The mattress we sleep on is not something to be overlooked in the cleaning process. In fact, the opposite is true. Just because it’s “under cover” doesn’t mean it’s clean.
The trouble with mattresses is that they’re heavy to move, and again, we don’t think of them as something that gets dirty. Let me help change that perspective with a “read at your own risk” list of things that mattresses are prone to absorb:
1. Sweat
2. Blood
3. Dead Skin
4. Dirt from the floors we drag up with our feet
5. Bed bugs
6. Bed bugs regurgitated food
7. Bed bugs blood and/or fecal matter
8. Mildew
9. Mold
10. The boogeyman

I had to throw that last one in there to reduce the gross-factor if even just a little.
I know you like to be clean. It’s not your fault. Mattresses are just catchalls for many nasty things.

We all want a good night’s rest as often as we can get it. Mattresses will stay firmer longer if you maintain them, and you will sleep better knowing there are fewer bugs, dust, allergens and spores of nastiness lurking beneath you.
Follow this master mattress-cleaning list for tips on how to do it right!

1. Strip the bed and wash the linens. Bed bugs don’t get killed by hot water alone. Gross, I know. Add some white vinegar to your load and maybe even a pinch of salt or baking soda.


2. Use your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment and vacuum the mattress, on top, and along the sides. Also, use the crevice tool and vacuum around the box spring and the floor under the bed. Find out more information on the top-rated vacuum cleaners here.


3. Sprinkle a healthy amount of baking soda on your mattress and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. This will help deodorize the mattress and also attract moisture to the surface. Then vacuum again, thoroughly. If the odor or stains or more pronounced, scrub the baking soda in deep with a brush instead of just letting it sit on top.


4. I mentioned sweat and blood up top but I forgot to mention “urine” and “vomit” as members of this vile club. Different liquids stain in different ways and need individualized treatment.


Blood: Dried blood can be dissipated with salt, hydrogen peroxide, and Dawn. Make a paste with those three items and gently spread it onto the blood spot. Do this preferably in the morning or one a weekend because you need to let the paste fully dry before moving on to the next step. Once it’s dry, scrape it off and vacuum up the remaining particles. Then dab any remaining, visible stain spots with a white rag soaked in hydrogen peroxide until the spot is gone. Use a blow dryer on low heat to dry again if need be.

BTW – the white cloth is not a sign of surrender. It’s just that colored cloths will bleed their colors onto the mattress when wet with hydrogen peroxide.


Urine: Eww. Yeah, but, pee happens. To best clean, it, first let it dry. Double eww, but it’s true. Mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide with a few drops of Dawn. Dab that mixture onto, and into, the urine spot. Then blot it up. DO not drench your mattress, ever. It’s really hard to get it dry if you do, and unkempt moisture turns into mildew and can even rust your springs.


After the area is dry you can make a dry foam with un-bleached, dry laundry powder, and a tablespoon of water. Spread that on the stain and let it do the deed for about half an hour.
Scrape the dried paste-up with a spoon and go back to your white cloth and hydrogen peroxide to blot up anything left.
After that’s dry, vacuum the area yet again.

Other Fluids: It doesn’t matter – use ammonia. But be moderate if not conservative in your application of it. And open the windows when you do this to avoid breathing in all the fumes. Vomit, semen, whatever it is – ammonia will help if it gets that bad. Temporarily the ammonia will smell worse than the odor (thus the open windows). But in the end, it’s effective and potent.

5. Flip your mattress at least twice a year. Each time you do, clean it as directed in steps 1-4 in this article. Flipping your mattress keeps it in a better shaper for a longer period of time. And, it helps you have a more comfortable night’s rest.


6. One of the smartest things you can do when it comes to cleaning your mattress is to prevent having to clean your mattress. Get an allergy-proof, plastic cover. Then get an allergen-free mattress pad that’s washable. Adding those two items will keep your mattress clean, healthy, and give you peace of mind as well!


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