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Consumer Reports: Cleaning mattresses, pillows may be ideal for your health

SAN ANTONIO – When it comes to spring cleaning, people usually tackle closets, cabinets and garages, but many forget about the bedroom. Consumer Reports said freshening up mattresses and pillows may be ideal for your health.

You spend a third of your life in bed, so why not make it a healthy haven? Consumer Reports said it’s a good idea to periodically clean pillows and mattresses.

“Cleaning your mattress and pillows, it removes dust mites, dirt and other allergens. Plus, over time, it will help keep your mattress in good condition,” said Sara Morrow, with Consumer Reports.

Morrow said people should clean their mattress with their vacuum’s upholstery or crevice attachment. Next, they should deodorize by sprinkling a one-pound box of baking soda over the surface and leaving it there for as long as 24 hours, if possible.

Morrow recommends fluffing pillows daily to keep their shape and remove dust. She said once a month, run the pillows through the dryer on the no-heat cycle or hang them outside on a breezy, sunny day. Some pillows can even be washed.

“Memory foam and latex are two that you shouldn’t wash because they are extremely difficult to dry thoroughly. Instead, just spot treat any stains with a damp cloth and mild detergent,” Morrow said.

For feather or down pillows, submerge them in warm water and add a small amount of powder detergent, knead them gently, press out excess water and roll them in a towel to dry. Then you can toss them in the dryer on the no-air or air-dry setting.

“Just be patient because it can take hours to completely dry, and we want a completely dry pillows to prevent mold and mildew,” Morrow said.

Adding a couple of towels can speed up the drying and a clean tennis ball or two can keep pillows from clumping in the dryer. 

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