Once you’ve invested in a new bed or mattress – whether foam, pocket sprung, latex or memory foam – it’s a good idea to clean it regularly, both for spills and for general maintenance. Cleaning your mattress will help remove the dead skin cells that build up over time and attract dust mites, who love a dark, warm, moist environment. You may even find that a clean mattress improves the quality of your sleep.
How to remove stains from a mattress
Specific stains will need different treatment. As well as the dedicated stain removers you can buy in the shops, you may also like to try the following:
Urine – soak up any fresh urine with paper towels or a clean cloth. Apply a small amount of white vinegar on to a cloth and dab on to the affected area. Leave to soak in. Sprinkle on some baking soda, leave for a few hours to absorb the vinegar and then vacuum.
Blood – cold water is usually the most effective way to remove blood stains. Blot the area with a cloth soaked in cold water, repeat until the stain is removed. If it proves stubborn, add some laundry detergent to the cold water and rub into the stain. Remove excess soap with a damp cloth and dry.
How to clean a mattress
Vacuum – hoovering your mattress regularly will help remove dust, dead skin and human or pet hairs. Use the attachments to get right into the corners and mattress buttons or use a hand-held vacuum.
Mattress cleaners – there are several effective mattress and upholstery cleaners on the market, including easy-to-use sprays for spot removal.
Baking soda – a natural deodoriser, baking soda will freshen up a mattress and also help soak up spills and stains. Just sprinkle it on, leave a few hours and vacuum off.
Steam cleaning – sweat, dirt and stains can easily penetrate beyond the top layer of your mattress so treat it to a steam clean every few months. Vacuum the mattress first, run the steam cleaner across the whole surface then allow to dry. One of the benefits of steam cleaning is that the mattress will dry much quicker than using soap and water.
Drying your mattress
Many cleaning processes can leave your mattress feeling damp. It’s important to dry your mattress out properly as a moist mattress can attract bacteria and cause mould to form.
The best option is to leave your mattress out in the sunlight. Not only will this dry out your mattress, but the UV light can also help to kill bacteria. When it’s cold or wet outside, prop your mattress against a radiator or place a fan heater nearby.
How to keep your mattress clean
Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature and use a lower tog duvet in summer. This will make you less likely to overheat in bed. Invest in a king-size or super king-size mattress. You and your partner will be less likely to toss and turn if you have a larger sleeping area. Use mattress protectors. Don’t allow pets on the bed. Don’t leave damp towels or washing on the bed.