We spend 1/3 of our day in our beds…

…so it’s only natural to worry about the health of something that we spend so much time on. This week we asked “would you use a used mattress?, and disturbingly surprisingly, the majority said that they would use a used mattress. This, of course, raises the question “what is the best way to clean a used mattress?”

New or used, that mattress needs to be cleaned regularly regardless. And for those of you who think spraying febreze or simply dusting the surface cleans a mattress, think again:

“Don’t do it. I managed a rent-to-own furniture store years ago and there is a rather extensive process to re-cleaning and reupholstering mattresses. The amount of insects, bacteria, and germs in a used mattress would shock you. “

So what’s a budget-conscious avid sleeper to do? Clean your mattress the right way!

You Have More Roomates Than You Think

Research cited in a Daily Mail article reports that within 2 years of use, one-third of a pillow’s weight comprises dead skin cells, bugs, dead dust mites and their faeces… Gross. Hundreds of pillows were tested during this research and the tests revealed high levels of ‘living contamination’ on the outside of the pillows.


  • Kill dust mites by washing pillows regularly at 60C or putting them in the freezer for 24 hours.
  • Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to tackle dust and dust mites that can build on the surface of your mattress.
  • For serious jobs, consider a professional mattress cleaning service.  Most use a high powered vacuum that removes 99.97% of all waste.


  • Apply an upholstery shampoo or detergent/water mix to the surface of the mattress to remove dirt and soil. Use fans or place mattress under the sun to dry area quickly.
  • Mattress cleaning companies like HomeEnviroHealth and GreenChoiceCarpet sterilize mattresses with a chemical-free disinfectant to kill viruses, spores, and bacteria within the mattress.


  • To fight insects like bed bugs, apply an all-natural, hygienic mattress spray (Remember, this is something you spend ⅓ of your life sprawled out on. You don’t want to be sinking into chemicals and allergens). The spray should be anti-bacterial and will also act as an insect repellent.


  • For spills, start by soaking up any liquid using dry towels. (Once soaked up, throw those towels into the wash immediately). Lightly spray vinegar on the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes to fully disinfect the mattress and eliminate odor. Sprinkle baking soda over stain and left it sit for 12 hours. Vacuum the remaining baking soda.


  • Flip your mattress every six months.
  • To prevent the return of dust mites or bed bugs after cleaning, invest in a mattress cover. They are designed specifically to protect against the invasion of these critters.

You’ve got your work cut out for you.

Even if you wash your sheets daily or your mattress is a new top-of-the-line that you bought less than a year ago, you have to wonder- how are you really treating the most used piece of furniture in the house?

So now knowing what you know, would you use a #usedmattress you found left in your new apartment?