Be it a posh five-star or a three-star hotel, many a time, a musty smell greets us when entering a room. We often dismiss it by attributing the cause to non-usage of room or non-circulation of air. Never have we realised that mattresses are home to dust mites, liquid spills like coffee and tea, dead skin, even urine, moulds, etc., and infestation grounds for bacteria which release enzymes causing smell in enclosed rooms. The next thing that probably would catch our attention is the linen or the mattress cover and we would, at the most, ask for a change of linen.
The outcome of using unclean mattresses could be one from a simple allergic cold to serious skin diseases like eczema.
Cleaning a mattress or sanitising it, is not simple. It cannot be just thrown into the washer or rinsed in the backyard with a hose. Regular maintenance and timely cleaning depending upon the usage helps keep the mattress and the user healthy.
In normal circumstances, mattress can be taken up for cleaning every three to four months and more often if there are spills or pets. “But in hospitals and hotels, since the mattress is always in use, the linen has to be changed everyday besides regular cleaning and pest control of mattress,” says Rashmi Shroff, Manager-HR & Training, All Services Under One Roof.
While linen can be treated for stains and dirt using detergents & chemicals, the best way to clean mattress are:
- Attack the mattress vigorously using a vacuum cleaner
- Suck up the dirt, especially from all four sides of the mattress using the right attachment
- Either scrub the mattress with a mild solution of detergent or use steam cleaning
- In case of stains, use a thinner and rub the spot gently
- Detergent could be diluted with water and using a hard duster or hand brush rub the spotted areas
- Dry the area using a drier
Stains from the inevitable dog, child, or other unmentionable accidents are much harder to remove when left to sit for a period of time. As soon as the incident has been discovered, the mattress should be cleaned thoroughly. Initially, a wet stain shouldn’t be left to absorb any more fluid. Using a few cloths or paper towels, remove as much moisture as humanly possible from the area. Thereafter, scrubbing the same solution of detergent and water should be enough to get the stain out. A little lemon juice can help with aroma problems as well as colour issues.
Sun bathing is one best method of treating the mattress. The sun’s intense rays can have a bleaching effect on the mattress stain.
“Besides the comprehensive cleaning, the mattress should be brushed daily using an upholstery brush and taken up for general vacuuming every week,” adds Rashmi.
Finally, putting the mattress in an airtight wrap would keep everything under the microscope from living in it. This could be changed once a year.