How to Clean a Mattress in 5 Easy Steps

How to Clean a Mattress in 5 Easy Steps

How to Clean a Mattress in 5 Easy Steps

Purchasing the right mattress is an investment in yourself. It’s a way to get the best night’s sleep possible and improve your waking life. The right mattress can alleviate pain, potentially reduce snoring, and grant you a deeper sleep. It makes sense, then, that you should know how to take care of your mattress. Part of proper mattress care is cleaning. Do it right, and your mattress will take care of you for years to come.

Even with clean, fitted sheets on top of your mattress year-round, they can still accumulate hair, dust mites, skin flakes, sweat, and other little things that build up over time. It’s important to know how to get rid of some of the most common stains you might find on your mattress and clean it regularly to prevent stains and keep it fresh.

How Often Should I Clean My Mattress?

It’s generally recommended that you deep clean your mattress at least twice a year. Should anything stain your mattress – blood, urine, etc. – you should clean that as soon as possible. We have more advice on how to get rid of specific stains below.

How to Clean Your Mattress

With the steps listed below, cleaning your mattress may seem like an all-day project. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be actively cleaning all day; some parts of the process simply involve leaving your mattress alone for a while to deodorize or dry. 

Before getting started, see if your mattress comes with any specific instructions for cleaning. If so, follow the instructions given with your mattress, keeping in mind that cleaning it wrong may void your warranty or ruin your mattress. 

Different mattress types may require special care, too. Cleaning a pillow top mattress, for example, may involve a longer drying time.

1. Wash All Linens & Bedding

First things first: remove all the bedding from your mattress and wash it. Many washing machines have a setting just for bedding – it’s preset to the best temperatures and spin cycle for sheets and pillowcases. Don’t forget pillow shams and duvet covers as well. 

If your sheets tangle together or bunch up inside the corner of a fitted sheet in the washing machine, try this tip. Fold your sheets in half and pin them together with 3-5 small safety pins.

2. Vacuum the Mattress

Whatever vacuum you have will work for this step, but make sure to use an upholstery attachment to get into all the nooks and crannies of your mattress. Make sure to get under and between any folds. Vacuum the sides and edges. 

This step is important so you don’t accidentally set any debris into the mattress with the next few steps.

3. Treat & Remove Stains

Get out any stains that have settled in or dried because they couldn’t be treated when they happened. There are different methods to use for different types of stains. Before getting started on specific stains, remember these tips:

  • If there’s liquid on the mattress, like with a fresh stain, absorb as much of it as you can with a clean cloth. Dab, don’t rub.
  • Use a light amount of cleaner. If possible, use a spray bottle. Again, remember to dab at the stain rather than rubbing it, which can grind the stain further into the mattress fibers.
  • Blot again.
  • Spray the stain and then blot it as many times as necessary to get it out.
  • If you’re having trouble absorbing the stain with your cleaner and cloth, try sprinkling it with baking soda. Baking soda can help absorb liquids.
  • Allow the spot to air dry before putting the sheets back on. Wet spots can grow mildew.

There’s no shortage of enzyme cleaners on the market that are made to treat tough stains. There are even enzyme cleaners specifically to get rid of pet urine stains. You can always use a premade spot cleaner, or you can follow one of the homemade recipes below.

Tips for Removing Urine

It’s easier to clean urine out of a mattress while it’s still wet. For human urine, mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide and a drop of dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray and blot until the stain is removed, then dab with clean, cool water and let air dry.

Tips for Removing Blood

Blood contains clotting agents that make it bind to mattress fibers almost instantly. For that reason, you should try to get out blood stains while they’re still fresh. When that’s not possible, here are two home methods for getting out dried blood stains.

Option One:

  • Dampen the stain with cool water, being careful not to drench your mattress.
  • Mix hydrogen peroxide with enough cornstarch or baking powder to form a paste.
  • Add the paste to the stain and let sit for about 15 minutes. 
  • Blot away the paste with a clean cloth and cool water.

Option Two:

  • Mix 2 ounces of hydrogen peroxide with 1 tablespoon of liquid dish cleaner and salt. 
  • Place on the stain for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Rinse away with a clean cloth and cool water.

Tips for Removing Wine

Dab as much of the liquid as possible with a clean, dry cloth. Then dab the stain with cold water. Alternate dabbing the stain with cold water and salt, waiting 3 minutes after each salt dab. 

Tips for Removing Sweat

Yellow sweat stains aren’t just for hot sleepers. Any time you sweat during the night, it gets onto your mattress. Thankfully, this is one of the easier stains to clean. Just spray the area with hydrogen peroxide and allow it to dry.

Tips for Removing Coffee

To clean coffee stains from your mattress, mix ¾ cup of warm water with ¼ cup of white vinegar and a small amount of dish soap. Dampen a clean cloth with this mixture and start dabbing the stain at the outer edges, working your way inward and repeating as necessary.

Tips for Removing Vomit

This is one you’ll definitely want to treat as quickly and thoroughly as possible to avoid lingering odors. As you blot out the fresh liquid, try not to grind it into the mattress. In a spray bottle, mix 1 cup of warm water with 1 cup of white vinegar and a teaspoon of dish soap. Spray the entire stain and let sit for at least 15 minutes. 

Blot the area with a clean cloth and warm water. Sprinkle it with baking soda and allow it to absorb the vomit for about 8 hours. Baking soda should be vacuumed off the mattress. It may be necessary to repeat this process a few more times.

4. Eliminate Odors with Baking Soda

Baking soda is wonderfully absorbent. Once the stains are removed, sprinkle baking soda over your entire mattress. Allow to sit for 8 hours, then vacuum it up thoroughly. You’ll find your mattress will smell fresh and clean!

5. Let the Mattress Dry

Remember that mattresses are not meant to get wet. Before you put clean sheets back on your mattress, make sure it’s completely dry. Pat and press around it, and if you find any areas of dampness, continue to let it dry. If there are only a few damp spots left, you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process. 

Shop Mattress Protectors with Mattress Warehouse

One of the best ways to keep your mattress from absorbing stains is with a mattress protector. Many mattress protectors are waterproof, to keep wet stains from ever touching your mattress. Shop our incredible selection of mattress protectors now and see what a difference they can make in the health of your mattress.
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