First of all, it’s important that we address why you should clean your mattress to begin with. Along with the hygienic reasoning behind it, the condition of your mattress can interfere with your sleep cycle and health. A few examples include bed bugs which cause itching and skin irritation; dust mites which can lead to coughing, sneezing, and wheezing; and mildew which has many negative effects on the respiratory system.
Now that we’ve established why it’s important to clean your mattress, it’s time to tell you how to do it! For a truly thorough and relatively simple clean, take a look at Cleaning Best’s DIY guide on how to clean your mattress.
Step 1: Vacuum
Not only is this the first step, it’s also the most important one. Vacuuming alone can remove 90% of dust, dirt, mites, and bugs; therefore, a thorough vacuuming of your mattress is a must. This means vacuuming the top and bottom of the mattress, as well as the sides. Let’s not forget the seams and corners where those pesky bed bugs tend to hide.
The key to vacuuming your mattress efficiently is to do it in columns or straight lines from top to bottom. Overlap each column as you go, and take your time to vacuum over each section multiple times.
Step 2: Apply Baking Soda
Before you start scrubbing or cleaning the mattress further, use baking soda to absorb moisture and foul or mouldy odours from the material. Do this by sprinkling a generous amount of baking soda over the top of the mattress, and spread it around evenly with your hands. It helps to work the powder into the material to increase absorption of odours and moisture.
Allow the baking soda to work on the mattress for a few hours. Some prefer to leave it overnight, however, even a minimum of 3 hours should do the trick unless you’re dealing with a very musty or foul-smelling mattress; in this case, overnight is advised.
Step 3: Vacuum Up the Baking Soda
This time around, you needn’t spend too much time on vacuuming your mattress. Unlike the first vacuum, removing baking soda is quicker and easier. Nevertheless, it is advisable to be thorough by following the same column-by-column vacuuming process to ensure that you don’t miss any spots. Moreover, the powder that has been worked into the mattress must also be removed.
Step 4: Apply a Homemade Cleaning Solution
Cleaning your mattress with harsh detergents and cleaners can cause skin irritation if not removed entirely. More importantly, they are not necessary when a simple homemade mattress cleaner is just as effective! To make a DIY cleaning solution, combine the following ingredients in a spray bottle:
4 cups water
½ cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Few drops of citrus essential oil (optional)
For the application process, shake the bottle well and spray a fine mist over the mattress (from a distance so that you don’t saturate the material). Spray one section at a time, and use a clean microfibre cloth to rub the dampened area. This should lift dirt as opposed to push it into the mattress. Continue the process using fresh/clean microfibre cloths as and when needed until you have scrubbed the entire mattress – top, bottom, and sides.
Step 5: Remove the Cleaning Solution
The best part about using a natural homemade cleaning solution on your mattress is that even if there are traces of the ingredients left, there’s no problem! Of course, you still need to ‘rinse’ off the cleaner as thoroughly as possible to prevent a slippery residue and/or a strong fragrance from the solution.
For this, dampen a clean towel (make sure it is merely damp and not dripping wet), and wipe the entire mattress to remove the cleaner. Rinse off the towel at intervals to ensure that you are not transferring the cleaning solution back onto the mattress.
Step 6: Dry the Mattress
It’s important to allow your mattress to dry up completely before using it again as this will trap moisture within the material. To ensure that the mattress dries through and through, place it on a large bed sheet or plastic outside under direct sunlight (or indirect sunlight for coloured fabric). Flip the mattress after a few hours to ensure that both sides dry up. If one day isn’t enough to dry the mattress, bring it in at sunset and place it outside the next morning.
Don’t wait till your mattress is causing you sleepless nights and interfering with your health; use this tried and tested mattress cleaning guide from CleaningBest to keep yours sanitary and in tiptop condition!