How To Clean A Mattress and Get Rid of Stains

How To Clean A Mattress and Get Rid of Stains

Sep 05, 2019

Knowing how to clean a mattress can help you sleep better at night, and removing mattress stains will protect your investment in your bed.

To deep clean mattresses, follow the steps below. You’ll get rid of stains, dust mites, and other allergens so you can rest easy at night.

1. Vacuum the Mattress

First of all, your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment is the best tool for mattress cleaning. Start at the top of the mattress 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.

2. Deodorize Mattresses with Baking Soda

Although we don’t notice our personal bodily smells, over time sweat can build up and lead to an unmistakable aroma. A good mattress cleaning will leave your bed smelling fresh.

To do this, sprinkle your mattress well with baking soda (bicarb for UK readers) and gently rub it in with a scrub brush, so it gets into the fabric where the stink lives. Let the baking soda sit for 10 minutes before proceeding to the next step.

3. Vacuum Again

The first round of vacuuming removed dust and hair, so the baking soda could get to work on the mattress surface. Also, by scrubbing the baking soda into your mattress, you’ve helped it bond with moisture and body oils in the top layers of material.

Now, vacuuming the mattress a second time pulls that moisture out, along with the cause of the odors. Use the upholstery attachment for this step of mattress cleaning, too.

4. 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.

5. Flip and Repeat

If your mattress has a pillow-top or can’t be flipped over, you can skip this step.

Other mattresses should be flipped side to side and top to bottom, so they wear evenly. Repeat the mattress cleaning steps above after flipping.

6. Prevent Mattress Stains

Since cleaning a mattress is a time-consuming task, I recommend using a washable mattress cover. I’m not talking about the crinkly, plastic kind you might remember from childhood.

These days, mattress covers are made from fabric bonded to a waterproof layer that keeps liquids and allergens from reaching your mattress. 

Launder your mattress cover immediately after any spill or illness. Otherwise, wash it at least once a month to keep your bed fresh.