Mattress cleaning is one topic most people would rather not think about. Unfortunately, a dirty mattress can be a magnet for a number of allergens, germs, mold and bacteria.
For example, did you know that a single ounce of dust can contain over 40,000 dust mites? Or, that the excrement of dust mite contains guanine, a major allergen that can trigger asthma attacks, cause headaches, and worsen fatigue and depression?
Add to that the presence of dead skin cells, stains, and maybe even pet hair, and you have a clear picture of why your mattress probably needs a cleaning.
While a cleaning expert might be the answer in some extreme cases, you can usually do this on your own in just a few steps.
If you’re just dealing with overall dirt (rather than deep-set stains), start by vacuuming your mattress. Make sure the nozzle is perfectly clean before you start, especially if it has a brush on it. If your mattress is padded, spend some extra time vacuuming the creases, which is where dirt and debris will tend to accumulate.
Then, using upholstery cleaner and a soft sponge, go over the whole surface of the mattress. Rinse the sponge regularly if you have a lot of dust. Otherwise, you’ll just be spreading it around.
Plain stains caused by dirt getting wet and rubbing into the surface can be cleaned with just a wet sponge and maybe some mild detergent. If you have more stubborn stains, however, you’ll have to get your heavy weapons out. Stain removers work well, but some home solutions are equally as effective and will cost you much less.
What to Use
Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda (mix two parts cold water and one part baking soda), enzyme-based cleaning products, and even isopropyl alcohol all work well against different types of stains. Vinegar works particularly well for urine stains.
Start with whichever of these you have on hand and then try something else if the first option doesn’t work. Keep in mind that mattress cleaning is not an exact science and it might take several tries before you get rid of a stubborn stain.
How to Do It
When it comes to getting rid of mattress stains, the “how-to” is actually more important than the product being used. If you have a fresh stain, first use a paper towel or a clean cloth and blot (don’t rub) as much of it as you can. Don’t add any other liquids until you’ve completed this step.
Most stain removers, both commercial and homemade, need time to work. If you’re planning on just spraying and rubbing, the results won’t be very impressive. Instead, apply the solution and then let it sit for up to 30 minutes.
This is especially important if you’re dealing with an old, dry stain. If you’re planning on rinsing, use cold water. Hot water can set the stain and, in the case of blood stains, can actually cook the proteins in blood, causing them to become darker and more set in the material.
Always blot after cleaning and then let air dry