How to Clean a Mattress
Here at BedHut, we know the importance of a mattress. Did you know that the average person spends around a third of their life on one? That's why it's crucial to take good care of your mattress, and to know when it needs replacing. We run through why, how, and when you should clean your mattress, and when it's time to replace.
In this article:
- Why you should take care of your mattress
- How often should I clean my mattress?
- How to clean a mattress
- How to get blood out of a mattress
- How to get urine out of a mattress
- How to protect your mattress from stains
- When to replace your mattress
Why you should take care of your mattress
You spend hours on your mattress every single night, so understandably it collects dirt like dead skin, sweat and oils. This dirt can build up over time, leading to stains, smells, and wear on the mattress. This can make a room unpleasant to sleep in, and even affect the quality of your sleep, especially if you suffer from dust allergies or insomnia.
It is also worth considering the longevity of your mattress. You should be replacing your mattress entirely every 6-8 years, but if your mattress has built up a lot of dirt it may need replacing sooner than this. For these reasons it is best to clean your mattress every now and then to freshen it up and extend its life.
How often should I clean my mattress?
You should clean your mattress whenever there is a spillage or stain, of course, but otherwise it needs a general freshen up every 6 months or so. This ensures that the mattress remains fresh, and doesn't get musty. It can also help prevent rust stains and other long term problems arise in the future, prolonging the lifespan of your mattress.
How to clean a mattress
Read on for our expert tips on how to keep your mattress fresh, or to remove tough stains! Remember, every mattress is different, so please check the label and manufacturers advice before following these steps.
Step 1. Strip the bed
Remove sheets, pillowcases and mattress covers and chuck them all in the washing machine while you focus on the mattress. Bed clothes can collect a lot of dust and grime and so a mattress is only as clean as its clothes! Washing these sheets on a hot cycle will help remove any dust mites that may have gathered, which can help with allergies and any respiratory issues. Depending on your pillows, you may be able to machine wash them too, so please check the label before chucking them in too.
Step 2. Vacuum the mattress
Take your vacuum cleaner and apply its upholstery attachment, then give your mattress a thorough vacuum across the entire surface, with extra care around any seams or crevices, to remove any dirt and dust that has collected on it over time.
Step 3. Focus down those stains
Even if you're cleaning your mattress as part of your bi-yearly freshen up, it's likely that you'll come across some stains that need dealing with. For this we recommend spot cleaning. Please note that you should never soak your mattress or apply cleaning solution directly to it. Also, make sure you double check the label of your mattress and any additional instructions, as some mattresses, like memory foam, aren't supposed to get wet at all.
For this purpose we recommend a stain remover. For biological stains like blood and urine, opt for an enzyme cleaner. Spray a moderate amount of cleaner onto a clean cloth, then dab the stain on the mattress gently. After this, apply cold water to another clean cloth and dab gently until the stain lifts.
Step 4. Remove any remaining moisture from your mattress
Ideally, if you are able, you should put your mattress out in the sun and fresh air to allow it to dry naturally and quickly. If this isn't possible, sprinkle a layer of baking soda across the entire surface of your mattress to absorb any remaining moisture and odour. Open all windows and let as much sunlight fall on the mattress as possible. The longer you leave the baking soda on the mattress, the better, so overnight is ideal, but try and leave it on for a minimum of 3 hours.
Step 5. Vacuum again
Once the baking soda has absorbed any remaining moisture, it's time to vacuum it all up, make sure to pay special attention to any seams and crevices once again, to make sure you remove all baking soda.
Step 6. Flip and repeat
Now that one side it clean, it's time to flip the mattress and repeat the process for the other side. Remember to read the manufacturers instructions on how often you should be flipping your mattress over to preserve comfort and support, as this can increase the lifespan of your mattress.
How to get blood out of a mattress
Whether it comes from a nosebleed, cut, or menstrual period, it's always a nightmare when blood gets on your mattress. The best thing to do is act fast, as fresh blood is much easier to clean than dried. Luckily, we have tips for both cases!
Getting fresh blood out of a mattress
If the blood is fresh on the mattress, opt for a gentle approach. Firstly, dab the blood stain gently with a cloth dipped in cold water until the stain is completely gone. Be careful not to soak the mattress while doing this, if the stain isn't budging, it's time to bring in the big guns.
- Firstly, dab the stain gently with cold water as mentioned above, this will help to prepare the stain for treatment by absorbing as much moisture from the stain as possible.
- Sprinkle a generous layer of baking soda onto the blood stain and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Lastly, gently dab the baking soda with a cold wet cloth to remove it from the stain. Repeat these steps as many times as necessary to remove the stain.
Getting dried blood out of a mattress
Once a blood stain has dried, it can become much more difficult to remove, however, it's not impossible. We recommend using an enzyme fabric cleaner, which works by breaking down the stain, allowing you to vacuum it up.
Simply spray or pour the cleaner onto a clean cloth, and gently dab the stain. Do not apply the cleaner directly to the mattress, as this may damage it. Leave the mattress for a few hours to air dry, preferably outside in the sun, but if not, indoors with the windows open should suffice. Once it has dried, follow with a vacuum to remove any residue.
How to get urine out of a mattress
If you have children or pets, chances are you'll have to deal with urine on your mattress. But there's no need to worry, with the right equipment these smelly stains will be one in no time! Just follow these simple steps.
Getting fresh urine out of a mattress
Firstly, strip our bed of any bedding and throw it in the wash immediately. Then, gently dab a clean rag or paper towels on the stain to absorb as much moisture as possible. It is also worth opening all windows and putting a fan on in the room to improve air circulation.
Wet a clean rag with half white vinegar and half water, and dab onto the entire stain until it is all damp. Cover completely with a layer of baking soda and let it sit for as long as possible, several hours up to a full day if possible. Finally vacuum the baking soda once it has absorbed all the moisture. Repeat these steps until the stain is gone.
Getting a dried urine stain out of a mattress
For older, dried urine stains, you will need to use an enzyme cleaner. Spray the cleaner onto a clean rag and dab gently, leave the mattress to dry, preferably in the sun with got air flow in the room. Repeat this until the stain is gone.
How to protect your mattress from stains
Now that you've thoroughly cleaned your mattress, you might be wondering how to avoid this headache in future. Here at BedHut, we've provided a few tips to help you protect your mattress, and increase its lifespan.
Buy a mattress protector
A mattress protector is a fitted sheet that goes over your mattress, and provides an extra layer of protection against spills and stains. They are usually made from waterproof or water-resistant materials, which makes them ideal for homes with children or pets. Some also come in an anti-allergy material to prevent the build up of dust and other allergens. Make sure you clean your mattress protector every couple of months, as it will be exposed to most of the dirt and spillages that occur in everyday life.
Regularly rotate your mattress
In between cleans it is recommended to rotate your mattress. This means rotating head to foot, not flipping it over to the other side, as many mattresses have the soft foam padding at the top and are not designed to be flipped. Rotating your mattress helps to avoid dirt collecting in one hotspot and can also increase the lifespan of your mattress by avoiding sagging.
When to replace your mattress
It is recommended that you replace your mattress with a new one every 6-8 years. This is because most mattresses will begin to sag at this time, especially without sufficient care, and can no longer provide enough support.
If your mattress is dirty, even after you have followed the steps outlined in this article, it may be time to replace the mattress with a new one, regardless of how long you've had it. Sleeping on a dirty mattress is unhygienic, and can cause allergy or respiratory issues as dust, bacteria and mould can gather in dirty and damp areas.
If you're thinking of replacing your mattress for any reason, check out our range of comfortable and supportive mattresses. For help choosing the best mattress for you, check out our mattress buyers guide and mattress size guide.