How to Clean a Mattress the Right Way

Can You Actually Clean A Mattress?

Yes, you can clean a mattress yourself at home! You probably already have all of the supplies you’ll need at home too. But, many people don’t understand how to clean a mattress so in this guide I’m going to walk you through all the steps.

Why Clean Your Mattress

magnifying glass showing fake bugs in a bed

Mattresses are on the receiving end of a ton of dead skin cells, sweat, stains, and dust mites. You probably know this but you probably don’t actively think about this because if you did you wouldn’t want to sleep on your mattress ever again. In fact, you’d probably want to replace it every week which is completely impractical. So you’re better off cleaning it.

How to Clean A Mattress

Before you start to clean your mattress you’ll want to strip your bed. This might seem obvious but it isn’t as obvious as you think.

So, again, strip your bed and wash your linens. They are the first line of defense to a clean mattress so they’re also the thing that gets the dirtiest. If you’re using a mattress pad then you’ll want to wash and dry that as well.

Before washing the mattress pad, sheets and comforter be sure to check the manufacturer’s labels to ensure you use the hottest water setting possible without damaging anything. While your washer and dryer are working their magic you can turn to the mattress.

1. Vacuum It

Person vacuuming mattress with vacuum cleaner, closeup.

Your vacuum should have an upholstery attachment and this is the best option for cleaning your mattress.

Start at the top of the mattress and work your way down in overlapping, narrow paths and then vacuum the sides of your mattress the same way.

You might be thinking what is the point in this when you don’t even eat in bed!

Well, your mattress has a unique ability for collecting dust mites so vacuuming is a great way to ensure they aren’t there anymore.

2. Deodorize with Baking Soda

You smell good, right?

Your smell is also part of your mattress so it’s easy to overlook. Eventually, there comes a time where your smell is just too rough and your mattress puts out an aroma that isn’t very aromatic.

To get rid of the stank in your mattress, sprinkle it well with baking soda and gently rub it in with a scrubbing brush.

3. Vacuum Again

The baking soda has bonded with the moisture and body oils in the top layers of your mattress so vacuuming helps to pull the moisture out.

Say bye bye to a big cause of odors.

4. Treat Stains

On a mattress there are 3 types of stains:

  1. Blood
  2. Urine
  3. Other

I’m not sure which one is worse but they do happen.

You should treat stains immediately but sometimes you just want to sleep.

Yeah, I know, not the best option, but things happen.

How to Get Blood Stains Out of Mattress

Dried blood stains can be treated by making a paste of 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide mixed with 1 tbsp each of liquid soap and table salt.

Lightly spread this concoction onto the stain and allow it to sit until dry before scraping the residue off.

Dab any remaining stain with a white cloth dipped into hydrogen peroxide.

How to Get Urine Stains Out of Mattress

Urine stains are actually a bit tougher to get out than blood stains but they aren’t impossible.

How to clean a smelly mattress:

  1. Dissolve 3 tbsp baking sode in 8 oz of hydrogen peroxide then add a drop or two of liquid dish soap. I love Dawn Original.
  2. Vacuum the area.

Getting Bodily Fluid Stains Out of a Mattress

This one is a bit simpler but the smell is rough. Grab a bottle of ammonia and blot the stain with a white rag.

Sprinkle the spot with baking soda to neutralize the ammonia odor and to pull out any lingering moisture. After 15 minutes or so, vacuum up the baking soda.

5. Flip It and Repeat the Steps

This is also a good time to rotate your mattress. If you have a pillow top mattress then flipping it might not make sense. But, if your mattress doesn’t necessarily have a top or bottom then you might as well clean the other side while you have the cleaning supplies out.

6. Protect It

It’s important to protect your mattress. This is why I recommend you use a mattress cover to offer another line of defense.

Use a mattress cover to keep your mattress clean.

Mattress covers can prevent stains from even getting on your mattress as well as dead skin. Just pop it off, wash it, dry it, and put it back on.

How Often Should You Clean Your Mattress?

According to WebMD’s Poonam Sachdev, MD, clean your mattress every three to six months. If you’re not able to clean it or don’t feel like it, you can at least vacuum it to clear dust and dust mites from the surface. Another tip: Wash your sheets each week to get rid of the collection of dead skin cells and dust mites. Ew

Do Mattresses Need to Be Flipped Every 6 Months?

It used to be common practice to flip a mattress every 6 months to help prevent wear and tear. Back in the day, most people thought that was how to clean a mattress. Ha! Unfortunately, many mattresses are now pillow-topped so you can’t flip them. However, you can still rotate the mattress unless it has a specific head and foot configuration.

How Long Will My Mattress Last?

It’s impossible to predict how long a mattress will last but the mattress industry is huge because mattresses don’t last forever. Most mattresses have a lifespan of 8-10 years while some of the top end models come with a 25-year warranty. If your mattress is no longer providing the comfort that you’re used to it might be time to start looking for alternatives.

Using a mattress cover and taking care of your mattress will grant it with a longer lifespan AND keep it clean going forward! Also, now that you know how to deep clean a mattress at home, that also helps it last a lot longer!

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