You might wash your sheets once a week, and you’re always mindful of when you need to wash your mattress topper and your pillows. However, when was the last time you cleaned the actual mattress? There might be a few barriers between you and it, but it’s still important that you give it a once-over now and then.
Why You Should Clean Your Mattress — And How Often
You spend roughly eight hours a day in your bed — that’s a third of your life! You don’t want to spend such a huge chunk of your time lying on something that isn’t clean. Your mattress might contain dust mites, which feed off the dead skin that falls from your body when you sleep. Their excrement has a chemical in it that can trigger allergic reactions, headaches, and eczema. Gross, right?
Dust mites aren’t the only potential problem, either. There may also be fungus and bacteria lurking in your mattress. No matter how clean you keep your body and your home, it’s still important for your health and your peace of mind that you clean your mattress on a regular basis.
How often should you clean it? Back when most mattresses were made so they could be turned over, conventional wisdom said that you should turn your mattress over twice a year — and clean it at the same time. You might no longer turn your mattress over, but the twice-a-year cleaning schedule is still a good one to stick to.
Step One: Strip the Mattress and Clean the Linens
As long as you’re cleaning your mattress, you may as well take the time to wash your sheets and mattress cover, too. When you toss them in the washing machine, use the hottest water setting possible. In the dryer, also put it on the highest setting. The hot temperature will kill bacteria that might be hiding in your sheets.
Also, be sure to read reviews on any laundry detergent you use. You want one with extra cleaning power.
Step Two: Vacuum the Mattress
Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to go over the mattress’s entire surface. Then, switch to the crevice tool and vacuum in all the little nooks and crannies that the upholstery attachment couldn’t get into.
The more powerful your vacuum cleaner, the better. You might consider investing in a top-rated vacuum, like one from Dyson. It will help keep your entire home cleaner, not just your mattress.
Step Three: Spot Clean the Mattress
Look for any stains on your mattress and tackle them with an appropriate cleaning solution. Since they’ve had a while to set in, it might take some patience to remove them. Here are a few suggestions on how to approach these challenging spots:
- Combine hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap, and baking soda. Put the solution into a spray bottle and spray the stained area. Use a rag to blot or rub the area. You might have to do this a couple times before the stain disappears.
- Use an enzyme-based cleaner that naturally breaks down stains and odors. The great thing about these cleaners is that they can penetrate your mattress and stay active for up to 80 hours after you apply them, ensuring a deep clean.
- Combine lemon juice and salt into a paste. Cover the stain with the paste and wait for 30 – 60 minutes. Use a clean towel to wipe away the salt.
Be careful about how much liquid you use when you’re spot cleaning; if your mattress gets too wet, it may take an extremely long time to dry out.
Step Four: Deodorize the Mattress
Sprinkle baking soda over the entire mattress. Be generous with how much baking soda you use; if this is the first time you’re cleaning your mattress, you could even empty an entire one-pound box onto it. Leave the baking soda there for 24 hours. This might mean you have to crash at a friend’s house for the night or sleep on your sofa, but it will be worth the inconvenience.
Also, you could take your mattress outside when you’re treating it with baking soda. The sunlight has natural sanitizing powers. If you live in an apartment and are unable to take your mattress outside, at least open a window.
Step Five: Vacuum the Mattress Again
Once the baking soda has had a chance to work its magic, go back over the mattress with the vacuum cleaner. Your mattress should feel fresh and clean afterward.
Whether it’s time for spring cleaning or you just want to go the extra mile for your next household cleaning day, it’s never a bad idea to give your mattress some attention. After you’ve finished cleaning it, place a new mattress cover or topper over it. You’ll have a bit of extra comfort, and it’s a great way to protect your mattress. Happy cleaning!