Mattresses cost a lot of money. So when it gets soiled, you don’t have to buy a new one, you just need to clean it.
Mattresses need to be aired and cleaned regularly to prevent dust mites and dead skin cells (ewwww!) from building up. These can aggravate allergies and generally interfere with us getting a good sleep.
Mattresses also get a bit on the nose after a while from sweat and various other bodily fluids (again, ewww!).
Plus, the joys of becoming a parent, there is a good chance the mattress you sleep on will have children in there from time to time… who have accidents. Here are some tips to help keep your mattress in top condition to get as much life out of them as possible and how to preserve your mattress to fight another day!
1. How to get wee out of your mattress.
When the bed is wet, cover the wet area with baby powder, and place a few towels on top and if you can, leave it for a few days (not always possible I know!). Then sponge the area with a damp cloth soaked in white vinegar. If you don’t have a few days to spare, sprinkle bi-carb over the affected area, then sponge with a solution of tea tree oil and warm water (about 5 drops of oil to a bucket) and let the mattress dry in the sun!
Putting your mattress out in the sun is the best way to not only dry your mattress quickly, but the sunlight naturally sanitises the urine – getting any remaining stink out of there!
2. Spot cleaning a mattress.
If the mattress surface becomes dirty or soiled, it is possible to give your mattress a spot clean!
You can wash your mattress by using an upholstery shampoo or simply with warm, soapy water. Wipe the area with a damp (not soaking wet) sponge. Allow the area to dry thoroughly. Do not allow the interior padding of the mattress to get wet. If it’s warm outside, you can dry a mattress quickly outside. You can also use a fan blowing across the mattress surface to dry it more quickly.
3. Removing poo and vomit from a mattress.
The key to a successfully cleaned mattress after an accident is time. The quicker you can get to the mess, the better chance of success you will have in getting rid of the stain. Use a damp cloth to ‘collect’ as much of the substance as possible.
Heat some white vinegar and use a damp cloth to wipe at the stain (careful not to burn yourself). When you have removed as much stain as possible, place some bicarb on the area and leave for an hour or so. Again sponge with hot vinegar. Repeat until the stain and any odour is gone.
4. Removing blood from a mattress.
Look, let’s not be shy about it, we are women, we bleed. Often, very heavily, and through multiple layers of clothing, sanitary products, sheets and protectors. So if you have leaked all the way through, the best thing to attack the stain is with hydrogen peroxide. You can buy small bottles of it from the shaving and medicine section of your supermarket and it only costs a few dollars. Apply a small amount to the stain – and it should start to ‘bubble’. Gently use a clean damp cloth to blot at the stain until it comes away. You may have to repeat it a few times to get it all out, then allow it to dry in the sunlight.
5. Removing mould and mildew from a mattress.
If you spot any mould or mildew on your mattress, attend to it right away – mould is so bad for your health! Mould and mildew means that there is too much moisture absorbed into your mattress. So the best thing to do is to take it outside and let it sit in the sun all day. To kill the mould spores, grab some isopropyl alcohol (again available from the chemist section of your local supermarket) and some warm water and sponge it into the mould area.
Look at grabbing some containers of ‘Damp Aid’ for your bedroom to absorb excess moisture in the air (always particularly bad during the winter months). Open your windows and let the breeze come in.
6. How to make your mattress smell amazing and fresh.
Every few months, strip down your bed. Mix together a few drops of eucalyptus oil into a cup of bicarbonate of soda, and sprinkle all over your mattress. Allow it to sit for a few hours, then vacuum well and place in the sun.
7. Dealing with wet sheets, blankets and doonas.
Wet sheets smell just awful. To freshen them up, wash in your washing machine as usual but add a cup of white vinegar to the wash. It will get rid of any residual odour and make the sheets nice and soft.
8. Flip your mattress over.
To provide even wear, flip the mattress over every two to three months, and also, turn it around so that the foot of the mattress is at the head. If you have a large mattress, this will be a two-person exercise. Some mattresses are only one-sided so just turn these around so the head and end of the mattress are swapped for even wear.
9. Use a mattress protector.
Consider purchasing a mattress protector cover to protect the surface of your mattress. Choose a washable cover that is easy to remove and replace on your mattress. Some covers are even designed to reduce dust mite allergies. For the kids, it’s a good idea (especially if they are toilet training) to use a waterproof mattress protector.
10. Remove dust from the mattress surface.
Dust, dander (dead skin cells) and dust mites build up in your mattress over time. A mattress can house its own little colony of horrible nasties and this can begin to affect our health. Even those of us without allergies can begin to notice dust and dirt in our mattress. Have you noticed that your mattress gets heavier, the older it gets? The best way to get rid of some of the nasties liv
ing in your mattress is to vacuum your mattress using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If someone does have allergies in your home, you may need to vacuum more frequently and/or purchase mattress covers regularly.
11. Regularly air your mattress.
It’s a good idea to air out your mattress regularly in the sun. The sun can kill off any bacteria hiding in the mattress and it also gives it a fresher feel and smell. To get rid of any odours, try our Homemade Febreeze!