Flipping, cleaning, stripping, scrubbing- if the idea of mattress maintenance leaves you feeling like you'd really just rather use the mattress as intended and take a nap, you're not alone. But if you've recently purchased a new mattress, or you have an older mattress that you'd like to spruce up, then mattress maintenance is essential. Here are five tips to help you keep your mattress looking, smelling- and, most importantly, feeling- its best.
Related Blog: Ways to Clean Your Mattress
1. Six Months is the Sweet Spot
When it comes to mattress maintenance, think in six-month intervals. Experts recommend that this is how often you should both flip your mattress and deep-clean it, so why not do both at once? It might be helpful to think of two holidays six months apart- like New Year's Eve and the Fourth of July- as the dates for your biannual mattress maintenance to make it easier to remember. And since both holidays have most of their festivities in the evenings, that makes for a free morning to take care of your mattress- and a nice fresh place to crash when the fun ends.
2. Suck it Up and Vacuum
Vacuums work great on floors, but on mattresses? It might seem odd, but its true. Mattresses can collect all kinds of debris - like dead skin cells, fungal spores, and dust mites- especially in crevices near seams, and regular vacuuming can help keep those unpleasant, allergy-aggravating particles at bay. If possible, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter, and then use an upholstery attachment to remove all dust, lint, and debris before flipping or spot-cleaning.
3. Scrub Out Those Spots
There's something decidedly uninviting about a stained mattress, and ideally a mattress pad would prevent spills from soiling your mattress, but if you find that your mattress needs a little spot-removal, then giving it a good scrub with a paste made from lemon juice and salt, or baking soda, salt, and water might help. Use a toothbrush to work the paste into the mattress fibers, then allow it to sit for about 30 minutes. Then wipe or vacuum it up and let it air dry, or speed up the process with a fan or blow dryer.
4. Don't Forget to Deodorize
If you find that your mattress is more fragrant than you'd like, a sprinkling of baking soda across the surface will remove any lingering odors. Leave it to sit for about an hour, then vacuum it up for a fresher mattress. If you'll be flipping your mattress, be sure to do a baking soda treatment on both sides. If you'd like a fresher scent, spray a scented deodorizing fabric spray on the mattress. Just be sure to give it time to dry before putting the sheets back on.
5. Flip It Good
Flipping your mattress ensures that it doesn't develop peaks and valleys from too much use in one spot, and it keeps its internal structure uniformly strong. Before flipping your mattress, check its label for any specific instructions, as some types of mattresses- like pillow tops- are not designed to be flipped (although they can be rotated for benefits similar to flipping). When it's time to flip, grab a family member or friend to help, as the mattress will be heavy. Slide the mattress carefully off one side of the bed, stand it up on its side, then place the side most recently used back down onto the bed frame, giving you a fresh side to sleep on. Don't be surprised if it feels a little odd sleeping a newly-flipped mattress, especially if it's been awhile since you flipped it.