How to Properly Clean Your Mattress

How to Properly Clean Your Mattress

by | May 26, 2021

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We know how important it is to clean our sheets, but for some reason our mattresses get left behind. Sure, we flip them, we use mattress protectors and we air them out every now and then, but to maintain ‌a‌ ‌hygienic‌ ‌sleeping‌ ‌environment,‌ ‌and‌ ‌get‌ ‌the‌ ‌best‌ ‌night’s‌ ‌sleep‌ ‌possible, we’re going to need to do a bit more than that.

Mattresses‌ ‌are‌ ‌exposed‌ ‌to‌ ‌a‌ ‌number‌ ‌of‌ ‌different‌ ‌particles,‌ ‌from‌ ‌pollen ‌to‌ ‌debris,‌ ‌dust‌ ‌and‌ ‌more.‌ ‌Like‌ ‌any‌ ‌item‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌home,‌ ‌your‌ ‌mattress‌ ‌needs‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌regularly‌ ‌cleaned‌ ‌to‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌it‌ ‌keeps‌ ‌you‌ ‌healthy,‌ ‌both‌ ‌mentally‌ ‌and‌ ‌physically,‌ ‌for‌ ‌years‌ ‌to‌ ‌come.‌ ‌

“People need to see cleaning their bedroom environment as being just as important as doing the washing or cleaning their face. We spend a third of our lives sleeping on a mattress, so it’s important we ensure our sleeping environment is as healthy as possible,” explains Rachel Beard, Education and Development Coordinator at mattress brand A.H. Beard.

“The reason we need to be diligent with how we wash is because we shed up to 15 million skin cells per night as an adult. We also transfer sweat and oil to our bedding when we sleep, which creates the perfect breeding ground for dust mites and fungi to grow,” adds Sleep Expert Dr Carmel Harrington. “If we allow all of this to build up, we can end up with skin infections and upper airway inflammation. Upper airway inflammation can cause us to sneeze and/or snore – making us susceptible to sleep apnoea. Many people don’t know that their sneezing and snoring is due to poor bedroom hygiene, but it’s an easy fix!”

Dyson, who announced the results of its first ever global dust study, revealed that even though 40% of Australians are cleaning their home more frequently since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is less regularly than people living in China and Italy, alarmingly few are aware of what makes up the dust in their homes.

A.H. Beard recommend doing a deep mattress clean at least once every six months. However, some may need to clean their mattress more frequently if they suffer from allergies or have pets at home — for example, once every 2-3 months.

How do you clean a mattress?

1. Strip the bed and wash your bed linens

Remove all of your sheets, pillowcases, mattress covers or protectors, duvets, and pillows and give them all a thorough clean (following care instructions). You should do this step every week to fortnight. You should also be washing your pillow and doona every three months. 

2. Vacuum your mattress 

Most vacuums come with a special attachment that’s designed specifically for cleaning mattresses. Check that the attachment is clean, then gently vacuum the entire surface of the mattress — paying extra attention to any corners or nooks and crannies to ensure you get any dust mites or other particles

3. Spot-clean any stains

Always remove stains as soon as possible by spot-cleaning with a stain remover (following your mattress’ care instructions). Put the stain remover onto a cloth, then gently blot the stained area until the stain lifts. Don’t soak your mattress or apply a cleaning solution directly on it; this can damage comfort layers or spring unit and void your guarantee.

4. Air your mattress & remake the bed

Put your mattress under a window in direct sunlight and leave windows open to kill bacteria/mould and let the fabric breathe. If you can’t put your mattress in the sun, sprinkle baking soda over your mattress. Use anywhere from half a cup to the entire box (depending on the size of your mattress), then let it sit for a few hours or overnight. Afterwards simply vacuum your mattress thoroughly and put the sheets back on.

Mattress cleaning tips

  • Do quick cleans on a regular basis to make the deep cleans a lot easier. Gently vacuum your mattress every time you change your bed linen to eliminate particles & dust mites
  • Creating a healthy and hygienic sleep environment is just as important as having a clean mattress. Keeping your bedroom clean will prevent allergens from affecting your sleep
  • Try to keep air circulating in your house whenever possible by opening windows or using an air conditioner, investing in a dehumidifier, and sealing off any leaks in your home. This will help remove any lingering smells and prevent a build-up of mould and mildew
  • Wash your pets regularly and keep them off the furniture as much as possible, to reduce the amount of dander in your house. 

By Nikolina Ilic

Nikolina is the web-obsessed Digital Editor at Men's and Women's Health, responsible for all things social media and .com. A lover of boxing, she spends most of the time in the gym or with her husband and daughter. She was previously a Digital Editor at GQ and Vogue magazine.

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