How to Clean Mattresses and Bedframes - dummies

How to Clean Mattresses and Bedframes

By Gill Chilton

Dust – and horribly enough the dust mites that are its chief component – is the main reason to clean beds regularly. You cannot eliminate the microscopic creatures that are dust mites however fastidious you are about cleaning. They thrive inside both mattresses and pillows, feeding on the tiny particles of skin you shed each night. However, you can trap them inside the mattress and pillow by using an anti-allergy mattress and pillow protectors.

Sold principally for asthmatics and those with dust allergies, these protectors are made from an exceptionally close-knit synthetic fabric that keeps mites and their debris inside the bed. Unlike vinyl, the fabric is breathable, so you don’t feel you’re lying on a plastic cover. In fact, the only difference you may spot between these and conventional covers is the initial cost.

You may pay up to four times the price of standard pillowslips and mattress covers. Having one, however, doesn’t lessen how often you need to clean the bed underneath.

All beds have a few things in common, so first, look to the basics:

  • Metal frames: Dust, then check for rust spots. Brush away any you see with a stiff wire-brush and paint with sealant to prevent it reappearing.

  • Wood slats: Dust, periodically checking that screws are tight.

  • Divans: Brush away fluff, then vacuum using the upholstery tool. Do not wash the fabric! It is hugely difficult to dry, and you risk damaging what, in the cheapest beds, may be a cardboard casing set on a wood frame.

How to clean mattresses

When you change the sheets, air the mattress. Doing so takes away any stale odours that have collected in the mattress, meaning a fresher night’s sleep for you. Open the bedroom windows to let in as much air as possible. Even in winter, 30 minutes with the vent windows open and the bedroom door closed won’t chill out your home.

Make it a habit to take off the sheets and go do something else before you come back to replace the bedding. It doesn’t have to be a cleaning thing, of course. Slipping off to shower and eat breakfast is ideal. For the ultimate in airing, each summer carry your mattress into the garden to let it sit in hot, dry sunlight for an afternoon.

Once a month, when you’re changing sheets, strip off the sheets, vacuum your mattress, then turn it over so that the head now sits at the foot and the underside becomes the top side. Turning your mattress helps it wear evenly.

New mattresses need to be turned weekly for the first two to three months, and monthly after that break-in period. After turning the mattress, vacuum the new top side. You’ll sleep much fresher for it.

Don’t flip new-style mattresses that have a comfort-top of padding above the springs.

Using a removable mattress cover helps keep your mattress clean for longer, even if it does mean one more piece of laundry. However, if you choose not to have one, and especially if you take breakfast or late-night beverages in bed, food and drink accidents may happen. Additionally, mattresses can take a hammering from a variety of bodily fluids that seep through sheets.

How to clean futons

Turn futons weekly to preserve the evenness of the filling. Read the care label for cleaning instructions. Only polyester futons can be safely washed – and you’ll need a very large machine. Cotton-filled futons need dry cleaning.