Can You Clean Your Mattress? Should You?

As the weather finally begins to cool down in the Phoenix area, many of us start to think about traditional “spring cleaning.” One of the big things to do in the house, in addition to washing windows, is to flip the mattresses. And that leads us to a question you may be wondering: Can you clean your mattress? And what’s the benefit if you can?

The Lifespan of a Mattress

While there are many factors involved in determining when to replace your mattress, the Better Sleep Council suggests starting to think about it around seven years. This isn’t a hard and fast number, however, and some mattresses can last longer. It will depend on how often the bed is used and rotated, as well as what type mattress you have.

Why replace a mattress at all? Over time, it can lose its firmness, which means your sleep won’t be as good. Plus, mattresses tend to collect dust mites and other allergens that can affect sleep as well as general health. A typical used mattress can house between 100,000 and 10 million dust mites. If you think that’s disgusting, just know that 10% of your pillow can be made of those creatures after just two years!

Thankfully, some mattresses, including memory foam, latex, air, and waterbeds don’t welcome dust mites. These microscopic critters are more interested in typical mattresses that include innersprings and pillow tops.

However, even with a mattress that’s not laden with dust mites, you’ll still need to replace it regularly. If you’re noticing more aches and pains after sleeping, can hear the springs squeaking, or feel obvious lumps or dips, it’s time to look at purchasing a new mattress.

How to Extend the Life of Your Mattress

Even though a mattress can be a productive place to rest your head for, on average, about a decade, that doesn’t mean it’s worry free. You can extend the useful years of your mattress when you take proper care of it. And, of course, one of those steps is to clean your mattress. The others? Here are a few:

  • Rotate the mattress every 3–6 months. Turn it around, head to toe, one time and then flip it over the next. This will promote even wear.
  • Properly support the mattress, either with a box spring or a platform bed, depending on the mattress and your bed frame.
  • Ventilate the mattress regularly by opening the windows from time to time and just by letting it rest uncovered for a day.
  • Use a mattress protector, preferably one that is airtight and keeps out those nasty dust mites.

How to Clean Your Mattress

It matters not at all which type of mattress you have. They can all be cleaned pretty much the same way.

Strip the sheets and any pads or coverings. Throw all of those in the wash in hot water to kill dust mites. If you have a fabric mattress, grab your vacuum with its upholstery attachment. Vacuum top to bottom on all sides. If it’s time to flip the mattress, sprinkle some baking soda on the side that you’ve been sleeping on. Use a brush to rub it into the mattress and then let it sit for 10 minutes before vacuuming up the excess. This helps with smells from sweat or urine from kids and pets.

For an air mattress or waterbed, simply grab your nontoxic spray cleaner (perhaps vinegar and water) and spray all sides of the mattress. Let sit briefly before wiping down.

If your mattress has accumulated stains, you’ll want to pay special attention to those when you clean your mattress. Just as with upholstery or carpet, the best tricks are vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide.

During your spring cleaning, do a deep clean on your mattress. Mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with some baking soda and shake to combine. Then, as you did when you flipped the mattress, sprinkle and brush in the scented baking soda. While that sits for the next hour, clean the bed frame. Then vacuum the mattress.

Trust Carnation Home Cleaning for All of Your Cleaning Needs

While we may not clean mattresses, we definitely keep the rest of your home clean and fresh. Contact us to learn more about how we can help keep your home inviting (except to dust mites!).