Por TreeLiving When did you last clean your mattress? For most of us, the answer will probably be ‘Never’. It’s a strange thing, given how much time we spend on our mattresses, and how particular we tend to be about having clean linen. When you remember that many of us also allow our pets to curl up on the bed, the neglect of our mattresses seems even more bizarre. Washable fabric mattress protectors are a big help, but they don’t fully insulate the mattress from dust and dirt. Also, since a lot of people indulge themselves by watching TV in bed, and drinking coffee, there’s always room for spills and accidents. If that happens, or just because it needs refreshing, the mattress presents obvious cleaning challenges. You can’t just throw it in the washing machine, but there are easy ways to get it fresher and cleaner. Cleaning doesn’t have to rely on soap, water and heavy scrubbing, let alone chemicals. A top tip is to put your mattress in strong sunlight, if that’s possible, whenever you can. Sunlight kills dust mites and will go a long way towards making your mattress fresher. For another level of refreshing, try the baking soda eco solution. Vacuum or brush any surface dust and fluff off first, then give it a light sprinkling of baking soda. It absorbs odours and stale smells and can then be vacuumed up in turn. You may want to do both sides of your mattress at once while you’re at it. For tougher dirt and stains, a steam clean will do the job very efficiently indeed. It uses plain hot water vapor and some liquid cleaning agent to clean and restore. You will have no problem finding green cleaning fluids that aren’t bursting with unpleasant chemicals. If you don’t want to go down that road at all you can try using a weak dilute solution of white vinegar and avoid the chemicals altogether. Small, handy steam cleaners for home use are available to buy, or you can rent a machine from stores in your area. If you have carpets to clean, do the mattresses too. Even if you only use it a few times a year, a steam cleaner has multiple uses and is an ideal way to make sure your bed is really clean. If you’re buying a new mattress, there are some worthwhile tips for a green home. Mattresses that can be flipped over are easier to clean than fixed base versions. Avoid mattresses with flame retardants, because these can give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A really good mattress protector or mat will help keep it in pristine condition. Dust mites can cause serious allergies. The bed bug epidemic in the US has also made a lot of people sit up and take a good look at mattress hygiene. Have a look at yours and consider giving it a good clean, to go with the rest of your green and eco-friendly home.