When was the last time you cleaned your mattress?
Don’t worry, I’m not judging you.
The truth is we treat our mattresses incredibly poorly. And with each passing night your mattress is going to accumulate more and more dead skin cells, sweat and stains.
And that’s if you are lucky…
It gets worse if bed bugs or dust mites decide they want to have a party in your bed.
Seriously, you will spend a third of your life on your mattress. It deserves to be cleaned!
Not only can cleaning your mattress reward you with a better night’s sleep but it can also extend the life of your mattress. And as you know, mattresses ain’t cheap to replace.
Back in the day it was recommended that you flip your mattress once every six months, to stop it from sagging. You could take the opportunity to clean the mattress as well as the foundation.
But those days are long gone. Modern mattresses have dedicated top and bottom and no longer need to be flipped. Unfortunately this has made it very easy to forget about maintaining your mattress after you have brought your new mattress into your home.
An early start is the key to success, it will give you enough time to clean your mattress before you need it to sleep on at night.
1. Start with your sheets
It would be a waste, going to all the effort of cleaning your mattress only to cover it again with your old dirty sheets.
Peel back your sheets, pillow cases and any other blankets you have on your bed and toss them through the wash. If you want your sheets to turn out wrinkle free then follow these tips
If your sheets will allow it, us you’re the hottest water setting on your washing machine. Follow up with drying on high heat to kill any bed bugs that may be hiding in your sheets.
With your bedding stripped back, check out your pillows and see if they need to be replaced. Typically you should aim to change your pillow at least once every two years. Sooner if it’s a disturbing yellow color or overly grimy, or not lumpy enough to comfortably support your head at night.
With the washing machine taking care of your bed sheets it is now time to get started on your mattress.
If you have bought a modern vacuum then it is highly likely that it came with a mattress cleaning attachment. The mattress attachment not only prevents you from using the dirty floor vacuum head on your bed but also glides over the plush surface without sticking.
Using even strokes, start at the top of your mattress and work your way down. This way you wont miss any spots. First time cleaning your mattress? You might want to vacuum over it a second or third time.
Note, it is important you vacuum your mattress first before treating any stains. Otherwise any liquid will push the surface dust and dirt into your mattress, which can lead to yellowing of the mattress surface.
3. Stain removal
Most mattress tops are a white or light color. Now that you have removed the loose dust and dirt; any stains that have managed to take a hold of your mattress will be easy to spot.
It is more than likely that you will be detailing with protein-based stains from bodily fluid. You know, all the good stuff like drool from sleeping with your mouth open, blood, sweat, urine and the mess that sex makes.
If you are only just discovering these stains now then chances are they are not new. It is much easier to remove a stain when it is fresh than when it has had time to set into the fabric of your mattress.
But do not despair, you still have some options to make the stain fade if not remove it completely:
Light Sweat, drool and urine stains – Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda, 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide and one drop of dish soap in a spray bottle. Shake really well so that the baking powder does not clog the nozzle. Lightly spray on the stain and leave to dry. Repeat as necessary.
Heavier sweat and urine stains, vomit and poop For heavy mattress stains you will need to use an enzyme based cleaner. Simple Solution is a great stain remover and I keep a bottle on hand “just in case”. While it may be targeted at pet stains, it works just as well on mattress stains made by humans.
Blood stains – Whether aunt flo dropped by for a surprise visit, or you had a nosebleed in your sleep, blood is one of the most difficult stains to remove from a mattress, especially if it has been set for a while. While complete removal may be impossible, you can definitely lighten the stain. Mix a tablespoon of salt with ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide into a paste. Apply the paste to the stained area and leave it to dry. Simply scrape away the crusted salt paste with a spoon followed by a quick vacuum. Repeat if necessary.
The thing to remember is that stains essentially dye your mattress top. If this has happened your mattress will remain unsightly, no matter how clean it actually is.
If you have not done so already, it might be a good idea to invest in a mattress protector. This makes the stain removal part much easier since you can simply remove the mattress protector from your bed to treat stains. And if the stains are really bad you can simply toss the mattress protector in the trash and purchase a fresh clean one.
4. Deodorize (Optional)
Perhaps you sweat heavily in your sleep or have pets who share your bed. Whatever the reason, it is not uncommon for mattresses to start to smell with continued use. A good deodorizing will stop the foul smells from overpowering your bedroom.
My favorite deodorizer is baking soda. Not only is it natural, but also cheap, you can pick up 12 pound of baking soda from your local Walmart for around $8
Evenly spread baking powder over the entire surface of your mattress. Don’t be afraid to be generous, it won’t do any harm.
With your mattress covered in baking soda, leave it to rest. The baking soda will begin to absorb all the funky smells trapped in your mattress.
While it would be ideal to leave the baking soda on your mattress for 24 hours, we really this won’t be practical for the majority of people. I try to aim for a good 12 hours at minimum.
This is why you want to get an early start on cleaning your mattress. By doing so you will have more time to let the baking soda sit before night time comes and you again need to use your mattress.
You should dry your bed sheets and pillow cases while you are waiting for time to pass.
5. Vacuum Again!
Once the baking powder has been left to sit it is time to remove it from your mattress. And the easiest way to do that is to pull out the vacuum again. Carefully suck it all up. Be careful, particularly around the edges of your mattress, you don’t want to push the baking soda down the gap between your bed.
While you have the vacuum out don’t forget to suck up any bits of baking soda that have made their way to the floor. You don’t want to track baking soda into your clean sheets.
6. Make your bed!
By now your bed sheets should be washed and cleaned. Make your bed and celebrate with a victory snooze. You deserve it!
Now the only thing left to do is to get in a mattress cleaning routine.
I recommend cleaning your mattress every six months. While it may roll around quick, cleaning your mattress can promote better sleep and extend the life of your mattress.
For those of you who are time poor (I know what it’s like to have young children) remember this: Any cleaning is better than no cleaning.
Do you know any mattress cleaning tricks? Please leave a comment!