How Disinfect Mattress

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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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Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

How to Disinfect a Mattress

We spend about a third or more of our lives lying on mattresses. Most of the time, that’s not a problem, but we sometimes encounter a stained and infested mattress. Knowing how to disinfect a mattress lets us breathe easier and keeps us and our families healthy and happy.

It’s crucial to have a tried-and-true mattress sanitizing technique that you can use to keep your beds clean. In this article, you’ll find out how to sanitize a mattress. Our guide gives you a step-by-step rundown of mattress sanitization.

We show you the complete process, from cleaning bedding to deep cleaning the mattress. You won’t need to use all of the steps with every cleaning, but you’ll sleep soundly knowing that you can reach for this guide if you need it.

Disinfecting a Mattress

You should plan on cleaning your mattress, even if it’s a memory foam mattress, at least a couple of times a year to keep it sanitized and healthy. Even if your mattress seems clean and has no visible stains, take the time to put it through essential disinfection every six months or so. Understanding how to properly clean a mattress ensures that it has a long, productive life.

Basic Mattress Sanitizing

This section covers basic mattress disinfection practices that you should perform every time you clean your mattress. If you have bedbugs or deep stains, you might need to go beyond this section and look at more intense cleaning options. These first steps should suffice for semiannual cleanings, though.

Remove and Clean the Bedding

You need to change your bedding at least once a week to keep you and your mattress clean and sanitary. In addition to regular changes, you should also give all of your bedding a thorough cleaning when you do your scheduled mattress sanitizing. Your bedding soaks up oil and grime, so it can always use a good cleaning.

Make sure to send all of your bedding, including a mattress protector, through the washing machine. That includes the mattress topper, mattress pad, mattress covers, bed sheets, pillow top, and duvet covers. Dust mites, bedbugs, and other pests can’t tolerate the heat of your washing machine.

So, make sure to run the bedding through a hot water wash with laundry detergent. Dry them in the dryer for more heat exposure.

Vacuum and Sanitize Your Mattress

If you’ve removed the bedding and find no infestations or stains on the mattress, you can avoid a deep cleaning. You’ll still need to vacuum and clean your mattress, but you won’t need to spend time working with liquid cleaners and odor control agents. A good vacuuming and steam cleaning should get your mattress back to new condition in a flash.

Mattress Vacuuming and Sanitizing

  • A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment and crevice tool
  • Steam cleaner
  • Dust mask
  • Safety glasses or goggles

If possible, bring your mattress outside to sit in the sun while you work on it. Sunlight is a fantastic disinfectant and will help you get your mattress sanitized. When you’ve got it in the sun, give the entire mattress a thorough vacuuming to remove dust, dirt, dead skin cells, and allergens.

Don’t skip the edges, corners, and crevices; that’s where bed bugs like to hide. Then, steam clean the mattress from top to bottom and back to front. Let the mattress sit in the sun for a few hours to dry out.

How to Sanitize a Mattress – Deep Cleaning

If you vacuum and steam clean but discover a pest infestation or stains, you’ll need to try some deep cleaning to get your mattress sanitized. Deep cleaning can take some time, but your reward is a clean bed and peace of mind when you sleep, so it’s worth the effort. Don’t be afraid to move to deep cleaning if needed.

Take care if you have to clean a memory foam mattress. While you can use these recipes to tackle stains and odor, be careful not to soak liquids into the foam, as this can lead to mold and mildew that will be almost impossible to remove.

This section examines the in-depth cleaning process for mattresses that have stains or infestations. You’ll find out the best cleaners for blood, urine, and other organic fluids, and we also show you how to mix up a dynamite DIY mattress cleaner that’s fantastic for getting sweat stains out of your bed.

Clean Mattress Infestations with Vinegar

An infestation can ruin your mattress if left unchecked, but if you catch it early enough, you can get rid of the critters before they dig in. We’ve provided an excellent bed bug spray recipe that you can use. It will knock early infestations right off your mattress and leave it looking and smelling amazing.

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 a Mattress

A mattress has to becleanedand disinfected from time to time. Particles and dust land on your mattress and you are unable to see them. These days, many peoplesuffer from allergiesandasthma. Hence, it becomes imperative to make sure that the mattress doesn’t cause any kind of harm to you or to anyone else.Pet dander, dust, mites, and mold can cause health problems.

Here is the step by stepprocess to cleanyour mattress.

  1. Steam Cleaning

Dust mites are actuallylittle critterswhich you can’t see with anaked eye. However, it will definitely lead to runny noses and itchy eyes. If you have to fight thisnasty allergenalong with the mattress enemies, you need to treat it with heat. However, you are going to require some help in order to lift and remove themattress whilecleaning.

  • Get ridof as muchdander and topicaldust as you can. You can do this with the help of vacuum and crevice tools. This way you will be able toget every cornerof the mattress.
  • Take ahand-heldor a garment steamer to make sure that every inch of themattress is gettingan even burst of steam. However, do not use aconstant burstof steam as it is going to soak up the mattress.
  • Allow the mattress todry upbefore sleeping on it. Turn on the fan andventilate the roomto speed up the drying process.
  1. Use Antibacterial Spray

These are exactly what thename suggests. It has been designed for removing and keeping out harmful bacteria. If you are using a liquid cleaner then make sure that you arereading the instructionscarefully. Put the liquid in a spray bottle.

  • Spray the disinfectantlightly across the mattress surface. This should include the top, bottom, and the sides.
  • Dip a rag in lukewarmwater and ringit. Now, use it to wipe the surface of the mattress.
  • Allow themattress to drybefore you set it up.
  1. Use Vodka

Vodka is known to be agreat disinfectant. Apart from working on your mattress, it also works on your skin. However, you do not have to spend money to buy the mostexpensive one. This is because all is going to work the same. Vacuum the mattress before spraying it.

  • Put thevodka in a spraybottle. Spray it over the mattress without even soaking it.
  • When you aredone spraying, let the mattress to dry out completely prior to using it.
  1. Add Baking Soda

Baking soda is agreat agentwhich has numerous uses. This can also beused to cleanand sanitize your mattress.

  • Sprinkle somebaking sodaon the top of the mattress.
  • Allow it toabsorb the odorand also freshen up your mattress. Leave it for few minutes.
  • Vacuum it before touse it againto make the bed.
  1. Air Out the Mattress

Fresh air andsunlight workgreat when it comes to cleaning and sanitizing the mattress.

  • Wait for abright and clearsunny day. Take out your mattress to air out for some time.
  • If you are unable to get the mattress outside then juststand up closeto a sunny window. This way it is going to air out a bit.
  1. Use Mattress Protector

A mattresscoveris a great option.

  • Use amattresscover for your mattress.
  • This way when thecover gets dirty, you can simply throw it in the washer than working hard to sanitize the mattress.
  • However, make sure that youuse waterproofmattress protector which will provide protection from odors, spills, and alsobacteria.
  1. Spray Dish Detergent Mix

Clean the mattress with amix of waterand dish cleaning detergent.

  • Make amixture of detergentand water with a ratio of 1:1. Allow it to sit for some time before you scrub it thoroughly.
  • Repeat the processif you have to remove stains, too. Nevertheless, do not let the mattress get to wet as it might spoil your mattress.
  1. Use Enzyme Cleaner

You can use anenzyme cleaneron a clean cloth and blot any stains using the cloth. Allow the enzyme to set for 15 minutes. Now, use a clean cloth dampened with water to blot thesame area.

  • Avoid sprayingthe cleaner directly on the mattress. The mattress has not been designed for getting wet, particularly memory foam. Hence, you shoulduse a cleanerwhich can easily treat stains.
  • Thesecleaners are goingto break the protein of the stains from sweat, urine, and vomit. You can also use it to treat oilstains and grease.
  1. Use a Mattress Pad

You caninvest moneyon a pad and place it over the mattress.

  • Place the pad under thebedsheet. This will act as an additional barrier between the mattress and you.
  • When you want, you canremove itand get it laundered.
  • In case you have children, you need to use mattresses that arewater resistantfor those nights when they are going to urinate on it.
  1. Use a Vacuum Cleaner

You can also use avacuum cleanerto clean your mattress.

  • The first thing you will have to do is take aquick passwith yourvacuum cleaneracross the side and the top of the mattress.
  • With this, you will be able to get rid of thecrumbsfrom themunching sessions. Also, it will help get rid of the pet hair, dirt, and any other type of dust which might have accumulated over time.
  1. Flip the Mattress

Coil or innerspring mattresses need tobe flippedfrom top-to-bottom from side-to-side.

  • For the first three months, you need toflip the mattresson a quarterly basis. This will make the mattress las for a longer period of time.
  • Use thecleaning processto clean the other side of the mattress.


  • Thepurchase addedlayers of protection for protecting the mattress.
  • Avoid using anykind of chemicalas it might destroy the inner foam.

Make sure that you don’t use any kind ofharsh chemicalsas it might damage the mattress.

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