The sun is out, crocuses are popping, cherry blossoms budding, and spring cleaning heads up your to-do list. But while window washing and shaking out the rugs might be the first tasks that come to mind, have you thought about the last time you cleaned all of your bedding? Sheets and pillowcases are a no-brainer and should be washed every week or two. But your mattress? Or those big heavy quilts and comforters you’ve snuggled under for the past chilly months? Springtime is the perfect season to give them a little extra attention.

Experts say you should wash coverlets and comforters twice a year, give or take, as those rarely come into direct contact with your body. But sheets and pillowcases, these should be laundered regularly. How frequently you clean, though, can depend on a few factors: Do you shower before bed? Are you sleeping solo? Do you generally “run cold” body temperature-wise? Is your climate (and/or current weather) relatively dry? If you answer “yes” to any or all of these, you might be able to milk out your laundry frequency for a few days or even weeks. But if you are partnered up, live in a humid climate, maintain a higher body temperature, or go to sleep “dirty” after a long day’s work and shower in the morning, you’re probably going to have to amp up that washing schedule.

There are obviously lots of different detergents you can choose from, but make note if you plan to use bleach to use it judiciously as this common additive can wreak havoc on the longevity of your linens. Lemon juice or baking soda can be suitable as fresheners and even eliminate traditional detergents’ build-up that might make your sheets feel less fresh over time. Try drying your sheets on a line, too, rather than in the dryer. This will allow your sheets to last a lot longer as the dryer really causes a lot of textile deterioration, and, as an added bonus, you will get to enjoy that naturally fresh smell rather than those cloying, powdery dryer-sheet fragrances. Also, if you have sensitive skin or any allergies, it’s a good idea to invest in natural or hypoallergenic cleaning products. This will help to avoid any skin irritation.

Now the question of the mattress itself arises: how do you clean THAT behemoth? Well, luck has it that some easy tricks make that task a lot less daunting. First things first—if you accidentally stain your mattress, it is crucial to treat those spots immediately. An eco-friendly solution: two tablespoons hydrogen peroxide and one tablespoon of dish soap can be scrubbed into the offending blemish, then blotted repeatedly, alternating with a damp to wet cloth, and then dry until both the spot and the soap is absorbed and removed. You can also use this technique with a specially formulated enzyme treatment or foaming dry cleaning solvent that isn’t too difficult to find. In terms of regular mattress maintenance, it’s a good idea to vacuum it regularly to eliminate dust mites, dead skin particles, hair, lint, and any other icky interlopers that can accumulate on its surface. Taking that a step further, especially if mattress odors are an issue, sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda on the top of the mattress. Let it sit to absorb any offensive aromas, and then thoroughly vacuum again to leave everything fresh as a spring breeze. Most importantly, though, wait until your mattress is completely, thoroughly, and unimpeachably dry before replacing any sheets or bedding. Residual moisture can end up as mold, and that is something you need to actively avoid. As a side note, it is best to spot-treat on low-humidity days or haul out the hairdryer to dry up the dampness as much as possible before letting the air take care of the rest.

What about pillows? Can you wash those? The answer is an unequivocal yes, and frankly, you’re probably overdue! It is recommended that they be washed every year or two, at least. Be sure to use a gentle cycle to cause the least amount of agitation and take full advantage of the spin cycle to get out as much residual water as possible. Again, that mold issue is to be avoided at all costs. Almost all pillows, be they down, fiberfill, cotton, or feather, can be washed in a regular machine. However, foam or gel pillows might degrade in the process, so it is best to spot-treat those. Most of their removable coverings can be machine-washed or replaced, though. As a basic rule of thumb, always check the care labels for instructions.

So what are you waiting for? Just imagining lying down in that freshly cleaned bed should be motivation enough to get out the laundry detergent. Happy spring cleaning, and sweet dreams!