When you sink down into your mattress at night, grateful that at long last you can relax and let go, you might not think about the ‘germ-anic’ horrors of that comfy bed. We humans sweat, we leave bits of skin, sometimes we’re sick and are loaded with germs. And the list goes on … Not to dwell, of course, but periodic attention isn’t a bad idea. First, consider prevention and then how to remove stains, if you have any.
Preventing Germs and Stains
The most important advice about stains is: don’t allow the little buggers. You can prevent most atrocities with two mattress accessories:
* The mattress pad
* The mattress cover
A mattress pad is several inches of thick material, usually foam, that is used to make the mattress more comfortable. There are myriad choices, including the enormously popular memory foam which literally molds to the body of the sleeper. Depending on the quality of the pad, temperature plays a major factor because as the human body warms the material, the mattress pad softens and relieves pressure on the points of the body that can ache without proper support. And today’s mattresses often come with an attached mattress pad – I know mine does.
The mattress cover is provided simply for protection of the mattress and is a great way to prevent stains so that you never have to clean your mattress. Pads come in many fabrics but always make certain that whatever you choose is washable and doesn’t shrink.
Getting Rid of Nasties
#1: Vacuuming will clean many unseen and unwanted debris out of a mattress. Naturally, the stronger the suction, the more junk will be removed and whenever you wash your mattress pad, make a habit of using your vacuum.
#2: But in the unhappy event that you actually do have stains, how do you get rid of them? The first way is with upholstery cleaner. This is specifically made to clean fabric and furniture and works well on most mattresses. It is a low-suds cleaner and it’s wise to test it out on a small corner of your mattress, or even on the unused side (if there is one) before using it in any wide area. Generally, though, such a cleaner will be safe on most mattress stains.
#3: Another way to clean mattress stains is to create your own home cleaner. You can mix a detergent or gentle soap with water and beat it with a mixer. This will create a lot of foam, just like beating eggs for meringue. Under the foam, though, will be a very concentrated liquid. You don’t want or need the foam on your mattress, but the liquid makes a dandy mattress stain cleaner.
If you need to dry your mattress quickly after cleaning, a hair dryer will do the job, although the very best way to clean a mattress is to drag it out in the sun. This is very possible with a futon or RV mattress, for instance, but impossible with a heavy king sized one, of course.