How To Clean A Shikibuton

Shikibutons are traditional Japanese mattresses that have gained popularity in the Western world for their comfort and minimalistic design. These mattresses, made with cotton batting and encased in a cotton cover, are easy to roll up and store away during the day, making them ideal for small living spaces. However, like any other mattress, shikibutons can accumulate dust, sweat stains, and odors over time. Hence, it is essential to know how to clean them properly.

Cleaning a shikibuton may seem daunting at first; however, with the right tools and techniques, it is a simple task that can be completed within an hour or two. In this article, we will discuss the step-by-step process of cleaning your shikibuton effectively. We will also provide you with tips on how to maintain your mattress’s cleanliness regularly.

By following these instructions closely, you can ensure that your shikibuton remains fresh and comfortable for years to come.

Gather the Necessary Tools and Supplies

The preliminary step in ensuring the effective upkeep of a Japanese futon involves procuring the requisite tools and supplies.

Before embarking on the cleaning process, it is essential to consider whether to opt for DIY or professional cleaning services. While DIY may seem cost-effective, it requires time, effort, and specialized equipment. On the other hand, professional cleaning services provide convenience and expertise but come at an additional cost.

Similarly, when selecting cleaning supplies, one must weigh the pros and cons of natural vs chemical options. Natural cleaners are eco-friendly and pose no health hazards but may not be as potent as their chemical counterparts. Chemical cleaners are highly effective but may cause respiratory problems or skin irritation if not used correctly.

Ultimately, one’s choice of tools and supplies should align with their preferences and needs while considering factors such as budget constraints and environmental impact.

Prepare Your Shikibuton for Cleaning

To begin preparing your shikibuton for cleaning, there are a few initial steps to take.

First, remove any sheets and covers from the surface of the mattress.

Next, inspect the shikibuton for any stains or spots that may require special attention during cleaning.

Finally, vacuum the entire surface of the shikibuton to remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated over time.

Remove Sheets and Covers

Disassembling the bedding by removing any sheets and covers is an essential step in maintaining the hygiene and longevity of a shikibuton. Before washing, it’s important to check the washing instructions on your sheets and covers to ensure that they are compatible with your cleaning method. Some materials may require gentle hand washing or dry cleaning only.

Once you have removed all sheets and covers, shake out any loose debris or dirt from the shikibuton. It’s important to remember not to vacuum or beat the shikibuton as this can damage its structure. After shaking out any debris, you can proceed with spot cleaning or washing according to manufacturer instructions.

When drying, avoid direct sunlight exposure as it can cause discoloration and shrinkage; instead, hang outdoors in a shaded area or use a fan for indoor drying. By following these steps for disassembly and proper washing techniques, you’ll be able to maintain the cleanliness of your shikibuton for years to come.

Check for Stains and Spots

Inspecting the bedding for any visible blemishes or discoloration is an important step in maintaining its pristine appearance and ensuring optimal hygiene. Before proceeding with the cleaning process, check for stains and spots that may require special attention.

Inspecting techniques involve looking closely at the surface of the shikibuton and using your sense of touch to feel for any roughness or dampness. If you notice any stains or spots, then it’s time to move on to cleaning solutions that can help remove them effectively without damaging the fabric or causing discoloration.

It’s recommended to use natural cleaners like vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice mixed with water as they are eco-friendly and safe for both humans and pets. In summary, checking for stains and spots is an important part of maintaining your shikibuton’s cleanliness and overall health while also preserving its aesthetic appeal.

Vacuum the Surface

One effective method for removing dirt and debris from the surface of a Japanese futon is to utilize vacuuming techniques with the appropriate tools.

Choosing the right vacuum cleaner is crucial in ensuring that all dust, hair, and other particles are effectively removed from the shikibuton. It is recommended to use a vacuum cleaner equipped with an upholstery attachment as this will prevent any damage to the delicate fibers of the futon.

When using the vacuum cleaner, it is best to start at one end and work your way towards the other end in straight lines, applying gentle pressure on the surface of the futon as you go along. Make sure to pay extra attention to areas where dirt and debris tend to accumulate such as around seams or edges.

By regularly vacuuming your shikibuton, you can keep it clean and hygienic while also prolonging its lifespan.

Spot Clean Stains and Spots

When it comes to maintaining the quality and longevity of a traditional Japanese futon, addressing stains and spots in a timely manner is essential.

DIY stain removal can be achieved with eco-friendly cleaning solutions that are gentle on the shikibuton’s delicate fibers.

One effective method involves mixing water and vinegar in equal parts, applying the solution to the stained area, and using a clean cloth to blot out the stain gently.

Alternatively, baking soda can be sprinkled over the affected area, followed by spraying hydrogen peroxide onto it until effervescence occurs before wiping off any residue with a damp cloth.

It is important not to saturate or rub too hard when spot cleaning as this could damage the shikibuton’s natural cotton filling and cause clumping or lumping issues later on.

Deep Clean Your Shikibuton

To deep clean a shikibuton, there are several subtopics that need to be discussed.

The first one is the importance of sun-drying your shikibuton to eliminate any bacteria or moisture buildup.

Another crucial step is using a dryer on low heat to ensure all remaining moisture is removed from the shikibuton.

Lastly, flipping and rotating your shikibuton regularly can help prevent sagging and prolong its lifespan.

Sun-dry Your Shikibuton

The next step in the maintenance of a traditional Japanese bedding is to expose it under direct sunlight for several hours, allowing the natural ultraviolet rays to penetrate and disinfect any microorganisms that may have accumulated.

Sun-drying your shikibuton also helps eliminate any odors and dampness that may have seeped into the material.

When sun-drying your bedding, it is important to choose a sunny day with low humidity levels, as high humidity can cause moisture buildup and prolong drying time.

Additionally, make sure to turn over your shikibuton periodically to ensure even drying on both sides.

Once dry, fold your shikibuton carefully before storing it in a cool and dry place.

Proper storage helps maintain the quality of the material and extends its lifespan.

Overall, sun-drying your shikibuton not only disinfects and refreshes but also protects it from potential damage caused by improper storage or neglectful cleaning habits.

Use a Dryer on Low Heat

Utilizing a dryer on low heat is an effective means of maintaining the quality and longevity of traditional Japanese bedding. However, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before using this method.

One benefit of using a dryer on low heat is that it can significantly reduce the amount of time needed for drying compared to sun-drying. Additionally, this method can help fluff up the shikibuton and restore its shape.

On the other hand, using a dryer on high heat or for too long can damage the cotton filling and shrink or warp the outer cover. It is also important to note that not all shikibutons are suitable for machine drying, so it’s best to check with the manufacturer’s instructions first.

Alternatives to using a dryer include air-drying indoors or outdoors in good weather conditions, which may take longer but eliminates any risk of damage from heating elements.

Overall, utilizing a dryer on low heat can be an efficient option for cleaning your shikibuton if done correctly and with caution.

Flip and Rotate Your Shikibuton

Maintaining the quality and comfort of traditional Japanese bedding can be achieved by regularly flipping and rotating it, ensuring even distribution of wear and tear.

Flipping your shikibuton on a regular basis helps to prevent uneven compression and flattening, which can lead to discomfort during sleep.

Furthermore, it allows for the filling to settle evenly throughout the mattress, making it more comfortable over time.

Rotating your shikibuton is equally important as it reduces pressure points that occur when sleeping in the same position every night.

By doing this, you will ensure that all areas of the mattress are used equally, prolonging its lifespan in the process.

Overall, flipping and rotating your shikibuton should be done at least once every few months to maintain its quality and increase its longevity.

Maintenance Tips

Effective upkeep techniques can help prolong the lifespan of your shikibuton and ensure it remains hygienic for regular use. Aside from flipping and rotating your shikibuton, there are other maintenance tips you can follow to keep it clean.

One important aspect is proper storage, as exposure to moisture or sunlight can cause damage to the futon’s fabric and filling. It is recommended to store your shikibuton in a dry, cool place when not in use, preferably with a breathable cover.

In terms of cleaning methods, some people prefer using a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to remove dust and dirt particles on the surface. Others may choose alternative methods such as steam cleaning or even airing out their futons outside on sunny days. It is crucial to read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions before attempting any cleaning technique for your shikibuton.

By following these maintenance tips, you can ensure that your shikibuton stays fresh and comfortable for years to come.


In conclusion, cleaning a shikibuton is not as daunting as it may seem. With the right tools and techniques, you can keep your shikibuton fresh and clean for years to come.

It is important to gather all the necessary supplies before starting the cleaning process. Preparing your shikibuton by removing any covers or sheets and spot-cleaning any stains will make deep cleaning more effective.

When deep-cleaning your shikibuton, it is crucial to follow manufacturer instructions and allow ample time for drying.

Regular maintenance, such as rotating your shikibuton every few months and using a protective cover, will prevent dirt buildup and prolong its lifespan.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your shikibuton remains a comfortable place to rest while also maintaining hygiene in your home.

Wishlist 0
Open wishlist page Continue shopping