Kai gives mattress dust the boot
People can spend six to eight hours a night sleeping on their mattress, but give little thought to cleaning it on a regular basis.
“A few people say they shift their mattress from side to side, but don’t really address removing the dust,” said Southampton resident Kai Tucker. “Most people don’t sanitise their mattress or change it for a 12-year period.”
Ms Tucker said the consequences can be worsening eczema, allergy attacks and poor sleep.
To make cleaning your mattress a little easier, she launched Hygienitech Systems, a franchise of Hygienitech in Florida, a year ago. The company uses specially designed vacuums to remove dust, dust mites and other microbes from mattresses.
“It is a dry process so the sanitised mattress can be used immediately after the service is performed,” Ms Tucker said. “We don’t use any chemicals.”
The equipment manufacturers claim it combines high frequency pulsing waves, suction and a high intensity UVC light to kill germs.
Ms Tucker first heard about the system in a hotel room in New York.
“We saw a flyer on the back of a hotel room door saying the beds were cleaned with Hygienitech,” Ms Tucker said.
Her husband, Dawan Tucker who runs the Lime Light Barber Shop on Horseshoe Bay Road in Southampton, immediately saw opportunity.
“He said maybe this would be a good business to start in Bermuda,” Ms Tucker said. “He thought this was something we could offer to guesthouses and Airbnbs here.”
But Ms Tucker had to think things over for a couple of months.
“My husband was always talking to me about me becoming an entrepreneur,” she said. “Then a lot of women I knew were starting businesses. It thought if they can do it; I can do it too.”
In early 2021, she reached out to William Spriggs, economic and co-operative development director at the Bermuda Economic Development Company.
He encouraged Ms Tucker to create a business plan.
“Then he put me on to Jonathan Starling at the BEDC,” Ms Tucker said. “Then I was able to secure a loan and invest in the equipment.”
She used the pandemic lockdown period to do virtual training with the equipment.
“I trained for about ten weeks,” she said. “I practised on family members’ and neighbours’ mattresses.”
She quickly realised that the equipment is not good for very worn or damaged mattresses.
“If there is a hole in the mattress, the equipment could make that hole bigger,” she said.
She is always floored by the amount of dust that comes out of the average mattress.
“My husband and I recently got a brand new mattress,” she said. “I thought because it was new it would be clean.”
But when she put her equipment to work on it, it was thick with dust.
“I don’t know if it was because it had been in a warehouse or showroom,” she said. “It was unbelievable. In the environment we live in there is dust everywhere. You can dust today and there will be dust tomorrow.”
She recommended that people get their mattresses cleaned at least twice a year, three times if they can afford it.
Her machine also works on drapes, stuffed toys, and couches.
After she works her magic, clients often comment on how improved their sleep is.
“They say I don’t know what you had in that but I slept so good; I didn’t want to get out of bed the next day,” Ms Tucker said. “Dust is a real thing. A lot of people complain of constantly getting welts on their skin. They don’t realise that it is the dust, not detergent.”
Running the business, Ms Tucker loves that she gets to be her own boss.
“I also get to meet a lot of amazing people,” she said. “During Covid-19 it is hard because if I go into a house I have to wear a net, mask, gloves, and bootees. Breathing in a mask for 20 minutes is challenging. But the reward to me, is knowing that whoever is sleeping on that mattress will get a wonderful sleep for the next three months.”
She charges $150 to clean a queen size mattress, $200 for a king, and $85 for a twin. The process takes 15 minutes from start to finish.
For more information see www.hygienitechsystems.com, call 799-7733 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org