Cleaning your mattress thoroughly will help to remove any harbouring germs, dead skin cells, bacteria, dust and tough stains. But what's the most efficient way to clean one?
We spend a large portion of our lives sleeping (over 229,961 hours, according to a previous study) so it's important that you not only have a comfortable bed and cosy bedroom space, but a well-supported mattress, too.
But when was the last time you deep-cleaned your mattress? These easy mattress-cleaning tips will help to restore yours in no time at all.
How often should you be cleaning your mattress?
While there is no official rule about how often to deep clean your mattress, the experts suggest it's something you should do every six months. 'How often you clean your mattress will ultimately boil down to a range of factors such as the age of the mattress, the properties included in the model, and the person sleeping on the mattress,' says Natalie Armstrong, sleep expert at Sealy UK.
'For example, if you are an allergy sufferer you should look to clean your mattress more frequently, especially during flare-ups.'
Consider purchasing a mattress cover, so that you can easily remove it and place it in the washing machine. Depending on which one you choose, some covers even help to reduce dust mite allergies.
According to The Sleep Council, the average adult loses around 285ml of fluid each night, while also shedding around 454g of dead skin over the course of a year. Cleaning your mattress helps to remove and prevent dust, dirt, dead skin, pests and stains. Given the amount of time we spend in bed, it's vital we know how to efficiently and effectively clean our mattress.
Whether you use baking soda to rid your mattress of dirt or opt for a professional, cleaning it is a fairly quick process that shouldn't take that long at all.
Some of the expert-approved ways to clean a mattress include...
- Firstly, strip your bed, placing any bed sheets into the washing machine.
- Check for any stains and scrub these out using a mild cleaning solution.
- Next, use a vacuum cleaner on both sides of the mattress to remove dirt, hair and crumbs from the mattress. You can also try sprinkling baking soda onto the mattress, leaving it to air for a few hours and then vacuum it off.
- Rotate your mattress to ensure you clean all corners.
- Air your mattress for a few hours to help it to breathe.
- Place your clean sheets back on for a guaranteed good night's sleep.
'It's worth noting that not all mattresses are suitable for this home remedy,' says Natalie. 'Many modern mattresses, such as those that feature Purotex, naturally create a clean and healthy sleeping environment by releasing friendly bacteria into the mattress, meaning one less cleaning job on your to-do list.'
The Sleep Council also advise: 'If you can, take it [the mattress] outside for a good airing and then replace it upside-down and opposite-ways-round to its previous positioning. Clean the base with a soft brush to remove fluff and dust – if you have to use a vacuum cleaner do so very carefully and with the window wide open.'
Make sure you regularly pay close attention to the seams and cracks that may harbour dirt. If you see any stains, clean these as soon as you can (the longer you leave it, the harder it will be to clean). If you need to, give your mattress a vacuum more often.
Some other things to do include...
- Keep pets out of your bedroom
- Get your hands on a top-quality mattress protector
- Give your mattress the chance to 'breathe' for 15 minutes every morning. Open your windows and air your bed before you make it
- Avoid eating and drinking on your bed. While tea curled up in bed is a lovely idea, stains could be harder to remove over time.
If you have tough-to-remove stains or think you may be suffering with bed bugs on your mattress then it's advised to get it professionally cleaned.
Natalie says: 'Some situations are beyond the skills of a DIY clean. For example, if you're struggling with bed bugs, calling in some professional help can nip these in the bud early and stop them from returning.
'Additionally, if you have some stubborn stains that you're struggling to get out, having your mattress steam cleaned can help to get it sparkling clean again.'
It's important to put your health first, so if you suffer from eczema you may need to clean your mattress more often.
Mattresses are costly purchases, but they don't last forever. The experts recommend you should replace your mattress every seven to 10 years.
The Sleep Council suggest the former: 'Regularly replace your mattress – ideally every seven years. A typically used mattress has anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million [dust] mites inside.'
Aside from hygiene, another key reason to replace your mattress is for comfort. In order to ensure you sleep soundly, it's important to have a mattress that provides support during the night. Even some of the highest-quality mattresses don't have a maximum lifespan and will need replacing eventually.
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