Hidden under sheets and blankets, mattresses don’t garner a lot of attention when it comes to spring cleaning. But that utilitarian piece of furniture can benefit from some special treatment both in terms of regular maintenance and periodic cleanings. Here are the dos and don’ts of spring mattress maintenance.
There are many things you can do to protect your investment and help it last for the eight to 10 years it is designed to function. If you’ve just purchased a new mattress, you should put a cover on it immediately. Not only is a protector vital to keeping it clean, there likely are rules in the mattress return policy that prohibit it being exchanged if it has any signs of use. Even if you have been using your mattress without a cover for year, it’s still a good idea to add one. It will help prevent dust mites, moisture penetration, and mildew from shortening the life of the mattress.
You should also make an effort to turn the mattress head to toe several times per year. Most mattresses can’t be flipped, but you can help ensure more even wear by rotating it every few months. This action can help ensure that the foam gets even use over the years.
Regardless whether your mattress sits on a box spring or a platform, make sure the frame you are using is appropriately supportive for the entire mattress, especially in the middle. Metal bed frames should have at least three horizontal rails, and platforms should include a center foot.
How to Use It
Again, the foam layers at the top of your spring mattress will the part that shows wear the most quickly. In order to make the mattress last longer, you should do everything you can to protect the structure of the foam. That means avoiding sitting on the edges of the bed, where foam is squished and folded under your weight. Remember, too, that mattresses are designed for elongated bodies, not centralized weight. If you tend to sit in bed and read or work on your computer for longer periods, you could be wearing down the foam in that area more quickly than in other parts of the mattress. If your mattress starts to sag or show signs of uneven wear, try rotating it. It’s best to consider replacement rather than adding wooden boards or other materials between the mattress and the box spring in order to get a few more months of life from the mattress.
It is not difficult to care for a mattress with regular cleaning. The vacuum cleaner will do most of the work needed, and if you use the crevice and upholstery tools, you can remove a lot of dust and dust mites from the seams and around the pillow top.
Stains are common for owners who spend a lot of time on their mattress or who have pets that share the bed. If something spills on the mattress, be sure to treat it right away, even if you have a protective cover. Any liquids that dry into the mattress will be very difficult to remove later. Spot treat stains with warm water and upholstery cleaner, using as little water as possible. Make sure the spot is completely dry before you put the sheets back on.
In fact, it’s a great idea to let mattresses air out periodically. The easiest way to do this is between sheet changes. Let the mattress sit uncovered for at least an hour, and if you want to spray it with a disinfectant, give it a gentle misting and let it dry.
Taking good care of your spring mattress can help it last longer and retain its support better for more comfortable sleep. All you need is a few minutes each month to keep it in tip-top shape.