Keeping Your Mattress Clean & Fresh

Dirty mattresses don’t only house dirt and grime. Dust mites are other unwanted guests in our beds. They are known to contribute to various health issues, including allergies and asthma. Knowing this brings you to the realization of why keeping your mattress clean is important for hygiene and health.

If you have pets that play or sleep in your bed, many harmful residue and microorganisms that are collected from outside can get into your mattress. In addition to these new visitors, your mattress is already a habitat for dust mites, which are tiny spider-like microscopic bugs that feed on dead skin flakes. They themselves aren’t harmful, but up to 30 percent of people are allergic to their waste products.

To help minimize dust mites and their waste, you should vacuum your mattress with an upholstery extension monthly. Doing so will get rid of dust and reduce the amount of dust mites and other microorganisms, but it won’t get rid of them completely. To solve hygiene and allergy problems, all the allergens have to be totally eliminated from your mattress. Periodically, you should rent a steam cleaner that has an upholstery hose, or hire a professional mattress cleaning company. This is definitely important if you’ve just rented out a home that has used furniture.

If your mattress has stains, you can use enzyme cleaners to remove them. Enzyme cleaners are effective at breaking down the structure of stains’ substances, which helps to remove them easily. Another route is to make your own mattress cleaning solutions, created with everyday products. Either way, it is best to treat each stain individually, since they all have a different nature.

Removing Blood Stains
In case you ever get blood stains on your mattress, how it gets there is between you and the mattress, you can use hydrogen peroxide to help remove them. Simply blot it while it is having a bubbling reaction with the blood stain. You may still see a hint of a stain afterward, since it’s only able to lessen it. Use a clean, white, dry cloth to blot the blood stain. Before you try to remove the stain further, you should first rinse the area with cold water. You can then try an old trick of using meat tenderizer, yes, the one in your kitchen cabinet. Simply rub it into the stain and it will break down the proteins. Then rinse it off. For stubborn bloodstains, apply white wine vinegar on the stain. After some time, wash it using soap and water.

Removing Urine Stains and Odor
Urine stains and odor are a problem for many mattress owners that have kids and pets. You can get rid of these impurities by first soaking up traces of urine using a dry absorbent towel. Press the towel against the wet mattress to absorb as much of the urine as possible. Afterward, you can try one of the following methods:

• Vinegar works wonders in removing the smell of urine from mattresses and other locations like rugs. Only pour a moderate amount of vinegar on the stained area, and then use a towel to absorb, or a wet vacuum to soak up the excess liquid. Take note that this method is only for treating the smell and killing the bacteria that cause the odor. Spot treatment will be necessary to remove or fade the urine stain. Baking soda can also be used to further reduce the urine smell. Spread a cup of baking soda over the urine stain, and then cover it with a plastic sheet. Let it set overnight. The next day, remove the plastic and vacuum the spot.

• If urine has dried into the mattress the best way to remove the bacteria and odor is to use a non-toxic biodegradable fume and chemical-free enzyme cleaner. You can find enzymatic cleaners at most local pharmacies and pet stores. Simply saturate the area with the enzyme cleaner, allowing it to sink deep into the stain. Let it stay for the time specified on the product packaging, and then use a vacuum cleaner to soak up any remaining wetness.

When possible, you should use a steam cleaner on mattresses with urine stains. When used with a cleansing agent, it can be very effective for eliminating stains, odors and bacteria that may otherwise grow and spread.

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odors
This isn’t as hard as some may think. All you have to do is sprinkle fresh baking soda over the entire mattress and let it set for a few hours. Afterward, use a vacuum with an attachment so that you can reach the baking soda that may get trapped in crevices.

Removing Stains Caused by Drinks
After spilling a drink on your mattress, immediately blot it out using paper towels. You can then concoct a solution using two cups of cool water, one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Dip a white cloth into the solution and dab the stain. Blot the stain until the liquid is absorbed. You can repeat these steps until most or all of the stain is removed.
Next, use plain cold water and a new white cloth to dab the area. Once the solution is removed, blot the area until it’s dry. If the stain is still there, you can dab the area with rubbing alcohol until the stain is removed, then blot dry.

For other unidentified mattress stains, you can use these same method explained for beverage stains.

It’s very important that you completely dry your mattress after using any liquid cleaning solutions or a steam cleaner. Never cover a wet mattress because this may cause mold growth, which can lead to health problems.

After removing stains, odors and allergens from your bed, use a good mattress protector or mattress cover. With this, you can prevent future stains and spills. It’s a lot easier to throw a mattress cover in a washing machine than to scrub and dab away at a stained mattress. You’ll end up saving time and money, and who wouldn’t want that!

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