How to Clean a Mattress

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Getting a good night’s sleep is essential when it comes to your health. While it may not seem like knowing how to clean a mattress can make a significant difference, it can. On average, a mattress will house 100,000 to 1 million dust mites. While they aren’t harmful, their droppings can trigger allergies.

Proper cleaning can remove allergens, conquer bacteria and otherwise make your bed a healthier, more relaxing and restful place. Plus, a good deep clean can eliminate odors, ensuring your mattress smells fresh. 

Fortunately, cleaning a mattress isn’t all that difficult. So, whether you’re spot-cleaning a stain or doing some deeper cleaning, here’s what you need to know about how to clean a mattress.

How Often Should I Clean My Mattress 

Generally speaking, most experts recommend cleaning your mattress twice a year — way less than other bedding items. Ideally, you want to tackle one cleaning in the spring, preferably in April. Then, do the second one in October, as that’s the end of the dust mite season.

However, individuals who are allergy-prone may want to clean their mattresses quarterly. Additionally, it’s wise to clean the mattress thoroughly after someone experiences a severe illness, whenever there’s a spill, any time there’s new discoloration, or when an odor begins emanating from the mattress.

How to Spot Clean a Mattress 

Spot cleaning a mattress is relatively simple. In most cases, you’ll want to use a spray-on upholstery or enzyme-based cleaner, especially if the stain source is organic. However, OxiClean or a little mild dish soap in warm water can also work quite well, particularly for dirt or similar non-organic stains.

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Once you choose a cleaner, read the manufacturer’s directions regarding dilution and application. Then, apply the cleaner to the spot, using a soft cloth to do any light scrubbing. Once you get the spot up, rinse if necessary. Finally, let the spot dry before you put any bedding over it.

How to Deep Clean a Mattress 

Deep cleaning a mattress is a multi-step process. First, you’ll want to remove all bedding and get it into the washing machine. After that, take your vacuum, put on the upholstery attachment, and vacuum the entire mattress. Focus on crevices and seams, switching to a crevice attachment if necessary.

Once the vacuuming is complete, use an upholstery or enzyme-based cleaner to tackle stains. Usually, the latter is particularly good for organic materials, ranging from fruit juice to bodily fluids. OxiClean is also a strong choice for a range of stains, including those created by sweat.

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If you’re simply dealing with a bit of dirt, you can use mild dish soap and warm water instead. Regardless of the option you choose, apply the cleaner with a soft cloth to avoid damaging the mattress fabric.

After you finish spot cleaning, it’s time to deodorize. Sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface and let it sit for as long as possible. Ideally, you want to leave it for 24 hours, so take that into consideration when you plan the project.

Finally, vacuum up the baking soda using the upholstery attachment. If you’d like to keep your mattress cleaner, consider adding a cover that’s designed to protect it from moisture, spills, and similar issues before you put the bedding back onto the mattress.

How to Clean a Mattress with Baking Soda 

Baking soda is an excellent option for addressing problematic odors coming from a mattress. Generally, this cleaning process is quite simple. Take a box of baking soda and sprinkle it over the entire top surface of the mattress. If you have a queen or king, using a full pound of baking soda might be necessary, so keep that in mind.

Once you sprinkle the baking soda on, allow it to sit in place, preferably for 24 hours. If possible, also allow sunlight to hit the mattress during this time, as it can make the baking soda more effective.

When it’s time to clean up the baking soda, you can simply vacuum it up. Use an upholstery attachment to get the bulk of the baking soda off of the mattress, then switch to a crevice tool if some of it has settled into any folds.

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How Do You Clean a Memory Foam Mattress? 

The process for cleaning a memory foam mattress is the same as any other mattress type. Generally, you’ll start by vacuuming. Then, use an enzyme-based cleaner to address organic stains. You can also try mild dish soap in warm water if you prefer. Work the stain by using a soft cloth before allowing it to air dry.

After that, you can remove odors by sprinkling baking soda across the mattress and allowing it to sit, preferably for 24 hours. Once that time passes, use the vacuum with an upholstery attachment to vacuum up the baking soda.

Can You Steam Clean a Mattress?

Steam cleaning a mattress is an option in most cases, barring if the manufacturer explicitly recommends against it or the conditions aren’t ideal. Some materials may not stand up well to steam cleaning. Additionally, if the mattress won’t dry quickly enough, steam cleaning could lead to mold and mildew growth.

Generally, you’ll want to start early in the morning, choosing a day when the humidity is low, and it’s reasonably sunny. You’ll also want ample ventilation, including opening windows, using fans, or other options to ensure solid airflow.

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After vacuuming and spot treating stains, fill the steam cleaner with distilled water. Get the temperature to 212°F, hold the nozzle 3 inches above the mattress surface, and use slow, long strokes to go over the surface. If the mattress ends up wet instead of damp, increase the distance between the nozzle and mattress surface before proceeding.

Once you go over the entire mattress, leave it uncovered in the well-ventilated room to ensure it dries. Usually, it will take about 5 hours to dry, though it could take longer depending on the level of water penetration, ambient conditions, and more.

How to Clean Stains in a Mattress

Cleaning stains out of a mattress usually requires spot cleaning with an upholstery or enzyme-based cleaner. Depending on the nature of the stain, a mild dish soap or OxiClean and warm water may do the trick, too. Simply apply the cleaner to the spot and use a soft cloth to work it until it comes up.

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How to Clean Pee Out of a Mattress

Generally speaking, there are two approaches that work well for cleaning pee out of a mattress. First, enzyme-based cleaners designed specifically for urine are a solid choice, regardless of whether the urine is from a person, dog, or cat. Simply follow the manufacturer’s directions to handle the stain.

Second, a vinegar solution can work quite well. In a spray bottle, add 2 cups of distilled water and one cup of white vinegar. You can also add in 2 tablespoons of a liquid laundry detergent if you like, too. Spray the solution on the stain, let it sit for 15 minutes, then blot it up with a clean, soft cloth before letting it dry.

How to Clean Blood Out of a Mattress

To clean blood out of a mattress, either use an enzymatic cleaner designed for blood or take equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to form a paste. Apply the paste with a disposable toothbrush and carefully work the stain, starting at the outer edge and working your way toward the center. Let the paste sit until it stops bubbling, then carefully blot up the paste and stain with a clean cloth before letting the mattress dry.