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.
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.
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.)
Shop Mattresses on Amazon
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 to Remove All Stains & Smells
Most peoplenever clean their mattresses.However, without proper cleaning, mattresses can getdiscolored and smelly. Sometimes urine, blood or other liquids get on mattresses, making it even more essential that you deep clean a mattress. At their worst, dirty mattresses canmake you sick.Here’s thestep-by-step tutorial in 6 easy steps!
How to Deep Clean a Mattress
Here are easy step-by-step directions on how to clean a mattress to remove all smells, stains, and discoloration.Children and pets can wreak havoc on a mattress,so you’ll also learn how to clean mattress stains and how to clean urine from a mattress.Fortunately, you’re just a few steps away from a fresh, clean mattress.
1.Remove all bedding and vacuum the mattress
You shouldvacuum your mattress regularly, even when you’re not planning to deep-clean your mattress. This will keep your mattress free of loose materials that could cause discoloration or stains if left on your mattress for long periods of time. When deep-cleaning, this vacuuming is essential as the first step in the right direction. Using a vacuum attachment,make sure to vacuum in all the groovesof the mattress and on its sides.
2.Sprinkle baking soda all over the mattress and rub it in
Baking soda is not only a great deodorizer, but it also is great at soaking up all kinds of oils. Therefore,putting this on your mattress first will help pull out some of the nasty oils that might be set into your mattress. Use a scrub brush to really brush it into the mattress. Ensure that the entire mattress has been brushed with baking soda. Be careful if you are attempting to do the sides of the mattress since it can get a little messy.Let the baking soda sit on the mattress for at least 10 minutes.This will ensure that the baking soda has time to soak up any oils and properly deodorize the mattress.
3.Vacuum up all the baking soda
Now that the baking soda has had time to set in and do its work, it’s time to vacuum it all up. Once again, vacuum the entire mattress. Make sure to get in all the grooves to remove all the baking soda from the mattress.
4.Spray the entire mattress using a spray bottle filled with hydrogen peroxide, water and clear dish soap
In addition to baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and dish soap are your best friends when deep-cleaning a mattress. These three ingredients deodorize, disinfect and remove stains. Put one tablespoon of dish soap in a spray bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with half hydrogen peroxide and half water. Do not use colored dish soap since it could discolor your mattress. Swirl the bottle to mix it together. Do not shake it vigorously. Spray the entire mattress with this liquid. It’s not necessary to really soak the mattress. Just make sure that the entire mattress is damp and you don’t miss any areas, especially those with bad stains.
5.Sprinkle the mattress with baking soda again and rub it in
Once again, sprinkle baking soda on the mattress and rub it in with a scrub brush or white towel. Ensure that you get every area on the mattress. Let this sit on the mattress for a few hours until it’s dry. This will once again help deodorize the mattress and soak up any oils. The baking soda will work well with the previously-applied hydrogen peroxide and dish soap mixture.
6.Vacuum the entire mattress
Lastly, vacuum the entire mattress, making sure to not leave behind any baking soda residue. To avoid molding, make sure the mattress is completely dry before putting on sheets. If needed or if you get impatient, you can get the mattress to dry faster by using a hair dryer on it. Depending on the condition of the other side of your mattress, consider flipping it over and deep-cleaning the other side as well. Of course, you can clean the other side a different day if you have had enough mattress-cleaning for the day.
How to Clean Urine from a Mattress
After following these 5 simple steps, your mattress should be bright, clean and disinfected! However, if you happen to still have a tough stain that won’t come out, try reapplying a mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and water right on the stain. Brush it in well and wait for a few hours. Once again, vacuum up any remaining baking soda residue. Remember that the sooner you treat a stain after it happens, the easier it will be to remove. However, most stains are not impossible to remove with the right materials and enough scrubbing.
How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress
People oftentimes wonder how to clean a memory foam mattress.It isn’t as difficult as you might think.You can still follow the above 6 steps but justmake sure to not really soak the mattresswith your hydrogen peroxide, water, and dish soap mixture. Also,make sure to let the mattress fully dry.If you can place the mattress outside in the sun or in a well-ventilated area, that will help. Thereal key to cleaning a memory foam mattress is to ensure that you don’t leave moisture in the mattress when you are done.This moisture can ruin your mattress by causing molding. However, there is really nothing to worry about if you simply ensure that you don’t soak the mattress and you let it dry thoroughly.
Now that you know how to deep clean a mattress, I hope you get started on your mattresses!The deep cleaning process is quite simple and extremely inexpensive. You can use everyday household items including baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap to remove all the dirt, stains and smells from your mattresses. Keeping your mattresses clean will make sure thatyou and your family stay healthy and your home stays clean and fresh. Once you’ve completed these steps, don’t forget torecommend this tutorial to friends and familyto help promote clean homes and happy, healthy families!
Written for the Hometalk community by: Mary @ That Crazy Look
How to clean a mattress
Follow these five rules to make your mattress last longer
The average UK consumer spends nearly £600 when they buy a new mattress, according to research by the National Bed Federation. And just over one in seven of us spend up to £1,199. If you’re investing such a sizeable chunk of your hard-earned cash on a mattress, you’ll want to make sure it stays clean and in tip-top condition for as long as possible so you enjoy the benefits of a great night’s sleep.
With this in mind, we’ve rounded up five golden rules of mattress care you should follow so your mattress lives a long and healthy life.
RULE 1: Air your bed every day
Making your bed as soon as you get up each morning could actually be bad for your mattress. Every night, we each lose around half a pint of water while we’re asleep.
Although we breath out some of this as water vapour, we sweat the rest straight into our bedding. Diligent daily bed-makers risk trapping this moisture in their bedding, which creates an appealing environment for dust mites and can lead to stains forming.
Instead, turn back the duvet when you rise and shine to allow moisture that has built up during the night to evaporate. If you find you get sweaty in the night, open a window before you hit the hay, which will also help regulate the humidity in your bedroom that mites find so attractive.
RULE 2: Wash bedding weekly – at least!
Discourage dust mites from taking up residence in your mattress by changing sheets and duvet covers at least once a week and washing them at at a minimum temperature of 60°C.
Use a machine washable mattress protector to help stop sweat or other body fluids coming into contact with your mattress. Wash it once every two months at the highest temperature recommended on the care label.
RULE 3: Vacuum your mattress regularly
Unpalatable as this may be, we each lose almost half a kg of dead skin cells every year, and some of this will end up in our mattress.
Again, this can act as a magnet for dust mites. Keep dust and dead skin cells at bay by vacuuming your mattress once a month on a low suction setting, using your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment.
The piping along the edges of your mattress can encourage a build-up of dust and dead skin cells, as can buttons, so give these areas special attention.
You’ll need to check the mattress manufacturer’s care instructions first, though, as some companies claim that vacuuming your mattress can dislodge the filling.
RULE 4: Check if you should turn your mattress
Not all mattresses need to turned. Some, such as those with an upper layer of memory foam, shouldn’t be flipped as they’re designed with just one surface to sleep on. However, they do need to be rotated end-to-end every week just after you’ve bought them, then once every few months.
Sprung mattresses, however, need to be both rotated through 180° and flipped weekly for three months after you buy them, then once every three or four months.
If in doubt, check the manufacturer’s care instructions. Failing to follow this guidance may invalidate the warranty on your mattress. To help you remember when to flip or rotate your mattress, write a reminder on you calendar or set up a notification in your phone.
RULE 5: Act fast on spills and stains
As with most stains, the longer you leave mattress stains, the harder they will be to shift.
Stand the mattress up before you tackle them, then sponge the stained area with cold water, taking care not to over-wet.
Blot with a dry cloth, then spot-treat with a stain remover designed for use on carpet or upholstery. Rinse with fresh, cold water, then blot dry.
If the stained area smells unpleasant, add a few drop of disinfectant to the water you use to rinse the stain.
How to Clean a Mattress in 9 Simple Steps
A mattress is a serious investment, so you want to make sure it lasts—and that means learning how to clean a mattress. Mattresses can harbor dust mites, dead skin, dirt, and other debris, which means they need to be cleaned regularly—particularly if you suffer from allergies, have pets, or are just an avid midnight snacker.
The good news is that cleaning a mattress is far easier than you might think. Read on to discover the nine simple steps that will help you keep your mattress clean and ready for years of snoozing. Thanks to expert insights from Ed Curry, president of mattress company Duxiana, and Neil Parikh, cofounder of Casper, here are some pro tips for taking good care of your mattress so you can sleep easy.
1. Gather your mattress cleaning supplies
To deep clean a mattress, you’ll need certain materials on hand. Gather up:
- a vacuum with an upholstery attachment
- an enzyme cleaner or dish soap to get stains out
- laundry detergent
- baking soda
- cleaning cloths
- cold water
2. Strip the bed and wash all the bedding
Remove sheets, pillowcases, and mattress covers and let them take a spin in the washing machine while you work on cleaning the mattress. Washing all the bedding in hot water will help get rid of any dust mites. Depending on the type of pillows you have, you may be able to wash them as well. (Double-check the care label.)
3. Vacuum the mattress
Grab your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment and go over the entire surface of the mattress, including the sides. Pay special attention to seams and break out the crevice attachment to get any hidden dirt or dust.
4. Spot-clean your mattress with a stain remover
Now it’s time to focus on getting stains out of the mattress, and that means spot-cleaning. Never soak your mattress or apply water or cleaning solution directly to it. Memory foam, for example, isn’t supposed to get wet at all. For that reason, it’s important to proceed with caution and operate on the principle that less is more.
So, spot-cleaning with a stain remover it is. The stain remover you choose will depend on the type of stain and the type of mattress. For biological stains, reach for an enzyme cleaner. Spray the cleaner onto a clean white cloth, and then blot the stained area with the cloth. After that, you can apply cold water to a different clean cloth and continue blotting until the stain lifts. The goal here is to use as little product and moisture as possible. This method is ideal for blood, sweat, vomit, urine, and other related stains.
As an alternative to an enzyme-based cleaner, you can make your own DIY solution by mixing dish soap with water and applying just the resulting foam to the stain. You can also make a DIY solution of equal parts cold water and hydrogen peroxide.
5. Sprinkle baking soda all over the entire mattress
If you can’t put your mattress out in the sun and fresh air, baking soda is the next best thing. Sprinkle a layer over the entire top of the mattress and leave for several hours (or better yet, apply before an overnight trip). Baking soda will break down acid and absorb any remaining moisture or odor. The longer you can leave baking soda on the mattress, the better it will work! As the mattress sits with the baking soda, open any windows in the room to let the light and sunshine in. The sun’s UV rays will actually help kill any mold or bacteria on the mattress.
6. Vacuum again
Once the baking soda has worked its magic, thoroughly vacuum it up. (If you have a fabric headboard, now’s a good time to vacuum that, as well! Might as well get a fresh start with everything bed-related.)
7. Flip the mattress
Now that side one is spotless, flip the mattress and repeat steps 1-5 so both sides are equally fresh and clean. Flipping, of course, should be done at regular intervals, whether you’re deep cleaning the mattress or not. The conventional wisdom has been that people should flip their mattress every three months, but that rule of thumb only applies to spring mattresses because they compress over time. As mattresses get more specialized, your best bet is to check with the model manufacturer. (The foam Casper mattress, for instance, only needs to be rotated 180 degrees every few months, while only the top pad of Duxiana’s Dux mattress needs to be flipped and turned.)