How to Clean a Mattress?

How to clean a mattress


Many people try to justify avoiding doing it. So, you’ve always wanted to do it, but you’ve just never known how to clean a mattress?

Well, we’ll make sure you have no more excuses! We highlighted all the important aspects of cleaning your bed. And, we’re here to help you stop the mess from happening again.

Why Do You Need to Clean a Mattress?

Cleaning a MattressPerhaps you think that getting stains on your new bed is not likely to happen. Don’t deny it; you know it’s not true. Even if you don’t have children or pets, an accident is bound to happen sooner or later.

And, cleaning a mattress is more important than you’d think. It’s vital to maintaining a healthy sleep environment.

Even if you equip your bed with a high-quality mattress, it can still succumb to potentially harmful substances. Odors, mold, dust mites, and bed bugs all pose a threat to your sleep environment.

Tips on How to Clean Your Mattress

The instructions your new bed has arrived with might be a bit confusing. If you are not accustomed to cleaning mattresses, they might be hard to follow. But, mattress cleaning is not rocket science.

We have broken it down into several major categories. No matter what kind of problem you have going on, we’ve got you covered.

Mattress Spot Cleaning & Stain Removal

Pesky stains are hard to avoid. If you notice a bit of urine on your child’s mattress, don’t let it bother you. It is possible to remove natural stains that come from foods and bodily fluids.

The treatment may depend on the scenario. If you are panicking and asking yourself, “how to clean mattress stains?” then you can relax. There’s a solution.

mattress stain removalIf the accident is unfolding right before your eyes, remove all the linens, and, if they’re washing machine friendly, throw them into the washer. If your reaction was too slow and some liquid has made its way through the linen, grab some paper towels or a piece of cloth and try to soak up the liquid.

When it comes to spots and stains, the best mattress cleaner is an enzymatic cleaner. That could be a laundry pre-treat product or a pet mess cleaner. Even though such products are usually enzymatic, make sure to check the label first.

Test the product first on a piece of disposable cloth before you get to the spots and stains. That way, you’ll see whether cleaning your bed with the product will damage or discolor it.

Mist the stained area lightly. After that, blot it gently. That’s it! Repeat it a couple of times until the stains disappear. Wait for the bed to dry before you remake it.

Whatever product you go with, use it in moderation. Don’t soak your bed excessively. You could end up with a bigger problem than you started with (mold). A soaked up mattress takes a very long time to dry.

Now, removing blood from a mattress is not the same as removing a urine stain from a mattress. Not all natural substance stains are the same. It’s best to avoid using enzymatic cleaners to remove blood stains.

Hydrogen peroxide is your best shot at removing blood spots. However, just like with other natural stains, it’s necessary to repeat the process a couple of times.

To sum it up, this is what you need to do:

  • Remove linen
  • Soak up the liquid
  • Spray an enzymatic cleaner on most natural stains
  • Spray hydrogen peroxide on blood stains
  • Blot

Removing Odors

One thing is for sure: sleeping on a smelly bed is no good. Even if you do the job right, some unpleasant smells might linger. Also, there’s a chance the unpleasant smell comes from an entirely different source than you initially thought.

Some models even come with a strange fragrance. For example, even the best memory foam mattresses come with a bit of off-gassing that lasts for a couple of days. 

Unwanted odors can interfere with your sleep. Moreover, they can lead to mold and bacteria growth. Keep your bed fresh by removing any unwanted odors.

Removing Odors from mattress


The first order of business would be to air out your bed. Sunshine and fresh air are great at battling unwanted smells. Yes, you’ve read that right: you need to get your mattress outside and place it right under the sun.

So, bide your time and wait for a clear day. Set a clean spot in your yard, place your mattress there, and let it air out for a couple of hours.

In case you can’t get it out of your room, drag it to the nearest sunny window and let it air out as much as it’s possible. Of course, not everyone has a nice sunny yard, and not every smell can be aired out. Even then, there are solutions.


This won’t remove every smell, but it’s worth a try before you get to scrubbing, rubbing, and cleaning. Don’t underestimate the power of a strong vacuum cleaner. It can work wonders.

baking soda

Baking Soda

An excellent choice for eliminating odors. Sprinkle some baking soda on the mattress and allow it to sit. Wait for one hour. When the time is up, vacuum it, and enjoy the fresh scent.


You can use Febreeze, other scented household deodorizers, or even vinegar to restore the freshness. Spray the agent of your choice, then blot and scrub the surface.

If you decide to go with vinegar, use it sparingly. You wouldn’t want to replace one weird fragrance with another.

Getting Rid of Dust Mites

When it comes to creepy bed crawlies, dust mites are definitely the lesser ever. That doesn’t mean that you should be alright with them sticking around. Dust mites like to feed on human skin, and they like warm and humid places.

Your bed is the perfect home for them. They are known to trigger allergies. The best line of defense against dust mites would be to get a high-end latex mattress. From then on, it’s all about prevention. By cleaning and maintaining your bed, you’ll be making sure it’s a comfortable place to sleep.

what is lurking in your mattressThese pesky creatures thrive in temperatures over 70° F. Keep the temperature in your room under 70° F to create a hostile environment for these little critters. Clean your bed and wash your sheets regularly.

The best way to keep them away from your bedroom is by using a mattress protector. This especially goes for spring mattresses and hybrids. Dust can accumulate in the air pockets.

If you think you’d be most comfortable sleeping on a high-quality hybrid mattress or a pocketed-coil model, you needn’t worry. Go ahead and buy one. A hypoallergenic, water-proof cover will protect you from dust mites.

Getting a hypoallergenic pillowcase would also be a good idea. These pesky creatures won’t be able to live on your sleeping accessories if you protect them well.

Facial pain, a runny nose, and red or itchy eyes are all common symptoms that are triggered by dust mites. If you feel like you have a head cold a bit too often, you may be a victim of dust mites.

Use an air purifier and change its air filter regularly. If possible, steam clean your mattress. Wash your sheets with very hot water, and do it often.

Us a steamer on your bed, if the material allows. When it’s sunny, dry your sheets outside. Buy a new pillow every six months. And, again, vacuum your bed.

All of these steps combined will help you remedy the problem. These critters are a constant threat. Make sure to use these cleaning and prevention tactics regularly.

Removing Bed Bugs

These dreadful creatures are sure to disturb your sleep. They are a thing of nightmares. And, the worst part: they can get in your bedroom even if you’ve been practicing good bedding hygiene.

Removing Bed Bugs from mattressAll they need is for you to give them a ride on your backpack unintentionally and they’ll become your new roommates. Luckily, there are ways to treat most infestations and get rid of bed bugs.

First and foremost: make sure to wash everything. These pesky things can get into clothes, curtains, pillows, blankets, bedding, stuffed animals, etc.

Throw everything into the washer and run it on hot. That ought to zap all of those annoying bugs. When it comes to everything else: bag it.

These creatures like to stick to hard surfaces as well. They can get in books, phones, laptops, clock radios, etc. If you can, make sure to bag such items. Placing Nuvan strips inside the bags would also be a good idea as they can terminate the bugs.

Scrub infested areas. Even if some surfaces were not affected, wipe them down. Check every crack and every hole. If you have a carpet or rug, scrape it. It’s best to do it with a vacuum attachment. After that, use a vacuum cleaner to get them out.

The last DIY resort would be to encase your mattress. Such encasements will not only serve as a protective barrier but will also suffocate the ongoing infestation. It’s a sure way to starve the bugs.

After a while, they will certainly die. You’ll deprive them of any food and stop any new infestation from occurring. But, truth be told, many people find sleeping on trapped bed bugs a bit unnerving. If you decide to encase your bed, make sure to vacuum the dead bugs after one year.

However, these dreadful bugs may prove to be hard to deal with. If you’re having a hard time battling with them, it’s best to hire a professional. Some infestations are just beyond DIY extermination skills.

Mold Removal

Sleepers are often unaware of the fact that they have a moldy bed. It can easily pass unnoticed. And yet, it can be very dangerous. In some cases, mold can even be life-threatening. Truth be told, the best thing you could do is to get a new bed.

Mold Removal from mattressHowever, there are a couple of possible solutions that can help you remedy the situation. That only goes if the mold is fresh and isolated to one particular area of the bed. In that case, removing it could be easy and effective.

If the mold has penetrated the bed, and especially if it’s a foam model, it’s a lost cause. Don’t risk it by sleeping on a moldy bed. It can have grave consequences for your health.

Your best ally in battling mold is most certainly Lysol. It can deeply penetrate the mold spores. That is something you can’t achieve easily by using a sponge or rag. Spraying Lysol will cause more damage to the spores.

There are some other products that could also help you if Lysol is not an option. You can also use bleach, rubbing alcohol, or white vinegar. Whichever of these products you go for, pour half a cup into a bowl.

Get a dry rag or cup and submerge it into the product. Wait until full absorption. The next part is where it gets tricky. You don’t want to soak your bed too much, but you’d want to leave enough of the product on the rag.

Try to find the right balance. Take the sponge or rag, and go over the mold in a circular fashion. Repeat the step until the mold vanishes. When you think it’s enough, vacuum the surface. Before you make your bed, allow it to dry.

When Should You Replace Your Mattress?

Mattresses are expensive to replace. Luckily, it’s possible to remedy most of the aforementioned situations. However, the damage is irreversible sometimes.

You might have spent a lot of money on your bed. But, if the situation calls for it, you’ll have to come to terms with buying a new bed. You don’t want to have a health hazard in your bedroom.

  • Extensive Bed Bugs

These horrible creatures are the bane of mattresses. You can keep your bed if you manage to get rid of them before things get out of control. On the other hand, an overwhelming bed bug infestation calls for a new mattress.

A serious infestation can leave you with a bed full of insect waste, tiny specks of blood, and ever more horrid crawlies. Keep in mind, replacing your mattress won’t solve all of your problems. You still need to treat your furniture, carpets, luggage, clothes, soft items, etc.

  • Mold

Mold is really hard to eliminate once it starts. If your mattress gets wet or dirty, make sure to dry it as soon as possible.

However, even if you manage to get rid of the mold on the surface, it can still linger underneath. Unless you treat the mold quickly and successfully, it’s time to throw out your mattress and get a new one.

  • Old Mattresses

If you have stumbled upon this article by asking yourself, “how to clean a used mattress?” and you weren’t the one using the mattress in question, then it’s most certainly time to buy a new bed, and get rid of an old mattress. If your mattress still offers enough support and comfort, then keep it.

The average lifespan of most mattresses is seven to ten years. If your mattress is past that age, you know what to do. Also, if it takes too much of your time and effort to clean your bed, consider upgrading. With the dawn of online sales tactics, it’s quite easy to get a good deal on a high-end mattress.

How to Keep Your Mattress Clean?

Don’t eat on it. Food residue attracts roaches, ants, and other insects. Try to keep the temperature in the room cool.  When it’s not too hot in the room, you are less likely to sweat. Perspiration is no friend to bedding.

How to keep your mattress clean

Wash the linen every week. That is key to preventing allergens from building up. Make sure you shower every time you’re about to go to sleep. You can protect your bed from bacteria, allergens, spills, stains, dirt, dust, and dust mites by using a mattress protector.

Protecting Your Mattress

Again, a good mattress protector is the best line of defense. It can help you prevent most types of damage. Such protectors are made from extremely durable materials.

They can help increase the lifespan of your bed. If you have kids, pets, or just like eating in bed, this is something you should definitely consider. However, such products are not a replacement for proper bed hygiene.

Warranties and Mattress Cleaning

The fine print on the warranty is the most overlooked aspect of mattress cleaning. Keeping your bed clean helps prevent wear and tear, so the manufacturers certainly want you to do it.

Stains and spots are likely to void the warranty. They might seem harmless, but stains can have a bad impact on the structural integrity of a model. Before you contact the manufacturer regarding the warranty, make sure you clean the stains, if there are any.

However, some cleaning methods can also void the warranty. It depends on the model. For instance, when it comes to cleaning a memory foam mattress, the conditions are usually strict. Innerspring models, on the other hand, give you a bit more freedom.

Mattresses often come with instruction manuals that have a word or two to say about cleaning. Make sure to check it out and stick to it. Be sure to check out what the warranty states about cleaning and stains.


A clean environment is the best environment to sleep in. Doing a little each day to keep your bed clean will get you a long way. Keep in mind; prevention is always better than treatment. By learning how to clean your bed properly, you’ll make sure it serves you for a long time.



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