While most people clean their sheets and pillowcases weekly, many people are unaware that your mattress occasionally needs a good cleaning as well. After all, we spend an average of one-third of our lives sleeping, so our mattress can easily become home to all sorts of dirt and grime. While mattresses don’t have to be cleaned every week or even every month, they do need to be cleaned periodically, and you’ll likely notice a big difference in the way you sleep once you follow this recommendation.
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Why You Should Clean Your Mattress?
Let’s face it, mattresses are expensive. Some of them cost thousands of dollars and are made to last for many years, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to be cleaned every now and then. If you have pets, enjoy midnight snacks in your bed, sleep with little people in your bed, or if you suffer from allergies, making sure your mattress is clean is a huge help. Mattresses are usually filled with debris, dirt, dust mites, and dead skin cells. Sounds gross, we know, but this is why regular cleaning of your mattresses is so important.
When you clean the mattresses in your home regularly, your allergies won’t be nearly as bad, you’ll be more comfortable when you’re in the bed, you’ll get a better night’s sleep every night, and most importantly, it protects your mattress better so that it lasts a lot longer, saving you a lot of money with each passing year. For both comfort and financial reasons, cleaning your mattress occasionally just makes sense.
When to Clean
Most experts recommend that you clean your mattress twice a year, and to remember this time frame, cleaning it in the spring and the fall makes it a little easier to keep up with the task. Fortunately, cleaning your mattress is not a complicated process, nor is it an expensive one. You just need a vacuum cleaner and a few basic supplies that you probably already have around the house. Cleaning your mattress more than twice a year is not really necessary because a good twice-a-year cleaning is all it really needs. So make it easy on yourself and plan to give your mattress a thorough cleaning every six months or so.
How to Clean
When it comes time to clean your mattress, you’ll need the following supplies:
- A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment
- Dish soap or an enzyme cleaner for stain removal
- Cleaning cloths
- Cold water
- Baking soda
- Laundry detergent
Before you start the cleaning process, go ahead and strip the beds, including removal of the mattress covers, and place the items in the washer for a good cleaning. If you wash the bedding in hot water, all of your dust mites will be killed. You might be able to wash your pillows as well, but make sure you check the label first to determine if that’s possible.
Next, take your vacuum cleaner and use the upholstery attachment to vacuum the entire mattress. This includes both the surface and all of the sides. You’ll likely have to use the crevice attachment to remove dirt or dust from the seams, but this area of the mattress is just as important as the larger areas are. After a good vacuuming, you’ll need to spot-clean your mattress with a good stain remover. This will likely be necessary if you don’t keep a mattress cover on your mattress.
To spot-clean, always pay attention to the cleaning instructions on the label because each mattress is different. For instance, if you have a memory foam mattress, you can’t get it wet at all. For this step, never apply any cleaning solution directly on the mattress. Instead, place the solution on a cleaning cloth and blot the stains gently to remove them. After blotting until the stain is removed, take another cloth, apply cold water to it, then blot some more. Use as little cleaning product and moisture as possible, and never get the mattress anything other than damp.
If you’re wondering what type of stain remover to use, you have two basic options. For biological stains, use an enzyme cleaner. For a good DIY cleaner, you can mix equal parts of cold water and hydrogen peroxide or a mixture of dish soap and water. For the latter, just apply the resulting foam to the stains before you start blotting.
At this point, take your baking soda and sprinkle it all over your mattress. Leave the mattress alone for several hours to overnight so that the baking soda can work its magic. In fact, the longer you leave the baking soda on there, the better it will work. Try to open up the windows in your room so that the sun’s UV rays can kill the mold and bacteria that are on the mattress. Once this time frame is up, go ahead and vacuum the mattress once again to remove all of the baking soda.
Now, all you have to do is flip the mattress over and repeat these steps on the other side. When you’re finished with the entire mattress, cover it with a mattress protector and make sure you place fitted sheets on your bed so it’s harder for dust and grime to get through to the mattress.
While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to flip your mattress to the other side every three months. You don’t have to clean it every three months, but flipping it over every three months helps prevent sagging.
The Benefits of a Clean Mattress
In addition to reducing allergens and prolonging the life of your mattress, cleaning your mattresses twice a year can also improve the air quality in your home. This is because the contaminants in your mattress become part of that air quality, and this is what causes you to sneeze and get headaches if you’re allergic to one of those contaminants. A dirty mattress can make the room smell awful, and it causes you to breathe in these contaminants on a daily basis. You can instantly improve the air quality in your entire home by making sure your mattress is cleaned regularly.
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