Spring Clean…Your Mattress?


One of the great things about Spring is the chance to bring a general sense of freshness into your home.  Where the Winter season can cause us to keep windows and doors shut, reducing our ability and motivation to clean thoroughly, Spring inspires us to air out rooms and do the type of deep-cleaning that makes a home feel great. Maybe it’s the added oxygen or sunshine that gives us the energy to tackle under the beds, to the back of closets, and all the way into corners?  Whatever the source of the motivation, here’s a piece of bedroom furniture you should definitely Spring clean!

Why Should You Clean Your Mattress?

With all the hours we spend in bed in the Winter (sometimes under piles and piles of blankets trying to stay warm) by the time Spring comes around, our beds and mattresses are due for a serious cleaning.  Here’s 2 Reasons Why and 5 Steps How:

Why? To Protect Your Health

Did you know that you’re not the only one using your bed?  According to the folks over at www.ehso.com, dust mites—those little, microscopic bugs that live on dead skin cells—can be all over in your mattress, with a typical mattress containing tens of thousands of the critters.[1]  While mites don’t “bite, sting or burrow” into humans, their droppings and body parts can cause harmful allergic reactions. Symptoms of dust mite allergy include: sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, itchy skin, difficulty of breathing, and trouble sleeping due to shortness of breath.[2]  (Doesn’t sound very nice, does it…Yuck!)

Why? To Protect Your Mattress (and your budget)

Did you know that a neglected mattress is a short-lived mattress?  While there isn’t a specific life span for a mattress, most mattresses that are well-taken care of can last ten years or so.[3]  A neglected one has half that life span.[4]  With most mattresses costing hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars, a little Spring cleaning (and some “elbow grease”) could save you a bundle of money!

How?  In Five Steps

If you think you might be highly allergic to the dreaded dust mite, then you can always hire a professional mattress-cleaning company to come in and do the job for you.  If you’d rather tackle the project on your own, then here’s the 5-Step process recommended by Consumer Reports:

Step 1)   Remove all the bedding and wash with a good laundry detergent in hot water.  (You will need the water to be 130°F to kill the mites.)  Then dry the bedding on the highest heat setting your clothes dryer has to kill as many mites as possible.

Step 2)   While the bedding is being cleaned, flip and/or rotate your mattress and then vacuum using your vacuum’s upholstery attachment, being sure to get into all the nooks and crannies where any particles could collect.  Consumer Reports found that a normal vacuum cleaner can do a good job, but if you need something better, they recommend using the Dyson V6 Handheld Vacuum, which sucked up three times more debris than the average vacuum when they tested it.

Step 3)   Check for stains and spot-treat using a cleaner with the least amount of perfume.  For greatest success, be sure to match the correct cleaner to the type of stain.

Step 4)   Deodorize the mattress by sprinkling a 1-pound box of baking soda over the entire surface and let sit for up to 24 hours (some experts say 15 minutes to an hour is good enough) then vacuum the mattress again with the upholstery attachment.

Step 5)   Cover your clean mattress with a protective cover (made of allergen-impermeable fabric), a mattress pad (“to help absorb extra moisture”) and the bedding you just washed in hot-hot water and dried on high.[5]

Spring is a good time to do some deep cleaning.  Just remember to include your mattress in that process.  It and your body will thank you!


[1] https://www.ehso.com/ehshome/dustmites.php

[2] https://www.aafa.org/page/dust-mite-allergy.aspx

[3] https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2007/12/q-a-how-often-should-i-buy-a-new-mattress/index.htm

[4] https://longevity.media/how-and-why-you-should-clean-your-mattress

[5] https://www.consumerreports.org/mattresses/how-to-clean-a-mattress/

by Beverly Pogue