Steam cleaning a mattress is not just a way to breathe new life into one of the most important bits of your bed. It’s a vital part of your cleaning routine, helping you to remove stains and odours, and tackle dust mites, bed bugs, bacteria, and allergens that can disturb your sleep.
When you consider that most of us spend up to a third of our lives in bed, it makes sense that we tackle mattress cleaning on a regular basis, at least two or three times a year. You’ll be surprised how simple it can be to keep your mattress in great shape and ensure you enjoy a comfortable, restful night.
Given the recent bed bug outbreak in Paris, many British travelers who have recently visited the French capital are concerned about the steps they can take to ensure these pesky bugs don’t make their way into their homes. Steam cleaning is both an effective and cost-efficient way to tackle the spread of bed bugs head-on.
Just How Clean Is Your Mattress?
You may not spend much time worrying about the cleanliness of your mattress, but it should be an important part of your Spring-cleaning routine. We spend so much time in bed that our mattresses inevitably accumulate sweat, skin cells, stains and odours over time. As a result, warm, humid mattresses are the ideal breeding conditions for bed bugs, bacteria, germs and dust mites. In fact, a typical used mattress can house anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million house dust mites! According to the charity Allergy UK, they are associated with asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis.
So, if you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, asthma, or sleep apnea, it is vital for you to keep your mattress clean. And regular, high-temperature steam cleaning is one of the most effective solutions. A clean mattress can improve both your health and your sleep quality.
Of course, if you use an allergen-proof mattress cover or sleep on a hypoallergenic latex or memory foam mattress, you won’t need to clean your mattress as often. On the other hand, if you sometimes share your bed with pets or toddlers, or often eat in bed, you’ll definitely need to clean your mattress more frequently.
The Benefits of Mattress Steam Cleaning
Steam cleaning is by far the most effective way to keep mattresses, carpets and upholstered furniture clean and germ free according to the experts. Steaming at temperatures of 120° is the perfect way to eliminate bed bugs, dust mites and bacteria while also breaking down stains and dirt. It’s also a safe and environmentally friendly method of cleaning, too, because it is simply water and heat.
It’s important to ensure that each side of the mattress is completely dry before you turn it over though, to ensure there’s no lingering moisture. That’s why it’s an ideal Spring-cleaning task for a warm, sunny Spring morning. And using high-temperature steam to clean your mattress is the very best route to a fresh, hygienically clean mattress.
How To Steam Clean a Mattress
You won’t need to steam clean your mattress often if you make sure to keep it protected from stains and spills, but at least twice a year is a good habit to get into, or more often if you share your bed space with pets or toddlers! Once you’ve learned how easy it is, it’s straightforward to make it a part of your regular deep cleaning routine.
But make sure to allow plenty of time for your bed to dry before you sleep on it again. It’s best to start the process early in the morning and allow at least a few hours to dry thoroughly. If your mattress is reversible, you need to add in time for one side to completely dry before you turn it to tackle the other side.
We recommend that you have everything you need to hand before you start:
- A vacuum with a hose attachment
- A hand-held steam cleaner like the H2O SteamFX Pro or H2O HD
- Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to tackle stains and odours
- White vinegar to tackle tough stains
- A dry towel to check your mattress is completely dry
A Simple Four Step Steam Cleaning Process
1. Deodorise and Vacuum
The first task once you’ve completely stripped the bed is to thoroughly vacuum the surface of the mattress. Vacuuming will help to remove any hair, skin cells and dirt that won’t dissolve with steaming. You can use bicarbonate of soda ahead of the vacuuming to soak up odours and freshen up your mattress – allow an hour for this to work before you vacuum.
When you vacuum your mattress, use the hose attachment to get a close suction on the mattress, with short strokes across the whole mattress, including the edges, where dirt and debris can get stuck. Don’t forget to do the mattress sides too.
2. Spot Clean Any Stains
Sprinkle some extra bicarbonate of soda on any stains, then dab them with some white vinegar for a great natural alternative for stain removal. But make sure that you don’t saturate the stain with too much liquid, because it’s important that your mattress is able to dry completely after you’ve steam cleaned it.
3. Steam the Mattress Surface
Fill up the water tank on your steam cleaner and make sure it’s fully heated. Steam cleaners like the H2O SteamFX Pro or H2O HD have an extra-large water tank and heat to 120° in less than 30 seconds, making it ideal for the task.
Hold the steamer a few inches above the surface of the mattress, not touching the fabric, and slowly move it across the mattress in long, slow strokes. Make sure it is not getting too damp. It should feel moist but not saturated. If you’re concerned it’s getting too wet, move the steamer further up and away from the surface and carry on. Don’t forget to steam along the sides of the mattress as well.
4. Get It Completely Dry
Once the whole of one side of your mattress has been steamed, allow it to dry for at least three hours. Speed up the drying process by opening the windows and setting up a fan to blow directly at the bed. Make sure your mattress is completely dry before you put the sheets back on.
A good tip is to check if the mattress is dry enough by pressing down hard on various parts on the mattress with a dry towel. If they pick up any moisture, allow the bed to dry out for longer.
And that’s it. A simple 4-step process to steam cleaning your mattress for freshness, cleanliness and a new lease of life. Build this into your deep cleaning routine a few times a year, and your mattress will give your years of extra service and relaxing, restful sleep!
Other Great Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
Of course, house dust mites aren’t just confined to your bed. Carpets and upholstered furniture will also attract the pest too. Steam cleaning your bedroom carpet regularly will also help to cut down on mites and other allergens in the air and leave your sleep sanctuary hygienically clean and fresh.
Bedrooms should be cool and dry to enhance your sleep. Consider investing in an evaporative personal cooler to create the right conditions. The Zaahn Ultra Chill is a perfect solution, creating a personal chill zone, with the added benefit of acting as an electric scent diffuser for your favourite scent.
For more great hints and tips on getting a better night’s sleep, check out our ’10 Steps to a Better Night’s Sleep’ guide here.