The average person spends just under one-third of their life asleep. This means that for every week that goes by you are probably spending at least two whole days lying in bed and that is assuming you sleep a normal amount.
We know that sleep is important to our health, both physical and mental and the first step to ensuring a restful night is a nice clean mattress.
We have probably all experienced a bad night at one time or another and know how hard it can be to function the next day.
The quality of our sleep affects our productivity at work, our mood and general happiness.
Keeping the mattress and bedding clean and fresh is important so you can function at your best.
Since cleaning your mattress can have such a deep impact on the quality of your day-to-day life, we have compiled some tips to help you keep things clean and fresh in your own home.
How to Clean a Mattress
A mattress that is both clean and comfortable is an essential component to getting a restful night’s sleep. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to stop the accumulation of things like dirt, dust mites or stains and bad odours.
What you can do is clean the mattress at regular intervals to get rid of these problems after they have started to build up.
There are the three most important steps to take in keeping your mattress clean:
1. Vacuum it
About once a month you want to vacuum your mattress on both sides. This will remove dust and help to get rid of dust mites, both of which can cause allergic reactions making life that much more uncomfortable.
2. Take it Outside
Then, about once every 3 months or so, you should air the mattress out. This is simply done by placing it outside somewhere dry in the sun. Airing it out helps keep it dry which will prevent mould from growing while also getting rid of any nasty smells that have built up.
3. Air it Out Inside
If you find yourself short on sunlight, possibly during the winter, then you can air out your mattress whenever you wash the sheets and the bedding. All you need to do is leave the mattress uncovered for a while, preferably in a room with an open window, before covering it again with fresh sheets.
How to Clean Stains from a Mattress
Stains can be pretty gross and trying to remove them is never going to be a pleasant task.
The good news is that we have some tips that will allow you to clean a variety of them with minimum fuss.
Before you start, you should always check your mattress label for the care instructions. Also, you always want to limit the amount of water or stain remover you are using as there is no point in getting rid of a stain only to allow a mould buildup.
If you do not know what caused the stain or you know it was something simple like food or drink you can use either some watered down dish detergent or a natural citrus cleanser.
All you have to do is spray the cleanser at the stain or apply the detergent and wait for about 5 to 10 minutes. In the meantime, you should blot away any excess water since you want to try and minimise the amount of liquid use.
Blood and Urine Stains
These stains can be a nightmare to get rid of.
Also, they can really develop a nasty smell. The first thing you can try is to apply a small volume of hydrogen peroxide to the stained section. You need to blot the area almost immediately after the application using a clean cloth.
If the stain is still there, then you can try using a small amount of laundry detergent. This is because laundry detergent is designed to break down the proteins that makeup fluids like these.
Finally, you need to give the spot a hard brushing. It is important that when you are doing this you only use cold water as hot water will bake the stains and make them permanent.
Stains That Just Won’t Go
If you have a stain that is being particularly stubborn, then after you have applied the detergent try using a little baking soda.
The baking soda will need more time, perhaps even a whole night, and then it can be vacuumed up.
General Essential Tips
1. Avoid Using Too Much Water
When cleaning your mattress you want to avoid using too much water or cleaning materials.
For example, you can always add a little more of the diluted dish detergent to a stain if it is being stubborn.
2. Test First
If you are using a new mixture or are tackling a new stain always test your methods on a small out-of-the-way area first.
It can save you some wasted time and effort if it turns out you need to use a different method.
3. Avoiding Allergies
If you have sensitive skin then you should buy sensitive detergent.
No amount of mattress cleaning will help you if the cleaning process causes you to have an allergic reaction. This means generally avoiding detergents that have added colourants or artificial scents.
Prevention is Better Than Cure – Buy a Mattress Protector or Topper
I’ve always used a mattress protector, I find they improve the feel of the mattress surface and help me get a good night sleep.
They also act as a barrier between my body and the mattress.
As someone who gets very hot at night and suffers from night sweats, without such a barrier, my mattress would stain easily and emit unpleasant odours.
There are three types of mattress protector:
- Foam mattress toppers keep you warm at night, soften the feel of the mattress and block stains and odours from getting into the mattress. They can make you feel hot at night though – are foam mattresses causing you to sweat excessively at night?
- Airflow toppers also add a soft protective layer between your body and the mattress but they increase the airflow under the body, keeping you cool at night.
- Waterproof protectors aren’t just for young children but also for older adults or those with medical conditions.
My Favourite Protective Topper:
I’m a huge fan of the Silent Night Airmax topper, it’s a whopping 5cm thick and improves the airflow under my body.
It’s perfect for hot summer nights and has made a big difference to my quality of sleep: