When you stop to think about it, the mattress you sleep on every night is probably pretty disgusting. There is usually only a thin sheet between your body and the mattress itself, and that’s the only protection your bed gets from the sweat, dead skin, hair and other debris your body sheds during the night. Most mattresses are a magnet for this type of dirt, and unlike sheets and pillowcases, your mattress is probably not being washed regularly. Though you can’t exactly pop it in the washing machine, there are several things that you can do to clean and deodorize your mattress.
Use these tips to keep your mattress clean and extend its life so you get the most out of your purchase.
Vacuum the Mattress
Use the hose and upholstery attachment on your vacuum to clean surface dirt off your mattress. Unless your mattress is stained, this is often sufficient for keeping it clean most of the time. Vacuuming removes dust, hair and dead skin cells that can build up over time. It’s a great way to refresh the mattress and keep it from causing allergic reactions in the people who sleep on it.
Sweat can build up in your mattress over time and cause it to smell a little musty. To combat mattress stink, sprinkle baking soda over the surface of the mattress prior to vacuuming. Let the baking soda sit for about 30 minutes and then vacuum it as you usually would.
Sometimes mattresses need a little extra attention because they have deep or unsightly stains. If we’re totally honest about it, most of the stains that end up on mattresses are from bodily fluids, which means they can generally be cleaned in similar ways. Treat the stain as soon as you can after you notice it and use the same methods you would for any stain caused by protein buildup. Blot up any excess liquid, then use a paste made of baking soda and water or hydrogen peroxide to lift the stain naturally. Train a fan on the damp spot to dry it quickly and keep the mattress from getting moldy.
There are professional cleaners who steam clean or dry clean mattresses. Even if you have a steam cleaner at home, it’s a good idea to go to a professional for deep cleaning your mattress. Professional tools extract the moisture from the mattress and also tend to clean more deeply so they are better able to get at stubborn stains.
Flipping and Rotating
Regularly flipping and rotating your mattress is one easy way to extend the length of time you can go between cleanings. About once a quarter, turn your mattress over and rotate it so the top is at the foot of your bed and the foot is at the top. This keeps sweat and stains from collecting in one place.
Fortunately, your mattress doesn’t have to be cleaned often, but you should freshen it up on a regular basis. In most climates and for most people, a few times a year is sufficient for keeping a mattress clean and sanitary.