It feels so good to climb into a clean bed! When you have fresh sheets and a neatly made bed, you get a feeling of luxury no matter what else is going on in your life. As you settle into the warm embrace of your fresh-smelling sheets, you can’t help feeling that life is good. As the seasons change, you can extend that feeling by cleaning your entire bed and giving your bedroom a fresh start. What’s the best way to clean a bed?

Undress your bed completely

Take off the cushions, the pillows, the mattress pad — everything. If your bed skirt is washable, you can take that off, too. If it’s dry clean only and not soiled, leave it where it is and give it a good vacuuming.

Flip and turn your mattress. Ideally, you should do this four times a year. Vacuum your mattress and spot treat any stains with an enzyme cleaner or hydrogen peroxide. Spread baking soda all over the mattress and leave it on while you tackle other chores — or go out for the day, for that matter.

While the baking soda is lifting any smells from your mattress, wash the sheets, pillowcases, mattress pad, and any other washable bedclothes in hot water. Blankets, quilts, and bedspreads can go into the washing machine, too, as long as you check the care labels first to make sure they don’t need dry cleaning. Toss them in the dryer or hang them outside for that wonderful fresh air scent.

Precious handmade quilts won’t have a care tag, but they deserve hand washing. Any wool covers should also be hand washed and then allowed to dry flat. As the seasons change, you might be ready to get blankets or quilts out of storage. Go ahead and wash them, too, if you didn’t wash them before putting them away for the summer.

When you get back to your mattress, vacuum up the baking soda completely. Use your vacuum’s upholstery attachment, and maybe break out the crevice attachment, too.

Clean your pillows

Some pillows can be washed in a washing machine. If yours say on the care tag that they can be machine washed, wash them two at a time on a gentle cycle and be sure to give them plenty of time in the dryer yto get as much water out of them as possible.

Feather or down pillows may not be washable. If yours are not, you can run them through a hot dryer to kill any dust mites and blow off dust.

Memory foam pillows should be cleaned like a mattress. Remove their covers and wash the covers in the machine. Vacuum and spot clean the pillows and replace their covers.

Make your bed

Use fitted sheets to protect your mattress from dust, and also because they save you time when you make your bed in the morning. Put your flat sheet on with the outside facing the fitted sheet. The hem, the pattern, or the decorative edgings should all be face down when you put on the sheet. Pull it up to the top of the mattress.

Now put on the first blanket or quilt. This might be a smaller or lighter one, or just your favorite. Tuck it in at the bottom and then fold the flat sheet down over the top of the blanket. That’s why you put it on face down in the first place! You should see that neat hem or pattern.

Tuck the top sheet and blanket in at the sides.

Add a duvet or comforter or more quilts or blankets. How many covers you need is a very personal decision. No judgement here!

Add a bedspread over the top if you like. Fold it down about one foot. Set sleeping pillows flat on the bed, on top of the fold of the bedspread. Pull the spread up over the pillows and tuck it in. A bedspread is optional, but it does give your bed a nicely finished look. The bed below is Marie Antoinette’s bed — maybe not the look you’d choose, but you can see how tidy the bedspread makes it look.

At this point, you may like to add pillows in shams, throw pillows, or a throw at the bottom of the bed. These touches can make your bed look inviting and give you a feeling of satisfaction when you enter your bedroom after a long day.

This is also a good time for a reality check, though. If you put six cushions on your bed, how will you feel about taking them off every night and putting them back on every morning? Will you end up with six cushions on your floor most of the time?

A freshly updated, fully cleaned bed will give you a great start to the season. If it’s hard to keep up with, don’t hesitate to call on A Beautiful Day. We offer bed making as an add-on service.