Mattress cleaning mistakes

4 things you should never do if you need to clean your mattress

Cleaning your mattress is not an everyday chore. But when it's time, make sure you avoid these common mistakes.

There really isn’t anything better than coming back to a fresh, clean home. Especially after a long day of work. Knowing you can jump into a well-kept bed makes a deep sleep come easy.

However, maintaining a clean home requires a high level of attention to detail. It may be easy to remember to take the necessary steps to clean your carpet or sofa for dust mites and other contaminants, but when was the last time you gave the same attention to your mattress?

After all, your mattress plays one of the largest roles in achieving a good night’s sleep. What people do not realize when is that people are making mistakes that are preventing them from achieving a truly clean mattress.

These common mattress cleaning mistakes are causing people to suffer from a dirty mattress and a rough night’s sleep. When cleaning your mattress, make sure to avoid the following mistakes.

1) Using water

A spilled drink on your mattress is going to happen. Especially if you enjoy a late night glass of wine (or three) while lying in bed late at night binge watching Netflix.

If you have children in your home, a liquid stain on your mattress is almost a guarantee. People will typically rush to grab some water and soap to remove the stains, but wetting your mattress should be avoided at all costs! Mattress manufacturers will specifically warn about the damage it may cause to the mattresses upholstery.

This is especially important to know about if you have a young child or pet spending time in your bed, because you are likely going to deal with something far worse than a spilled glass of wine.

I am talking about urine stains. If your pet or young child has an accident in your bed, it is important to start by blotting away any excess fluid and then spray the spot with an enzyme based cleaning product.

You can eliminate any lingering odors by letting baking soda sit in the spot overnight and then vacuuming it up.

2) Using a beater

While whacking your mattress repeatedly with a beater may work well as for aggression therapy, it is not as effective for freeing your mattress of dust mites or bugs as homeowners may think.

A much more effective alternative would be to get a bed and upholstery vacuum cleaner to collect dust. After you have used the vacuum to remove dust or bugs from your mattress, feel free to take a beater to your mattress for stress relief.

3) Using a multi-purpose vacuum

You can’t just use any normal vacuum cleaner for on your bed or mattress. The typical multi-purpose vacuums are not built for handling your bed and upholstery. While multi-purpose vacuums can be effective for cleaning up your sofa, floor or other household furnishing your mattress will see much better results with a specific cleaning attachment built for mattresses and bed upholstery.

4) Steam cleaning

Steam cleaners do well when it comes to grease stain removal or any stains on a hard service. Most steam cleaners will even market themselves as having disinfectant qualities for killing bacteria or other various pollutants.

This is not true when a steam cleaner is applied to your mattress. In fact, the moisture from the steam can promote an environment where mold and other infestations can thrive, resulting in the opposite results of what you set out for in the first place.

Also, you are not going to enjoy sleeping on a moist mattress at night.

If you have made the mistake of using a steam cleaner for your mattress already and are struggling with mold and mildew, you can still remove it!

You must first eliminate the damp environment, so if you can, take the mattress outside to dry in the sun. Wipe off any visible mildew once the mattress is outside, but be very careful!

Next vacuum both sides of the mattress (with a vacuum that has the appropriate cleaning head attached). Once finished, dispose of your vacuum filter. Now you should mix warm water and isopropyl alcohol and a sponge onto your mattress. Rinse with a light amount of warm water, remember, you do not want to damage the upholstery! Finally, kill any remaining spores by using a disinfectant like Lysol and sleep easy know your mattress is mildew free!

In The End

If you want to maintain a clean and contaminant free mattress, it is essential you avoid the common misconceptions for cleaning methods mentioned above.

Indoor pollution takes a toll on your mattress and effectively cleaning it requires the proper methods. Otherwise you will end up with damaged upholstery, lingering odors or mildew.

Avoid losing sleep from these common mistakes and take proper cleaning care of your bed or mattress.

  1. A steamer that is functioning properly should not create enough moisture to saturate the mattress to the point where it would not dry before creating mold or mildew. That is why professional mattress cleaners and pest control professionals use commercial grade units for cleaning mattresses. FEMA states that it takes at least 24-48 hours before mold begins to manifest on surfaces including fabric and upholstery.

  2. Try using a “dry vapor steam cleaner”, or a clothes iron with steam, on your mattress. Both these tools use 5-6% water vapor which dries in minutes, thus mold does not grow.

    Hot water extraction (typical carpet cleaners) leave behind a ton of water which is why carpets take 24 hours to dry after being shampooed. This presents a danger for mold growth.

    Choose your tool wisely and you won’t creat a mold problem. 😉

  3. I tend to agree about the steam cleaning – it sure didn’t remove stain or pet urine smell from mine. But like Christine wrote – every site promotes it! What to do? who to believe?

  4. So about the mattress how do you clean your mattress after dirt, sweat and possible pet or child urine stain? Every site says to steam clean to remove this and dust mites, skin cells and fleas ect..

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