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Mattress Maintenance for Seniors

Mattress Maintenance for Seniors: Keep Your Mattress Fresh and Last Longer

By Maurice

Mattress Maintenance for Seniors

For many people, a mattress is a lifelong investment. This means that usually, when people buy a mattress, they expect it to last for at least ten to fifteen years.

However, just like everything requires maintenance, a mattress is no different. Mattresses can be vulnerable to dust mites, dead skin, dirt, and other kinds of debris if not cleaned religiously. This is even more important if you suffer from allergies, have pets in the house, or tend to snack at midnight while watching a rom-com.

For those thinking that cleaning a mattress would probably require hours of laborious work, don't worry; it's easier than you might have ever imagined.

How to Clean a Mattress?

To deep clean your mattress, here is what you will need:

  • A vacuum cleaner that comes with an upholstery attachment
  • An enzyme cleaner or dish soap to remove stains
  • Laundry detergent
  • Baking soda
  • Cleaning rags
  • Coldwater


Step 1 - Strip the Bed

Get rid of all pillowcases, sheets, and mattress covers. Take all the dirty laundry for a spin in the washing machine while you clean the mattress. Make sure to use hot water to wash the bedding, as this will remove any dust mites or stubborn stains. Always check the care label before proceeding to wash the bedding. You might even have to wash it twice if it is super dirty.


Step 2 - Vacuuming the Mattress

Using your vacuum cleaner's upholstery attachment, clean the entire surface of the mattress, making sure not to miss any spots. Pay close attention to the sides and seams of the bed. To remove hidden dirt and dust, break out the crevice attachment.


Step 3 - Spot-Cleaning

Now, let's start by taking the stains out of the mattress. Remember, it is never wise to use water or cleaning solution directly on the mattress. Most mattresses, including memory foam, are not supposed to get wet at all. Hence, it is important to remember that when cleaning a mattress, less is always more.

Grab a stain remover, depending on the kind of stain and mattress in front of you. It is advised to use an enzyme cleaner instead of a stain remover. Start with simply spraying water on a clean cloth and gently blotting the stain. Keep wetting the cloth with cold water until the stain starts to lighten. Remember, use as little product and moisture as possible.

You can also opt to make a DIY solution. All you need to do is mix dish soap and water and blot the foam on the stain till it lifts. You can also use equal parts of cold water and hydrogen peroxide to make your solution.


Step 4 - Sprinkle Baking Soda

If your mattress is too heavy for you to drag into the sunlight, simply sprinkle a layer of baking soda and leave it overnight. The longer baking soda is left on the surface of the mattress, the better. Baking soda works to break down the acid and get rid of any odor or moisture. Open all the windows to allow fresh air and sunlight to seep into the room. The sun's powerful UV rays will help kill bacteria and mold that might be on the mattress.


Step 5 - Bring Out the Vacuum

You’ll want to vacuum the mattress again once the baking soda is done working its magic. Don’t forget to vacuum the fabric headboard too!


Step 6 - Flip the Mattress

Now that one side of the mattress is clean and looks new, flip it and repeat steps one to five on the other side. Whether you want to clean your mattress or not, make sure to flip it from time and time to avoid indentation. The general rule is to flip a mattress every three months. However, check the care label as some mattresses only need to be rotated 180 degrees every once in a while.


Step 7 - Protect the Mattress

Now that you are done cleaning the mattress use your mattress protector to cover the entire mattress. This will make future cleaning easier and less time consuming and will help protect the mattress from spills and bed bugs.


Step 8: Use a Fitted Sheet

To protect the mattress from dust, use a fitted sheet, and wash it once a week. This will help keep bed bugs and dust at bay. Ensure that your bed sheet covers all corners of the bed.

How to Get Pee and Pee Smell Out of a Mattress? 

If you find yourself in a pool of urine, immediately get off the bed and throw the sheets into the washing machine. Blot the wet spot with a dry towel, making sure not to wipe the mattress as this will only drive the pee into the mattress instead of absorbing the moisture. Once dry, use 50% white vinegar and 50% warm water to make a DIY solution. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to curb the scent of vinegar. Spray this solution on the infected area, letting it sit for a few minutes (no longer). Then, blot the spot with a clean, dry towel and repeat the process.

Once you are satisfied, sprinkle baking soda on the affected area. Let it sit overnight, or 10 hours minimum, to eliminate the odor. The next day, vacuum the remaining baking soda. If you clean up the urine while it is still wet, it is less likely to leave any stains or lingering odor.

However, if you need to clean up an old pee stain from the night before, you will need to make a mixture of 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, three tablespoons of baking soda, and a splash of liquid dish soap. Spray this solution on the affected area and let it sit. You will see that a baking soda residue will form. Don't worry; simply vacuum this and repeat the process till no stain remains.

How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress?

Cleaning a memory foam mattress is no different than cleaning a normal mattress. However, since memory foam is like a huge sponge, you need to ensure that you do not wet the mattress the slightest bit. Never wipe the mattress with a cleaning solution. Instead, always gently dab to lift the stain. Moreover, vacuuming the mattress, it is important to dry it.

Hold a blow dryer four to six inches above the surface, and keep moving the dryer in a circular motion till the wet spot on the mattress dries up. Do not use the hottest setting on the dryer as this can damage the mattress.

If you do not have a hairdryer, you can also opt for a hand fan. Once your bed is completely dry from both sides, go in with the mattress protector and fitted bed sheets to ensure the ultimate protection.

How to Wash a Mattress?

NEVER wash a mattress. Think of your mattress as a sponge. It will soak up all water or cleaning solutions, and it will be incredibly hard to dry. Always dab the solution on the mattress, and immediately use a clean, dry towel to ensure that no moisture seeps in.

How to Fix Mattress Indentation?

Mattress indentation and sagging can occur due to prolonged use, poor foundation, uneven weight distribution, as well as poor care. This can significantly affect your sleep cycle and physical health. A sinking mattress also affects spine alignment and pressure relief.

To fix mattress indentation, follow these steps.


Step 1: Vacuum

Use a vacuum cleaner to smooth out bumps and lumps in your mattress. Not only will vacuuming your mattress increase its life, but it will also ensure that you get a comfortable sleep every single night.


Step 2: Get 2 Bed Pillows

A short-term fix is to lift up your mattress and use two brand-new pillows under the dipping spots. These spots are usually under the hips and shoulders part of the mattress but can also be found in the center or at the edges. The pillows will help provide extra support.


Step 3: Test it Out

Test the placement of the pillows by lying down. If you find that your hips are too high or your body is slanted, reposition the pillows.

In order to avoid your mattress from sagging, regularly rotate and flip it, change your sleeping side often, and opt for a padded mattress cover or protector so that you can increase the life of your mattress while keeping it dust and bug-free.

How to Remove Stains (Including Bloodstains) from a Mattress?

If you notice a stain on your bed, treat it as soon as possible! Do not delay! This is because the longer a stain stays on your mattress, the more it seeps deep into the layers, and the harder to gets to soak up. All kinds of stains, especially bloodstains, attract harmful bacteria that can affect you and reduce the life span of your mattress.

To remove stains from your mattress, you can use all the methods mentioned above. However, use damp clothes and make sure not to soak the mattress. Remember, less is more! Here are some things that you can use from your kitchen to get rid of stubborn stains:

  1. 1
    Meat Tenderizer

Meat tenderizer is great for your steaks, as well as for getting rid of stains, including bloodstains, from the mattress. All you need to do is mix one tablespoon of meat tenderizer with two teaspoons of cold water to create a paste. Blot the mixture on your mattress, and let it sit for an hour before using a cloth soaked in cold water to remove the mixture.

  1. 2
    Hydrogen Peroxide

Use some diluted hydrogen peroxide on the stain, allowing it to bubble. Then, dap it with a clean, damp cloth. Repeat this step several times till the stain is barely visible.

  1. 3
    Baking Soda

Make a mixture of one-part baking soda and two-part cold water, and use the paste on the mattress stain. Let it sit for 30-minutes before using a damp cloth to remove it.

  1. 4
    Baking Soda + Hydrogen Peroxide

Simply mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and use the mixture on the stain. Allow it to sit for a while before cleaning it with a clean, damp cloth.

It is crucial to allow the mattress to dry after treating the stain. Use a fan or a hairdryer to dry it quicker. For liquid mixtures, wring out the excess before using it on the mattress. For pastes, simply use your finger or a knife to cover the stain. Never completely saturate the mattress. You can also use a toothbrush to scrub up stubborn stains. Remember to blot the area with a clean cloth and then with a dry towel.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs in a Mattress?

Did you know that bed bugs are smaller than a pencil eraser? They can expertly hide in your bed for months and lay 500 eggs in their lifetime. Here are some steps to follow when dealing with bed bugs:


Step 1: Identifying Infested Areas

Identifying bedbugs before they start to reproduce is essential. After all, treating a smaller infestation is a lot easier than treating a bigger one. Since bedbugs are small and have narrow bodies, they can squeeze into tiny areas, including the seams of a mattress.

Here are some common places that bedbugs like to hide in:

  • Tags of the mattress and box spring
  • Cracks in the bed frame and headboard
  • Baseboards
  • Between cushions
  • In bed joints
  • Underneath paintings and posters on the wall
  • In the seams where the wallpaper and ceiling come together


Step 2: Use a Vacuum Cleaner

If you find a bedbug, quickly put it in a sealed jar with one teaspoon of rubbing alcohol. Once you are sure that there are bedbugs on your mattress or in the walls, use a vacuum cleaner to trap them all. Go over your bed, dresser, carpets, and even electronic devices, including televisions.

Take the contents of your vacuum and seal them in a plastic bag to throw away. Thoroughly clean the vacuum. Take out all the bedsheets, linens, and affected clothes, seal them up in a plastic bag, and put them in the washer and dryer. Use the highest possible temperature to kill all bedbugs. If there is any item that cannot be washed, simply put in the dryer for 30 minutes at the highest heat setting.


Step 3: Bedbug Treatment

Before you start working on your home to get rid of bedbugs, make sure that all linens, carpets, drapes, clothing, and bedsheets have been cleaned. Then, clean out all hiding spaces. Take out whatever books, magazines, and clothes from under your bed and clean them. Never move any items from a bedbug-infested room into a clean one if you want to contain the spread of these annoying insects.

To get rid of bedbugs, seal up any open area in your room. Use glue for loose or unattached wallpaper. Use caulk for cracks in the furniture and around baseboards. Use tape to secure electrical outlets. Then, move your bed six inches away from the wall so that bedbugs cannot find their way back into your mattress.


Step 4: Kill the Bedbugs

Bedbugs are easy to kill using high heat- 45 Celsius, or extreme cold- less than 0 Celsius. You can also use the following methods to treat bedbugs:

Throw the bedding into hot water for 30-minutes. Then, put it in the dryer for 30-minutes. Use the highest possible temperature both times.

Make use of a steamer on the mattress. Do not place it too close to the surface.

If you cannot wash certain infested items, simply seal them in a black bag and leave them outside in the heat, ideally 95 degrees. You can also leave the bag in a closed, hot car. However, keep in mind that it can take two to five months to kill bugs in a sealed bag.

You can also put the sealed bags in the freezer. Make sure the freezer temperature is at –17 degrees. Let the bags stay in the freezer for four days.


Step 5: Monitor Infected Areas

Remember, bedbugs take some time to get wiped out. Hence, monitor their activity for over a week. To spot bedbugs easily, place bedbug interceptors underneath each leg of the beg. These devices help trap bedbugs before they have the chance to crawl up on your mattress.

How to Disinfect a Mattress?

To disinfect a mattress, follow the methods below:


Method 1: Steam Cleaning

Vacuum as much dust and dander as you can. Use crevice tools to reach every nook and cranny of the mattress, making sure to clean the top and sides.

You can also use a garment or hand-held steamer to clean the surface of the mattress. Keep it at a distance, and use short steams of steam evenly on the mattress. Do not soak the mattress.


Method 2: Antibacterial Spray

Antibacterial sprays help get rid of any harmful bacteria. When opting for a spray or solution, make sure to check for bleach. Bleach should never be used on a mattress as it destroys the fibers and covering.

Before using a spray, vacuum the mattress. Spray the disinfectant all over the mattress, including the sides, top, and bottom. Then, use a clean cloth dipped in warm water on the mattress. Make sure to wring it out thoroughly.


Method 3: Vodka

Vodka is an excellent disinfectant to get rid of dust mites. You can opt for any kind of vodka instead of spending money on the most expensive one.

How to Find a Hole in an Air Mattress?

Finding a hole in an air mattress can be tricky. Here are some ways you can use to find a hole in your air mattress:


Method 1: Soap and Water Trick

Take a bucket and a sponge. Fill the bucket with enough water to submerge the sponge. Add some dish soap so that you can see large soapy bubbles in the water when stirring it.

Take your air mattress into an open area and start inflating it. Do not over-inflate it. The larger the air pressure behind your leak, the more likely you are to locate it. It is essential to be careful as over-inflation can lead to a more massive hole, split steams, and stress tears.

Then, use your wet sponge and pick a starting point on the mattress. Wipe the sponge in a straight line so that the seams and the surface start getting wet. Do this slowly while applying pressure to the mattress. Look for bubbles as bubbles indicate leaking air and make it easier for you to find the hole. Once you locate a hole in your mattress, mark it with a tape or marker that you can patch it later.


Method 2: Tissue and Paper Trick

Inflate your mattress in an open area so that you can move it around and flip it when necessary. Start at one point and lay the tissue flat on the surface. Use pressure on the mattress to ensure that air reaches all areas.

Focus on the edges and seams of the bed, and move the tissue on each part slowly. Listen closely for a hissing sound, and keep a lookout for any air disturbance when using the tissue. If the tissue goes over a leak, you will be able to hear a faint sound of the air hitting the paper. If the leak is big, you will see the tissue flapping over the leak.

Maintaining your mattress is no joke. It requires effort, time, and hard work. However, if you maintain it regularly, there will be fewer leaks to mend later. Think of it as cleaning your closet! Not only does maintaining your mattress increase its life, but it also ensures that you get a good night's sleep while keeping body pain and muscle pulls at bay.

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