This week I am welcoming guest author, Dylan Foster from HealthWellWise.com. He is sharing some important information about something we all take for granted and think of rarely….OUR MATTRESSES!

What’s In a Mattress? More Than You Probably Think

by guest author, Dylan Foster

Countertops, floors, and clothes all have one thing in common: they get dirty. You have to wash them regularly to keep dirt and stains from building up, but did you know the same applies to your mattress? While you might think you are relatively clean when you collapse onto your bed each night, your mattress is the perfect spot for all sorts of gunk to build up. In order to maintain your mattress health and yours, cleaning it is a must.

Get Rid of Bed Buddies

You might not want to hear this, but the average mattress is home to tens of thousands of microscopic dust mites that feast on dead skin, hair, and pet dander. The worst part is that it isn’t the bug itself that causes allergic reactions such as runny nose, sneezing, asthma, and cough – it’s their feces. At this point, your skin might be crawling, but the idea of cleaning your mattress with chemicals might have the same effect. Look for natural ways to banish the mites. Mix together your own mite spray by combining distilled water with tea tree oil, making use of the oil’s antibacterial and antifungal properties to rid your bed of dust mites.

Take protective measures by encasing your mattress with an allergen-proof mattress cover, and vacuuming it regularly using a small, hand-held vacuum to lower the amount of dust that finds its way back into the air. If you’ve had your mattress for five years or more, the amount of dust mites, bacteria, and microorganisms that have built up could be making you sick. At some point, no amount of cleaning will do, so it might be time to invest in a new mattress so that you can start from square one and stay on top of maintenance. Buying a new mattress isn’t something you do often (it’s recommended to replace it at least every 7-10 years) and it can be overwhelming, so do your research online to ensure your mattress is perfect for you.

Don’t Sleep in Your Own Filth

It doesn’t matter if you shower right before bed, you are the source of a lot of the dirt that builds up on your mattress. Skin cells, bacteria (skin, oral, intestinal/fecal), food, sweat, and cosmetics naturally collect on your mattress and sheets over time. Add to this the fact that gravity works against you and makes your mattress the perfect place for dust to settle, and you have one filthy place to lay your head at night. The good news is that you can deep clean your mattress using common household products. Once you remove your sheets, you may find that you have sweat stains and other miscellaneous spots on your mattress. Mix together hydrogen peroxide and water, spray directly on the stain, and let sit for 10 minutes. For an overall clean, sprinkle baking soda on the mattress, rub it in, and vacuum it off after about 20 minutes. In addition to the mattress, be sure to clean all bed items, including pillows, sheets, comforters, blankets, and any comfort items you might sleep with as well such as a stuffed animal.

Once you’ve cleaned the mattress, consider taking steps to prevent allergens from building up throughout your home and making their way into the bedroom. The easiest way to reduce allergens is by getting rid of dust, but dry dusting simply sends particles flying into the air. When you are dusting, use a damp cloth to trap dust rather than spread it around.

On the same note, be sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter to lock in all the small particles. Take advantage of the attachments that come with your vacuum as well so that you can clean furniture, curtains, and hard to reach places where dust accumulates. Make sure you aren’t reversing all your cleaning efforts by keeping windows and doors closed during peak allergy season when pollen and ragweed are at their highest.

Until now, you might not have realized just how dirty your mattress can get. Now that you know, you can take steps to clean and renew. Once you do, you can breathe a deep (clean) sigh of relief when your head hits the pillow.