Spring cleaning is a necessary evil. Blankets need to be aired. Ovens have to be pulled out and wiped under. All that dust in the corners of the closet has to be vacuumed out. It makes our homes and our lives healthier.

For all that work, I want to make sure I get a good reward. I like the smell of a clean house, but I know very well it won’t last that long. Dust will return. Bugs will crawl back. Bacteria and viruses will rebuild their “nesting grounds.”

The real problem is the soft spots. Cloth holds critters between its fibers. Fabric is a cozy spot for moisture and therefore bacteria to breed. It’s easy to toss curtains and sheets into the washing machine, but the big items just need a scrub down. Cornstarch absorbs extra moisture. Vacuuming pulls out the bad guys who collect in any moist medium.

I like to add one more step to the cleaning process to extend the season. I make a powder in my blender that’s antiseptic (bay), antiviral (lavender), antibacterial (chamomile) and keeps the moths out (agrimony).

I sprinkle it on mattresses after stripping the sheets. It goes under couch cushions. I dust it on rugs. The trick is to wait a few hours before vacuuming it up. Sometimes I break my chore into two sections: Before work sprinkling and after work vacuuming.

For days to come, I catch the scent of the herbs when I plop down on the couch or when I crawl between the sheets at the end of the day. When I need a little more refreshment, I can toss more Mattress Powder down on my problem spot and spring cleaning is back at my fingertips.

Ingredients for Making Mattress Powder

  • 3 1/2 cups organic cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup dried lavender flowers
  • 1/4 cup dried chamomile flowers
  • 1/4 cup dried agrimony leaves
  • 1 bay leaf

Equipment for Making Mattress Powder

  • 1 blender
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 mixing spoon
  • measuring cups
  • 2 resealable shaker bottles or a small canning jar with holes punched in the lid
  • 1 resealable jar for extra mixture
  • 1 label

Procedure for Making Mattress Powder

  1. Blend the dried herbs into a fine powder.
  2. Add the cornstarch 1 cup at a time to the blender and blend until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Pour a small amount of the mixture into a shaker bottle for household use.
  4. Pour the remaining mixture into a resealable jar and label it for storage.

Storage and Use of Mattress Powder

Store extra Mattress Powder in a labelled, resealable bottle for up to a year.