Think of it as sleeping with the enemy!
Your bed collects dirt and dander and habours microscopic dust mites, all of which are major causes of allergies. Keeping your mattresses clean not only helps them last longer, but also improves the health conditions in the room where you spend at least one third of your life.
Technique: Vacuum mattresses twice every year. Use an appropriate vacuum cleaner preferably one with a HEPA filter. You will be surprised by how much dander and lint are in there. If you use a mattress cover, wash it in the washing machine or clean manually with a regular washing detergent. If someone in the family is ill, use an antiseptic like Dettol. That helps prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria from one family member to another.
In case you are cleaning up after a bed wetter, blot up as much of the urine as possible using a clean towel. You can then extract with a wet vacuum cleaner. If you do not have access to one of those machines, blot with wet towels and sponge in a little vinegar to neutralize the odour. Blot again using wet towels and then dry the mattress in the sun. The suns rays help in killing bacteria.
True Story: My Dad was suffering from respiratory complications for many years. He visited many doctors and specialists but could find no respite for his condition. He was advised by a friend to visit a doctor at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) who was very good with respiratory issues. He traveled from upcountry to the city and on meeting the said doctor, he questioned him meticulously about this condition, when it began and at what time of day it got worst. He gathered that it got worst at night after he went to bed.
He advised him to inspect his mattress once he got home, get it out and pound on it with a 2×4. This he did and was shocked by the amount of dust that came from the mattress. From then on, his condition improved exponentially without any medication. To date, Mom pounds on the mattress monthly and the old man is doing great at the ripe old age of 82.
Lesson: Do not ignore that mattress… in any case, you’ll spend one third of your life on it!