By Laundry Expert Nicole Gibson from Soka Australia


Let’s face it, we regularly wash our kids’ pyjamas and most nights they have a bath, however, how often do we clean their mattress? Children under the age of five spend approximately 50% of their day sleeping so it’s something as parents we really need to make time for regular maintenance and cleaning.

Poor mattress hygiene can contribute to poor air quality in your home. This is caused by an increase in organic matter such as dead skin cells, dust, dust mite faeces, dirt and grime, and foul odours caused by germs, bacteria, body oils and sweat. It can also trigger allergies to flare up such as breathing difficulties and changes in skin integrity.

A mattress protector is recommended for reducing superficial stains.  It also reduces the amount of organic matter that can get trapped in the mattress and therefore also needs regular washing every 2-4 weeks.

Whether you have a new mattress, an old mattress, or have bought a second hand mattress, it is important to clean it at least every month.

How to clean your mattress

  1. Wait for a sunny day
  1. Strip off all the sheets and bedding and put through a hot wash cycle according to care instructions
  1. Sprinkle bicarb soda over the mattress and allow to absorb odours for at least 30 minutes
  1. Vacuum the mattress ensuring you target all crevices and corners
  1. Spray your mattress to increase protection.


  • A simple eco DIY mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. Diffuse some fresh mint or add some mint essential oil to the mix to help deter bed buds and keep the mattress smelling fresh
  • Alternatively, to go one step further you could spray a few squirts of the Norwex mattress cleaner. This eco-friendly product contains enzymes and biodegradable ingredients that seeks and destroys organic matter, pet dander and other contaminants from mattresses, bedding, soft furnishings, and even soft toys. As an allergy sufferer this has been a life changing addition to my cleaning regime.


For further information on the Norwex Mattress cleaner reach out to Rebecca Allpass Healthy Home Expert

Interesting Mattress Facts

  • 10% of the population have dust might allergies cause by dust mite faeces.
  • 90% of asthmatics suffer from dust mite allergies
  • Up to 10% of the weight of a 2-year-old pillow is dust mites and their faeces.
  • A new mattress will double its weight in 10 years
  • Children spend nearly half of their day sleeping
  • Adults spend approximately a third of their day sleeping

Mattress Protector Experiment

My son is a typical teenage boy – smelly, sweaty, and grimy and despite using soap in the shower and an exfoliating towel, his bedding is still a breading ground for organic matter, bacteria and odours.  This experiment highlights the importance of regular mattress cleaning even though it may not look dirty!

  1. The single mattress protector was removed from the bed and weighed 1353 grams.
  2. Deep cleaned the mattress protector using hot water and an ecofriendly cleaning recipe.
  3. Machine wash on a hot cycle as tolerated by care instructions
  4. Line dry in the sun

After this initial process the mattress protector weighed in at 1307 grams. A massive reduction of 46 grams of organic matter had been removed so far!

  1. Sprayed 4 squirts of the Norwex mattress cleaner over the single mattress protector.
  2. Allow to air dry for a few hours
After this part of the experiment the mattress protector weighed in at 1290 grams. A further 17grams of organic matter was eliminated!
A total of 63 grams!!

Take home message

Regular mattress cleaning is important to maintain good health and wellbeing.

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