Cleaning a Mattress

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Mattresses are home to a whole host of things that we generally don’t like to think about. Dead skin cells, along with a wide variety of mites, dust, oils, and some unmentionable bodily fluids end up on the mattress no matter how careful you are. Cleaning a mattress properly will help shed those nasty images that can haunt your dreams while sanitizing the varieties of ook we like to pretend we don’t sleep on.

It’s not so simple. You can’t just throw the mattress in the washer or even wash it off in the back yard with the hose. Well, I suppose that you could but a hose and a bucket of soap is not the most effective cleaning job, nor it is best for your mattress.

Of course by now you’re probably regretting not buying one of those airtight mattress wraps that keep just about everything under the microscope from living in your mattress. Don’t fret. The good news is that when you are through giving your mattress the cleaning of its life (even if it is brand new from the store) you can then go back and wrap it to keep it sanitized and free from life’s little accidents and side effects.

There are numerous mattress cleaning products on the market. However, discerning the good from the bad from the totally worthless takes more than a willingness to read the back of the package containers. Remember that products are also a form of advertising, thus their recommendations are a little slanted. You should be cleaning your mattress once every three to four months under normal circumstances, more often is there are frequent spills, pets, or accidents. Cleaning a spot out of a mattress is not the same as cleaning the mattress in its entirety.

Start by choosing a product that you feel comfortable with. Steam cleaning is a great and thorough method for cleaning a mattress however not everyone is comfortable with the idea. Dry powders generally do not penetrate the mattress fibers well enough to do anything more than leave a pleasant aroma behind. There are numerous detergents that mix well into a solution that will allow you to thoroughly clean the mattress. A lot of people are perfectly happy with diluting their regular laundry detergent with about 5 cups of water for their cleaning needs. This is the cheapest and often the most effective method.

Once you have chosen you cleaning weapon of choice, you are going to want to first attack your mattress vigorously with the vacuum cleaner. Suck up as much as you can with the appropriate attachment before moving onto the next step. Attacking all four sides of the mattress is recommended.

Once that task is complete, you can either scrub the mattress with a mild solution of detergent, or steam clean (my number one pick.) Either way you are going to want to approach the cleaning process methodically to make sure you are evenly cleaning the entire mattress. Do not saturate the mattress, as you are simply trying use minimal amounts of moisture to attack the rest of the ook that lingers in a well slept on bed. Creating a sopping wet mattress will only invite mildew, mold, and a strange wet mattress smell that isn’t that far from the smell a wet dog gives off.

Stains from the inevitable dog, child, or other unmentionable accident are a much harder beast when they are left to sit for a period of time. As soon as the incident has been discovered, the mattress should be cleaned thoroughly. Initially, a wet stain shouldn’t absorb any more fluid. Using a few cloths or paper towels, remove as much moisture as humanly possible from the area. This might take awhile, but a little patience here can really pay off in the long run. Once you are sure you have soaked the moisture clean, scrubbing with the same solution of detergent and water should be enough to get the stain out. A little lemon juice can help with aroma problems as well as color issues. If at all possible, the mattress should spend some time sun bathing. After all, the sun’s intense rays can have a bleaching effect on the mattress stain.

Never ever put a bed back together while the mattress is still wet. Regardless of the detergent or solution that you used, a wet mattress is a wet mattress. Why go through the hassle of cleaning a mattress only to encourage moldy growth to take over. Putting even a slightly damp mattress into a mattress bag will only serve to lock in the moldy growth, giving it a haven to fester and play. This is defeating to your efforts. Even if it means camping out on the couch, mattresses should always be permitted sufficient time and location to dry thoroughly before returning them to their proper location and purpose.

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