Hi-tech cleaning for your mattress

Earlier beds were cleaned by putting them out in the sun to kill the germs and beating them with a stick to remove dust. But today there are options of shampooing and hi-tech vacuum cleaning available for the same.

Even after making her home in Koramangla, dust-free, Shilpa Rao, 55, a teacher at an international school, suffered from persistent allergic reactions. Her doctor suggested that the problem might lie in her mattress and she needs to get it cleaned. She contacted ‘Clean Fanatic’, a company specialising in cleaning mattresses. Shilpa says that after the cleaning, her wheezing has reduced considerably.

Cleaning in progress at the Prabhakarans’ home in Banaswadi. Pic: Yogaraj S Mudalgi

Brothers Anuroop and Sanjay Prabhakaran, 34 and 38, who live in Banaswadi, too opted for the service after constant allergic reactions to dust. "We thought it was the pollution but we are not exposed to dust outside so we decided to see if this helps," says Anuroop.

Mattresses harbour millions of dust mites, that feed on dead skin and dust. These mites thrive in all seasons and do not go away after washing or shampooing. Dr.Nagendra Prasad Komarla, Allergy Physician at Bengaluru Allergy Centr, off Mission Road says that the mite float easily in air as they are small and light.

"Every one inhales mite bodies along with fecal particles. The body and the droppings of mites are rich in proteins and those vulnerable to allergies become sensitised to the mites and react to get nasal allergy, lung allergy (Allergy asthma) and skin allergy," he says.

Businesses like Clean Fanatic and Sanitair claim to specialise in sanitising mattresses. They use a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter based vacuuming equipment, which can suck out particles of up to 0.3 microns in size.

Dr Komarla says that HEPA fitted vacuum cleaners are better than normal vacuum cleaners as they can suck in more minute particles. He adds that traditional methods of putting the mattress in the sun and beating it can help but does not entirely get rid of mites as they might settle down again with the dust.

Cleaning in progress at the Prabhakarans’ home in Banaswadi. Pic: Yogaraj S Mudalgi

"Sunlight is strong enough to kill mites but their droppings might still remain in the mattresses," he says. He adds that an average person does not need to go in for specialised mattress cleaning services regularly. "It can be of help to people suffering allergies or asthma," he says.

Nishant Prasad, 34, who started Clean Fanatic seven months ago says that their cleaning process consists of three steps. It starts with sweeping the mattress with Ultra Violet light stick, then vacuuming the mattress with a HEPA filter and finally, sprayed with an organic neem based spray to minimize recurrence of dust mites.

The HEPA filter does not collect the dust in a bag but in a bowl of water, attached to the machine, making the entire process dust-free. Sanitair, a one-year old company based in Indiranagar, has a single step of using the HEPA vacuum machine. The process takes an average half hour per mattress.

The sanitising process is different from mattress cleaning service like Tippu Cleaning Services on Bannerghatta Raod. Prasahant, the owner, says that they clean bedding by first applying a chemical based shampoo and scrubbing it thoroughly. Then, the lather is sucked out through a normal vacuum and left to dry for an hour.

Shibi Agin, manager at Sanitair, says that just shampooing a mattress or a sofa is not enough to kill the mites. "Making a mattress wet only makes it easier for the mites to thrive." She adds that just cleaning mattresses does not take care of mites; sofas and pillows too have to be regularly cleaned. "Mites are present in pillows, quilts, sofas and mattresses. They can cling to our clothes and begin to infest sanitised mattresses," she says.   

Clean Fanatic charges Rs 700 for a double bed mattress and Rs 125 per seat of a sofa. If one wants to opt for an Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) service, which consists of cleaning twice in a year, a discount of 15 – 20% on the bill can be availed. Sanitair charges Rs 300 per sofa seat and Rs 700 for a double and 500 for a single bed mattress. A discount of 15% can be availed if opting for twice a year service. Tippu Cleaning Services charges Rs 800 for a king-sized bed and Rs 600 for a single bed.

Comments:

  1. Venson Thomas says:

    Unfortunately, this article is misleading. Management of allergens in the home environment can be managed a less cost and as well by occupants.

    The vacuums shown in use are American-made Rainbow vacuums; a very over-priced (1,500 dollars approx.) machine that does not exceed the filtration of many far less expensive vacuums on the market.

    As well, vacuums and devices that employ ultraviolet light to kill dust mites come with no specifics as to what speed of use per what amount of passes per minute per what amount of area successfully exterminates the highest amount of dust mites.

    Shampooing a mattress is not a great idea. There is too much chance of over-wetting and bringing on other problems. Vacuuming a mattress with a decent but not over-priced vacuum cleaner and use of a vapor steam cleaner is better. Used properly, the heat of the steam produced will kill a good amount of dust mites without over wetting fabric. Vapor steam cleaners are also good for periodically going over furniture after vacuuming to help keep dust mites down. For either case, vapor steam cleaners call for no extra cost of soaps or detergents and dry far more quickly than applied foam or lather.

    Now having spoken of a lot of technologically over-blown methods, keep this in mind:

    Use sturdy mattress covers and wash your sheets and blankets in HOT water regularly. A good mattress cover plus a good household routine for keeping up with the thorough washing of bedding is simpler and less costly especially in households in which there are allergen sensitive occupants.

  2. Nishant Prasad says:

    Hi,
    I wanted to clarify afew points as the comment above has a number of inaccuracies.
    The Vacuums have HEPA filter neutralizer which traps 99.997% (by weight) of typical household dirt(including allergens) and achieves significantly better indoor air quality.The vacuums are certified machines by Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America as well as Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.
    The UV machines kill 99% of germs based on 20 seconds of exposure of 20cms-There are test reports from FITI Korea,KITASTO -JAPAN and Q-Lab (USA)
    Mattress covers have proven to be insufficient in preventing dust mites from multiplying-and they have no role in removing the allergen(Guanine)from the mattress

  3. Venson Thomas says:

    There are no inaccuracies in what I’ve said, just common sense. AND — of course mattress covers do not get rid of dust mites they only temporarily contain the problem.

    But mattress covers (which also require regular washing)along with reasonably frequent change and/or washing of bedding in hot water do help keep the problem under control in far better fashion than a service can offer because the occupants of a home, unless helpless.

    Dust mites as well as bacteria multiply quickly as the skin cells we shed that contribute to a large part of the household dust problem. Control of requires more than sporadic visits from “specialists” who build on or play on public fear for the sake of making money.

    There are lots of practical, inexpensive methods with which to deal with many household issues. It just takes a little work.

  4. Mohammad akthar says:

    Dust mites are the huge problem in many rural and urban houses. Usually these types of house dust mites reproduce so quickly in the cushion surface like mattress and pillow. Their ability to reproduce quickly have very severe effect in humans such as Allergy and Asthma.

    Nowadays, there are many branded anti-mite mattresses and pillows available in the market which should be used to protect from the problems caused by dust mites.

    Thanks.. I hope that this helps..

  5. Morgan Fennon says:

    Keeping nice and clean helps our beds stay away from bed bugs and dusts. Therefore, Hi-Tech cleaning is effective for our mattress to clean properly. I’m glad to get informed about such fanatic mattress cleaning team and will look forward to deal with them. Thanks.
    hospital beds

  6. Brett SMith says:

    From an Australian based Steam cleaning company this was really interesting to read and hear the insights to how different countries have different approaches to the same task. Very handy info

    Thanks,Brett

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