What is the best way to clean a used mattress?
I'm planning to buy a used bedroom set to furnish a spare bedroom in my house. What's the best way to clean the mattress?
- Anonymous1 decade agoBest Answer
Go for it and do so with peace of mind! Approximately 74 out of 100 people will (correctly, from their "frame of reference") suggest that you simply replace the mattress. BUT, that's not necessary.
For generations upon generations (ask any octogenarian) people would routinely tote their mattresses outdoors every spring, and sometimes in the fall also, and literally beat the crap out them with a big stick, broom, 2 x 4, baseball bat, 9-iron, tennis racket, or whatever else they could find.
The purpose of doing so, was to remove the dust within the mattress. What was not known then, is known today. The "dust" was mostly shed human skin and the allergenic waste products of dust mites which love to eat shed human skin cells, along with mold, mildew, spores, fungi, pollen, pet dander, bacteria and viruses.
The very best you could do, or anybody else for that matter, is to hire a professional mattress cleaner that uses the "dry method cleaning process." Unfortunately, there are very few persons in the U.S. that provide this service.
SO...use the next best option. On a day forecasted to be bright and sunny with no rain in the forecast, take your mattress (and the the others) outside early in the morning and beat the crap out them. Prop them up so that they catch the morning sun and then re-position them so they catch the afternoon sun on the reverse side. Make sure the automatic sprinkler system doesn't start up. Once you have beaten the crap out of them and have used the sun's natural cleansing abilities (UVA and UVB light waves) tote the mattresses back indoors. Apply a very light misting of all natural, non-toxic, odorless enzyme cleaner on the surfaces of the mattresses. The enzyme mist should be dry to the touch within 5 minutes or else you have misted too heavily. Mist the pillows too. Each time you launder the mattress pad, apply the mist (very lightly) before replacing the mattress pad. The enzymes will "munch on" and slow down the growth of dust mite colonies, mold, mildew, fungi, spores, pollen, bacteria and viruses, until the next time you beat the crap out of your mattresses.
Some people may suggest you vacuum the mattress in position (in the bedroom) but unless you have the right vacuum and most likely you don't, I would not...unless you do it outdoors. Most vacuums, even the top ranked HEPA vacuums per the Consumer Report's magazine, still spew millions of dust particles into your indoor environment.
Since the mattress is for guests who may sleep on it only sporadically, go ahead and splurge on some 400 TC (thread count) sheets, or better. These sheets will have a pore size of about 6.5 microns (when new) which is small enough to act as a barrier between the smallest dust mites (20 microns at birth) and itch mites (different critters, aka scabies). However, dust mite allergens (DMA's) and other allergens will still pass through even a 400 TC sheet just as they will through a 2 micron dust mite-proof mattress pad.
If the used mattress you purchase has any foreign stains on it then check out the mattress stain removal link at the bottom of this reply. BTW, enzymes will, overtime, also eat away any organic stains on mattresses.
An average queen-sized mattress is host to around 2 million dust mites. A dust mite poops 20 to 30 fecal pellets, 15 microns in size, per day (actually night, as they are nocturnal). So that equates to 40-60 million FRESH fecal pellets in your mattress each morning you awake. Dust mites live for 100 days...so one average-sized colony leaves 40 to 60 TRILLION fecal pellets in your mattress over their lifetime and of course as they die off...many more replace the dead ones.
The digestive system of a dust mite produces a protein called guanine. The guanine breaks down hard to digest foods which also allows dust mites to practice "corphagia" meaning they can survive by eating their own feces just in case you decide to put a mite-proof mattress cover on your mattress.
The fecal pellets dry up and become powdery thus reducing the 15 micron size to an even much smaller size. All the contaminants in your bed become airborne each time you roll over in bed (50 to 60 times per night is average) or each time you fluff your pillow, or of course every time you and your significant other bounce on the bed.
When inhaled, guanine attaches to lung walls and kills healthy lung cells by suffocation.
BTW, the weight of a new pillow can increase 10%-25% in just a couple of years.
Dust mites have been around for about 300 million years, 2 months, and 4 days. They discovered man after man began sleeping on mattresses about 8 to 10 thousand years ago. Man discovered the absolutely healthy need to sleep on hygienic mattresses on, or about April 1st, 5993 B.C. But and for some unproven reason, man then forgot about the healthful benefits of sleeping on clean mattresses and pillows sometime around 1967 (LSD maybe?).
So here's the bottom line...practice mattress hygiene...
it's so easy, even a caveman can do it!
Free info "76 Tips to Reduce Dust Mites and Indoor Allergens" at this link:
Mattress stain removal tips at this link:Source(s): Tom Hefter, Founder/Owner, SterilMattress http://www.sterilmattress.com Providing "Mattress Cleaning/Indoor Allergen Removal" services for homes and businesses in addition to assisting entrepreneurs needing the necessary specialized equipment to provide the "Mattress Cleaning/Indoor Allergen Removal" services all across North America.
- GailLv 44 years ago
Its a proven fact that mattresses almost double in weight after 8 yrs of use (due to dust mites/skin cells/ sweat, etc....) you cannot "clean" a mattress. you can clean the fabric with a steam cleaner but you will not be able to clean the inside of it...with that said, you might be able to use A LOT of febreeze to mask the B.O. smell initially but over time the smell may come back.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
throw it out and buy a new one, would you like to sleep on a mattress used by someone else??