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Top 5 cleaning tips for mattresses

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Keeping your mattress dust and bug-free is essential for your own comfort and for a good night’s sleep too. So how can you ensure that your mattress is squeaky clean?

A clean bed is more than just washing your bedding. From time to time, the bed frame and mattress itself need to be given a thorough clean too.

Here are five cleaning tips for mattresses.

How to clean a mattress:

Tip 1 – Vacuum

Dust and dead skin flakes may not be the most pleasant thing to think about but vacuuming your mattress regularly reduces air-borne dust and other detritus. This can lead to sneezing, sore eyes, coughs and in extreme cases, aggravate asthma and some skin conditions too.

The easiest, simplest and quickest way of tackling dust, dead skin flakes and so on is to use the upholstery tool on your vacuum and give the mattress a good vacuum. Use the thinner nozzle for getting into corners and seams, the places where dust and other detritus collects. Remove the mattress and vacuum the bed frame or divan base too.

How often? The frequency of ‘deep’ cleaning a mattress and bed is often a top discussion topic but when time is pressing, it can be tempting to put off it off until ‘next time’. Most experts agree that a quick vacuum fortnightly or one a month is sufficient to keep the mattress dust free but you should give your mattress and bed a deep clean every 3 months or so. All mattresses, including single mattresses, should be vacuumed regularly to ensure they are clean and dust-free too.

Tip 2 – Zap Stains

There are instances in which the mattress can pick up stains and to clean these away, a good quality upholstery stain remover spray will work a treat.

Remove all bedding and give the mattress a thorough vacuum to remove dust. Use the spray as directed, being careful not to over scrub the upholstery as this may damage it.

Not all upholstery sprays are suitable for all types of mattresses. Stains on memory foam, for example, are best tackled with hot, soapy water and gentle rubbing. Don’t over-saturate the mattress or it may not be dry in time for you to hop back in it later that day.

Allow the mattress to dry and air naturally, rather than applying heat.

Tip 3 – Tackle Odours

From sweat to general ‘slept in’ odours, the mattress can pick up and hold on to less-than-pleasant aromas. This doesn’t mean you have to throw it away and buy a new one, however. After thoroughly vacuuming the mattress, try the following;

  • A dilute mix of disinfectant – there are various disinfectant products on the market, many of which have a smell other than pine! Dilute the disinfectant in warm water and wipe across the mattress or areas that harbour odours. Don’t over soak the mattress and allow to dry naturally. Repeat, if necessary.
  • Homemade solutions – sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the mattress and allow to sit for around 15 minutes or longer, if you have the time. The crystals help to trap odours in the surface and inside the mattress too. Vacuum up the soda to freshen your mattress.
  • Upholstery deodorising sprays – there are products that can help with odours on fabrics and materials but rather than being a cleaning agent, they simply mask the smell for a while. They can be helpful but always ensure you don’t over saturate the mattress and when you come to make the bed, that the mattress is completely dry.

Tip 4 – Steam Cleaning

This method may not be suitable for all mattress types. Always perform a test on a small area of the mattress first.

Steam cleaning is a great way of getting fabrics and upholstery clean with nothing more than steam. Heat, of course, is great for cleaning because it kills germs and pathogens. In the case of mattresses, as well as dust mites you may be unlucky enough to share your mattress with bedbugs.

If you suspect bedbugs, the best course of action is to call in a professional pest controller as unfortunately, bugs may be hiding in other places in the bedroom as well as your mattress. Give the mattress a thorough vacuum and then follow up with a steam cleaner.

Allow the mattress to dry naturally but ensure that it is thoroughly dry before making the bed as dampness within the mattress can cause mould.

Tip 5 – Air it!

When you change the bed linen, allow the mattress time to breathe. In many European countries, the mattress and bedding, including duvets and pillows, are hung out over balconies in the sun to give them an airing.