Having a used mattress can be an economical and viable option for many individuals, but one must take extra precautions to ensure that the mattress is clean and safe for use. Bed bugs, bacteria, and other germs can easily inhabit a used mattress and cause health problems or an infestation.
Learning how to disinfect a used mattress is crucial to ensure a safe and sanitary environment. This article discusses the various methods available to help kill germs, bacteria, and bed bugs and provides tips on keeping your used mattress clean.
Why and When Should You Disinfect Your Mattress?
A mattress can take months before showing stains or dirt, but that doesn’t guarantee that it is clean and safe — the surface may hide dust mites, bacteria, sweat residue, and even dead skin cells, all undetectable to the naked eye.
Bacteria can also spread to your skin, and dust mites can make you feel stuffed and fuzzy when you wake up. This makes having a clean mattress essential to maintaining proper sleep hygiene.
Bedding should be washed regularly, while mattresses should be cleaned at least once in six months. If you use a second-hand mattress, ensure that you have cleaned and disinfected it before use.
Besides regularly cleaning your mattress, plan for emergency disinfection in case of an accident. And when that happens, clean and disinfect your bed as soon as possible to avoid stains and infections.
How to Sanitise a Used Mattress?
The average Aussie adult sleeps for roughly seven hours, meaning they’ll need a clean, comfy mattress to get a good rest and take care of their body.
There are several approaches to sanitising your used mattress. For example, you can use everyday household items like baking soda to get your used mattress utterly free of any trace of bacteria in no time. Below are other ways you can sanitise your mattress:
1. Antibacterial Spray
The antibacterial spray is one of the most straightforward ways to disinfect your used mattress. Going for bleach-free antibacterial sprays is recommended, especially if you want to avoid discolouring and damaging your bed. However, you’ll need to counter-check the manufacturer’s instructions if they call for a unique action.
Otherwise, the typical process is simple: spray the mattress lightly with the antibacterial solution to eliminate pollutants and pathogens. You may also use a piece of fabric to remove the chemical after a few hours.
2. Hand-Held Steamer
Steam cleaning is another excellent way to sanitise your mattress. Steam your used mattresses with a hand-held steamer to eliminate bacteria, debris, dust mites, and dirt. However, please regulate the amount of water to avoid soaking your mattress.
Besides being a popular drink in Australia, Vodka is a disinfectant that eliminates common bed bugs and mattress germs. And the process is straightforward — lightly spray it over your bed, wait for a few hours, and then wipe it with a cloth.
4. Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda are excellent cleaning solutions often used to sanitise used mattresses. To sanitise your used mattress using vinegar and baking soda solution, administer vinegar to your mattress using a spray bottle, then wipe it down with a cloth or towel. Next, sprinkle baking soda over the bed and wait a few hours before vacuuming.
5. Shaving Foam
Shaving creams contain alcohol content, making them one of the best sanitising options. Spread the cream on your mattress, wait about 20 minutes for the extra foam to dry, then rinse your bed with vinegar and water and leave to dry.
Cornstarch is a kitchen ingredient to deodorise and disinfect your used mattress. And to do this, apply baking soda and cornstarch over your bed and leave for 30 minutes; vacuum and leave to dry.
How to Wash a Second-Hand Bed
It doesn’t matter how appealing an old mattress can be — you must clean it before use. Below are some tips to help you wash your second-hand bed correctly.
Step 1: Remove Everything From Your Mattress
The first step when washing your second-hand bed is to remove everything from your mattress, including the pillows, sheets, and protectors. Next, ensure that the mattress is on a level surface to streamline your cleaning process.
Step 2: Vacuum The Mattress
Use a hand vacuum or a mattress attachment to vacuum your mattress’s surfaces and sides and vacuum the entire area from top to bottom.
Step 3: Remove All Visible Stains
Stains on secondhand mattresses are persistent and can result from several things, including urine, sex-related stains, menstrual blood, sweat, and more. Before you proceed to the next cleaning step, ensure you have removed all visible stains.
Step 4: Sweat and Urine Stains
It’s common to have sweat stains on a mattress, but you don’t need to worry because you can use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and water to eliminate such stains. To do this, mix the components in equal portions and spray the remedy over the mattress. Once that’s done, use a cloth to dry your mattress (after about 20 minutes.)
What Do You Do if You Have Blood Stains?
Bloodstains are more challenging to get rid of than less severe stains like sweat. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t remove them — use a moist towel to blot the spots until they disappear. After the stain has dried, add baking soda over it and vacuum the area. And please note that you may need more than cold water to get rid of dried marks.
Deodorising an Old Mattress
You should deodorise a used mattress to eliminate the stale, skunky smell that accumulates over time. To do this, pour some droplets of fragrant oil into your baking soda before spreading it over the bed, leave for 12 to 24 hours and vacuum the mattress.
You can repeat the process to deodorise the other side of your mattress, but please note that this process doesn’t permanently remove stains and filth.
What is the Need to Disinfect Used Mattresses
Mattresses are highly absorbent and can accumulate a lot of unsanitary materials over time, including bed bugs, stains, dead skin, sweat, and urine.
Sleeping on a filthy mattress makes you prone to many health complications, so you’ll need to disinfect your used mattress before use and every six months.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if vinegar is spread on a mattress?
Pouring vinegar (mixed with water) on a mattress will neutralise the odour. All you have to do is fill a spray bottle with water and white vinegar, then lightly sprinkle the bed with the solution before leaving it to dry in the air.
Does vinegar attract bed bugs?
No, vinegar doesn’t attract bugs — it’s a powerful deterrent against bed bugs. But please remember that bugs’ eggs have strong shells, so the vinegar solution may not kill them. Most people use a magnifying glass to identify and kill bed bugs physically.
What happens when baking soda is poured on a mattress?
When baking soda is poured on a mattress, it can help reduce odours and absorb moisture. The sodium bicarbonate in the baking soda breaks down odours on contact, leaving the mattress smelling clean and fresh.
Baking soda also helps draw out moisture from the mattress, helping to reduce the growth of mould and mildew, which helps prolong the life of your mattress. To use baking soda on a mattress, sprinkle it liberally and leave it for several hours. Vacuum up any excess baking soda, and then enjoy the fresh scent of your mattress.
What instantly kills bed bugs?
Chemical and non-chemical treatments are often used to control bed bug infestations. Chemical treatments such as aerosols, dust, and insecticides can kill bed bugs on contact. Non-chemical treatments, such as vacuuming and steaming, can also kill bed bugs.
Additionally, proper sanitation and hygiene methods can help prevent an infestation from taking place. It is important to note that chemical treatments are not always effective and should be used with caution.
What smell kills bed bugs instantly?
Certain essential oils are known to kill bed bugs on contact. These include eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, and tea tree oil. These oils contain toxic compounds to bed bugs and can kill them instantly when applied directly to pests. It is important to note that essential oils should be used with caution and only with the advice of a professional exterminator.
Additionally, these oils are only sometimes effective in eliminating large infestations. With the help of a professional exterminator, you can find the most effective treatment for your particular situation.
How long should vinegar and baking soda sit on a mattress?
For lighter smells, a few hours may be enough. For more severe odours and stains, vinegar and baking soda may take up to 24 hours to work. Once the desired amount of time has passed, vacuum the mattress to remove the remaining baking soda and vinegar.
Will hydrogen peroxide disinfect a mattress?
Yes, you can use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect a mattress. Hydrogen peroxide is an effective sanitising agent that can help remove bacteria and germs from the bed. Before using hydrogen peroxide, vacuum the mattress and spray them onto the bed. Allow the solution to sit for several minutes before wiping it off with a damp cloth.
What happens if you spray alcohol on your bed at night?
Spraying alcohol on your bed at night can help to kill bacteria and other germs that may be present. However, it is essential to note that alcohol is flammable and should not be used near an open flame or any other heat source. Alcohol can also irritate the skin, so it is essential to wear protective clothing when using this method.
Additionally, alcohol should never be sprayed directly onto a mattress as it could damage the fabric. Instead, use a cloth to dab the alcohol onto the surface of the mattress gently. Once finished, allow the mattress to dry completely before using it again.
Using the correct methods, disinfecting a used mattress can be relatively simple. Chemical and non-chemical treatments such as aerosols, dust, insecticides, vacuuming, steaming, and essential oils can all be used to kill bed bugs and other germs effectively. Also, you should maintain proper sanitation and hygiene habits to prevent infestations.
You can also use hydrogen peroxide and alcohol to disinfect the mattress. Still, it is essential to use caution when using these methods as they can be flammable and cause skin irritation. Overall, keeping your used mattress safe and clean with the proper knowledge and techniques is possible.