Cleaning Under Beds | Anyclean

updated: 16/11/2023


 “You have builder’s back,” said the acupuncturist to my professional cleaner friend in his delightful Chinese accent. “Woman not supposed to have builder’s back.” Yes, indeed, my friend’s back is living proof that housework can be physically demanding and a terrifically good workout – and is anything but a sedentary job if you do it full time.

One of the things that my domestic cleaner friend puts her impressive lats and delts down to is moving heavy furniture to clean under them. Because while many people think that out of sight is out of mind, dust still builds up on carpets and can cause asthma if not dealt with promptly. And occasionally, worse things accumulate under the bed, especially if you have a cat that has been accidentally shut in the house with no litter box inside.

If the item of furniture is not too heavy, all you have to do is to make sure that anything stored under the bed or whatever is moved out of the way. Then you have to pull the single bed or sofa out from the wall before you set to and clean the carpet with a vacuum cleaner, or remove the cat mess in the usual way with the help of loo paper (to scoop up the solid mess), a scrubbing brush and warm soapy water (to remove any stuck on mess and to kill bacteria; soap is a mild disinfectant, after all, as well as the fundamental cleaning product) and baking soda (to remove the smell so the cat doesn’t get the idea that beneath the bed is a litter tray). Don’t bend your back over too much while trying to shove furniture around (unless you have what that acupuncturist calls “builder’s back”) but bend your knees. Enlist help if you need it.

However, sometimes it’s not as simple as that. Even my cleaning friend says that some beds are beyond her strength – bunk beds and massive oaken king-size beds being the two examples she groaned about. So how does the professional house cleaner deal with this?

To vacuum under a big bed, the first step is to make sure that all is clear. Big beds often have a lot of storage space beneath them (if you are in need of extra storage space, take note!) and this will need to be removed before you can vacuum the carpet. If you can’t quite reach under, then use a rake to pull the stuff out – but make sure you clean any mud and other debris off the rake, or you will make a worse mess than you started with. After everything is clear, you can vacuum under the bed by reaching in to the difficult corners with the extension tube on the vacuum cleaner (now you know why they were invented) pulled out to the maximum. You will probably need to get down on your knees and peer under the bed to do this properly.

To deal with cat crap under the bed, things are trickier still. You could crawl under the bed and deal with the mess while lying on your front, but most of us would rather not have our noses four inches away from animal faeces – and cat poop seems to smell worse than any other kind thanks to the high amount of protein they eat. It is probably easier to remove the mattress from the bed and approach matters from above. If you can’t do that with the type of bed you have AND you can’t crawl underneath, the only course of action is to call in some help for shifting the bed. Don’t put your back out.

If your bed is big and has drawers underneath, then you can probably get away with not vacuuming underneath it – the dust isn’t going to come up through a solid drawer, what’s in the drawer, a wooden base and a mattress very easily – until the time comes for the end of tenancy cleaning or you want to rearrange the room.

About the author 

Nick Vassilev

Nick blogs about cleaning. He is a cleaning expert with more than 25 years of experience. He is also an NCCA-certified carpet cleaner. Founder and CEO of Anyclean.