How to Clean Your Mattress and Keep Scabies at Bay

Doctors across the UK are warning of a “nightmare” surge in scabies cases, according to an exclusive from the Guardian this week.

The highly contagious condition presents an itchy rash that is caused by mites and can be spread from skin-to-skin contact, according to the NHS. Research also suggests that these mites can live 48–72 hours off the body, which means they may lie dormant within beds, sheets, and clothing for those who have been contaminated.

With this in mind, experts from leading bed retailer Bensons for Beds provide insights on how to properly clean your mattress and how often the UK is actually doing this essential household chore.

Experts recommend you clean your mattress every six months, but only 11% of Brits are doing this, while 40% of us are cleaning them less regularly.

What’s even more worrying is that over 1 in 6 Brits (15.8%) never clean their mattress and are brave enough to admit it, with a further 8% only tackling the chore when faced with a big stain.

So, is it really a big deal that people aren’t cleaning their mattresses properly? It could be.

The average Brit spends seven or more hours sleeping per night, that’s seven hours for dead skin cells, sweat, and dust to amass in the warmth of your mattress. If we take that over six months, that’s approximately 1,260 hours—52 whole days—that the debris has to accumulate, meaning you may be sharing your mattress with unwanted bacteria.

And like it or not, if scabies aren’t a big enough concern, there may also be dust mites sharing the bed; in fact, it’s estimated that on average, beds contain around 10,000 dust mites, which produce over two million droppings. If you have allergies, these dust mites can really cause them to flare up.

Experts at Bensons advise the best way to give your mattress a deep clean. “Firstly, remove the bedding completely and allow your mattress to air out. Vacuum the mattress with the upholstery attachment and remove the top layer of buildup from the surface. Sprinkle baking soda across the mattress and leave for a couple of hours to allow it to extract dirt and debris from the inside. Vacuum up the remaining baking soda, flip, and repeat—a quick, cheap, and painless way to keep it clean!”

By following their instructions and mixing up a special remedy to remove mattress stains or by taking full advantage of BedGuard, the care plan that gives you 5-year accident cover on your beds and mattresses, Bensons experts can help keep your mattress clean without the stress.