Have you ever cleaned your mattress? This is why you must start now

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While it may not be at the top of your cleaning to-do list, your mattress harbours a surprising amount of dust, dead skin cells, sweat, and even allergens over time.

Dr Rahul Agarwal, consultant – vascular and endovascular surgery, CARE Hospitals, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, explained that cleaning your mattress is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, mattresses accumulate dust, dirt, dead skin cells, sweat, and other bodily fluids over time. Without regular cleaning, he said that these substances can create an unsanitary environment that harbours bacteria, dust mites, and even mould.

For the unversed, dust mites are microscopic creatures that feed on dead skin cells, and thrive in the warm, humid environment of an unclean mattress. “Their faeces and body fragments can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, such as sneezing, coughing, congestion, and skin irritation. Furthermore, mould and mildew may pose respiratory risks and emit musty odours,” Dr Agarwal explained in an interaction with indianexpress.com.

A dirty mattress is also more likely to attract pests like bed bugs, which can cause discomfort, and skin irritation, he added. Overall, the accumulation of allergens, bacteria, and pests in an unclean mattress can disrupt sleep quality and negatively impact your overall health.

How should you clean your mattress?

To effectively clean your mattress, Dr Agarwal recommended following these steps:

a. Start by removing all bedding and linens from the mattress.

b. Vacuum the mattress thoroughly using a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove surface debris, dust, and allergens.

c. Spot clean any stains or spills using a mild detergent or upholstery cleaner diluted in water. Gently dab the affected area with a clean cloth or sponge, being careful not to saturate the mattress.

d. Allow the mattress to air dry completely before making the bed again. You can speed up the drying process by placing the mattress in a well-ventilated area or using fans.

e. Consider using a mattress protector to prevent future stains, spills, and buildup of allergens.

f. Rotate the mattress regularly to promote even wear and prevent sagging.

g. Optionally, you can deodorise the mattress by sprinkling baking soda over the surface and letting it sit for several hours before vacuuming it up.

h. Finally, maintain good hygiene practices by washing bedding regularly, including sheets, pillowcases, and mattress covers, to prevent the transfer of dirt and allergens back onto the mattress.

By following these steps, you can effectively clean your mattress and create a healthier sleep environment for yourself and your family.