What is the Best Way to Sanitize a Mattress? Having a clean, odorless mattress is an essential aspect of great sleep. Most people spend more time in their bed than anywhere else, so it is no surprise that our mattresses are often home to sweat stains, food particles, dead skin, and other tiny imperfections.
Thankfully, sanitizing your mattress is an easy, inexpensive task that greatly increases your sleep experience and prevents any respiratory or allergen problems.
How often mattress cleaning occurs is heavily dependent on your personal needs. If you have new blood or urine stain on your mattress, it is best to clean it immediately to avoid the stain setting within the mattress fibers.
If you are just routinely sanitizing, twice per calendar year is the typical recommendation according to cleaning experts. Your mattress may require more attention if you allow pets to sleep in your bed, if you often eat in bed, or if you know you are a particularly sweaty sleeper.
Regularly sanitizing a mattress is beneficial to the health of you and your family. Allergy-related problems due to built-up dust within mattresses is a common side effect of mattress neglect and can lead to chronic respiratory problems.
Read on: What is the Best Way to Sanitize a Mattress? To learn three different mattress sanitizing techniques that will leave your mattress free of debris, and ready for a fresh set of sheets and a good night’s sleep.
Method #1 – Baking Soda and Cornstarch
If you are looking for a cheap way to rid your mattress of odors and sweat stains, this baking soda and cornstarch method is perfect for you.
The baking soda absorbs the bacteria that cause unpleasant smells and helps lift dander and dust from the fibers of the mattress. This allows the impacted dust to be easily vacuumed up from the mattress with a full-size or portable vacuum.
Start by mixing cornstarch and baking soda with a 50/50 ratio, and then sprinkle it evenly onto the surface of the mattress with a shake can or by hand. If there are any particularly troublesome spots on the mattress, add the extra mixture in that area.
Leave the baking soda and cornstarch on the mattress for one hour, then vacuum it up and remake the bed with fresh sheets.
A pro of this method is that it is accessible for anyone with a kitchen pantry, and requires very little effort. A con of this method is that it is not as effective at killing bacteria and viruses as a disinfectant spray or steam cleaning.
Method #2 – Steam cleaning
The most effective method of sanitizing a mattress is steam cleaning. Steam cleaning provides a deep, thorough cleaning that penetrates farther down into the fabrics of the mattress than baking soda and cornstarch.
Steam cleaning will remedy your mattress of unpleasant odors, deeply nestled dirt and dust, blood, sweat, and saliva stains, as well as any other allergens hiding out in your bed.
There are several options for steam cleaners, from inexpensive handheld cleaners to large and heavy-duty cleaners that can be rented from grocery stores and home improvement businesses.
The benefits of using a steam cleaner are vast, but the most prominent and obvious benefit is the lack of chemicals and heavily scented disinfectant sprays or soaps needed to steam clean your mattress.
If you have any allergies or sensitivities to harsh chemicals, steam cleaning is a safe and effective way to clean mattresses and other upholstered items.
To steam clean your mattress, follow the instructions from the manufacturer for preparing the steam cleaner. Some steam cleaners require a rinse before use. Many steam cleaners need to be filtered or distilled water to prevent clogging and damage to the machine.
Other steam cleaners are less finicky and can be filled with water from the kitchen sink and used right away. Slowly stroke the steam cleaner over the desired area of the mattress. Placing the mattress on the floor will make this step much easier for you.
Be careful not to hold the steam cleaner on any individual spot for more than 30 seconds, because soaking the mattress can lead to a longer drying time, the possible buildup of mildew, and an unpleasant odor.
After steam cleaning, allow the mattress to dry without sheets or blankets for at least two hours before remaking the bed. If you are looking for a thorough, chemical-free cleaning option for your mattress, steam cleaning is a great option.
Method #3 – Spraying your mattress
Spraying your mattress is an excellent option for someone looking to kill all of the bacteria and viruses living within their mattress. Whether you are doing a biannual routine mattress cleaning or doing a deep clean after recovering from an illness, spraying your mattress is an effective cleaning method.
Similar to steam cleaning, spraying your mattress with a disinfectant spray kills tiny microscopic organisms such as bacteria or bed bugs. Another similarity to steam cleaning is the possibility of oversoaking your mattress.
Use a gentle hand when spraying your mattress with disinfectant, and avoid harsh products that contain bleach. Bleach-based cleaners can badly damage your mattress, doing more harm than good in the long run.
To effectively spray your mattress, use a diluted solution such as Lysol and a wide berth spray bottle. Using a spray bottle with a concentrated, direct spray pattern may lead to oversoaking in certain spots and under spraying in others.
After you spray your mattress, allow it to sit and dry for about an hour (60 minutes), and then dab gently with a dry rag to ensure it is totally dry before remaking the bed with fresh sheets.
If you prefer a more holistic cleaning approach, you can create a solution from the same handy baking soda from method #1.
Just add a 1:1 ratio of baking soda and filtered water to a spray bottle and spray evenly over the mattress. Wait an hour for the water to evaporate and vacuum up any remaining powder.
This method is the best of both worlds: the water and baking soda mixture allows the baking soda to penetrate more than method #1 alone but lacks the chemical, heavy fragrance that may accompany the disinfectant spray in method #3.
What is the Best Way to Sanitize a Mattress? – Conclusion
With these three mattress sanitizing options at your fingertips, cleaning your bed does not need to be a stressful or time-consuming event. Next time you sanitize your mattress, you know there will be an easy, accessible method for you!