Plus two runners up.
When it comes to cleaning your home, let’s be honest: The rooms that get the most love tend to be the ones your company sees the most. So while your living room may get dusted and vacuumed on a pretty regular basis, your bedroom is most likely another story entirely. (After all, it’s where you hide all the stuff you don’t want your company seeing when they show up ... right?)
It’s no wonder then that your bedroom is home to plenty of things that could stand to get more than just a once-over cleaning-wise. But according to Melissa Homer, Chief Cleaning Officer at MaidPro, the most neglected part of your bedroom is “without a doubt” the carpet. And that’s because you’ve got a lot more lurking under your feet than just an occasional vacuuming will combat.
“Vacuuming only sucks up loose dirt off the top half of the carpet fibers,” explains Homer, “so dirt and germs stay happily nestled in the lower half until you have the carpets professionally cleaned and extracted.”
Believe it or not, your carpet can hide up to a pound of dirt per yard and still look clean, says Homer. “Worst of all,” she adds, “the majority of that dirt is actually made up of you, or your dead skin cells to be specific.”
(What’s that? Feeling slightly creeped out by the thought of walking into your bedroom tonight? Just wait—there’s more.)
Humans shed millions of skin cells a day—many of which get sprinkled right into your waiting carpet, Homer says. That number is particularly high in rooms where you take your clothes on and off the most, which is part of why Homer says the average bedroom carpet is home to tons of bacteria—along with dozens of dust mites, too.
So what can you do? Homer suggests vacuuming your carpet with a quality vacuum that has strong suction and a powerful motorized brush. But most of all, don’t forget to get it professionally cleaned at least once a year, if you can. Homer also suggests opting for hardwood floors over wall-to-wall carpeting if possible. “Choose some cute little area rugs you can toss in your washing machine,” she adds. “Problem solved!”
Of course, the carpet isn’t the only part of your bedroom where you may need to step up your cleaning game. “Your comforter is no picnic, either,” notes Homer. “Still, people seem to remember to clean them at the end of the season, whereas everyone seems to have collective amnesia over their carpets.”
According to Susan Moncada of the eco-friendly cleaning service Brilliant Maids, mattresses can also get super dirty. “It’s like a giant sponge in the middle of the bedroom,” says Moncada, who notes that mattresses absorb a ton. She suggests vacuuming the mattress every time you change your sheets, and slipping a protective mattress cover over it to keep extra dirt and spills at bay.
But Sean Juneja, CEO of the interior design service Decor Aid, suggests there’s one more place we’re all overlooking when we clean: Baseboards.
“Bedrooms are a natural place to collect dust, hair and dead skin,” says Juneja. “Especially if you have carpet, pets, or live in a metropolitan area.”
And while you might think they can’t possibly get that dirty, you may want to think again. “Baseboards seem to be the last place people think to wash, and yet they can accumulate buildup similar to air vents or ceiling fans,” Juneja says. The good news? They’re simple enough to clean, if you just make the time for it. Juneja suggests thoroughly wiping them down at least once a month with a mixture of water and a gentle soap, and voila—they’ll be good as new in no time.