While cleaning your bed linen is generally a weekly house cleaning chore, cleaning your mattress can often get overlooked. Keeping your bedroom clean, including the mattress you sleep on, will minimize allergies and other health complaints. Each night we shed around a gram and a half of skin and secrete around half a liter of sweat that is absorbed by our sheets and mattress. Mattresses can easily become a haven for dust mites, fungal spores and other nasties. If left unchecked, our mattresses can become the dirtiest thing in our house. Read on to find out how to clean your mattress and avoid the health problems that arise from neglecting this chore.
How often should you clean your mattress?
Sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases should be laundered each week. Sleeping on fresh sheets is more comfortable as well as healthier, providing a better night’s rest. Mattresses should also be cleaned regularly – although once a week is maybe overdoing it.
Instead of ignoring the buildup of dead skin and bodily fluids in our mattresses and the fungus and mites that live off them, it is advisable to clean your mattress at least twice a year, or with the turning of each season. Mattresses are a big investment, looking after them well will ensure you get the maximum life-span of seven to ten years from them before they need replacing.
Double-sided mattresses should be flipped every three months for optimizing comfort and to avoid a lasting impression of you in the bed. If your mattress isn’t double-sided, it should still be rotated 180° every season for the same reason.
How to clean your mattress yourself
Before flipping or rotating your mattress, take a little time to give it a good clean. Check for stains and remove these with a solution of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide or dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and salt. Different stains require slightly different treatments. For example, blood will be more difficult to remove than urine or sweat, so ensure you use the right formula.
Don’t saturate the entire mattress or stain. Instead, dab stains with a cloth dampened by the solution instead of pouring it directly onto the mattress. Work the tailored formula into the mattress and leave to dry. Scrap the dried paste away with a spoon or butter knife and then vacuum away any leftover residue.
Once the stains have been taken care of, vacuum the entire mattress using an upholstery attachment. This will remove any dust mites, fungus or other allergens lurking in the mattress. When done, flip or turn and give the ‘new’ side a vacuum before replacing mattress protectors, sheets and the rest of your bedding.
Why cleaning your mattress is important for your health
Cleaning your mattress is important for a number of reasons. Aside from the dead skin and sweat absorbed by the mattress, the dust mites and fungi that they feed can cause allergies, asthma, eczema, headaches and sneezing – hardly conducive to a good night’s rest or optimal health! The situation can be made worse with bacteria that feed on your dead skin, bodily secretions, and the dust mites’ excrement, or bed bugs that can be difficult to get rid of.
Simply put, a clean mattress will support better health and a better night’s sleep. It’s not just your mattress either – if you have children or pets in the house, it is important to ensure their bedding and mattresses as regularly cleaned to prevent illness and allergies.