21 answers

Cleaning Used Crib Mattress

So, I bought a brand-new-looking crib mattress at a yard sale for only $5, feeling like I got the best deal ever. I still think maybe I did. But it wasn't until I was leaving with it in my car that the words "dust mites" entered my head! All my research online says the only suggestion for cleaning is to vacuum the surface. I'm happy to put a sturdy cover over this this, but is there any way to ensure that this mattress isn't already completely ifested with critters that I can't see? I wish I could, I don't know, fumigate it or something to be sure it's safe before I put a baby on it.

Thanks ladies!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

DO NOT use bleach or other solutions to clean the mattress. These are toxic and can lead to breathing problems. An infant should not inhale toxic fumes. The previous posts about used cribs leading to SIDS is correct.
Here are a few articles to read:
http://www.babysake.com/
http://www.hpakids.org/holistic-health/articles/138/1/Cri...

2 moms found this helpful

there is a school of thought that household fungi ( found in mattresses) combined with heat cause toxic fumes that lead to crib death. the fungus is more prevalent in used mattresses - makes sense they are older. Baby mattress covers are recommended for used or second use mattresses. you can visit www.babymattresscovers.com for more info and FAQ's.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

DO NOT use bleach or other solutions to clean the mattress. These are toxic and can lead to breathing problems. An infant should not inhale toxic fumes. The previous posts about used cribs leading to SIDS is correct.
Here are a few articles to read:
http://www.babysake.com/
http://www.hpakids.org/holistic-health/articles/138/1/Cri...

2 moms found this helpful

I am not sure if you are in San Diego but see the information below. They do that ultraviolet light (something like that) mattress cleaning and it kills dust mites. They do it for adult, child and baby mattresses.
Good luck!

Tandem Cleaning Services
Hygienic Health Solutions
Vincenzo Santangelo
2505 Fletcher Parkway
El Cajon, CA 92020
###-###-#### Direct
###-###-#### Fax

1 mom found this helpful

there is a school of thought that household fungi ( found in mattresses) combined with heat cause toxic fumes that lead to crib death. the fungus is more prevalent in used mattresses - makes sense they are older. Baby mattress covers are recommended for used or second use mattresses. you can visit www.babymattresscovers.com for more info and FAQ's.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi D.,

I work for a Cleaning & Restoration company in North Las Vegas (Servpro of northern Las Vegas) and I also LOVE finding great deals at garage sales... :) Anytime I get something that will go to my son I have it cleaned here. But, if you prefer to clean it yourself, I would highly recommend using a vaccum with a HEPA filter. Then place the mattress in the sun, that should take care of any "bug" problems. I can also recommend other options, but it all depends on how far you want to go with it. Also, a good steam cleaning is helpful but not necessary.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns, our company deals with these problems quite frequently. Good luck and nice job on the purchase!

Sincerely
C.

Crib mattress causing SIDS is just a theory, and never has been proven just like anything else. Just like the bumper pads that moms like to use in cribs, some say that can lead to SIDS as well. There are many things some may say that causes SIDS but all is a theory, back in the old days they called it cradal death, today the name is SIDS. I had 5 children and never had a new crib or mattress, and my oldest child is 21, and nothing happen to them. Another thing about this issue is if it caused SIDS then how come baby store consignment or so, still selling them. Like I say this is a theory just like everything else and has not been proven what actually causes SIDS. But if you prefer go ahead and but a new one and follow your instinct. I always used a good mattress cover because i never allowed my children to lay on the plastic surface.

Hi D., most crib matresses are not cloth like, they are more of a water proff material, i'm not sure that dust mites can get into those matrsses, but what i did with my second baby, cause he used the same matress ans my first, i vacumed it on both sides then I sprayed it with lysol disinfectvie on bothsides, had no problems. J.

If the Mattress has a plastic kinda coating where you can wipe it down with a solution of 1/2 cup bleach to 1 gallon of
water. My Mom always told me bleach kills everything. Then I would also check peroxide. I got an e-mail about how much better that was than bleach. Both would be good.
If it is cloth spray it or wash it and let it dry out. Put a crib matress pad on it. I am sure it will be fine.

I would clean if off with a Clorox Spray. I believe most baby mattresses have a vinyl cover. I would spray it real tood with that.

Place it in the sun for the whole afternoon for 2 days or so .Flip it over a couple times and vacume it up . I have a Kirby vac with a mattress attachment that sucks EVERYTHING up from the mattress. I would also lysol the bejessus out of it as well.

D. - Vaccuming is a great idea. Also, Try using a carpet shampooer to clean it. I'm not sure what else might work. Good Luck!

Hello D.,
I used an orange scented spray cleaner that said environmental friendly to clean my children's mattress when they needed it. Also I bought a plastic zipper bag from k-mart for each crib mattress and that made it last longer and it didn't smell from leaky diapers or spit-up. I hope you enjoy your new baby. They grow way to fast. D.

We did so much research on crib matresses before my daughter was born and the one constant that came up was DO NOT use an old or used matress. Unfortunately you do not know where it has been, or how it was treated. Babies sweat, pee, drool, and throw up. These substances get into the cushioning of the matress and can't be cleaned out therefor forming harmful bacteria to your child. We were given a crib and matress and we kindly declined the mattress and bought a new one for these reasons. Alot of my research actually said using an old matress can contribute to SIDS. I tend to border on the uptight side, but no one wants to mess around with SIDS for a good bargain. As far as cleaning it you can not clean the deep insides of the matress where this bactria forms. For this same reason you should not use a used car seat either,that and because you don't know if it has been through an accident. Hope this helps. Sorry if I bummed you out over your "good deal", but from my research I feel really strongly about this. The other thing I want to mention is that a good matress is just as important for your baby as it is for you, not saying it is not a good one, but uness you know what kind it is, it would be hard to tell. In my personal opinion I would chuck it and invest in a new matress after all they will use it for quite some time so I think it is worth spending a few bucks. : ) Best of luck to you.

Hi D.,
I read some of the previous posts to you and some have had some great suggestions for taking safe precautions. (laying it in the sun, spraying lysol and zip up matress protection covers). All of those are great ideas. However, I wouldn't try the bleach method. The ones who scared you half to death, are just trying to be better safe than sorry and no one can blame anyone for that either, but I want to offer a few other thoughts for you and some of those readers.

I too LOVE a good garage sale and getting a bargain. It isn't out of necessity, but rather out of practicality and having fun shopping at them. (hubby and I are financially secure but just have an addiction to yard sales)
Here are some things to think about, when someone tells you oh, I'd never buy that used or let my child or myself eat off of yard sale dishes, etc... or sleep on a used mattress, bedding, etc.... Are those people telling me they have never eaten at a restaurant? You guessed it....... used plates, silverware, glasses, pots and pans, cloth napkins, etc..... Bedding? Never stayed at a hotel? Yep, used mattresses, bedding, towels, etc.... How about if you've ever put your child in dare care? Do you think they buy new cribs, jumpers, swings, toys, bedding for each child? NO, all used by other children and practical. So, what is any difference about buying at a yard sale? When I'm buying something I can see the previous owners, if they look a little questionable in their hygiene I simply don't buy the item. On the other hand, it is fairly easy to see how clean someone is by their home, their grooming, the sale items and their condition and that puts me more at ease. Then of course I always wash, disinfect, and lysol everything before I use it. I'm sure I clean it better than the restaurants, day cares and hotels do. Just something to think about. BTW, they have NO idea what is causing SIDS and they are blaming everything under the sun for it! I raised 2 kids on yard sale cribs, high chairs, bedding, clothes and toys. They are just fine! I'm currently picking up treasures for my new grand daughter and it leaves me more money to spoil her in other ways! Congrats on finding a great deal!

Hey D.,
A friend of mine used to have a 2nd hand childrens store and she would take all the crib mattresses she would purchase to a place that would sanitize them. It was a drapery cleaner in Ontario, CA (too far from Ventura) called Speigel. Check your local phone book and call around or ask local dry cleaners for referrals.

Good Luck

L.

Congratulations D. on deciding to stay home to raise your child. Best job to have.

For the bed - there are mattress covers that completely engulf the mattress. I would get one of those and just stick it in one like a pillowcase (need two people) and zip it up. Good job on getting a good deal:o)

Dust mites are important to be aware of but also the retardant spray that they soak the mattresses in are extremely harmful for our babies.

Hi D. - congrats on the baby! There is a product called Sol-U-Mel manufactured by Melaleuca that kills dust mites. Sol-U-Mel is actually a stain remover and deoderizer and cleaning booster, but its very versatile. For instance, it kills dust mites and its also a mosquito repellant! You can check it out by going to www.saferforyourhome.com. Just call me at ###-###-#### if you have any questions.
Happy nesting!
C.

www.sharethecause.com/thegreenhabit
If you care about our children...please watch this important video

There is a catalogue I sometimes receive 'Lifekind' they have mattress covers (& pillow) that block out dust mites.
Not sure the price though. I've always wondered if the dust mites are in the new martresses, also.
J.

If you're really worried about the dust mites, you can get a crib mattress at Babies R' Us for $ 39.99. I am an interior designer and I use them all the time for the model homes I decorate.
Good luck!

Well i read the previous posts having my son being young I wasn't fortunate enough to have the funds to buy a new crib and matress. He's 8 and well btw. We vacummed lysoled and layed in the sun his matress. Also if you live in a big enough communitiee check dry cleaners etc there are way to hvae matresses cleaned.

A good vacuuming and sit in the sun for a while should do the trick. Most crib mattresses are plastic/vinyl coated so you dont have to worry about the previous babys puke, pee, drool getting into the inner core of the mattress like a previous post suggested. If you are still worried after that, put a plastic cover over it, the zippered kind. I wouldnt use harsh chemicals.

Oh no! No fumigating! Bug poison is much worse than any bug could ever be. Most people are not sensitive to dust mites and babies might even just benefit from the exposure so they can build a resistance. Since you live in So Cal, you can wash the mattress and it will dry fast. Use a mild detergent and your showerhead and just soak it in the bathtub until it looks like the water is running out clear. Then put it in the sun for a good long time. If you're still afraid, one old wives trick for moths is to seal it airtight in a trash bag with tape for a few weeks. Nothing can survive with no air. If your baby develops a mysterious stuffy nose that won't go away, I would reconsider buying a new mattress, but for now, relax a little. And no bug poison in the baby bed for god's sake. That is not good for anybody.

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