How to Clean a Mattress

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When it comes to keeping your home clean, few things are as important as your mattress. You spend about a third of your time on your mattress, and often while wearing limited amounts of clothing, or none at all. It’s not pleasant or comfortable to think about sleeping on a mattress that isn’t clean, no matter how many layers of sheets and pads you have on it.
So, naturally, it’s pretty important to clean your mattresses. Most mattresses don’t need cleaning often, since, again, they usually have layers of sheets and pads on them. But they can still get dirty, from dirt and grime that gets trapped under those layers, and liquids that work their way through. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of cleaning your mattress occasionally.
And don’t worry, it’s an easy task. Just follow these instructions.

1. Start with a stripped bed and a clean working space

As with most cleaning tasks, a little bit of preparation goes a long way when it comes to mattresses. Let’s start with the obvious: In order to clean a mattress, you need to be able to get to the mattress. So, get all the sheets and liners and pillows off the bed, so you’re left with just a blank mattress to work with.
Then clean up the area around the bed, so you don’t have to worry about tripping, or spilling cleaning materials on things. Give yourself a good workspace.

2. Vacuum

Next you want to vacuum the mattress, to get all the dirt, dust, and debris off of it. If you don’t want to drag your vacuum to the bedroom, you can always just sweep or dust the mattress instead. But vacuuming is best.

3. Treat the stains

Now comes the real cleaning. Start by cleaning the basic stains, such as ones from spilled drinks or food, or from dirt and grime. You can clean these stains with a mixture that is two parts hydrogen peroxide to one part dish soap. Scrub the mixture onto the stain with a toothbrush, and then use a dry rag to wipe away any pooling liquid.

4. Use an enzyme cleaner

For biological stains (which is to say stains that come from human fluids, such as sweat or urine), you want to clean with an enzyme cleaner. Follow the instructions on the bottle of enzyme cleaner (which you can buy at a store or online) to clean the stains. Usually you want to place a little cleaner on a rag, rub the stain, and let it sit for a few minutes.

5. Dust with baking soda

Once you’ve cleaned the stain, lightly cover the bed in baking soda. Baking soda serves two purposes: it will absorb any liquid used to clean stains, and it acts as a deodorizer. Let the baking soda sit for at least 15 minutes, ideally an hour.

6. Vacuum again

Now it’s time to vacuum a second time. Use your vacuum to clean all of the baking soda off of the bed. You can also sweep the baking soda away, just make sure you get it all.

7. Let it rest

Now that all the cleaning is done, you want to let your mattress rest for a little while, until it has fully air dried. Ideally you should let it rest for a few hours.
Put on some sheets and pads (clean ones, of course) and you’re good to get back to sleeping.

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