How to Disinfect a Mattress
How do you really clean and sanitize a mattress? Learn how you can sterilize your bed with DIY sprays, Lysol and other disinfectant hacks.
Follow these steps to get started. We’ll explain:
Vacuum Your Bed
- Strip the bed of all linens, including the bed skirt.
Wash the linens on the hottest cycle.
Keep reading to learn about the methods you can use to disinfect your mattress.
Disinfect the Mattress
You have a few choices to disinfect your mattress. No matter which you choose, make sure to let it dry completely for8–10 hoursto avoid mold growth. If possible, expose your mattress to direct sunlight since UV rays kill germs.
Here are some other ways to disinfect your mattress:
A garment or carpet steamer is a great tool, but it may take a while depending on the capacity of the steamer.
Here are some tips when steam cleaning a mattress:
- Work in small sections to cover the surface several times.
- Always keep the steamer moving.
- Don’t soak the mattress to avoid mold growth.
If you don’t have a steamer, antibacterial sprays and cleaners work well. Lysol is a popular disinfectant that you can use on your mattress.
Follow these guidelines:
- Read the instructions carefully before use.
- Dilute the product as directed.
- Dip a rag or spray the product directly on the mattress.
- Lightly dampen the surface to give the disinfectant a chance to work.
- Allow the disinfectant to work on the mattress for several hours.
- Gently wipe the mattress with a clean, lightly damp cloth to remove any residue.
Pour it in a spray bottle and lightly spray the surface of the mattress. Follow the guidelines as you would with other disinfectant sprays.
If you suffer from intense allergies or you don’t have the time, this is another great way to disinfect your mattress.
Much like carpet cleaners, a mattress cleaners will come right to your home. Some companies use organic products, specialize in stained mattresses, or address specific allergens.
How Do You Disinfect a Mattress From Bed Bugs?
If you have bed bugs, you should hire a professional pest management company. In the meantime, though, try the following:
- Strip the entire bed of all linens. Wash and dry them on the hottest temperature possible.
Vacuum the mattress, box spring, and all areas around the bed.
Scrub the mattress down with a stiff brush to loosen any hidden bed bugs or eggs.
How to Disinfect a Mattress From Urine
Urine on a mattress can leave a bad odor. Follow these steps to reduce the risk of a sour-smelling room.
- Blot the area.
Spray a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water.
Blot again until mostly dry.
Sprinkle baking soda over the area and let sit for 8–10 hours.
How to Disinfect the Box Spring
Your box spring can harbor just as many germs and dust mites as the mattress. Use similar steps to clean it:
- Separate the mattress and box spring.
Vacuum all sides and crevices of the box spring.
Vacuum the dust cover on the bottom of the box spring.
Lightly spray the surface with a 50/50 vinegar/water mix.
Blot away any excess moisture.
Disinfecting your mattress kills germs and may lengthen its life. Make a habit of disinfecting your mattress every six months to create a healthy place to sleep.
Can you disinfect your mattress?
Most of us spend about a third of our lives in bed. But if you were to think about all the germs, bacteria and even critters (yuck!) that make themselves at home in your mattress, chances are you wouldn’t get much sleep. We wash our sheets faithfully every week (mom would be so proud), and we know that we should turn and flip our mattresses every few months to make them last longer ("should" is the operative word here), but is it possible to disinfect your mattress?
The short answer: Kind of. The longer version: With a little effort, you can disinfect the surface of your mattress. The insides are a different story, unless you happen to have access to an industrial-style steam cleaner and a sterile containment unit. But we’ve all survived sleeping on them this long, right?
If at all possible, clean your mattress outside on a warm, sunny, not-too-humid day. (There’s a reason we have spring cleaning and fall cleaning instead of winter cleaning and summer cleaning!) The sunlight will help your mattress dry as you clean it; better yet, it acts as a natural disinfectant, helping you kill bacteria with a good dose of UV rays. If you can’t get outside, the next best option is to clear some space in your room and lean your mattress against the wall in front of a sunny window.
Start by removing as much dust as possible (and maybe a few dust mites, if you’re lucky) by going over the entire surface of the mattress with your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment and crevice tool. If your mattress-cleaning spree has been inspired by a fresh spill, pet accident or bedwetting event, use clean towels to soak up as much liquid as possible before you vacuum.
Once you’ve removed the dust, there are a few different methods you can use to disinfect your mattress. Running a garment steamer or other hand-held steam cleaner across the surface will help to kill germs and dust mites, and a sprinkling of baking soda will help to freshen the upholstery and remove mild odors (let it sit a few minutes, then vacuum). But to kill more bacteria, you’ll need to use a disinfectant solution of some kind.
Choose an antibacterial spray or solution with a scent you like, and avoid using bleach — it’s great at killing germs, but it’s too harsh for the fabric covering on most mattresses. If you use a liquid cleaner, dilute it with warm water according to the directions on the label, dip a clean rag into the solution, and then — this part is key — wring the rag outthoroughlyso that it’s just barely damp. The goal is to clean the surface of the mattress without letting it get saturated with moisture, which can lead to mold or mildew. For disinfectant sprays, spritz lightly across the surface of the mattress, then wipe with a clean rag that’s been dipped in warm water and thoroughly wrung out. Be sure to give your mattress plenty of time to dry — a few hours on each side is best. Then cover it with a freshly cleaned mattress pad, sheets and bedding and enjoy a good night’s sleep!
How To Disinfect Mattress As A COVID-19 Pandemic Precaution?
With the need to keep one’s house clean and germ-free, here are some tips and tricks on how to disinfect a mattress as a part of COVID-19 pandemic precautions.
During the global Coronavirus outbreak, it is of utmost importance to keep one’s house disinfected. One should keep in mind how to disinfect home surfaces and how to disinfect a mattress, in short, areas of the house which are usually not paid attention to so much. However, the mattress is one of the most used furniture in the house but something which escapes the mind when one makes an agenda to clean and disinfect their homes.
Not just for the Coronavirus infection, but the mattress is usually one of the home surfaces which collects a lot of dust without being detected. For people suffering from allergies or bronchial diseases, cleaning one’s mattress is one of the most important steps. Here are the steps on how to disinfect a mattress and take appropriate COVID-19 pandemic precautions:
How to disinfect a mattress as a part of COVID-19 pandemic precautions?
One of the first pointers on how to disinfect a mattress is that it should be done on a warm and sunny day rather than a humid one. The sunlight helps the mattress dry faster and also helps naturally kill bacteria and germs with the UV rays. However, since going outside the house is a strict no-no right now, one can also clear some space in their house and clean the mattress on a wall against a sunny window.
STEP 1: Remove the dust
As the first step on how to disinfect a mattress one needs to get out the dust mites from it. To do this, one needs to use the crevice tool of a vacuum cleaner and go over the entire surface of the mattress. Once the surface dust is removed there are a number of other ways on how to disinfect a mattress.
How to Clean a Mattress (and Why)
Tackling this five-step chore a couple times a year can help keep things fresh in the bedroom
You spend about a third of your life on your mattress. When was the last time you gave it a good, deep clean? The seldom-used living room sofa probably feels the bristle of a vacuum brush more often than your trusty mattress. It’s time to change that. Besides promoting a more pleasant and productive night’s sleep, a clean, cared for mattress can last longer—and it might even help prevent nasty, not to mention costly, pest infestations.
Back when most mattresses could be flipped over, the conventional wisdom was that you should turn it twice a year, and take that opportunity to clean it as well. These days, a lot of mattresses, including the pillow-top variety, can’t be turned because they have a proper top and bottom. But cleaning your mattress two times a year remains a good rule of thumb. (Check the mattress label for instructions since the manufacturer might recommend rotating the mattress head to foot to ensure even wear.)
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Start the cleaning process by stripping the mattress of all sheets and bedding and tossing the items in the wash. To remove tough stains, always use a Consumer Reports top-rated laundry detergent and the hottest water setting on your washing machine; dry on high heat as well to zap any surviving critters.
Next, vacuum the entire mattress surface with the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Pay attention to seams and crevices, where dirt, dust, dead skin, and other icky stuff collect; switching to your vacuum’s crevice attachment can help get in deep.
Our tests have found that a normal vacuum cleaner provides capable cleaning, but if you’re fastidious, consider investing in the Dyson V6 Mattress Handheld Vacuum, a $250 device designed specifically for the job. In a Consumer Reports at-home mattress test, we cleaned half of a foam Tempur-Pedic mattress with a top-rated canister vacuum and half with the Dyson handheld. The Dyson sucked up 3 grams of material, including dead skin cells that dust mites like to nosh on, compared with the 1 gram that our regular vacuum removed.
Once you’re finished vacuuming, check for stains and spot treat them with an appropriate cleaner. An upholstery cleaner or enzyme-based pet-odor remover can do the job on many bodily fluids. You can also try a simple solution of 1 teaspoon mild dish detergent and 1 cup of warm water.
Next, deodorize the mattress by sprinkling baking soda over the entire surface. Especially if this is your first cleaning, don’t be afraid to empty an entire 1-pound box onto the mattress. For best results, leave the baking soda there for 24 hours. That means you might need to plan the project around an overnight trip—or be willing to sleep elsewhere in your home. If you can place the mattress near a window, the sunlight will add its sanitizing power.
After the baking soda has had a chance to tackle odors, go back over the mattress with your vacuum’s upholstery attachment. If you don’t already own a mattress cover, we recommend buying one. And adding a mattress pad between the cover and bottom sheet will help absorb moisture. Along with the periodic deep cleaning described here, these extra layers of protection will help prevent mites, fleas, and other pests from sharing your bed. That should really help you sleep tight.
How to Clean a Mattress
If you’ve never taken the time to clean your mattress, it can collect enough dead skin cells and dust mites to double its weight in ten years. The thought of sleeping on that kind of build-up is disgusting. Knowing how to clean a mattress properly can help you sleep better at night.
Merely running the vacuum over it now and then isn’t enough to thoroughly clean your mattress. While you are probably aware of the dust mites and other critters that like to call your mattress home, did you know that it may also contain sweat, blood, urine, along with mildew and mold?
Quick Mattress Cleaning Summary
Cleaning a Mattress
Mix one cup of hydrogen peroxide with two tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of lemon and lavender essential oil in a spray bottle. After spraying the cleaning solution on the mattress, let it sit for one hour. Rub with the surface with a towel and allow the mattress to dry.
Vacuuming the mattress will clean all remaining residues. To disinfect an old mattress use our DIY mattress sanitizer recipe.
Unless you shower before getting into bed every night, your mattress could also be home to oils, dirt, and other trace chemicals. If you follow this simple guide, you’ll know how to properly clean a mattress and can start sleeping better at night. Or, if you are tired of cleaning your mattress of stains and deodorizing it, you can learn about the different organizations where to donate a mattress so that it can be used by someone who needs it.
How to Clean a Mattress
Before you can start to clean your mattress, you need to remove your linens from the bed and launder them. First, wash and dry your mattress pad, then move onto your sheets, before finally washing your bedspread or comforter and duvet.
Verify the hottest water and dryer heat setting for your linens, since heat will kill the dust mites in your bedding and get rid of bed bugs that may have infested your mattress. See our how to get rid of bed bugs post for more details. Egypt’s Alexandria University recently released data from a study(..) that suggests that eucalyptus and clove essential oils will help to eliminate dust mites.
Before you place the sheets back on your freshly cleaned mattress, use the following recipe to wash them.
Mattress Cleaning Solution for Eliminating Dust Mites
- Hot Water
- 10 drops clove or eucalyptus essential oils
To eliminate dust mites on your sheets, add the essential oil to your wash. You can also add the two oils to one quart of water and pour into a spray bottle and mist the mattress to get rid of dust mites in the fabric.
Vacuum the Mattress
After removing the linens from your bed, the next step is to vacuum it. Using the upholstery attachment of your vacuum, start at the top of the mattress and work your way down.
Use narrow, overlapping paths. Make sure you also vacuum the sides of your bed in the same manner.
Deodorize the Mattress
While you may not notice your own body odors, over time your sweat can build-up in your mattress, leaving an unmistakable scent. To rid your bed of these unfavorable aromas, you can sprinkle the mattress a DIY mattress deodorizer that uses natural ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
Cleaning a memory foam mattress is a little different than dealing with a standard mattress. Powdered cleaners and deodorizers are often the best way for how to clean a memory foam mattress, as excess liquid is bad for the memory foam. Water and other substances that seep into the foam sometimes become trapped and can develop mold and mildew that is difficult to remove.
DIY Mattress Deodorizer Recipe
- 1 cup baking soda
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
Fill an empty Mason jar or shaker container with the baking soda. Add the ten drops lavender essential oil to the bottle. Replace the lid on the container and shake well to mix the lavender essential oil and baking soda. If you’re using a Mason jar, puncture holes in the top using a nail and hammer.
To rid your mattress of odors, sprinkle the baking soda on the mattress and with a scrub brush, gently rub the baking soda into the mattress. This will help the baking soda penetrate the top layer of fabric and bond with the moisture and body oils that have soaked into the fabric. Let the deodorizer sit for at least ten minutes. Vacuum the mattress again to pull the moisture and odors out of the material.
How to Clean Mattress Stains
Unfortunately, when it comes to your mattress, stains are inevitable. If the mattress stains are visible, it can void the warranty on your mattress, making it especially important to do what you can to protect your investment.
You can do this by making regular cleaning and stain remove a part of your regular house cleaning routine. How you clean the stain on your mattress will ultimately depend on the kind of stain you have. You’ll need to target each stain with the appropriate cleaning method.
Choose the appropriate recipe for how to remove mattress stains, depending on what kind of stain you have. If you cannot tell what the stain is from, pick one method to see if it works for stain removal. If it doesn’t get rid of the stain you can try another strategy. Sometimes you may need to repeat the process a couple of times if the stain is particularly large or if it has deeply penetrated the mattress.
Dried Blood Stain Remover Recipe for Mattress and Upholstery
- ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide
- 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
- 1 tablespoon table salt
To remove blood stains from sheets, mix the ingredients to form a thick paste. Spread the cleaning solution lightly over the stain. Allow the paste to dry completely. Once dry, scrape off the residue. With a white rag dipped in hydrogen peroxide, dab at the remaining stain, rotating the cloth as the stain lifts.
Mattress Stain Remover Recipe for Vomit and Sweat
- Warm water
- 1 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide
- 3 tablespoons baking soda
- Dishwashing liquid
Pour the warm water into a spray bottle and mist the stained area until it is slightly damp. Mix the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap and pour in another spray bottle.
Mist the mattress cleaner over the stain. With an old toothbrush or soft scrub brush, gently brush the stain until it is eliminated. Mist the area again with fresh water and blot dry.
Food and Drink Stain Remover Recipe for Mattress
- ¼ cup laundry detergent
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 2 ½ cups water
Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle. How to get rid of coffee stains also applies to soft drinks and pizza sauce. Lightly spray the stained area and gently agitate with an old toothbrush.
Allow the solution to sit for approximately 15 minutes. With a wet hand towel, blot the area to remove the stain and the solution. Stubborn stains may require additional time and effort.
Rinse the cloth and continue to blot the area until the stain disappears. Remove any excess liquid by blotting the area with a dry towel.
How to Get Urine Out of Mattress
If you have urine stains on your mattress, cleaning them can be tricky because urine is one of the toughest stains to treat, especially once they’ve dried. With this easy to make DIY stain remover, you can get rid of urine stains out of a mattress, both old and new, and get your mattress looking like new again.
Urine Stain Remover Solution for Mattresses
- ¾ cup hydrogen peroxide
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
- 2 drops lemon essential
In a glass spray bottle, mix the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Add the essential oil and swirl the bottle gently to combine the ingredients. Spray the mixture on the areas you are treating.
Allow sitting, untouched for an hour. Using a clean towel, soak up any excess liquid. Remove the towel and let the area air dry. Run a vacuum over the area to pick up any residue.
How to Disinfect a Mattress
It is crucial to regularly disinfect your mattress to remove the germs and dirt that tend to collect. If you’re still not convinced, consider that you sweat ½ pint of liquid every night, which ultimately ends up in the fibers of your mattress. Getting rid of the dirt and germs can help to alleviate allergies and can prevent the spread of illness. After you’ve vacuumed the mattress, sanitize it with this useful mattress sanitizing solution.
Homemade Mattress Sanitizer Recipe
- 2 cups vodka or rubbing alcohol
- 30 drops of tea tree oil
- 15 drops lemon essential oil
- 15 drops lavender essential oil
- 15 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
Add the ingredients to a glass spray bottle and shake well to combine. Spray a light mist of the solution over the mattress and allow the surface to air dry.
Be sure to follow these steps for both sides of your mattress. Since cleaning a mattress is such a challenging task, you should consider using a washable mattress cover to keep the dirt, dust, and grime from settling into your mattress.
A mattress cover will allow you to quickly pop it into the wash if you spill anything on it and make it a part of your regular washing routine.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to clean a mattress and utilize the all-natural recipes included to keep your mattress clean and fresh. If you found the mattress cleaning information in this article useful, please share it with everyone you know.