat,” Varela says, for how clean they like their space and how clean they need it based on allergies or other needs — like peace of mind for getting a good night’s sleep.
If you do a once-over on floors and furniture each week, then you’ll only have to tackle tougher spots, like that ceiling fan, once or twice a month. One week it’s the baseboards, the next it’s the tile grout... you get the idea. The bottom line is to create a system that works for you and keeps the dust bunnies at bay. But we do highly recommend alternating tasks so you don’t feel like you’re spending all your time fixated on one grubby spot.