How To Clean A Mattress That Has Been Outside

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How To Clean A Mattress and Get Rid of Stains

Knowinghow to clean a mattresscan help you sleep better at night. This guide explains how to clean your mattress and get rid of stains, odors, and allergens. It also covers how to protect your mattress, so it stays clean and fresh.

Why You Should Clean Your Mattress

Dead Skin Cells and Dust Mites

Of the estimated 1.6trillionskin cells on our bodies, roughly 30,000 to 40,000 of them fall off every hour. Multiply that by the eight hours we’re supposed to get, and we’re shedding around a quarter-million dead skin cells in our sleep.

Sure, your sheets catch most of the skin cells. What they don’t protect your mattress from are the dust mites that feed on those dead skin cells. And, there arehundreds of thousandsof those dust mites in your bed.

Or, Glen Needham, a retired professor of entomology at Ohio State University, says, “Every mattress is a crime scene in terms of how it gets inoculated with mites.”

Moisture, Mold, and Mildew

When we sleep, our bodies lose moisture. Some of that is simply the result of us breathing. Some of it is also sweat.

If you’re a person who “sleeps hot” or who suffers from hot flashes or night sweats, you know how damp your bedding and mattress can get. Combine the two, and our bodies produce over a pound of moisture each night!

While much of that evaporates in the air, plenty soaks into your mattress. There, the dense materials and warm, dark environment provide the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew spores.

Pets, Kids, and Other Messes

If you have young children, the chances are that at least one mattress in your home bears the results of a nighttime accident. Even house-trained pets can leave your mattress damp if they spend much time licking their paws or hop on your bed right after a bath. And, of course, full-grown adults can soil a mattress several ways, too.

So, you can put up with a stained mattress that stinks of sweat and body oils, or you can set aside an afternoon to deep clean your mattress and get it looking — and smelling — new again.

How to Clean Your Mattress

You need to strip the bed before you begin cleaning your mattress, so this is a good time to launder your bed linens, too.

  • Using the hottest setting allowed on the manufacturer’s label will kill dust mites on your sheets and blankets.
  • Go ahead and wash your pillows and fabric mattress toppers.
  • You can even wash an electric blanket if you use one.

While the washer and dryer are doing their thing, follow the steps below to clean your mattress.

1. Vacuum the Top and Sides

Your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment is the best tool for mattress cleaning. Start at the top and work your way down in overlapping, narrow paths.

Vacuum the sides the same way. Don’t worry about the other side of the mattress just yet — we’ll get there in step 5. For now, we’re clearing away dead skin cells, pet hair, and surface dirt to make the next step more effective.

2. Remove Odors with Baking Soda

S prinkle your mattress well with plain baking soda (bicarb for UK readers) andgentlyrub it in, so it bonds with surface moisture. Let it sit for 10 minutes to continue neutralizing odors.

What about adding essential oils?

Several readers have asked about mixing essential oils with the baking powder before sprinkling it on their mattresses. I don’t recommend it for a couple of reasons.

  • Essential oils are stilloils.Rubbing any oil into a fabric is never a good idea — it attracts dirt and can make the bond between the material and soil permanent. That’s pretty much the exactoppositeof what we’re trying to achieve when we clean a mattress.
  • It’s a waste of time.By the time you’ve cleaned the mattress, removed stains, and protected it from future problems, you won’t be able to smell the essential oil. So why bother?

3. Vacuum Again

After giving the baking soda time to bond with surface moisture and odors, it’s time to vacuum it out of the mattress.

Using the upholstery attachment, vacuum the top and sides of the mattress with slow, overlapping strokes. Donotpress too hard — it interferes with your vacuum’s suction and may snag your bed’s fabric.

4. How to Remove Mattress Stains

Mattresses typically acquire three types of stains: blood, urine, and what we’ll call “other bodily fluids.”

While it’s best to treat stains immediately, sometimes sleep is more important. Fortunately, you can still clean stains on your mattress even after they’ve been there a while.

Blood Stains

You can often get fresh blood stains out of mattresses with just a rag, some cold water, and a little soap. For fresh blood stains, it’s important to usecoldwater, since heat causes the proteins in blood to bond with the mattress material.

If cold water and a bit of soap didn’t do the trick, use the dried blood remover for mattresses below.

Is it Safe to Have my Mattress Outside?

While it is not okay to place ordinary mattresses outside, there are a few situations in which having a mattress outside is an attractive idea. Daybeds, Treehouses, outdoor patios, or covered pavilions are cool alternative sitting and lounging choices. The problem is, most mattresses are made of materials that easily absorb moisture. A wet mattress quickly becomes a giant moldy, mildew-covered, fungus ridden sponge and it isn’t just those located near swimming pools.

Although it can be difficult to protect and maintain an outdoor mattress, having access to the luxury of outdoor relaxation that it provides is well worth the effort. Time put into selecting and protecting a your new outdoor retreat that can handle moisture, humidity, and exposure not to mention UV Sunlight can pay off in overall longevity, cleanliness, and safety.

The key to safely keeping a mattress outdoors is making certain it is dry, protected it from insects, and harmful sunlight. This is easier said than done, many outdoor creatures are skilled at getting past plastic coverings and can squeeze through the tiniest of spaces. There are a few ways to protect your mattress that will be discussed in further detail later.

Does the Mattress Really Need to Stay Outdoors?

One of the first things to ask yourself before attempting the task of protecting a mattress against the elements is whether or not you really need to leave the mattress outdoors. In many situations, it is easier to store the mattress in a garage, pool house, or other well protect shed or storage area and only bringing it outside when it will be in use.

Mattresses that are to be kept out on an enclosed porch like and all season room can be picked up and leaned against a wall at night or during inclement weather, doing so will help to prevent water from soaking into the mattress. You can even purchase plastic mattress bags for under 12.00 from moving companies to help keep them safe during longer storage periods.

Whenever possible, it’s preferable to keep your mattress, or any outdoor furniture for that matter, under some sort of protection from rain. Moisture and humidity is the main enemy of outdoor furniture, so every little bit of protection helps. This can be as simple as setting up a pop-up canopy over the mattress, or as complex as a wooden gazebo built specifically to house such furishings.

While it may be tempting to have an outdoor mattress, it’s always much easier to manage one in a semi-enclosed space. The extra protection will add time onto the mattresses life, and help prevent the buildup of mold and mildew. That being said, it’s possible with considerable effort to protect a mattress to the point where it’s safe to keep outside.

Choosing an Outdoor Mattress

Some types of mattresses fare better outdoors than others, which is important to keep in mind when choosing your outdoor mattress. The optimal mattress for outdoor use is one that is durable and totally protected from moisture. It may seem like foam and memory or gel foam mattresses would be the better choice because they are lighter and more mobile. For instance you can move it over here or over there which is really nice for impromptu gatherings of friends and family in an area of the yard where furniture isn’t located.

Coil Spring mattresses are another great solution. Just like mattresses for the bedroom there are various coil designs: Pocketed, wire tied, etc, The easiest solution is to find a mattress that is comfortable, supportive and durable just if you were buying one for your bedroom. Note outdoor mattresses are often much thinner.

Think campers and camping for outdoor waterproof mattresses. There are many brands and types available and we all know that these are very mobile and easy to store when you are ready to put them away for the night, week, or season.

Latex mattresses are another good choice. There are both natural, blended, and synthetic choices available. These can be more costly but also offer greater comfort, support, and durability. One concern is exposure to UV light. Be sure to discuss sunlight exposure with your sales representative for solutions.

Inflatable car mattresses or those used for overnight guests in your home can be a very inexpensive solution. These days many are quite comfortable, adjustable and easy to put together. Great for those nights or days when your just sitting or laying around relaxing and being lazy for the day, simply inflate or deflate.

Whatever mattress you select our recommendation is to use a waterproof outdoor mattress. Should you choose to use a normal indoor mattress there are a few ways you can do to protect it from moisture and critters, but note most are applied chemical treatments and sprays that are considered by many to be unhealthy not very effective. A plastic encasement is another option, however bugs can chew through the material and set up homes inside the hollow areas of the mattress.


How much you spend is really up to you because outdoor bedding and covers like anything else are available in different sizes, styles, materials, and constructions all of which can affect the price we pay. This all plays out into how much your new relaxation station will cost you. Know that you can spend under a hundred for low cost inflatables up to a few hundred for higher end models. Coil spring and memory foam are the most popular ranging from a couple hundred into the thousand dollar range. Finally High quality natural latex mattress waterproof outdoor mattresses can start in the 1500.00 range and go up from there. An entire article could be written on outside mattress prices because there are literally thousands of choices that are available.

Protecting Your Outdoor Mattress

In a partially-enclosed deck

This is the optimal place for an outdoor mattress since it can be easily isolated from the moisture and bugs outdoors. Mattresses that are to be used on an enclosed porch or deck should be protected by a thick plastic mattress cover at all times and should be leaned against the wall whenever there is a risk of rain or snow.

In a fort or tree-house

A mattress in cabin, a fort, or tree-house can be a lot of fun for children and adults alike, but special care needs to be taken to protect the mattress. A thick plastic mattress cover should be used to keep out moisture and insects, and there should be a way to close any openings to the treehouse at night to prevent additional critters from getting in. Something as simple as a mesh screen on the windows and doors of the treehouse should be enough to prevent most bugs and small pests from entering and chewing through the plastic covering.

Other Tips & Tricks

-Take every opportunity to dry the mattress in direct sunlight out of the plastic covering. Not only will this prevent the buildup of mold and other bacteria, it will help to get rid of any odors that have formed from being outside.

-Look into using an outdoor color waterproof mattress protector or encasement

-Use a high quality pvc outdoor mattress covers

-Pay attention to any signs of pest infestation, as many pests would love to make a home inside an outdoor mattress. Pests can both ruin the mattress and cause potential health problems for humans.

-Occasional treatments using baking soda will help to get rid of mites and can also serve to deodorize the mattress.

-A mattress left outside will likely not last nearly as long as an indoor mattress.

-Consider specific outdoor furniture or waterproof fitted mattress covers. Many are hypoallergenic anti-dust mite an made of comfy terry cloth

Is it Safe to Have my Mattress Outside?

Yes, we think so, especially if you are using a purpose built mattress that can resist the harsh elements. By following some easy protection tips and buying just the right mattress your outdoor retreat will be ready for you and your friends to enjoy without troubles or worries.

Author: Douglas Belleville

Doug Belleville and his father Dave own and run STLBeds – a specialty sleep store located in Arnold, MO. The staff at STLBeds is highly educated about sleep, comfort and their special sleep products. STLBeds only carries high quality mattresses and bed-related products. You won’t find the brand names here – click here to find out why!

How to Clean A Mattress: The Ultimate Guide [2020]

Let’s face it:

You very rarely [ok…pretty much never ] clean your mattress.

You’re probably only reading this because…

…you’ve been faced with a sudden spill, stain, or bug problem and you need a quick solution.

What you will learn:

Welcome to the most comprehensive mattress cleaning guide on the internet. No seriously…I checked.

In this crazy thorough guide, we’re going to cover just about every stain, every fact and every cleaning technique out there. These techniques work for both residential and custom mattresses (ex: RV mattress and sofa bed mattress replacements , Boat mattress, Alaskan King Bed mattresses, and more).

So buckle in, it’s a longggg blog post.

Don’t want to read the whole article [it’s over 2000 words of awesomeness]?
No problem! Here are some jump links to get you where you need to go:

I’ll be teaching you how to get out stubborn spills and stains like:

Dealing with creepy crawlies on your mattress like:

Tips on cleaning specific parts of your bed like:

And other cleaning tips like:

Maintaining your clean mattress, removing odors, storing a mattress or letting it air out ,

and I’ll also give you…

So roll your sleeves up, put on your cleaning gloves and let’s get stuck in.

Prepare to be cleansed… let’s get to it.

How to Maintain a Clean Mattress

Here’s an alarming stat.

You could expect to find around 10 million dust mites in the average bed [they love warm, moist environments]. They’re harmless, but their droppings and body fragments can cause colds.

And we haven’t even touched on sweat and dead skin, another couple of perfectly natural hazards.

However, you can do something about this. One of the best tips for having a clean mattress is to get into a regular mattress-cleaning routine.

Here are 9 habits to embrace:

Habit #1:Change your bed sheets at least once every 2 weeks. You don’t want to put dirty sheets on a clean mattress, do you? And when you change your sheets, leave them off all day – you’d be surprised at how much this discourages bacterial growth.

Habit #2:Rotate your mattress once a month to ensure even wear and tear.

Habit #3:Similarly, flip your mattress once a quarter.

Habit #4:Keep all liquids away from your bed. Liquids don’t get on well with mattresses, especially foam or memory mattresses, so it’s best just to have a total liquid ban.

Habit #5:Get a mattress protector. Ultimately, the more you can help prevent stains from reaching your mattress in the first place, the better.

Habit #6:Vacuum your mattress. Just make sure you use a clean upholstery adapter, otherwise you risk bringing more bacteria to the party.

Habit #7:Try and keep the temperature of your bedroom down, since mites and other bacteria love warm conditions.

Habit #8:Get rid of any houseplants. They might be easy on the eye, but you’re essentially giving insects, dust and pollen a free pass to do what they want.

Habit #9:Air out your mattress on a regular basis. If it’s a sunny day, you can even put you mattress outside and let the sun dry it out. This will help eradicate mold and mildew.

How to Clean Dust Mites From a Mattress

Dust mites are tiny creatures with eight legs that are impossible to see.

They’re prevalent wherever humans are because they feed off flakes of dead human skin. If the humidity in your bedroom is high (around 80%), there is a very high likely hood that you’re going to have dust mites on your mattress, bedding, sheets, and pillows.

There are only 3 ways to kill a dust mite. You can:

Within the context of a bed, we clearly only have one option – to heat them.

Make sure that you change your bed sheets regular and wash them on a hot wash. The water temperature needs to be 130˚F or higher.

Whilst the sheets are off, vacuum your mattress using the handheld brush attachment.

How to Clean Bed Bugs From a Mattress

Hope you’re sitting down: there’s bad news…

Bed bugs are small blood-sucking insects. In particular, they love human blood and can live in your bed mattress.

The good news is that they’re fairly easy to spot. They’re a reddish-brown colour, up to 5mm long and will leave black or brown stains whenever they’ve been defecating.

Just employ exactly the same cleaning technique as you would for preventing dust mites. Wash your sheets at a high temperature and vacuum your mattress.

Pro Tip:A common myth we hear is if “I have a memory foam mattress, dust mites and bed bugs can’t touch me.” Well, this is not true, at all. While you are less likely to find dust mites and bed bugs buried in your memory foam, this doesn’t mean they can’t get you while you are sleeping.

How to Sanitize and Disinfect a Mattress

Sometimes it’s a nice feeling to know that you’ve blitzed your mattress. Or maybe you’ve bought a mattress and would like to clean and disinfect an old used mattress at home.

Step 1:Remove all your bedding.

Step 2:Use an upholstery brush to vacuum your mattress thoroughly.

Step 3:Clean up all stains with any of the stain-removing techniques in this guide.

Step 4:Put your mattress outside for a few hours so that it gets a good airing. If you can’t do this or you can’t rely on getting good weather, just stand your mattress up against an open window. Remember to ensure both sides get some sunlight.

Step 5:Run a steam cleaner over the mattress. Alternatively, sprinkle baking soda over your mattress, leave it for a few hours and then vacuum it up.

Step 6:Use an antibacterial spray on the mattress [but don’t overdo it and saturate the mattress]. Spray lightly and wipe clean with a cloth.

How to Remove Odors From a Mattress

Nothing is quite as off-putting as clambering into a bed that smells.

Step 1:Grab a mixing bowl. Mix a teaspoon of water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of laundry detergent. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 drop if disinfectant.

Step 2:Using a clean cloth, dab some of the solution onto stain . When you’ve finished, wipe the surface with water.

Step 3:Apply a generous amount of baking soda to the stain and leave it overnight.

Step 4:Vacuum up the residue. Use an anti-odor spray on the stain. Repeat the whole process in a week if there is still a smell lingering.

How to Clean a Mattress Cover

In theory, this should be pretty simple.

Obviously, your first job is to check the tag on the cover for any specific instructions.

Then it’s just a case of putting it through a normal wash cycle.

Please note: you should aim to clean your mattress cover just as often as you do your normal bed sheets.

How to Clean Mattress Foam

If you’re one of those people who love a fancy memory foam mattress or mattress topper, then you need to be prepared to clean it.

And we can’t lie. It’s a bit if a hassle, since mattress foam must be cleaned by hand.

Once every season, follow this process [forbothsides]:

Step 1:Take your mattress or mattress topper off your bed. Check for any stains. Treat any marks with some of the techniques in this guide.

Step 2:Use a vacuum cleaner to work over your mattress gently. Use circular motions to increase your chances of collecting up dust, debris and worse. If your mattress has a pattern, ensure that you vacuum into the crevices.

Step 3:Once your mattress is free from stains, fill a spray bottle with one part detergent to two parts warm water.

Step 4:Spray your mattress or topper lightly with the solution.

Step 5:Leave your mattress or mattress topper out to air, ideally outside.

Step 6:Sprinkle baking soda over your mattress and leave overnight.

Step 7:Vacuum away what’s left of the baking soda and solution. Wait for your mattress or topper to completely dry before putting it back on your bed (this might take up to 24 hours).

How to Clean a Mattress Pad

A mattress pad needs to be cleaned at least every 8 weeks.

That’s because they’re in direct contact with you and the mattress. They’re the first line of defence as it were.

In most cases, you’ll just have to follow the cleaning instructions on the washing label.

How to Clean Blood From a Mattress

Like vomit and urine, blood is a protein stain.

Firstly, we should point out that speed is of the essence. The quicker you deal with a protein stain, the easier you’ll find it to remove.

How to clean blood stains from a mattress:

Step 1:Get a cool, wet cloth. Make sure that you’re definitely using cool water, because heat will cook the proteins and make the stain set in.

Step 2:Dab at the stain. Don’t wipe or rub the stain, otherwise that will just make matters worse.

Step 3:Get some salt, baking soda and water. Mix it up so that you create a paste and rub some of the paste on the stain.

Step 4:Leave the paste on the stain for about 30 minutes and brush it off. Use cool water on a damp cloth to remove any excess and leave everything to dry.

Step 5:If that hasn’t worked, it’s time to try a different solution. Mix up 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and 1 part dish soap.

Step 6: Put a very small amount of the solution on the stain. Gently brush the solution in with a toothbrush and leave it for 5 minutes. When the 5 minutes is up, wipe the solution off with a cool, damp cloth.

How to clean vomit from a mattress

Look, it happens.

No one does it on purpose. But here’s some help to make sure that you can remove all traces of vomit from your mattress.

Step 1:Remove and dispose of all solids.

Step 2:Take off the sheets, mattress covers and mattress protectors (if applicable). Wash them on a high temperature.

Step 3:Use a dry cloth to soak up as much of the remaining liquid as you can. Ensure that you dab the stain; don’t rub it.

Step 4:Scatter hydrogen peroxide over the vomit stain, being careful not to saturate the mattress.

Step 5:Leave it for 5 minutes, then use towels to soak up the hydrogen peroxide.

Step 6:Use baking soda on what’s left of the vomit stain. Lightly rub the stain.

Step 7:Leave the stain with the baking soda overnight. Vacuum the next day.

How to Clean Sweat Stains From a Mattress

All things being equal, we sweat up to a litre of water every night. And that perspiration is going somewhere.

As with all liquid stains on a mattress, it’s best to treat your mattress as quickly as possible.

Apart from anything else, the longer a liquid is on a mattress, the likelier you are to foster mold and mildew growth

But sweating is an everyday occurrence. Realistically, you’re not going to be able to clean your mattress every day.

So what are the alternatives?

Are you going to look the other way when those sweat stains rear their ugly heads on sheet-changing day?

Nah. Let’s get rid of them instead… Here’s how you can remove sweat stains from a mattress:

Step 1:Create your own bespoke cleaning solution. Combine 3 tablespoons of baking soda with 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide and 1 drop of dish soap.

Step 2:If possible, put the solution into big spray bottle. That’s not essential, but it’ll make it easier for you to treat the stains (and treat them regularly).

Step 3:Leave the stain for 5-10 minutes.

Step 4:Wipe any residue away.

Step 5:Allow the mattress to breathe and air itself (ideally overnight).

How to Clean Urine From a Mattress

Maybe, thanks to a pet or two, you’ve got a mattress that’s been peed on.

Or perhaps you’ve got children who are prone to bed wetting?

It matters not. The process for getting urine stains out of a mattress is the same.

Step 1:Soak up the excess fluid with a cloth as much as you can.

Step 2:Grab an enzyme-based cleaning product and spray the stain. If you don’t have a product to hand, you can make your own solution with 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide and 3 tablespoons of baking soda.

Step 3:When the patch is dry, sprinkle baking soda all over the affected area.

Step 4:Leave the stain overnight and, the next day, hoover it up.

How to Remove Water Stains or Rings From a Mattress

Although harmless, water tends to leave nasty rings on mattresses after drying out. Luckily, you can easily get rid of them.

Let’s see how you can remove water stains from your mattress:

  • Take a wet cloth and slightly moisten the affected area.
  • Grab a paper towel and fold several pieces on top of the spot. Aim for a layer that is at least ⅛ inch thick. Weight down the layer with a heavy object like a vase.
  • Position a fan or a hair dryer (make sure you use it on cool setting) to blow towards the spot. The force of the air will transfer the moisture to the paper towels.

How to Air Out a Mattress

Getting your mattress aired out is vital, yet we often skip that part to save us some time. Regular mattress airing out will help you against allergens and germs.

It is quite easy to perform, actually. You can do it both indoors and outdoors, even during cold months.

Here’s how you should air your mattress:

  1. Start by pulling off all bed linen, including pillows, sheets, toppers, etc. If there are windows present, open them to let fresh air in and allow the sun rays to light the mattress. The sun will naturally kill many germs and bacteria without giving you a bill at the end.
  2. Proceed with vacuuming the mattress. This step is in case you are just airing your mattress and not deep cleaning it. Take your vacuum cleaner and vacuum the mattress to collect any dust and debris which may have accumulated or landed on it. When a mattress is vacuumed, air will more easily flow through it, and it will need less time to air out completely.
  3. Stand and move the mattress. It’s perfectly ok to ask someone to help you with it if you are unable to do it yourself. Air out the mattress outside. Perform this as frequently as possible, aim for at least one or two times a year. You need a sunny day to air your mattress, regardless of the season.
  4. Let the mattress stay outside for 3-4 hours. The more time you leave it under the sun, the better. However, avoid leaving it during evening time as the humidity level is high and your mattress will become damp.

How to Store a Mattress Properly

The number one mistake we make when we store a mattress is to wrap it in a plastic bag to keep it dry.

Thing is, if the mattress has been regularly used, there is already moisture inside, and the plastic bag is simply trapping it. This creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth and it can result in an unhealthy sleep when you return the mattress in your bedroom.

So, to store your mattress using these handy storage tips:

  1. Vacuum the mattress to remove any dust and dirt.
  2. Place it into a light, breathable cover.
  3. Store the mattress on its base in a horizontal position.
  4. Do not place extra weight on top of the mattress as this may harm its features.
  5. Before using the mattress again, make sure you’ve vacuumed and disinfected it first.

Bonus Mattress Cleaning Tips

1. Check out foam shaving cream

Foaming shaving cream contains denatured alcohol.

That’s got a pretty thick consistency and behaves exactly like a stain remover. If you apply it to a mattress, shaving foam can sit on the surface of a mattress and get to work on a stain.

Apply it, wait for around 15 minutes and then wipe it off with a damp cloth. Finish the job by rinsing the stain with a solution that’s 50% vinegar and 50% water.

2. Try an enzyme cleaner

It might also be worth considering an enzyme cleaner such as Nature’s Miracle [available at pet stores].

The other methods I’ve mentioned usually work, but if you want to try something different, be sure to use an enzyme cleaner first.

3. Use cornstarch for odors

Also, for natural odors, use a mixture of cornstarch and baking soda. As you’ve seen, baking soda is a common ingredient in cleaning solutions, but cornstarch will actually absorb body oils.

4. Place fan/s to reduce drying time

This piece of advice comes straightly from a professional in the field. Dean Davies specialises in mattress and upholstery professional at Fantastic Services (UK) and here’s what advice he shares:

“A smart move is to locate a fan near your mattress to reduce its drying time. Of course, you can use more than one. Alternatively, if you have a wet dry vac, you can use it to extract the trapped moisture. Sleeping on a still wet mattresses is not advised.”

And if all else fails?

Of course, if you’ve tried all the above and still can’t remove all the stains from your mattress, it might be time to call in the pros.

A professional mattress cleaner or mattress cleaning company will have seen more stains than you could possibly imagine.

The chances are, they’ve shifted more stubborn stains than you’ve had hot dinners. And if you pick the right pro, they’ll still cost less than a replacement mattress.

And now it’s up to you.

So there you have it:

If you were to take away a couple of key points from this guide, they’d be these:

  • Clean your bed sheets and mattress regularly.
  • Treat every stain as quickly as possible.
  • Whichever cleaning technique you’re using, never saturate your mattress.
  • It takes a lot to render a mattress unusable, so if you’re really struggling with a stain, speak to an expert.
  • When airing your mattress, choose a sunny day.
  • Avoid storing your mattress in a zipped plastic bag.

Is there anything better than knowing you’re climbing into a clean bed?

And we mean areallyclean bed. Because fresh, shiny sheets are one thing, but what about what’s underneath the covers?

Deep down, you know that your mattress has been bugging you for a while. You’ve been desperate to know how to clean a stained mattress.

It’s time to look after your precious bed.

And remember, removing that mark or stain from your mattress could be the difference between a good night’s sleep and a bad one.

How to Clean a Mattress: Urine Stains

Murphy’s Law states whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and that most certainly applies to “accidents" on the brand new mattress. From an accident caused by your little one to the family pet draining themselves on that brand new duvet, figuring out how to clean urine from a mattress as well as how to get the urine smell out of a mattress can be quite the hassle.

While cleaning mattress stains is no easy task, learning how to get out mattress stains can keep your mattress fresh for years to come. However, when you’re dealing with stains beyond the norm (e.g. urine, blood, other bodily fluids), removing mattress stains is taken to a whole new level.

To take the mystery out of how to clean mattress stains, here are a few tips for cleaning urine from your mattress without completely losing your mind. (Before you clean your mattress yourself with these handy tips, be sure to check the factory warranty to ensure your cleaning efforts don’t void the warranty.)

How to Clean Mattress Stains

1. The Fresher the Stain, the Better the Clean Up

If you are (un)fortunate enough to catch the urine stain on your mattress as soon as it happens, your first move should be to blot up as much of it as you can using a paper towel or a sponge. If you own a wet/dry vacuum, use this to help soak up the urine from your mattress. Sprinkle baking soda on the affected area to clean up any remaining moisture.

2. Laundry Detergent: The Magic Cleaning Elixir for Urine Stains

Laundry detergent is your best friend when it comes to removing the smell of urine from your mattress. Once you’ve soaked all the fresh urine from the mattress, or if the stain was too old to be able to soak up urine, mix a couple of teaspoons of laundry detergent in a cup of warm water and pour (or spray of you have access to an empty spray bottle) onto the affected areas. Alternatively, you can also use a solution of one-part warm water and one-part vinegar if you can stand the smell.

3. Blotting Your Magic Elixir Over the Urine Stain

Once you’ve mixed up your magic cleaning solution and applied it to the part of your mattress where the urine is located, repeat the blotting process discussed earlier. Carefully blotting is important as it will remove any residual urine and prevent mold. Be sure and get the urine-affected area of the mattress as dry as possible after applying your cleaning solution.

4. Remove the Moisture and Urine Smell with Baking Soda

After you’ve dried up all the remaining moisture from the spot of the urine, sprinkle baking soda over the entire mattress. This will help to prevent the smell of the urine from seeping into any other parts of the mattress. The mattress needs time to completely dry out (18-24 hours), so you will have to make other sleeping arrangements for the night. After this time period has passed use a vacuum to remove all the baking soda and then prop up the mattress either outside or in a well-ventilated area to allow air to circulate and sift the last of the odor from the mattress.

5. Consult an Expert

If you’ve followed all the above steps and are still smelling urine on the mattress, you may need to reach out to a professional cleaning service to get their opinion of the damage. Professional cleaners can provide you with a proper assessment and give you the best recommendation to ensure you or your family member is sleeping on a clean bed.

However, if you find yourself in a predicament of having a soiled mattress or your bed is over eight years old, then it may be time to take a trip to your nearest Mattress Firm to upgrade to a new bed and a waterproof mattress protector. To find the brand new bed of your dreams, visit a Mattress Firm store near you or shop online today at

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Are you waking up with aches and pains but aren’t ready to invest in a new mattress just yet? A mattress topper may be the perfect temporary sleep solution. Mattress toppers allow you to refresh your current bed by adding an additional layer of comfort and support.

Your mattress is fit for royalty. Your spare bedroom is equipped with a comfy guest bed. Maybe you even have a daybed or futon in your home office or playroom. If it seems like you have all your sleep needs met, you’re probably wondering which other type of bed you’d ever need. Here’s three reasons why you need an air bed.

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Finding a mattress can be a struggle, especially when there are so many bed options to choose from. To simplify your mattress search, we’ve put together a list of the top consumer rated mattresses. Ranked in terms of value, quality and of course, comfort, these beds have been praised highly by real Mattress Firm customers.

The best leggings for yogis. The best gift for a new mom. Everyone wants the best in life, and mattresses are no exception. It’s time to put the debate over the best mattress for back sleepers to rest. Although back sleepers can typically sleep on any mattress, many complain of back pain or a lack of conformance. Contrary to popular belief, firm mattresses aren’t necessarily the best type of mattress for back sleepers. In fact, sleeping on surfaces that are too hard can lead to concentrated areas of pressure, which causes discomfort.

How to Find the Best Rated Mattress for You

To help you make the right choice for your friends and family, regardless of sleep-style, we are here to take the guess-work out of guest room mattresses.

When it comes to mattresses, there’s a lot of choice. Luckily, we at Mattress Firm can help you narrow it down to your perfect match. One brand that we love for its ability to deliver the ultimate sleep experience is Tempur-Pedic®. Their mattresses are proven to provide an incredible amount of pressure relief and motion isolation for a great night’s sleep, every night. Tempur-Pedic® + Mattress Firm = a match made in sleep heaven? We think so—here’s why. is wholly owned and operated by Mattress Firm, Inc., 10201 S. Main St. Houston, TX 77025 – Copyright 2018 by, a Mattress Firm, Inc. Company All rights reserved.

1 Offer valid 3/11/20 – 4/28/20. Savings applied to our low price. Savings vary by mattress and model (max savings up to $400). Product selection may vary by store. Offer not valid on previous purchases, floor models, clearance items, final markdown, Purple, tulo, iComfort, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster or Sealy Hybrid. Other exclusions may apply. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Limited quantities available; offer valid while supplies last. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.

2 Extra 25% off sitewide on qualifying items. Additional savings is applied to listed sale price. Offer not valid on previous purchases, Purple, iComfort, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster, Sealy Hybrid, Nectar, DreamCloud, Tuft & Needle or Lull. Other exclusions may apply. Products & offer may vary by location. No cash value. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.

3 Offer valid 3/27/20 – 4/28/20. Receive a free Head Up 50 adjustable base (up to a $499.99 value) with select mattress purchases with minimum $999 purchase. Free adjustable base offer valid on same size mattress purchased. Split king or split California king base purchases consist of 2 bases. For split king or split California king purchases, consumer will receive one free adjustable base with promotion, with second base at regular price. Free adjustable base offer valid to complete mattress set, has no cash value and cannot be used as credit. Offer not valid on previous purchases, floor models, clearance items, final markdown, weekly deals, daily deals, Purple, tulo, iComfort, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster, Sealy Hybrid, Nectar, DreamCloud, Tuft & Needle or Lull. Other exclusions may apply. Adjustable bases not eligible for returns price of adjustable base (up to $499.99) will be deducted from refund if mattress is returned. Adjustable base may be pictured with furniture bed frame and headboard not included with offer. Limited quantities available offer valid while supplies last at participating locations. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.

4 Receive a $300 Instant Gift with purchase of select mattresses in store or online. Purchase select Tempur-Pedic mattresses and receive a $300 Instant Gift or purchase select Stearns & Foster or Sealy mattresses and receive a $200 Instant Gift. Select your Instant Gift from your choice of sleep accessories. Sleep accessories must be added to the same transaction as the qualifying mattress purchase. Offer has no cash value and value cannot be carried over any value not used at time of transaction will be surrendered. Offer not valid on previous purchases, floor models, clearance items or final markdown. Other exclusions may apply. Value of accessories received (up to $300) will be deducted from refund if mattress is returned. Offer valid while supplies last at participating locations. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.

5 Offer valid 3/22/20 – 4/19/20 at participating locations only. Save 10% on any size 2019 Stearns & Foster® mattress. Selection may vary by retail location. Certain offers may not be combined. Not valid on prior purchases. Visit a store, call (877) 348-1012 or chat online for complete details.

0% APR: 5 years* with a minimum purchase of $2049, 4 years* with a minimum purchase of $1999, 3 years* with a minimum purchase of $1099, 2 years* with a minimum purchase of $999 on your Mattress Firm credit card 60, 48, 36 or 24 equal monthly payments required. *Offer valid 4/10/20 – 4/28/20. Qualifying purchase amount must be on one receipt. No interest will be charged and equal monthly payments are required on promo purchase until it is paid in full. These payments equal the total promo purchase amount divided by the number of months in the promo period and rounded up to the next whole dollar. These payments may be higher than the payments that would be required if this purchase was a non-promo purchase. Regular account terms apply to non-promo purchases. Down payment equal to sales tax and delivery may be required at point of purchase. For new accounts: Purchase APR is 29.99%. Minimum interest charge is $2. Existing cardholders: See your credit card agreement terms. Subject to credit approval.View payment options.

The advertised service is a rental or lease purchase agreement provided by Prog Leasing, LLC, or its affiliates. It is not a loan, credit or financing. While no credit history is required, Progressive obtains information from consumer reporting agencies in connection with lease application. Acquiring ownership by leasing costs more than retailer’s cash price. Not available in MN, NJ, VT, WI, or WY. Merchant participating locations only. Leasing available on select items. Not all applicants are approved. See lease for details.

Mattress Firm is proud to support both current and veteran military members as well as first responders. Save 10% off purchases with valid military/first responder ID. Savings applied to listed sale prices. Offer not valid on previous purchases, floor models, clearance items, final markdown, Purple, tulo, iComfort, Tempur-Pedic, Stearns & Foster or Sealy. Offer valid at participating locations only. Visit a store, call (877) 349-1012 or chat online for complete details.

*Among traditional mattress brands based on 2017-2019 Tempur Sealy Brand Tracker Report

How to Clean a Mattress

Cleaning your mattress is an important but often overlooked task for keeping your sleeping area fresh and healthy.

Regularly cleaning your mattress can remove allergens, dust, bacteria, and stop serious mattress problems including mold and odors. To keep your mattress safe, healthy, and clean, you’ll need to manage routine cleaning as well as address larger problems like spots, stains, odors, and even bed bugs and dust mites.

Washing your sheets and pillows is a start, but that’s not all you need to do. Routine cleaning makes your bed a more comfortable place to sleep, and taking care of stains, odors, and infestations right away can protect your mattress from more serious problems.

Keeping your mattress clean is important, but not difficult. Often, all you’ll need to do is wash your bedding regularly, vacuum every few months, and add a mattress protector. But even more intensive cleaning like spot removal or even removing odors is usually about as simple as spraying your mattress down and giving it a good scrub.

In this guide, you’ll learn when you need to clean your mattress, how to manage regular cleanings, and even take care of problems like odors, bed bugs, and dust mites. You’ll also find out when it’s time to throw in the towel and give up on your old mattress that’s just not worth saving. Read on to learn everything you need to know about mattress cleaning.

Signs You Need to Clean Your Mattress

  • You haven’t cleaned it in a few months: Your mattress needs to be cleaned every few months to keep it fresh.
  • You’re allergic to sleeping: Dust buildup can aggravate allergies and cause you to suffer at night. If you feel allergy symptoms more often in bed or as you wake up, it’s probably time to clean up the dust.
  • You’ve noticed bugs or strange bites: Bed bug infestations may not always be obvious, especially in the early stages. But you can look for signs, including seeing the bugs, noticing microscopic blood stains or insect waste spots, or unusual bites on your body.
  • Your mattress has an odor: Mattresses can smell from dust and skin buildup, or have an odor from bodily fluids, even mold. Odors on your mattress can be gross and disruptive for sleeping and even point to a sign of a bigger problem you need to address.
  • You have obvious stains: How did that stain get there? Whether mattress stains are a mystery or you know their origin, it’s best to address stains as soon as you know about them.

Keeping Your Mattress Fresh

Even if you don’t have stains, odors, or other cleanliness concerns about your mattress, you should clean it every few months to keep it fresh and avoid buildup of dust, dirt, and bacteria. It’s also important to adequately protect your mattress from spills and stains.

  • Change your sheets: Bed sheets should be in hot water every one to two weeks. Change them more often if you’re sick, you notice a stain, or you’ve been particularly sweaty at night.
  • Vacuum your mattress: Pull out your vacuum and clean up dust and dirt every few months while you’ve got your sheets off for cleaning. Use your vacuum’s upholstery tool to cover the top and sides of the mattress as well as the bed spring. You’ll need to press firmly to get dirt below the surface. Clean out the quilting and other small details with the crevice tool.
  • Address spills, stains, and odors right away: Avoid letting stains or odors sink in on your mattress. Quickly spray down stains and disinfect odors as soon as you notice them.
  • Add baking soda: Baking soda can absorb odors and freshen your mattress. Sprinkle a light layer on top, let it sit for several minutes, then vacuum it up before making your bed.
  • Air out your mattress: Fresh air and sunshine is great for getting rid of odors and bleaching out stains. Wait for a clear day and find a clean spot where you can set your mattress to air out for a few hours. Even if you can’t get your mattress outside, simply standing it up near a sunny open window can help air it out a bit.
  • Don’t make your bed right away: You can air out your mattress every day by simply leaving your bed undone for thirty minutes or more in the mornings. While you’re getting ready for the day, pull the covers all the way back and let moisture and odors escape before making your bed.
  • Avoid excessive sweating in bed: Everyone sweats in their sleep, but if you’re waking up soaked most nights, it could be a problem for your mattress, encouraging mold and mildew growth. Try not to make sweating in bed a regular habit. Adjust your thermostat, wear different clothes to bed, get a lighter comforter and sheets, and consider a breathable mattress topper if your mattress sleeps hot. A more drastic move would be to consider a mattress designed to sleep cool.
  • Use a mattress protector: Mattress covers are always worth it. It’s much easier to throw a mattress cover in the washer than it is to try and coax a stain or smell out of your mattress. Look for a waterproof mattress protector that will offer protection from spills, odors, and bacteria.

Cleaning Stains, Odors, and Infestations

Everyday mattress freshness is important, but you may need to take things a step further if you have spots, stains, odors, or even bugs. You should always clean up these messes quickly and effectively to avoid damaging your mattress. Stay on top of big mattress messes with thorough cleaning to keep your mattress clean and healthy.

Removing Bed Bugs

No one wants to think about bugs in their bed, but the reality is that bed bugs can happen even if you practice good mattress hygiene. All it takes is one trip for a few bed bugs to hitch a ride on your luggage and come home. But the good news is that most infestations can be treated.

  1. Throw everything in the laundry: Bed bugs don’t just attack your bed. They get into bedding, blankets, stuffed animals, pillows, curtains, even your clothes. Put everything that’s washable into your washing machine and run it on hot to zap all of the bugs.
  2. Bag everything else: Bug bugs stick to hard surfaces, too. They can hide in your phone, laptop, clock radio, books, and other personal items. Bag these items and place Nuvan strips inside to kill the bugs.
  3. Search and destroy bugs on your mattress: Find as many bed bugs as you can on your mattress and vacuum them up. You can see what bed bugs and their eggs look like here. Use a flashlight, look in every nook and cranny, and go over every spot at least twice. Never use vacuum attachments with brushes or bristles. Bed bugs may cling to them.
  4. Find beg bugs in furniture: Bed bugs may have spread to other furniture, including your bed frame and dresser. Vacuum them up as you find them, and be thorough. Look for eggs and search inside and under all furniture and drawers with a flashlight.
  5. Clean every surface: Scrub infested surfaces. Be sure to wipe down every surface, even if it was not affected. Look in baseboards, cracks, and holes in walls. Scrape the surface of carpets or rugs with a vacuum attachment, then vacuum thoroughly to pull bed bugs out.
  6. Cover your mattress with an encasement: A mattress encasement places a protective barrier on your mattress. Bed bugs won’t be able to get in or out of your mattress through the encasement. It may be unnerving to think that you could have bed bugs still living and trapped in your mattress, but they will starve and die eventually. The mattress encasement ensures they’ll have nothing new to eat and you won’t have a new infestation in your mattress. Consider vacuuming your mattress one more time before adding the encasement.
  7. Vacuum dead bugs after a year: Bed bugs will be dead after a year. You can remove your mattress encasement to vacuum up the last of the bed bugs.
  8. Call for help: Some bed bug infestations are beyond the skills of a DIY bed bug exterminator. Call a professional if you’re having trouble getting bed bugs under control or they keep coming back after you’ve treated them. You don’t want bed bugs to continue to grow their infestation of your mattress and home.

Treating Dust Mites

Dust mites are definitely the lesser evil when it comes to creepy crawlies in your bed, but that’s not to say you want them sticking around. Dust mites make themselves at home in mattresses, feeding on human skin in warm, humid spots. They often aggravate allergies, making your mattress an uncomfortable place to sleep. But you can banish them from your bed with cleaning and preventive maintenance.

  1. Wash your sheets weekly: Dust mites live on dead human skin and they find it in your sheets. Wash your sheets and pillows every week in hot water so you’re not giving dust mites anything to live on.
  2. Dry your sheets outside: Direct sunlight kills dust mites, so if you hang sheets and pillows outside to dry, you can kill off any dust mites you may have missed in the washer.
  3. Get a new pillow: Change to a new pillow every six months to get rid of any dust mites living inside.
  4. Take a steamer to your mattress: Steam vapors will kill dust mites (and bacteria) on contact, so run a steam cleaner over all mattress surfaces every few months. Be sure to cover everything, as you won’t be able to see dust mites.
  5. Vacuum your mattress: Remove dead and live dust mites from your mattress by vacuuming them up with your upholstery attachment. Use a crevice tool to get into quilting and other tight spots.
  6. Use a mattress cover: A mattress cover won’t keep dust mites out of your bedding, but it can keep them from burrowing into your mattress where they’re tougher to get rid of. Using a mattress cover, you’ll just need to stay on top of regularly washing your sheets and pillows.

Washing Spots and Stains

Spots and stains are common on mattresses. Sweat, accidents, even food can end up on your mattress and leave a spot or stick around as a stain. You should take care of these as soon as you can to avoid letting the stains set, or have spots become odors or even mold.

  1. Blot thoroughly: Be sure to blot up any liquids. Use a towel or other clean cloth to remove as much liquid as you can. You don’t want liquid to soak into your mattress and leave a stain or encourage mold growth or odor.
  2. Spray areas with a dish detergent mix: Clean spots and stains with a 50/50 mix of water and dish detergent. Let it sit, then scrub thoroughly. Repeat spraying, sitting, and scrubbing a few times for stains that won’t come up easily. Be sure not to let your mattress get too wet by blotting up any excess moisture from the spray mix.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda: For added freshness, odor fighting, and cleaning power, sprinkle baking soda on your mattress. Let it sit and then vacuum it up.
  4. Remove bodily fluids with laundry detergent: Laundry detergent is formulated to break up urine, blood, and other bodily fluids, so try some detergent and water to clean these off of your mattress. Hydrogen peroxide will work as well. Do not use hot water, as it will set stains.

Removing Odors

Sleeping on a smelly mattress is simply unpleasant. Left unchecked, mattress odors can interfere with your sleep and comfort and lead to bigger problems like bacteria and mold growth. Keep your mattress smelling fresh and healthy with odor removal.

  1. Vacuum your mattress: Vacuuming won’t remove every odor from your mattress, but it’s a good start for getting things clean and ready to scrub down.
  2. Use baking soda: Baking soda is a great odor eliminator. Sprinkle it directly onto your mattress, let it sit, then vacuum it up to pick up odors.
  3. Spray your mattress: Spray the affected area with vinegar or an odor eliminating agent like Febreeze, then blot and scrub the area. Use vinegar sparingly, as the odor from vinegar may also be unpleasant to sleep with.
  4. Air out your mattress: Air dry your mattress, ideally outside. Often, direct sunlight will zap out odors.

When to Replace Your Mattress Instead of Cleaning

For stains, spot cleaning, odors, and even bed bugs and dust mites, it’s usually best to simply clean your mattress rather than replace it. After all, mattresses can be expensive to replace, and there are so many ways to clean them effectively. But there are situations when it’s just not worth it to save a mattress that’s beyond help — or even a health hazard.

  • Mold: Mold on your mattress is a sign that you’ve left a spot dirty or wet (usually both) for far too long. Once mold starts, it’s really tough to get rid of. Even if you clean your mattress thoroughly, you may never know if you’ve actually eliminated the mold. Sleeping on a mattress with mold every night can be a serious health hazard, so it’s really best to just start fresh unless you catch and treat mold quickly.
  • Extensive bed bugs: Bed bugs are the plague of mattresses, dreaded by every mattress owner. If you catch and eliminate them before they get out of control, it’s fine to keep your treated mattress. However, a serious bed bug infestation will leave your mattress covered with tiny specks of blood, insect waste, and more creepy crawlies than you may be comfortable sleeping on ever again. If your bed bugs are out of control, consider getting rid of your mattress. But remember that even if your mattress is gone, bed bugs will still remain in your home, so you’ll need to treat clothing, other soft items, furniture, and more to eliminate bed bugs before you bring in a new mattress.
  • Old mattresses: It’s almost always worth it to save a still usable mattress with a small stain or odor. But is it really worth the trouble if your mattress is past its comfortable lifespan anyway? Most mattresses are only usable for 7-10 years before they become too worn and uncomfortable. If you’re facing an arduous cleaning task on an old mattress, consider just upgrading instead.

How to Keep Your Mattress Cleaner for Longer

There are multiple methods for keeping your mattress clean and fresh. Below you’ll find some helpful suggestions.

Use a mattress protector:A mattress protector will help protect your bed from contaminants like dirt, bacteria, and dust mites as well as stains and spills.

Shower before bed:The dead skin, sweat, etc. that we carry to bed will accumulate over a period of years, contributing to a dirty mattress. Regularly showering before bed will help you maintain a hygienic and pristine sleep surface.

Wash your sheets every 1-2 weeks:Routinely wash your sheets to prevent dust and allergens from building up.

Keep your bedroom cool: By keeping your bedroom at a moderately cool temperature, you’ll be less likely to sweat, cutting back on the amount of perspiration that sinks into your sheets and mattress.

Don’t eat on your bed:In addition to dirtying up your mattress outright, food crumbs and residue on your bed could attract insects like ants and roaches.

Mattress Cleaning and Warranties

One often overlooked aspect of mattress cleanliness is the impact it can have on the warranty. Manufacturers view keeping a mattress clean an important responsibility for owners because it not only extends the life of a mattress, but it helps to prevent wear and tear issues that might happen in the future.

It’s common practice to void warranties on mattresses with stains. Some stains can cause damage outright to the mattress’ structural integrity, and permanent stains are considered unsanitary. If you can get stains removed, you should try to do so before contacting the manufacturer about the warranty. Otherwise, there’s a good chance it will be voided.

Before buying a mattress, be sure to understand what the warranty says about stains and overall cleanliness, and follow any suggestions the company offers for keeping their mattresses clean.


A clean sleep surface is a happy one, and you’ll be happier in the long run if you do a little each night to keep your mattress clean. It might involve making showers a nighttime habit or avoiding crumbs by not eating on the bed. Whatever changes you make, you’ll get the best of out your mattress for a longer period of time.

Additional Tuck Resources

If you’d like to read about similar topics, please check the list of related articles linked below.

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