How to Clean a Mattress: Step by Step

When it comes to deep cleaning, items out of sight are out of mind – like the mattress. Here’s how to clean a mattress and prevent the build-up of dirt, sweat, and grime.

Mattresses are soft and absorbent. While these qualities make them a great place to sleep, it also provides the ideal surface for dust mites, dead skin cells, dirt, mold, and sweat build-up.

How to Clean a Mattress

You can keep your mattress fresh and in good condition by cleaning it 3-4 times per year. 

How to Clean Your Mattress: Step by Step

The most important tool for cleaning a mattress is a vacuum with a hose and strong suction. You’ll also need baking soda. Here’s what to do.

Step 1: Remove the Bedding and Sprinkle the Mattress with Baking Soda

Remove sheets, blankets, and pillows and launder them. Then sprinkle baking soda over the mattress. The baking soda will absorb odors from sweating and also deodorize.

Step 2: Vacuum the Mattress

Use the soft-bristled brush or upholstery attachment to vacuum your mattress. Start at one end of the mattress and work toward the other using overlapping motions. Vacuum well – there should be no baking soda left on the bed.

Step 3: Spot Treat Stains

If there are any stains on your mattress, now is the time to treat them. Here are the best stain-removal methods for a mattress:

Hydrogen peroxide – If you have a white mattress, you can use hydrogen peroxide to lift out almost every type of stain. It works wonders for sweat, urine, and blood. 

Soak a cotton ball with 3% hydrogen peroxide and dab the stain until gone. If that doesn’t work, spritz the area with peroxide. The stain will fade as the peroxide dries.

You can use peroxide on any color mattress, but since it can lighten fabric, it’s safest for white.

Pet Urine Stain Cleaner – Believe it or not, pet urine stain cleaners are the best for dealing with mattress stains. These cleaners contain either oxygen bleach or enzymes that break down organic matter. Since most mattress stains come from organic matter, enzymatic cleaners are the best choice.

Consider Rocco & Roxy OxyStain Remover or Enzymatic Stain and Odor Eliminator.

How to Keep Your Mattress Clean 

The best way to keep your mattress clean, protected, and long-lasting is to use a mattress protector. Most mattress protectors are waterproof, preventing spills, blood, and excess sweat from seeping into the mattress. They’re also washable, so you can clean them when you wash your sheets.

Aside from using a mattress protector, vacuum your mattress 3-4 times per year to rid it of potential dust mites. To keep your mattress’s shape intact, flip or rotate it each time you clean it.

Mattress Cleaning Tips

  • If someone had an accident and peed on the mattress. Soak up fresh urine with a paper towel. Then spray the area with an enzymatic stain remover (like those used for dog and cat urine.) The spray contains enzymes that eat the bacteria from urine, preventing stains and bad odor.
  • Don’t power wash a mattress. It will become saturated and develop mold or mildew in the filling.
  • Don’t steam clean a mattress. Avoid using excess moisture on your mattress at all costs. You don’t want it to develop a musty smell.
  • If you’re cleaning pee off a memory foam mattress, you’ll need to saturate well with an enzymatic cleaner so that it reaches far enough down.