Let us now return to the question on which this article is based: How do I clean my mattress correctly? As already explained in the two introductory texts, every mattress is exposed to a not inconsiderable load and “contamination” with body fluids.
In addition to the “homemade” impurities, the mattress is one of the places in the bedroom where dust mites usually feel very comfortable and can therefore be found in large numbers. With suitable protective measures, good care and regular cleaning of the mattress, however, you can largely control the unwanted roommates, which is particularly important for the well-being of allergy sufferers.
How you can go about cleaning the mattress or what options are available for thorough cleaning of the mattress depends heavily on how the mattress is equipped.
Wash mattress covers
If your mattress has a removable cover that is washable, you can easily separate it from the core. You can usually find out exactly how the textile material of the cover can be cared for on a label with care symbols on the cover. Similar to textile clothing, you will find information on washing, ironing, bleaching, drying and dry cleaning here.
If you have a very large, one-piece mattress (from 140 cm width) or a sleeping pad with a very thick cover, this usually results in a higher weight (especially when it is wet). For this reason, cleaning in a normal household washing machine is not recommended, even if the cover can still somehow be stowed dry in the drum of the machine. In this case, it is advisable to go to a laundromat where machines with a higher capacity are available. You can also take the mattress cover directly to a professional laundry or dry cleaner, where they know exactly how to handle mattress covers.
- From a hygienic point of view, it is not necessary to boil (wash at 90 ° C or 95 ° C) the mattress cover, as all harmful organisms are reliably killed at a temperature of 60 ° C.
- When buying a new mattress, look for a removable and washable cover that can be divided (all-round zip). This means you are definitely on the safe side that the cover also fits in your washing machine at home if you want to clean your mattress from scratch.
- As an allergy sufferer, when buying a new mattress, you should not only attach importance to a removable and washable cover, but also give preference to a model that offers additional protection against mites through a special textile finish. In this context, there is occasionally talk of an anti-mite relation.
Regardless of what the care symbol for the “tumbler” or tumble dryer of your cover shows, it generally does not make sense to dry mattress covers in the machine. If you wash your cover yourself, regular air drying is ideal. However, you should not hang up the cover for this. Instead, pull the damp cover into shape and stretch it, if possible over the armrests of four chairs, so that the moisture can be easily dissipated over the large area. Alternatively, two stable wing tumble dryers are also suitable for drying the mattress cover. Please place the cover in a shady place to dry and never in the blazing sun. If you do want to put the mattress cover in the tumble dryer (provided it has the appropriate care symbol), select the lowest temperature to prevent the textile material from shrinking. Regardless of whether it is air drying or machine drying, do not pull the cover back over the core of the mattress until it is completely dry.
Clean the entire mattress
Particularly in the case of mattresses from which the cover cannot be removed, the question arises for housewives as to what they can do to properly clean these mattresses as well. Basically, it can be stated at this point that it is not really recommended to tackle a mattress with a lot of moisture. The moisture penetrates through the cover into the core of the mattress. If the mattress does not dry out properly then, with the best of intentions, you create an optimal habitat for dust mites and a basis for possible mold growth. The use of steam cleaners, which have become very popular in the meantime, can also bring too much moisture into the interior of the mattress, so you should be very careful when using such a device.
If the mattress does get too damp after cleaning, stand it upright to dry and only put it back in bed when it is completely dry.
You can also do something good for your mattress with dry cleaning. All you need is baking soda (sodium hydrogen carbonate (NaHCO3) or soda, a component of classic baking powder). For mattress cleaning, the soda powder is simply sprinkled evenly on the mattress. Then simply let it work for several hours before removing the powder from the mattress very carefully at low power with the vacuum cleaner. The salt crystals of sodium have a killing effect on germs, bacteria and fungi. In addition, they are able to neutralize odors, which is why baking soda is an ideal remedy if the mattress has an unpleasant sweat odor.
If you want to give your mattress a complete deep cleaning, consider calling a professional. There are professional companies that specialize in mattress cleaning. These often come directly to your home – for a flat-rate travel fee – to clean the mattress on site. This saves you the hassle of transport, especially with very large mattresses. When choosing a cleaning company, be careful about the methods they will use to clean the mattress. Sometimes a lot of chemistry is used here, which can have a negative effect on your well-being.