How to clean a mattress and remove mattress stains

If you haven’t already done so, knowing how to clean a mattress is important not only to create a clean sleeping environment but also for your overall health and wellbeing.

Most of us know that we should invest in the best pillow and mattress to ensure a good night’s sleep. We all know it’s important to change bed linen at least every two weeks. However, how many of us know the importance of regularly cleaning our mattress and how it can affect our health?

Fortunately, it’s not the tedious task you might think.

How to clean a mattress

Have you always wondered how to clean a mattress and assumed that using a lot of professional products would be a difficult task? The good news is that it’s a super easy task that only requires a vacuum cleaner!

Andrew Jacobs, mattress consultant at sleep brand OTTY, gave us step-by-step instructions on how to clean a mattress:

  1. Take off your bed: Put the linens in the washing machine and check the laundry labels on your comforter and pillow. A good wash can also remove dust mites.
  2. Fight stains: If you notice stains on your mattress, use a mild cleaning solution to treat them. However, avoid products that contain chemicals like bleach.
  3. Get out of the vacuum cleaner: Ideally, use a vacuum that you wouldn’t use on your floor, preferably a handheld vacuum or a vacuum that was not used on the floor. Vacuum both sides of your mattress to remove dirt, hair, and dust from your mattress. Make sure you rotate your mattress so that you clean every part of it.
  4. Let it air out: It’s a good idea to ventilate your mattress and let it breathe while your bedding dries. This will reduce bad odors in your mattress. Andrew recommends airing the mattress for about 8 hours. Choosing a mattress with good airflow will ensure constant circulation.
  5. Make your bed and relax: Get out your favorite bedding, prop up your throw pillows, and enjoy a night’s sleep in your fresh bed.

Person vacuum cleaner mattress

When it comes to removing mattress stains it can get a little tricky, says Neil Robinson, chief sleep officer at Sealy UK.

Despite the old women’s story that baking soda can air out a mattress and remove stains, Neil cautions that not all mattresses are made to use baking soda.

For coffee, vomit, or urine stains, Andrew suggests treating them with a gentle solution. “Use a sponge dampened with a warm solution of upholstery shampoo or a mild detergent,” he recommends.

For everything else, it is best to consult the professionals for a professional mattress cleaning and put on a mattress protector after cleaning to prevent future stains.

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How often should you clean a mattress?

How often you clean your mattress depends on many factors. As a rule, however, you should try to clean them every six months.

“It depends on factors like the properties and materials of the mattress, its age and the person sleeping on the mattress,” says Andrew.

“If you suffer from allergies, depending on the severity of your allergies, you should clean your mattress more often. For example, we recommend that you clean your mattress as soon as possible if you get eczema.”

What are the health risks if a mattress is not cleaned?

Your mattress could be a breeding ground for dust mites, dirt, and mold, which could over time leave you with viruses, infections, or skin problems, says Neil.

“Dirt and dead skin cells are a dust mite haven, which can leave nasty bites, cause allergic reactions, and in some cases worsen asthma in people, causing difficulty breathing, chest tightness, or even difficulty sleeping due to shortness of breath.” Says Neil.

He added, “Mattresses also absorb moisture over time. Without regular cleaning and ventilation, mold can build up, which can lead to allergies leading to coughs, itchy eyes and skin conditions like eczema.”

In other serious cases, a dirty mattress can lead to nasty skin infections, serious viruses, and urinary tract infections by the accumulation of pathogenic bacteria and fungi such as enterococci, staphylococci, noroviruses, and even MRSA.

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How to keep your mattress clean

  • Keep pets out of the bedroom: Dog and cat fur can be a magnet for pollen, dust, and other allergens.
  • Invest in a mattress protector: Our bodies can lose up to 500 ml of water every night while we sleep. Therefore, a mattress protector offers an extra layer to protect the mattress from bed bugs and dust mites and to keep it clean and free of stains.
  • Air out your bed every morning: Remove the pillows and duvet from your bed and let your mattress air for at least 20 minutes. According to Neil, this allows moisture to evaporate and prevent dust mites.

How Often Should You Replace a Mattress?

While regular mattress cleaning is essential, it’s worth noting that mattresses are not a lifelong companion. According to Andrew, you should try to replace your mattress every six to eight years to ensure a supportive and comfortable sleep and to promote good sleep hygiene.

“However, you can extend the life of your mattress by flipping it first once a month and then once every new season,” says Andrew.

He added, “Every mattress and the materials used are different, whether it’s foam or feather or both. Replacing your mattress is not a one-size-fits-all. We encourage you to check with the manufacturer where you purchased your mattress for information when it needs to be replaced. “

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