Cleaning your mattress is a significant investment that you make for better slumber, prevent sleep problems in your children, and for your overall health. It is the best way to protect it and helps you get the best value for money. Let’s dive deeper into how to clean your mattress and why it is important to regularly clean it.
Studies suggest that people spend a third of their lives sleeping. Considering the amount of time you spend on your bed, sleeping, watching movies, munching on food, and snuggling with pets, knowing how to clean your mattress properly is essential. There are plenty of factors that contribute to a dirty mattress. If left unchecked, your mattress can accumulate fungal spores, dead skin cells, dirt, dust, dust mites, body oils, sweat residue, faecal matter, and pet dander.
While there are a variety of factors that make sleeping environments optimal (i.e., temperature, low noise levels, lighting), regular mattress cleaning can also promote healthy sleeping habits. A study by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) found that 63% of respondents rated being “free from allergens” an important element to getting a good night’s sleep. Regular mattress cleaning is important to extend the lifespan of your bed, and also to reduce allergens. Allergy symptoms triggered by unhygienic mattresses include asthma, rhinitis, clogged sinuses, hay fever, itching, headaches, fatigue, rashes, eczema, sneezing, itchiness, watery eyes, and sleep problems in children. Continue reading on to learn how to clean your mattress.
How to Clean Your Mattress in 9 Simple Steps
Knowing how to clean your mattress can be made easier if you know how to do it properly. Read on to discover the nine simple steps that will help you keep your mattress clean and ready for comfortable snoozing. In this guide, we will also address how to deodorize a mattress and how to remove stains from a mattress.
Strip the bed and wash the bedding
First and foremost, you will need to completely strip the bed and wash each bedding (i.e., pillowcases, bedsheets, comforters, blankets) properly. Check the label on your bedding to see if they are machine washable. Ideally, you would want to wash your bedding using hot water and a gentle detergent to effectively get rid of dust mites and other debris. Afterwards, these should be tumble dried on low or hung dry. However, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended care instructions to avoid any damage such as shrinkage or fading.
Gather the needed supplies
When it comes to knowing how to clean your mattress, you will need certain supplies to get the job done properly. Gather the following supplies beforehand:
- Baking soda
- Cleaning rags or towels
- Cold running water
- A gentle laundry detergent
- Dish soap or enzyme cleaner
- Vacuum with an upholstery attachment
Be extra careful. Many mattresses are made of different materials such as memory foam, polyfoam, wool, cotton, and latex. These materials can absorb moisture and cleaning products, which means they require caution during cleaning. You may want to avoid using any product that is too harsh. We’ll explain how to clean your mattress thoroughly without damaging its internal components.
In addition, it may become difficult to completely remove the detergent scent from a mattress. If you are sensitive to overwhelming fragrances, you might want to opt for cleaning products with a mild scent.
Vacuum the mattress thoroughly
Using your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment, go over the entire surface of the mattress. Don’t forget to vacuum the sides of the mattress. Pay special attention to the seams and get rid of hidden dirt or dust by stretching the mattress fabric.
Assess stain types or damages
Knowing how to clean your mattress is one thing, but assessing the stain types and damages it incurred is another. Your cleaning method will depend on the techniques used to remove certain stains or spills. You will also want to check closely for discolourations, odours, and other damages that need extra cleaning.
Blood contains proteins, which makes its stains particularly difficult to clean. If you want to know how to remove blood stains from your mattress, you must first remove as much of the excess blood as possible. This can be done by blotting the stain with a damp cloth and cold water, followed by blotting with a dry cloth. Remember not to rub or wipe the stain. Next, mix equal parts of salt, baking soda, and water. Rub the cleaning paste solution on the blot and leave it for about 30 minutes. Wipe it off using a cool damp cloth.
If the first method does not work, try mixing two parts hydrogen peroxide with one part dish soap. Place a small amount of the solution on the blood stain and smoothly brush it using a toothbrush. Wait for minutes and wipe it off using a cool damp cloth.
Many people who search for “how to clean your mattress” are also plagued by bed bug infestations. Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown parasitic insects that feed on human blood. At around 5 mm long and 2 to 3mm wide, they can be seen with the naked eye. However, these pests tend to hide in the daytime, which makes cleaning a challenge.
If you want to know how to clean your mattress and get rid of bed bugs, you must first clean up every place the bedbugs potentially live in. Start by stripping your bedding and machine wash them with the hottest temperature setting possible. Remember to carry them in tightly sealed garbage bags to avoid contamination on the way to the washing machine. Dry the sheets in direct sunlight or using a hot dryer.
Using a brush, scrub your mattress seams to remove bedbugs and their eggs. Then, vacuum your mattress thoroughly, paying careful attention to seams and crevices where bed bugs take shelter. Afterwards, immediately secure the vacuum bag and throw it outside. Make sure no bed bugs are hiding in the vacuum cleaner. Encase the mattress with a bed bug-proof encasement. Keep the cover on your mattress for at least a year to make sure all bugs in the mattress are dead. Dress the mattress with your clean, dry sheets.
If you have children or a pet, your mattress may be peed upon. Learning how to clean your mattress and removing urine stains from it is also relatively simple. Start by soaking up the excess urine with a cloth. Spray an enzyme-based cleaning product on the stain. You can also make your cleaning solution by mixing 8oz of hydrogen peroxide with 3 tablespoons of baking soda. After spraying, allow the stain to dry and sprinkle it with baking soda. Leave it overnight and vacuum the mattress the next day.
Spot clean where needed
Now that you know how to clean your mattress from urine, bedbugs, and bloodstains, you must thoroughly check for other areas of discolourations and stains. Spot-clean as needed by applying a cleaning solution to a cloth and gently blotting the stains. Apply cold water to another cloth, wipe, and repeat until the stain is removed. Avoid oversoaking the mattress as any excess moisture can inhibit mould and mildew growth.
Apply baking soda to deodorize the mattress
After you have removed any visible stains, apply a thin layer of baking soda over its entire surface. Baking soda is a chemical compound that helps neutralize odour. You’d be glad to know how to deodorize a mattress from now on. If you can’t put your mattress out in the sun and fresh air, baking soda can also help as it absorbs moisture.
Vacuum the mattress thoroughly again
Once you have left the baking soda on the mattress for at least a few hours, vacuum it with an upholstery attachment once again.
Flip the mattress
Flip the mattress and repeat the steps you did earlier. When it comes to knowing how to clean your mattress, you should never neglect its underside. While it does receive as much wear and tear, it can still accumulate dust, debris, and moisture.
Aside from being part of how to clean your mattress, flipping is also a well-known way of extending its lifespan. If you swing your mattress 180° from the head of your bed to the foot, it ensures each side of the mattress gets equal pressure and prevents dipping.
Use a mattress protector and fitted sheets
Now that you know how to clean your mattress, it is time to protect it. Cover your mattress with a mattress protector. This will make cleaning easier in the future as it protects from spills, food crumbs, bed bugs, sweat, dust, and other unpleasantries. Aside from using a mattress protector, you can also use a fitted sheet to make sure there is no open space for debris buildup.
How Can You Protect Your Mattress?
Part of the steps to extending the lifespan of a mattress is taking preventive measures to protect it. And aside from knowing how to clean your mattress, you must also invest in a waterproof mattress protector or mattress topper. These are accessories that are specially designed to absorb or repel liquids and are easily machine washable in the washer and dryer. A quality mattress protector or mattress topper can also provide an extra layer of protection to avoid allergy flare-ups.
Avoiding eating and drinking in bed is the best way to reduce the risk of accidental spills and stains. Furthermore, keeping pets away from your bed can avoid hair sheds and drool.
When Should You Clean Your Mattress?
We recommend cleaning your mattress once every six months. If you spill something on the mattress, it would be best to clean it immediately before the stain sets in completely.
Given its many steps, the mattress cleaning process can take up to eight hours. You might want to set aside enough time for this. We have established when and how to clean your mattress, but don’t forget about your beddings as well. Refer to this guide to know how often to clean your bedding:
- Bed sheets – once a week
- Pillowcases – once a week
- Duvet covers – once every 2 weeks to 1 month
- Comforters – once every 2 to 3 months
- Blankets – once every 2 to 3 months
- Pillows (if washable) – once every 4 to 6 months
Learn More about How Clean Your Mattress from Sleep Science!
A clean mattress is associated with getting better sleep and consequently, better health. In this comprehensive guide, we indicated the steps on how to clean your mattress and why it is important. If you want to learn more about mattress tips and sleep home remedies, you can view Sleep Science articles by clicking here.