You can’t beat the feeling of fresh linen on your bed; we just tend to sleep better the night after we’ve changed our bedsheets. But sheets aside, spare a thought for your mattress, which is also affected by sweat, dead skin and general bacteria. After all, you sleep on it every night.
How to clean your mattress: a step-by-step guide
If you’ve never revived your mattress, it may seem like a daunting task. It’s not like you can just throw it in the washing machine. But, at the same time, you don’t need to take yours to a specialist laundrette. In fact, most of the products you need are cheap to buy or already in your cupboards, like baking soda.
1. Strip your bed and get rid of any crumbs with a vacuum
Most vacuums come with an extra suction hose for getting into crevices or hoovering stairs. If you haven’t got a handheld vacuum or dustbuster, you can use this to suck up any crumbs, hairs, dead skin or dust from your mattress.
2. Remove any stains with an upholstery cleaner
You can get upholstery cleaners from your local hardware store, budget shops or the supermarket. The same spray or cleaning solution you’d use on your sofa or armchair is perfectly suitable for your mattress.
If you can’t get to the shops for whatever reason, it’s recommended to mix salt with lemon juice and creating a paste to use, as lemon is a natural bleaching agent1. Scrub the paste or upholstery cleaner, following all instructions, and leave for an hour before wiping away with a damp cloth.
3. Use Bicarbonate of soda to eliminate any smells
Adding bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda, it’s the same thing) is the last stage to cleaning your mattress. Baking soda is hygroscopic2, which means it soaks up moisture. Because of this, using it liberally on your mattress will soak up any residue damp left from cleaning and any lasting smells.
You’ll need to leave the baking soda on your mattress for 24 hours to let it work its magic before vacuuming up. As that might be a little inconvenient, you might want to invest in an air bed if you haven’t got access to a spare mattress or sofa bed for the night.
How often should you clean your mattress?
At least twice a year is recommended by most bed and cleaning companies3, who also set eight years as the length of time you should keep a mattress. To make it easier to remember when you last cleaned yours, you could put a reminder in your phone for every six months.
You should also remember to rotate your mattress to keep it in tip-top condition. We don’t mean flipping it over (as this isn’t suitable for mattresses padded tops). We mean turning it 180-degrees every time you clean it. Look after your mattress and you’ll be rewarded with a better sleep, night after night.
Find out how to wash your pillows
Last updated: 9 April 2020