How to Clean a Mattress

Did you know that the average person spends one-third of their life in bed? Given how much time we spend in them, it is imperative that we keep them clean. In this article, we will discuss how to clean a mattress.

Step One: Strip all the linens from the bed and start laundering them, preferably in hot water to kill any dust mites. Wash your mattress pad first, then your sheets, and finally, your bedspread or comforter. While they are washing and drying, you can begin cleaning your mattress.

Step Two: Vacuum your mattress using your vacuum cleaner‘s upholstery tool. Start at the head of the bed and work your way down the mattress by using horizontal, overlapping strokes until you reach the bottom. Then vacuum the sides the same way.

Step Three: Deodorize your mattress by generously sprinkling baking soda all over it and using a brush to scrub the mattress. If you are partial to a certain scent, you can add a few drops of the essential oil of your choice. If you have trouble sleeping at night, try using lavender oil, which is known for being a natural sleep inducer. Let the baking soda/oil mixture sit on the mattress for ten minutes after scrubbing. Then vacuum your mattress again. In addition to vacuuming up the baking soda, your vacuum will pull out any moisture in your mattress than can cause odors.

Step Four: Remove any stains by following the methods listed below:

  • Blood – Make a paste from one tablespoon of salt, one tablespoon of dish detergent, and a 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide. Apply the paste to the stain, let it dry, and then scrape it off. If some of the stains remain, use a clean, white towel dipped in hydrogen peroxide and dab the stain with it until it lifts off onto the towel. You can also make a paste with water and meat tenderizer. The meat tenderizer actually dissolves the protein in the blood, thereby removing the stain.
  • Urine – Measure out eight ounces of hydrogen peroxide and add three tablespoons of baking soda and mix. Then add just one or two drops of dish detergent to the mix. Using a clean, white towel, dab this mixture on the stain. If the stain persists, you can make a foam by mixing three tablespoons of powdered laundry detergent with one tablespoon of water. Spread it on the stain and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then vacuum it clean. Be sure to only use a laundry detergent that does not contain anti-stain additives or oxygenated bleach.
  • Other Bodily Fluids – Blot the stain with a clean, white rag dipped in ammonia. Be sure not to make the mattress really wet. Wipe the area with a clean, white, damp cloth. Then sprinkle the spot with baking soda. The baking soda will neutralize the ammonia smell and draw out any odor-causing moisture. Wait until it dries completely; then vacuum thoroughly.

Step Five: Flip your mattress regularly. With a brand new mattress, you should flip it both top to bottom and side to side every week for three months. After that, you should flip it every three months. In order to keep track, it is recommended that you take a permanent marker and label one end of your mattress Spring/Fall and the other end Winter/Summer. While pillow-top mattresses can’t be flipped over, they can still be rotated end to end. Every time you flip or rotate your mattress, follow the cleaning steps outlined above.

After your bedding and mattress are clean, consider applying a washable mattress cover to create a barrier between you and your mattress, thereby allowing you to clean it less often. Washable mattress covers are made with fabric attached to a waterproof layer of material that prevents dead skin cells or bodily fluids from coming in direct contact with your mattress.

Some additional tips:

  • Remember the three H’s – humidity, higher temperatures, and humans. Wherever you find people in a warm, humid bedroom, you will find dust mites. In addition to mattresses, dust and pet dander accumulates in your window treatments and carpet, as well. Dust mites thrive in this type of environment and their accumulation in your bedroom can cause allergic reactions. Be sure to keep your bedroom dry and cool, and clean your carpet and window treatments regularly.
  • Replace any down bedding – All bedding, including pillows and comforters, should be made from synthetic materials only.
  • Ban household pets from the bedroom – Pets shed skin cells, too, along with fur. This will cause an increase in dust mites. Allergic reactions are also a potential problem when allowing pets in your bedroom.
  • Remove any plants from the bedroom – Plants bring dust, insects, pollen, and microbes into your room. Keep them in other rooms Especially if you are letting your baby sleep with you.
  • Wash bedding in hot water – Be sure to wash your sheets weekly in hot water. Hot water will kill dust mites. Other bedding, such as blankets, pillows, and comforters should be laundered every four to six weeks and in hot water if possible.

By following the guidelines above, your mattress will last longer and you will sleep better in a clean, healthy environment.