It's easy to let mattress stains linger; after all, they're covered up most of the time. But you know those stains are there -- coffee from that time you had breakfast in bed, reminders of your child's last bed-wetting episode.
And then there are the mystery stains; you're changing your sheets and you think, "What is that -- and how did it get there?". Even the tidiest of people have had these moments.
But think of it this way: your mattress is one of your biggest investments.
Keep it in good condition, and it can last 10 to 15 years. Part of caring for your mattress is removing stains that can eventually lead to odor or mold. Spring is the perfect time to strip down all the beds in your home and deal with those mattress stains for once and for all.
First thing's first: check your mattress warranty; it may cover stain removal. And check your owner's manual (or the mattress's brand website); if you wind up cleaning your mattress with substances that damage its material, you could end up voiding your warranty.
BASIC MATTRESS STAIN REMOVAL
To remove faint, superficial stains as gently as possible, try the dry suds method
. Combine a cup of powdered, gentle laundry detergent (like Woolite
) and a cup of warm water in a bowl, and beat it with an electrical mixer until lots of suds form. Dip a dry sponge
into the suds (not the liquid; hence the "dry suds" method) and work the sudsy sponge into mattress stains. This method won't wet the mattress too much, so it should dry pretty quickly.
If this method isn't doing the trick, upgrade to mild dishwashing or laundry detergent, oxygen bleach
, or upholstery shampoo
(but only high-quality brands).
For odors -- or to help speed up the drying process of freshly washed areas -- sprinkle the mattress generously with baking soda, leave it on overnight, and vacuum it up the next day.
HOW TO GET URINE OUT OF A MATTRESS
One of the toughest stains to get out of a mattress is urine. Here, we're dealing with stain and
odor -- and if it's an old stain, it'll be even tougher to get out. Apply white vinegar
to a sponge or towel, and blot the stains, using pressure. Try not to be too generous with the vinegar -- the last thing you want to do is saturate the mattress too deeply. Then cover the area in baking soda
to absorb the vinegar, leave overnight, and vacuum in the morning.
HOW TO GET BLOOD OUT OF A MATTRESS
Another tough stain to remove from mattresses? Blood -- especially dried blood
. Try pouring some hydrogen peroxide
on a white towel or cloth, and blot the stain. Use pressure, and work from the borders of the stain inward until no more blood appears on the white towel.
Not working? Try scrubbing the stain with an enzyme-based liquid laundry detergent like Tide
, or an oxygen bleach
No matter what method you use, always wait for your mattress to dry completely before putting the sheets back on, otherwise you could invite mold and mildew.
Now that your mattresses are spotless, you can (literally) rest easily. But don't forget routine maintenance. It's wise to vacuum your mattress about once a month to get rid of dust mites and keep things fresh. Flip the mattress every few months
(here's a good way to remember: do it the first day of each new season). And invest in a mattress cover to act as an extra barrier against stains, spills, dirt, and dust mites. Unlike the mattress itself, you can remove a mattress cover and launder it regularly.
Tip: Cleaning your mattress while it's standing in a upright position (instead of its normal flat position) may hinder cleaning liquids from soaking deeply into your mattress as you work.
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