Prolong the life of your mattress
Proper maintenance is the key to mattress longevity. Even with proper care, mattresses have a finite life and need to be recycled. But proper maintenance will prolong a mattress's life. Additionally, prolonging the life of your mattress conserves resources and means fewer mattresses in landfills.
How to prolong the life of your mattress
Prolonging your mattress is almost as easy as counting sheep, but you'll only need two little lambs because all you have to do is 1) keep it clean and 2) prevent undue wear.
Maintaining a clean mattress
Keeping your mattress clean will help to prevent some allergens, like mold and mildew, or dust mites, from growing on your mattress and causing health problems. An easy preventative measure is to use a mattress cover or pad. These simply encase your mattress with a fabric cover that can be easily removed and laundered.
But sometimes even our best efforts can't prevent a stain or two. Just remember to avoid toxic upholstery cleaners. Instead, treat stains on your mattress with nontoxic options:
- Baking soda and vinegar: Apply baking soda and lett it soak up the stain for about 15-20 minutes before vacuuming. Vacuuming your mattress regularly will help to remove some of the dust mites, flaked skin, dirt, pet dander, and dust from your mattress. For tough stains you can apply vinegar first, then blot up the excess liquid and cover with baking soda overnight. Baking soda is also good for removing odors.
- Citrus based cleaner: Spray it on the stain and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then take a clean, dry cloth and blot the stain until the area is dry to the touch. Be sure that you dry the area thoroughly or you could possibly have another problem with mold or mildew.
- Use mild dishwashing detergent: Blot the stained area with the detergent and then gently wipe it with a damp sponge. Allow it to air dry before replacing bedding.
Handle your mattress with care
What's on the outside isn't the only indicator of your mattress' good health. You should also be careful to handle your mattress properly so that the frame, springs, and foam serve you well for many, many sleeps.
- Rotate and flip your mattress: Most manufacturers recommend your mattress be flipped or turned once per month for the first three months and every three months thereafter. Pillowtop and latex mattresses should be turned once a month.
- Carry your mattress flat on its side: It’s easier to handle this way and you’ll be less likely to damage the mattress. Don’t bend your mattress, either. Doing so may damage the innerspring unit. Flex rather than bend the mattress when going through doorways, and don’t bend the corners when putting on fitted sheets.
Find it! Eco-friendly mattresses and mattress cleaners
Need a little help finding the perfect stain remover for your mattress? Check out these eco-cleaners:
Spray product uses the biotechnology of natural enzymes found in orange peels to break down stains and odors. It's tough on grim, grease, and dirt, and has a pleasant scent, too!
Seventh Generation products use plant-based cleaning agents making them nontoxic, free of unpleasant fumes, petroleum, and dangerous chemicals. They are biodegradable, vegan, and cruelty-free.
Prolonging the life of your mattress helps you go green because…
- Conserving resources and consuming less means having a smaller footprint.
- It means you won't have to send your mattress to the landfill for a long, long time.
In today‘s conventional mattresses, the most common materials used are man-made. They‘re derived from petrochemicals and from natural gas, which are nonrenewable resources. These products contribute to several environmental hazards including disruption of land and ocean habitats and pollution of water supplies.
Most mattresses are sprayed with toxic fungicides, pesticides, and flame-retardants, water and stain repellents, all of which can contaminate our soil and water. And if they contain recycled steel springs, there may also be heavy metals present, and other contaminants from the steel-recycling process.
Mattresses also contain wood, which is a renewable resource, but one that is often harvested in an non-sustainable manner. Thirty million acres of tropical forest are cut down annually, with the US accounting for almost one third of global wood-buying sales. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guarantees a wood product's eco-friendliness. FSC certifies wood that is sustainably harvested and supports the growth of responsible forest management worldwide.
In the US, 33,000,000 mattresses are produced annually and 20,000,000 are discarded, many of which could have had longer lives if they had been properly maintained. Mattresses and boxsprings are a problem in landfills because they do not biodegrade, create flammable air pockets, and can be dangerous for equipment operators.