How You Really Should Be Cleaning Your Mattress

Cleaning a mattress can be quite a task, as it's a big, heavy item. Some people never even think of cleaning it, unless something spills on it and stains it. But a mattress is an investment, so it's worth knowing how to care for it. Mattresses from IKEA are said to be uncomfortable, although they have an affordable price tag. Whether you purchase a mattress that is not too expensive or one of those organic items which come with a hefty price tag — maintenance is still the key to preserving a mattress. One of the steps in keeping mattresses in top condition, or any other furniture for that matter, is regular cleaning.

"Cleaning helps remove or prevent dust, dirt, dead skin, pests, and stains," Rhea Mehta, a molecular toxicologist from the University of Toronto, told Mindbodygreen. She also suggests cleaning the mattress if you "don't use a mattress cover or pad for further protection." Despite being bulky, cleaning a mattress can be easy. There are various ways and steps to clean a mattress, depending on the type and material. Experts suggest changing pillowcases every two days as oils, sweat, and dirt accumulate on the fabric (via Insider), and the same goes for mattresses — dead skin, dust mites, and dirt also build up on them. Hence, cleaning is a must. But unlike blankets and pillowcases, you only need to clean a mattress about twice a year.

Use a vacuum to clean a mattress

Vacuums are one of the best household appliances ever created, as they make it easy to clean up. Dyson vacuums, for example, are considered to be well worth the money for their innovative functions, despite the high price tag. But you don't need a fancy vacuum cleaner for cleaning a mattress. Using a vacuum is a quick method, as well as an effective way to clean dirt and debris. If you use the upholstery attachment that comes with most vacuums, you'll be able to thoroughly clean your mattress. Rhea Mehta suggests using a soft brush attachment for delicate material (via Mindbodygreen). 

Once you're done cleaning the mattress, it's important to clean your vacuum, especially the attachments. You will be using the same tools the next time you clean, and if you don't get rid of the dust and dirt, tiny microorganisms that are not visible to the naked eye can accumulate in the brushes. Regular cleaning can also get rid of trapped debris, such as hair. It's always good practice to clean these tools and attachments after use so that harmful microorganisms do not transfer from mattress to mattress (via Real Simple).

How to get rid of stains on a mattress

A dirty mattress is inevitable, especially for those people who have kids. However, soap and water can be damaging to some types of mattresses, like the ones made of memory foam. Also, cleaning solutions are often not ideal. The best way to tackle dirt is to use a stain remover, but not just any type. Architectural Digest suggests using an enzyme cleaner to get rid of biological stains. Instead of directly spraying the solution on the mattress, apply it to a clean cloth. Gently blot the stained area with the cloth, and use another clean fabric soaked with water to blot the area until the stain disappears.

You can get rid of odors in a mattress by using baking soda. According to Rhea Mehta, "sprinkling anywhere from half a cup to the entire box over your mattress" can get rid of the smell. As for the duration, the baking soda can be left "for a few hours or overnight, and then vacuum it," (via Mindbodygreen). Baking soda is a powerful chemical compound that can absorb moisture and odor, and this inexpensive product has many uses around the house. Also, when cleaning your mattress, make sure you do both sides to keep the whole mattress clean and fresh.