How to Clean an Old Mattress to Sanitize for Dust Mites and Mildew

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Old mattresses can be hazardous to your health in several ways. In storage, mattresses can develop mold and mildew and a large number of dust mites. Even mattresses left sitting out in a room will accumulate of dust mites. If you're planning on using an old mattress or if your current mattress hasn't been cleaned in a while, there are some tips that you should follow in order to clean it properly.


Step 1

Soak a washcloth in water and apply dish/hand soap to it liberally, and then scrub the affected areas of the mattress down thoroughly. If the mattress has been sitting unused for a while, it is a good idea to scrub the whole surface down to sanitize it completely.

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Step 2

Spray the mattress with a citrus cleaner or soak a washcloth in a detergent/water mix (1/8 cup detergent per gallon of water) or vinegar/water mix (8 cups vinegar per gallon of water). Dab at the affected areas of the mattress, and then scrub it down thoroughly.


Step 3

When you are done scrubbing the mattress, open a window or set it outside for several hours to allow it to dry.

Step 4

Give the odorous areas of the mattress a thorough dusting in baking soda and allow it to sit, undisturbed, for approximately 8 to 10 hours, then take the mattress outside and shake it off completely to remove the baking soda.


Step 5

Move the mattress to a sunny area and leave it there for several days (a sun porch with large windows is perfect). After it has had at least a day of total sun exposure (24 hours), vacuum the entire surface thoroughly. This will remove the now dried out mold/mildew spores as well as any dust mites. Follow steps 1 and 3 or 2 and 3 to finish sanitizing your mattress.



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