How to clean a mattress in eight easy steps to ‘kill’ dust mites – ‘will soak up sweat’ – Express

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Cleaning mattresses is a great way to prevent bed bugs, which can survive up to a year. To prevent the build-up of mites and bed bugs, Martin Seeley, the CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay explained: “Before you start, it’s essential to check the care instructions on your mattress. So, read your care instructions before carrying out any of the tips.”
According to the expert, dust mites thrive in warmer environments so you should let the mattress air for at least 30 minutes in the morning before making it. This will lessen the chances of dust mites loitering in the bed.
The sleep expert explained: “The general guideline is that those sheets and pillowcases should be stripped off and you should change your bedding at least once a week. 
“This is because 80 percent of household dust mites are made up of your dead skin, which you naturally produce more overnight and can ruin your mattress.
“You should, therefore, strip your mattress and wash your bedding once a week and use a hot wash (60 degrees) once a month as this is the recommended temperature to kill germs, including dust mites. 
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“You will however need to combine this wash with a good detergent to protect your bedding and keep it extra soft.”
When stripping bedding off, sprinkle some baking soda onto the surface of the mattress before leaving it for a few hours.
According to the expert, baking soda is incredibly absorbent and “will soak up sweat” residue and any odours which may be lingering. After a few hours, the mattress can be vacuumed.
Martin said: “Prevention is always better than cure, so breaking out the vacuum regularly will help reduce dust and dirt. It won’t eliminate any dust mites, but it will take away their food source, namely dust and dead skin cells. 
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“Use a soft attachment and carefully give the surface a quick vacuum when changing your sheets.”
If you find you have stains on your mattress, the first step is to use a mild detergent solution on it. Apply enough pressure so that it penetrates into the surface of the mattress.
After five minutes, the expert recommended using another sponge or rag to rinse away any excess liquid from the surface of the mattress.
Martin added: “If there’s still some left behind, continue soaking until all of the liquid has been removed from both sides of your mattress cover.”
READ MORE: ‘Simple’ methods to dry wet laundry ‘sufficiently’ in winterBaking soda can help to soak up any odoursThe expert explained: “Once you’ve removed all of the excess liquid, place your memory foam mattress in direct sunlight to dry. If it’s cold outside, use a fan to blow warm air over the wet spots on your mattress cover so that they dry faster. 
“It’s incredibly important to ensure that it’s fully dry before going to sleep on it as moisture can lead to the growth of mildew. Some mildew produces mycotoxins which, if you suffer from asthma, can become a health hazard.”
Mix some water with white vinegar as well as essential oils, spritz it onto the mattress. The acidity in vinegar acts as a superb deterrent against dust mites, and will help to break down the protein in their droppings, which are responsible for the allergens that sleepers react to.
Martin noted: “Distilled white vinegar is best and the solution should be sprayed, rather than poured, over the whole mattress.”White vinegar can help to kill off dust mitesMattress toppers help to protect the actual mattress from stains and also provide extra comfort to whoever may be using the bed.
The sleep expert said: “They slip over the top of your mattress, giving you an extra layer of protection and comfort, helping to prolong the life of your mattress. 
“Offering greater protection than toppers, mattress protectors are designed to lengthen the life of your mattress. 
“From waterproof protectors to those that prevent dust and mites, a protector is highly recommended.”
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