How to Clean a Mattress
The average person spends about 8 hours a day on their mattress, which is one-third of our life! When you think about mattresses this way, you’ll probably want to make sure it’s a clean place to lay your head. Cleaning a mattress isn’t hard to do, and if you do it regularly, your mattress will be both safer and more functional over the long run. Here’s a basic tutorial on how to clean a mattress. You’ll probably be surprised at how easy it really is.
The first step in cleaning a mattress is to remove all the bedding, including sheets, mattress pads, and/or mattress covers.
Throw said bedding into the washing machine on the hottest setting and with a high-quality laundry detergent. Be sure to use dry heat during the dry cycle as well. This will eliminate any type of bug or pest problem.
While your bedding is washing, do a thorough vacuum of your mattress. Use the upholstery attachment or any type of crevice attachment for reaching down into all the nooks and crannies of the mattress. This includes the mattress top and side seams, where dirt, dust, and even dead skin or body cells accumulate over time.
Once your mattress is thoroughly vacuumed, it will be easier for you to see any spots or stains. You can use a pet-rated cleaner, upholstery cleaner, or you can simply mix a few drops of dish soap with warm water (about 1 tsp of soap to a cup of water is a good ratio) to use as your mattress cleaning solution for spot treatment.
Soak a soft cloth into your sudsy water, then wring out and dab at the spots. While this may not remove the entire stain itself, it will go a long way to removing potential bacteria or grime from the area.
Let the mattress air out until it is thoroughly dry.
Now that your mattress is clean, it’s time to deodorize it. Sprinkle a bunch of baking soda onto the top of the mattress. You’ll want to cover the entire surface; don’t be shy here. It might even take an entire pound.
If at all possible, leave the baking soda to sit on the mattress for 24 hours to fully absorb any smells, or as long as possible if you can’t wait that long. Having direct sunlight hit your mattress during this step will enhance the sanitizing power of the baking soda, but it’s okay if that’s not a possibility. After the baking soda has “eaten up” the odors, vacuum it all up.
If you don’t have a mattress cover, it’s a good idea to invest in one to preserve the condition and sanity of your mattress.
One of the many benefits of the mattress cover is the fact that it reaches so far on the underside of the mattress itself, protecting more than just the top.
After the mattress cover is in place, throw a mattress pad on top for some cushion and additional moisture absorption, followed by the sheet itself. Make the bed however you make it (here are some ideas for how to make a bed), and enjoy your fresh digs until it’s time to clean again.
Traditionally, the rule of thumb for mattress care began with flipping it over every six months to even out the “wear and tear.” This practice gave people the opportunity to then clean the mattress as well. This is still good advice for mattresses for which it applies, but these days many mattresses include memory foam or pillow top, which means they can’t be flipped (although some manufacturers recommend rotating them head-to-toe; check your instructions). Regardless, even without the flipping factor, it’s a good idea to schedule a mattress cleaning time twice a year.