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After a long tiring day, the bed is the most comforting place to crash on. So basically, your soft-comfy mattress tolerates your makeup after long parties, your sweat after a workout, drool while sleeping, dead skin flakes while grooming, body lotion, skin and hair oils, and various body fluids.
And if you have toddlers in your home, then late-night scenes of vomit and bedwetting are just add-ons. Besides these, allergens, dust, mites, indoor pollution, and pet dander make your mattress unhygienic. Therefore, your beauty sleep is not less than any disease-prone activity.
Well, calm down, my purpose wasn’t to throw your peaceful sleep out of the window but to imply the fact why mattress cleaning should be on your bucket list.
You ought to pay little attention to your paradise–mattress. It is not only an expensive purchase but also a place to relax and get ready for another day with new energy and new determination.
Hence, it is necessary to clean mattresses just the way you clean linen and sheets; fortunately, not that often.
How Often Should You Clean a Mattress?
It is a part of hygiene; you can do it as frequently as possible. At least once in six months is the ideal requirement; however, you can do it every three months. Any kind of liquid, that spills on the mattress, seeps into it and leads to the formation of molds, which give a peculiar odor and can be harmful.
If there’s a fresh stain, clean it immediately to avoid setting; for example, stains of drinks like coffee, wine, coke, etc. require immediate action. Get a clean cloth damped in cold water. Use it to blot the spill. Don’t rub or scrub it as it will push it farther in the mattress. Keep blotting until the stain comes out.
Let’s move on to the process of cleaning the mattress:
Steps to clean a mattress
Step 1: Strip the Bed
Before beginning the task of cleaning the mattress, remove all kinds of decorative covering like pillows blankets, sheets. Remove linens, mattress covers, fitted sheets and throw them in the laundry. Carefully check the manufacturer’s labels and set the hottest water and dryer settings. Hot water will kill any kind of bacteria, fungal microbe, or hidden mites.
Step 2: Vacuum the mattress
The first process towards cleaning the mattress is vacuuming. Before the removal of any kind of stains, it is important to make sure that any kind of debris, dust, dead skin, hair won’t interfere in the process.
For this, use different kinds of settings of vacuum to thoroughly clean mattress upside down and cracks too. Use a wide brush to clean the top or bottom of the mattress, use a long upholstery nozzle for cracks and edges, and piping for sides and corners. But make sure, the vacuum is cleaned before use.
Step 3: Spot cleaning
Hydrogen peroxide has many uses including this one. Mix 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of hydrogen peroxide(H2O2) and 1 tablespoon (30ml) of liquid dish wash in a bowl. Stir them until it creates suds. Use an old toothbrush and apply suds to the affected area. Gently rub the stain and wipe away the excess cleaner with a clean cloth.
Do not use an excess of cleaner on a memory foam mattress, as it should never get wet. For cleaning spot stains on the white mattress, oxidizing bleach can be used.
However, when a natural non-odor cleaning mixture can be prepared at home which can remove funky stains without using chemicals and expensive commercial cleaning products why should you tolerate potentially irritating fragrances from cleaners?
Yes! A mixture of baking soda, water, and salt can serve this purpose. Rub this paste on the stain and leave it for 30minutes. Wipe with a damp clean cloth.
Step 4: Deodorizing with Baking soda
Once you have dealt with stubborn stains, you can think about deodorizing the entire mattress. For this, you need to sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the mattress. You should prefer using sifters to sprinkle soda. Additionally, mix the essential oil of your favorite fragrance to add a fresh smell.
Give baking soda some time to absorb the odor. Baking soda combines with any type of moisture present in the mattress and forms a compound that can be sucked by vacuum later. The moisture in the mattress is the root cause of the foul smell. The longer you keep the baking soda, the more it will absorb moisture. At a minimum, you should give 30 minutes before moving on to the next step.
Related: 30 Genius Baking Soda Cleaning Hacks
Step 5: Vacuum Again, Flip, and Repeat
Once the baking soda has had time to sit, you can start vacuuming again. This time, vacuuming will remove acids, odors, liquids, and moisture that has been captured by baking soda.
You need to flip the mattress and repeat the above process because sometimes, the spill seeps into the mattress to the other end of the foam.
Additionally, you need to vacuum the wood on which your mattress resides or all your cleaning will be in vain. There is a lot of dust present in the corners which will be ultimately captured by the mattress in the next few days.
Step 6: Allow the Mattress to Air Out
While it is important to keep mattresses away from outdoor pollution, it is good to let the mattress air out to remove any moisture content left behind during the cleaning process. You can also open curtains to let sunlight inside. The UV rays from the sun certainly help in killing minor microbes or bacteria.
Related: How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress
Removing Tough Stains from Mattress
1. Blood Stains
Sometimes, your mattress has to go through situations like these, when blood gets spilled on it.
To remove the stain, you need to mix one-fourth cup of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), one tablespoon dishwasher, 1 tablespoon salt. Gently spread the mixture on the stain, it will foam immediately. Blot the foam with a clean rag with cold water. Repeat the process until the stain is completely removed.
2. Urine Stains
Kids and pets often pee on beds on winter nights. The removal of dried urine stains is one difficult task, but not impossible.
- You can start by mixing 3 tbsp. baking soda (bicarb for UK readers),8 oz. 3% hydrogen peroxide and a tiny amount of liquid dish soap. Spread it on the stain and gently rub off of foam with a cloth damped in cold water. Don’t drench the mattress and leave the mattress to air out once cleaned.
- Use hot water and vinegar. This makes a soluble remedy to remove the stain and pick up the odor from your mattress.
3. Coffee Stains
Everyone likes bed coffee, but happiness dies the second the coffee spills on a mattress. “Why god, why me?” is our first response.
To remove a coffee or any kind of drink stain; for example, wine, soda, coke, etc. you need to spray it with equal parts of cold water and H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide). It will foam as it releases. Blot the foam with a clean rag damp with cold water. Repeat until the stain is gone.
4. Vomit Stains
For this, you need to open your windows because it involves the use of liquid ammonia which has a very peculiar irritating smell. Try wearing a mask too, if you are highly sensitive. Dampen a corner of clean cloth/rag in ammonia and use it to blot the stain.
Use a fresh cloth damped in clean water to lift the stain. If the stain does not immediately lift, wait for 5-7 minutes and try lifting it again.
Once the stain is removed, clean the surface with a fresh cloth dampened with cold water. The damp area should be sprinkled with baking soda to neutralize ammonia and to dry out moisture if any.
5. Oily Food and Lotion
Spray some enzyme cleaner on a clean cloth. Use this cloth to blot and saturate the stain. Allow the enzyme cleaner to sit on it for about 15- 20 minutes. Enzyme cleaner will break down all macromolecules in the biological stains like blood, urea, vomit, etc. into simpler compounds. This is an effective cleaner for grease and oil stains.
Preventing Future Stains
Cleaning is a very time-consuming process and for some of us, it is an “I won’t be able to sleep this weekend” kind of task. Therefore, it is rather advisable to use mattress covers than repeat this process of cleaning every month.
Apply a mattress protector or mattress pads. A mattress protector is a plastic case that covers the mattress like a duvet. It comes with a zipper; thus, it completely seals the mattress and protects it from spills, dust, dirt, stains, and even bed bugs. This also prevents allergens and moisture to seep into the mattress. Get it now to save your mattress from future spills!
Tips for Keeping the Mattress Clean for a Longer Time
- Vacuum the mattress to suck up dust mites once a month. Make use of a crevice tool to get into tight spots.
- To get rid of odors, sprinkle baking soda on the mattress first and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Change the sheets at least once a week to prevent dead skin—and its ramifications, such as dust mites—from building up on the bed.
- Flip your mattress every three months. If it’s a pillow-top mattress, rotate it from top to bottom every six months. This prevents depression in the mattress after long use.
Things To Avoid While Cleaning
- While cleaning a mattress, it is inadvisable to clean just a specific spot. Clean the mattress as a whole. If you were to clear a specific spot, then due to blotting it will spread and you will end up creating a cloudy imprint on a white mattress. Hence, clean the whole surface area of the mattress.
- Don’t spray liquid cleaners directly onto the mattress. Mattresses aren’t designed to get wet, especially memory foam, so use as little cleaner as necessary to treat the stains.
- Don’t use colored rags; instead, use a white rag for cleaning stains. It prevents dye from transferring from the fabric to the mattress.
- While blotting the spill with the damp cloth, do not rub or scrub the spill, as this can push it farther into the mattress. Keep blotting until you’ve absorbed all the excess liquid.
- Do not start cleaning without making sure that all the rags and clothes that are to be used should be clean and devoid of dust.
- Feel the mattress all over before making the bed and check for moisture. If you encase a damp mattress in linens and blankets, it won’t dry out and you’ll have mold growth.
Keeping Your Mattress Fresh
1. Dryer Sheet Cheats
Dryer sheets are not only for clothes packing or laundry rooms. You can swipe a few sheets from the main box and slip them between mattress covers. This will provide you with a cozy scented mattress to crash on.
Besides these, you can use soap packaging covers and place them between the mattress.
2. Fresh Air
If you are done with applying chemicals and stripping off the mattress again and again then the best way to remove any odors is to hoist up the mattress in sunlight for an hour or two. The air outside will replace all odors and the sunlight will help to remove moisture.
3. Keep Your Pets from Staying Underneath the Bed
This will lead to the accumulation of fur along the bottom of your bed which, in one way or the other, leads to sniffy noses. Moreover, pets are more likely to rip off the outer protecting cover of the mattress, thus, increasing expenses. Therefore, it is always suggested to provide a bed for your pet.
4. Dust Ruffle
A dust ruffle is a kind of double protection as it will help in cleaning the underside of the bed. Once in a year, you should clean the skirts of the bed to remove any dust or hair.
We spend one-third of our life in bed and for sleepyheads like me, you can say half of the life on bed. It is, therefore, important to have a healthy sleep than an unhygienic one. Clean your mattress, enjoy sound sleep, and wake up with a fresh look to achieve your dreams.