How To Clean Your Mattress

Did you know your mattress is one of the most frequently used pieces of furniture in your home? Hopefully, you spend 7-8 hours in your bed every night sleeping, not watching Netflix. Now think about this, the average human spends a third of their life laying skin-to-fiber on this plush, rectangular prism without ever cleaning it. When was the last time you cleaned your mattress?

Imagine that your kitchen table had sweat, grime, dirt, skin cells, or, worst of all, insects? Would you eat on it? Would you mind, at least, sleeping on it? Sadly, unless you’re getting your bed cleaned right now, your ignored mattress is basically a large, king-sized sponge for human refuse and microscopic bugs.

You probably cannot afford to do this on a regular basis. A more realistic approach is to clean on a regular basis. Because no one probably ever taught you how to clean a mattress (since no one ever does), here is a helpful guide to cleaning up that nasty thing you use (on a regular basis).

Dusting and Eliminating Dirt

Tools: Vacuum (with upholstery attachment)

Your vacuum should have an upholstery attachment: a whiskered little fellow that can suck dust and other gunk right through the nozzle. Give all the sides and surfaces of your mattress a good swipe; give the box spring under the mattress a run as well. This should address dust, dirt and microscopic pests.

Deodorizing

  • Baking soda
  • Essential Oils
  • White vinegar (optional)

There are chemical cleaners made to clean and deodorize mattresses – avoid these for now. Many are potentially unappealing given their heavy reliance on strong chemicals and can potentially be carcinogenic. For a more practical approach, mix a few spoonfuls of baking soda with a few drops of essential oils (lavender is a soothing option). Sift the mixture directly onto your, now, dust-free mattress. Leave it on for a few hours (or until you notice that the scent has been absorbed) and then vacuum your mattress to remove any excess solution. Next, lightly spray the mattress with white vinegar for ultra-deodorizing power.

Removing Stains and Spots

  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Hydogen Peroxide

If you find a strange color on your mattress (or really, any color on your mattress that wasn’t originally there when you unboxed it), spot-clean the area with a natural paste of one-part salt, two-parts baking soda, and three-parts water. Let the mixture soak for a few minutes, then rinse it off with a damp cloth and pat it dry. Water is essential to the cleaning process, but do not let it soak into the mattress for too long (mold loves water).

Cleaning Latex

  • Dish soap
  • Water

While latex is engineered to remain clean and bacteria-free, it may still need occasional cleaning. Rub a natural dish soap mixed with water onto the mattress; afterward, pat it dry.

Cleaning Memory Foam

  • Dryer
  • Fan

Cleaning memory foam can be a little trickier since it absorbs and retains water too well.  While applying a cleaning solution, try not to soak it, or it will take longer to dry.  Instead, make sure to just spot treat problem areas and dry them completely with a hairdryer or mini-fan.

Using A Protector

  • Wallet

The best healthcare is preventative healthcare; to keep your mattress clean, prevent it from getting dirty in the first place. You cannot stop yourself from sweating at night or shedding skin cells (unless you sleep in a hazmat suit), so you should invest in a good mattress protector, like a plastic lining for children and a waterproof, stain-proof, and bed bug-proof pad for you. One added benefit of doing so is that the protector can also soften your bed! Last option will be to throw out your mattress.

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