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Why You Should Clean Your Mattress — And, How Do It Like a Pro

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Cleaning your mattress might not be at the top of your to-do list right now — but maybe it should be. A clean mattress can help prevent icky dust and pest infestations, but can also promote a better night’s sleep. So take a moment to learn how to clean a mattress properly, and you might just feel like you’re sleeping on a cloud afterward. 

According to the Better Sleep Council, the absolute best way to clean a mattress is simply to vacuum it. While it may seem odd to take your vacuum on your bed, the device can really work wonders when it comes to removing particles of dust, dead skin, and any other grit lurking in the crevices. Pro tip: The upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner really comes in handy here. So after you’ve stripped your mattress of all sheets and bedding (and thrown those in the washing machine!), give your mattress a nice thorough vacuum. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

After you’re done vacuuming, give your mattress a once-over for stains. According to Consumer Reports, an upholstery cleaner should do the trick on most spots, but a simple solution of one teaspoon mild dish detergent and one cup of warm water can also work well. Avoid any harsh chemicals like dry cleaning products, which can harm the fabric, and use caution when using liquid on your mattress. The National Sleep Foundation says you should avoid getting your mattress any wetter than you absolutely have to because the moisture can actually create a breeding ground for mold. Probably the last thing you want after cleaning a mattress, right? Make sure your mattress has totally dried before you even think about making your bed again.

Once you’re done cleaning the stains, take a sniff to see if there are any lingering odors. If so, this is one of the many times where baking soda will save the day. All you have to do is sprinkle the baking soda on your mattress and let it sit there for at least 20 minutes before you vacuum it up once again. However, if this is your first time cleaning a mattress, you may want to consider letting the baking soda sit for up to 24 hours so it can soak up every last odor. Finally, your mattress is ready for bedding and sheets once again — and a cozy, snoozing you!

You should try to give your mattress a good clean like this about two times per year. However, experts say it’s also a good idea to clean your mattress if there are any visible stains, noticeable odors, allergy-provoking dust buildup, or if you’ve simply had your mattress for a while and haven’t cleaned it yet. With some regular TLC, your mattress should hopefully last you a good eight to 10 years. But when it starts to show extensive wear and tear and isn’t comfortable anymore, it’s time to trade it in for a fresh, new, and clean one.

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