When you purchase a new mattress, you likely want to keep it clean and in good shape for as long as possible. But, if you’re like many people, cleaning your mattress often takes a backseat to other chores.
Keeping your mattress clean, though, is actually more important than you might think. For starters, a dirty mattress can lead to significant health problems, including severe allergies. Over time, dust mites (and their droppings), mold, bacteria, and sweat, as well as the dander left behind by your pets, can all build up on and inside your mattress. While you sleep, these allergens are kicked up into the air, where you can breathe them in. Not to mention, sleeping on a surface where all of that bacteria is present could mean it’s present on your body, making you even more sick.
If the idea of sleeping on a dirty mattress isn’t enough to get you scrubbing, another factor to consider is the warranty. Many mattress companies offer a warranty on their products, ensuring you can get a replacement if something goes wrong. However, warranties often hinge upon whether you’ve properly cared for the mattress, and if you don’t take good care of it and clean it regularly, that warranty could be voided, potentially costing you thousands of dollars.
Therefore, cleaning your mattress should be on your list of regular chores.
Unless there’s an accident on your bed (someone doesn’t make it to the bathroom on time, your menstrual period arrives unexpectedly) you don’t need to deep clean your mattress more than every few months. However, regular maintenance can help reduce the buildup of allergens and keep your bed fresh and clean. Whenever you change your sheets, take a few minutes to vacuum your mattress using the upholstery attachment. If you see any stains, spot clean them following the instructions provided by the manufacturer, and you should be good to go.
Every 3-4 months, your mattress should get a deeper cleaning to keep it smelling fresh. The best way to freshen your mattress is with baking soda. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender is good for its relaxing properties) to a fresh box of baking soda and shake the box to distribute the oil. Sprinkle the baking soda over the entre mattress, and then gently rub it in so it can penetrate the mattress. Let it sit for about an hour, and then vacuum slowly to remove all of the leftover solution. Your mattress will smell much fresher, and most likely look cleaner as well.
Dealing with Stains
The best way to prevent stains from damaging your luxury mattress is to deal with spills and accidents right away. Remove the bedding, and blot (don’t rub) excess liquid from the mattress. Once you’ve removed as much as you can, you have several options for cleaning the stain. A 50/50 mix of vinegar and water is effective for many spills, or for more stubborn stains, try mixing 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide with 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of dishwashing detergent.
With either solution, spray it on the affected area, then blot with a clean towel to remove excess moisture. Keep spraying and blotting until the stain is gone, then sprinkle baking soda over the area. Leave the baking soda on for several hours, then vacuum the mattress once he area dries. The longer you leave the baking soda on the stain, the more effective it will be.
These methods will work on mattresses with set in stains, but the earlier you catch them, the easier they are to remove, and the less deep cleaning you’ll need to do later.
One way you can keep your mattress clean and prevent most, if not all, stubborn stains is by using a mattress protector. There are several different types to choose from. A traditional mattress protector covers the top and sides of the mattress and keeps it safe from spills. A mattress encasement covers the entire mattress, making it an effective defense against bed bugs, mites, and other allergens. Even if you use any type of mattress protector, it’s a good idea to remove it every few months for washing, and to vacuum your mattress to remove any allergens that somehow made their way onto your bed.
Cleaning your mattress can help extend its life, but more importantly, it can help keep you from getting sick and preserve the warranty on your investment. If it’s been a while since you freshened up your bed, get out the vacuum and get to work.