We spend approximately a third of our lives sleeping, so why not make the space we do it in as clean and comfortable as possible? With just a few simple steps — maintenance, cleaning and attending to spills immediately — your mattress will stay fresh for a long time to come.
Light as air
Whenever possible, use your muscles (along with a friend’s) and get the mattress outside for some air. You can even open the windows, pull back the curtains and let the sun shine directly on the mattress with the sheets pulled back. Airing out a mattress helps dislodge lingering odors, while the sunlight serves as a natural disinfectant.
Throw off the covers
Even if you can’t get a mattress outdoors, at least air it out daily by pulling back the covers all the way to the bottom of the bed (or off completely). Wait at least 30 minutes before making the bed. This helps prevent moisture buildup, which results in mildew smells and bug infestation.
During your next regular sheet change, remove the sheets, including the mattress cover, and sprinkle baking soda over the top of the mattress. Allow the baking soda to sit for a few hours and then vacuum thoroughly. Just as in your refrigerator, the baking soda acts as an odor magnet. You can even mix it up a bit by adding some of your own favorite relaxing scents like crushed lavender or vanilla on top of the baking soda.
Rotate your mattress every six to eight weeks to ensure comfort. Be sure to hit all directions by rotating head to foot first, then flip over, then rotate again, etc. Don’t use the mattress handles to lift it; most of them are sewn in for positioning only. Check with the manufacturer’s suggested rotation schedule — some new mattresses don’t need to be rotated.
Spruce it up
While your sheets are in the wash, spray a lightly scented odor eliminator directly on top of the mattress. Pick a scent that you can sleep on, like relaxing lavender, vanilla or ylang-ylang. Allow time for the spray to dry before putting the sheets back on.
Heat it up
When laundering your sheets, use the hottest water settings you can to kill any bed bugs that might have invaded (check the washing instructions on the sheet tags first, though). Make sure your sheets are completely dry before placing them back on your mattress.
Clean it up
Accidents happen, but whether they are drink spills, pet stains or the after-effects of your child’s bad dream, you need to attend to the spill immediately. The first step is to blot up as much of the wetness as possible with a dry towel. Have the heaviest person in your house stand on the towel on the mattress to soak up as much liquid as possible from deep inside the mattress. Once most of the spill has been extracted, sprinkle baking soda over the entire area. The baking soda will help eliminate lingering orders and absorb any remaining moisture. Leave the baking soda at least overnight (or longer for a large stain).
For added freshness, place a few dryer sheets on the mattress before covering it with bedding. As with any scent, however, make sure the dryer sheets have a scent you don’t mind sleeping on every night. If you find yourself developing headaches, it’s time to change scents.
Cover your mattress with a cotton mattress pad, which helps absorb perspiration and body oil. Wash it now and then to preserve that fresh smell in your mattress you’ve worked so hard to obtain.
Just a little mattress TLC will help you enjoy comfortable sleep for years to come.