August 1, 2016

How to Clean a Mattress – A Definitive Guide

mattress

Seeing as we spend a third of our lives lying horizontally on a mattress, one would think that keeping it clean would be at the top of your list of household chores. Yet, it very rarely is. Well, this needs to change. Aside from the fact that maintaining a clean mattress is beneficial to your overall health and nighttime well being, it will also ensure a longer life for your bed and overall cost-effectiveness.

Below, we have come up with a list of the most common stains and bacteria that are likely to come into contact with your mattress along with tips on how to remove them. Before we get to that, however, we thought we’d first educate you on the fact stains in general. It is well known that they come in three different forms:

1. Protein
2. Grease
3. Tannin

Yet, the stains most likely to affect your mattress are protein stains in the form of blood, sweat, vomit, urine, and other bodily fluids. It may also contain various other dirt, oils, and trace chemicals originating from various toiletries. The general rule to removing these is to address them as soon as possible. Some other general tips when it comes to looking after your mattress include the following:

• Flip and rotate your mattress at the beginning of every new season.
• Don’t ever use large amounts of water when cleaning your mattress as the water can get trapped within its cellular structure and have nowhere to go.
• In the event that your mattress does get wet, make use of fans to dry it. Don’t sleep on it until it is completely dry.
• As an overall solution to avoiding any spills or stains from landing on your bedding, invest in a mattress protector to cover it. It’s much easier to clean a cover than it is to clean the whole bed.
• Another great tip is to purchase a mattress pad. While these add to your overall comfort, they also – like the protector – help in keeping your bed clean. If you are unsure as to how to clean a mattress pad, simply wash it monthly in hot water and machine dry.

Tips and Tricks on How to Clean Your Mattress

When employing methods for cleaning your mattress, it really comes down to the type of stains or dirt you wish to remove. Below is a comprehensive list explaining how to get rid of almost every type of bacteria that could come into contact with your mattress. We’ve also covered regular cleaning, which should be done on monthly / quarterly basis.

1. Regular Mattress Cleaning

If you manage to keep your bed relatively clean from spills and the like, it will still require a regular cleaning routine to avoid bacteria and general degradation. Below are some cleaning tips on how to achieve this:

• How to vacuum a mattress: possibly the most obvious method to maintaining a clean bed involves vacuuming it. Do this weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or as often as you are able to. If you’re able to keep this up, should your mattress ever get wet, there will be minimal dirt present to cause a stain. Be sure to pay attention to seams and crevices where dirt, dust, dead skin, and other bacteria can accumulate. Switch to your vacuum’s crevice attachment to achieve the best results. Once you’re done vacuuming, you can also lightly spritz your mattress with some white vinegar to help kill bacteria and / or mold and discourage dust mites.
• How to beat a mattress: aside from cleaning your bed, this is also a great way to vent your frustrations! At least once a year, take your mattress outside, place it on its side and beat with a broom on both sides. If you’re not into beating your bedding to relieve it of dust and dirt, vacuuming it on both sides will also do the trick!
• How to steam clean a mattress: upholstery cleaners are made to clean surfaces that come into contact with your skin so these will work well in removing dirt from your bedding. Upholstery cleaners are perfect for cleaning a mattress from dust mites and their waste. The difference between steam cleaning and deep cleaning your bed can be seen below:

o Steam cleaning: involves covering your mattress in steam to remove dust mites
o Deep cleaning: involves covering it in water and proceeding to extract the moisture

• How to use enzyme cleaners to clean a mattress: if your bed is already stained, enzyme cleaners assist in de-structuring the stains, which aids in getting rid of them. Enzyme cleaners answer the question of how to clean a mattress without a vacuum. Just be sure to use minimal water when using enzyme cleaners to clean your bed and make sure the affected area is completely dry before covering it with a cover and sheet. If not, you will end up with mold and mildew growing on your bedding.
• How to deodorize your mattress: as a final step, sprinkle baking soda over your entire bed – use as mush as desired. If possible, allow the baking soda to remain on your mattress for a period of 24 hours. Additional sunlight on the bed during this time will add to the powder’s overall sanitizing power. Once 24 hours is up, vacuum up the remaining baking soda and you’ll be all set.

2. Cleaning Unidentified Mattress Stains

Many of us are unaware as to how to clean mattress stains. For this reason, we often simply cover them with a clean cover and get on with it. There are, however, methods you can use to get rid of these stains entirely.

The best way to go about this is to spray the stain with a cleaner including an element of citrus in its ingredients. After having sprayed the stain, allow it to set for approximately 5 minutes. Once this is done, gently dab away the remainder of the cleaner – don’t rub – with a clean, white, absorbent cloth. Should you lack a citrus type cleaner, a mild dishwashing detergent can also be used.

This is a general method that can be used across a variety of stains. Below, however, we have listed the more common stains that may occur on your mattress and how to deal with these specifically.

3. Cleaning Blood Stains From a Mattress

Whatever the reason for blood coming into contact with your mattress, it may seem like an impossible feat to remove. Well, fear not, we have the solution to how to disinfect a mattress from blood, simply employ any, or all, of the methods mentioned below:

• Apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain and dab with a clean, white, absorbent cloth while still bubbling. This most likely won’t remove the stain, but will certainly help reduce it.
• Rinse the area with cold water. Don’t use hot water as this will only serve to cook the proteins present. Grab some meat tenderizer from your kitchen and rub this in to remove the proteins. Rinse and repeat to ensure all iron – evident in blood – is removed. You could also try spraying a salt-water mixture onto the fresh bloodstain, which should also do the trick in removing it.
• Mix baking soda with some water, i.e.: one third baking soda and two thirds water, and apply it to the area using a clean cloth. Ever wondered how to clean a mattress with baking soda? Well, this is it. Leave to stand for approximately 30 minutes and then, using a damp cloth, rinse the remaining baking soda mixture and use a dry towel to absorb the moisture.
• Mix detergent with some water, i.e.: one-tablespoon detergent with two cups of water. Soak a white cloth in the mixture and apply to the stain. After a few minutes, make use of a toothbrush to scrub the area and rinse by dabbing with a wet cloth. Use a dry towel to absorb the moisture.

4. Removing Cigarette Odor From a Mattress

If you enjoy a casual ciggy before bed or are wondering how to clean a used mattress owned previously by smokers, we can help. Remember to employ the methods mentioned below on a regular basis if you are the smoker causing the odor.

• Apply hydrogen peroxide to the entire mattress and dab with a clean, white, absorbent cloth while still bubbling.
• Rinse the area with cold water. You could also try spraying a salt-water mixture onto the area.
• Mix baking soda with some water, i.e.: one third baking soda and two thirds water, and apply it to the mattress using a clean cloth. Leave to stand for approximately 30 minutes and then, using a damp cloth, rinse the remaining baking soda mixture and use a dry towel to absorb the moisture.
• Mix detergent with some water, i.e.: one-tablespoon detergent with two cups of water. Soak a white cloth in the mixture and apply to the area. After a few minutes, make use of a toothbrush to scrub the area and rinse by dabbing with a wet cloth. Use a dry towel to absorb the moisture.
• Wash your linens regularly. If you’re a smoker, do this even more regularly! This will prevent the cigarette odor from really sinking in to the linen and causing a bad stench.
• Make use of two large cans of Lysol spray (one for each side) and soak the mattress. Leave to dry for a few days and then complete the act with two large bottles of Febreze. Once finished, place a hypoallergenic pad cover on top.

5. Cleaning Sweat Stains or Vomit From a Mattress

Did you know that the average person sweats out the equivalent of half a pint of liquid every night? Pretty gross, right? But the question is, how do you clean a mattress from sweat stains?

Furthermore, we all know how a night out on the town can often result in vomit on the bed. In this case, how do you clean a mattress with vomit?

We’ve come up with a few solutions below to help you combat both of the above:

• Apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain and dab with a clean, white, absorbent cloth while still bubbling. This most likely won’t remove the stain, but will certainly help reduce it.
• Rinse the area with cold water. Remember to grab some meat tenderizer from your kitchen and rub this in to remove the proteins. You could also try spraying a salt-water mixture onto the fresh stain, which should also do the trick in removing it.
• Mix baking soda with some water, i.e.: one third baking soda and two thirds water, and apply it to the area using a clean cloth. Leave to stand for approximately 30 minutes and then, using a damp cloth, rinse the remaining baking soda mixture and use a dry towel to absorb the moisture.
• Mix detergent with some water, i.e.: one-tablespoon detergent with two cups of water. Soak a white cloth in the mixture and apply to the stain. After a few minutes, make use of a toothbrush to scrub the area and rinse by dabbing with a wet cloth. Use a dry towel to absorb the moisture.
• Furthermore, to remove any odors associated with sweating and / or vomit, simply mix a few drops of essential oils into some baking soda and sift over your entire mattress. Allow to stand for a few minutes and then vacuum up the remaining mixture. You’ll have a pleasant odor resonating from your bed for at least a week.

6. Removing Mold and Mildew From a Mattress

Should you live close to a water source or have an on-suite bathroom with poor ventilation, it is likely that you will end up with mold and mildew stains on your mattress. This is something to keep an eye on and make sure you make use of the following methods relatively regularly to ensure you are breathing in clean, healthy air when you sleep as opposed to mildew-ridden air.

• Place your mattress in the sun for the day. As you know, mold and mildew are caused by excessive moisture. Therefore, simply placing your mattress outside on a sunny day will help to dry the mold and mildew out. Thereafter, simply wipe or sweep away the remainder of the stains.
• An alternative to placing your mattress in the sun can be to vacuum it on both sides. It is important to empty out the vacuum bag once you’re done to prevent mold spores from escaping out the next time you make use of the vacuum.
• Mix equal amounts of isopropyl alcohol and warm water and apply to the mattress with a sponge. After a few minutes, rinse the area with warm water.
• Make use of a regular disinfectant. Products such as Lysol will kill any spores that may remain after the above methods have been employed.

7. Cleaning Urine Stains From a Mattress

Any parent with young children has asked the question, “how to clean a mattress that has been urinated on”. Well, ask no further. Simply read the tips on how to clean a mattress with urine stains, and you’ll soon be a pro at dealing with the aftermath of those horrible nightmares.

• If you’re fresh on the scene, dab the excess liquid with an absorbent cloth as much as possible.
• Make use of a cleaner including enzymes. These break down the uric acid crystals at the foundation of the stain. Spray the area with this cleaner and continue to dab at it with a cloth.
• Once dry, place baking soda over the stain and leave overnight. Vacuum the remainder of the soda the next morning. When wondering how to clean a mattress from pee, you could also make use of a mixture of eight ounces of hydrogen peroxide and three tablespoons of baking soda. This works best when sprayed over the infected area.

Another method employed to clean a mattress after bed-wetting is the following:

• Make the following mixture aimed at removing the urine stain:

o Place a teaspoon of water in a mixing bowl
o Add one tablespoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of laundry detergent or dishwashing detergent
o Add two tablespoons of baking soda and approximately one drop of disinfecting cleaner such as Lysol or Mr Clean
o Mix together

• Sponge or dab the mixture into the affected area on the mattress. Apply pressure.
• Wipe the surface with water to remove the excess mixture. Do not pour water over the mattress, simply dab dry.
• Apply a layer of baking soda to the affected area on the bed. Leave for numerous hours. Apply as much baking soda as desired and leave for as long as possible. This will also allow the stain remover to dry.
• Once dry, remove the excess baking soda with a vacuum.
• Apply an anti-odor product such as Febreze. Place laundry-drying sheets on the affected area and allow to stand for approximately 30 minutes.
• Once dry, it should be clean and odorless. Repeat the process in one week if unsure.

8. Cleaning Colored Drink Stains From a Mattress

There’s nothing better than cuddling up in bed on a cold winter’s night with some pizza and some cool drinks to watch a movie… Until someone spills their drink. If this is the case, do the following:

• Employ a citrus-based cleaner or vinegar. Apply either of these to the affected area either by spraying it on or applying with a clean, white cloth. The acid in both of these will assist in getting rid of the stain. Now that’s how to clean mattress stains with vinegar.
• Apply alcohol to the stain. This will assist in spreading the stain further so avoid pouring it onto the stain. Rather dab it with a clean absorbent cloth saturated in alcohol.
• Enquire about how to remove stains from a mattress with your manufacturer or dry cleaner. They should be able to assist you in this area or do it for you for a fee.

9. Removing Bed Bugs From a Mattress

If you have ever been in the situation of having bed bugs, you will know how unpleasant it is and what a mission it is to get rid of them! Everyone in this position has asked the question, “how to clean a mattress from bed bugs”. Our advice to you is to call in a professional. Bed bugs are no joke and have the ability to spread all over your house before you know it.

Call in a professional and make sure they disinfect your mattress, bed, room and any other area you think may have been affected. Furthermore, do your best to identify the source of the bed bugs – be it a new pet or whatever – and address the problem at its source.

In Conclusion…

We hope that the above has opened your eyes to the importance of cleaning your mattress. This goes over and above addressing specific stains or spillages that occur. It is important to get into a regular cleaning routine when it comes to your bed.

As a rule, we recommend giving your mattress a thorough clean everytime you flip / turn it, which should be quarterly. We’ve included a compressed list of steps below, based on the above, on how to do this:

1. Vacuum your mattress
2. Deodrise it with baking soda and a few drops of essential oils, as desired
3. Vacuum again to remove excess baking soda
4. Remove any stains be following tips provided above, i.e.:
a. Blood stains
b. Urine stains
c. Other bodily fluid
5. Flip / rotate the mattress
6. Repeat the above cleaning process on the other side
7. Wrap it up with a protector, pad, and sheet.

Do this every quarter and your mattress should last a long, long time. Remember, in the event of bed bugs or serious spillage / stains, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals who have the correct equipment and knowledge on how to deal with these more serious cleaning issues. The cost will be well worth it!

Guest author: Emmerey Rose

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