When all is said and done they say that you’ll have spent nearly a third of your life in bed. But, when was the last time you gave your mattress a good, deep clean?

Since we’re all friends here, I’ll be totally honest. I have never really cleaned my mattress. Sure, I wash the sheets pretty regularly. And if I happen to see anything that needs to be spot treated in the process, I might even give it a quick scrub. But that’s the extent of it.

Turns out that having a clean mattress isn’t just about the ick factor. Dust mites, mold and allergens can interfere with a good night’s sleep. And chemicals, toxins, sweat and oils from your clothes and skin can impact your health. But if you’re like me and you’ve missed a few cleanings, don’t feel like you have to rush out and buy a new mattress. Just implement these quick cleaning tips to remove toxins and get rid of unwanted critters. Then follow up once or twice a year and you’re good to go.

How to Clean a Mattress

1. Wash Your Bed Linens

Before even thinking about cleaning the mattress itself, it’s best to clean your linens – otherwise, what’s the point? Wash your sheets, mattress pad and comforter in the hottest water possible. If it’s been a while since you last washed them, add a cup of vinegar to the wash to get rid of germs and grime. Then tumble dry on high heat to kill any lingering dust mites.

2. Vacuum

With your vacuum’s upholstery attachment, start at the head of the mattress and work your way to down. Spend a little extra time on creases and seams where things like crumbs and mites like to hide. Vacuum the sides the same way. Then, if your mattress is light enough, lift it up so you can vacuum between the mattress and box spring.

How to Clean a Mattress in 6 Simple Steps

3. Freshen with baking soda

To remove odors and oils, sprinkle your mattress liberally with baking soda and gently brush it into the fabric fibers. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then vacuum again. The baking soda will absorb moisture and oils in the top layers of fabric and carry them away when you vacuum.

4. Remove stains

My favorite go-to mattress cleaner is a simple paste made from salt and lemon juice (I use a 1:1 ratio for my paste). Simply apply the mixture to the stain and let it sit for 45 minutes to an hour. The salt physically absorbs the stain while the lemon juice lightens discoloration. Wipe off the paste with a clean towel and vacuum any lingering crumbs.

How to Clean a Mattress in 6 Simple Steps

5. Air it out

Fresh air and sunlight can do wonders for a mattress. If you can’t haul mattress outside, simply toss the windows open and let sunlight hit the surface. The UV rays will help eliminate bacteria and lighten stubborn stains and discoloration.

How to Clean a Mattress in 6 Simple Steps

6. Protect it

Now is a great time to pick up a mattress cover to keep critters and stains at bay. Plus, since they can be thrown into the washing machine on a regular basis, you won’t have to spend nearly as much time cleaning your mattress in the future! A win-win.

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