Mattress Cleaning 101: Everything You Need to Know

Rose Morrison

Jul 4, 2024

clean mattress

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Many people spend much time on their beds without knowing its hidden risks. When left uncleaned for a long time, a bed can easily become a breeding ground for bacteria, dust and dirt. With a clean mattress, you can enjoy a restful sleep knowing your bed is free from dust, unwanted odors and stains.

Wondering how to clean a mattress? Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get the clean and hygienic mattress you deserve.

1. Remove Beddings

bed with white sheets

Remove pillowcases, sheets and mattress protectors. Don’t just toss them inside the washing machine. Sometimes, mattress sheets are too large for a usual home washing machine, so they may need professional washing. For pillowcases, wash them according to their care instructions.

Take a moment to examine the current condition of your mattress. Does it need cosmetic work, or do you think it needs replacement? The average mattress lasts around 10 years, but if you think it still works its job, feel free to keep it.

2. Vacuum Using a Mattress Cleaner

Start with the topper if you use one. Use your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment to eliminate debris. Pay attention to sides, tufted petals and seams. Flip over and repeat the process. Avoid setting your vacuum settings to the highest level. Some toppers have natural fibers that can be pulled with high suction power, so it’s best to start on the lowest setting.

Next, vacuum the mattress. Flip it and repeat the process. After this step, put the mattress to one side.

3. Sprinkle Baking Soda

Apply baking soda to your mattress. This will help absorb the foul smells, leaving your bed smelling fresh. Let it sit for hours to absorb odor and liquids before vacuuming it.

4. Focus on Removing Stains

Sometimes, baking soda isn’t enough. Pesky odors and stains, such as blood and urine, are more challenging to remove. The first step is knowing your stain. Yellow splotches could mean body sweats, while darker yellow smears might be your dog’s pee. Here are some common stains and how to clean them


Mix ½ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide, two drops of dish soap and a tablespoon of baking soda. Put the mixture in a bottle and let it cool for an hour. Spray the mixture on the stain and use a hard brush to remove it.

Pet Urine

Wondering how to clean urine from a mattress? It’s easy. Create a solution of half distilled vinegar and half water in a spray bottle. Spray the stain, brush it and blot the excess moisture using paper towels. Cover the area with baking soda, and let it soak for hours before vacuuming off.

Sweat and Human Urine

Use the same solution for cleaning blood stains, but don’t refrigerate it. Spray it directly to the affected area. Scrub in circles until the stain disappears.

5. Air Out Your Mattress

Leave your mattress in direct sunlight or an airy room to remove remaining moisture. This can help eliminate mold and bacteria that can cause health issues. It’ll also help eliminate the odor from the stain and the cleaning solutions.

6. Vacuum for the Last Time

clean mattress

Lay your mattress on the bed and vacuum any remaining crumbs, dust and hairs. Use the vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment to capture small particles while being gentle on the fabric. Again, start on the lower setting,

How Frequent Should You Clean Your Mattress?

recycled mattress

Now that you know how to deep clean a mattress, knowing how often to do it is crucial. You’ll only need to clean it at least once a year. Considering the time and effort to complete this task, that’s already a reasonable number.

However, if the time comes and you realize your mattress needs to take a permanent sleep, think twice before discarding it. Instead of throwing it away, consider recycling it. The U.S. has 56 mattress recycling centers where you can drop your used mattress. This is the best thing you can do to help reduce your landfill waste.

Know How to Clean a Mattress

Mattress cleaning might be time-consuming, but it’s one of the most rewarding household chores you can do. It might take hours to clean your mattress, but the comfort you’ll feel for the next months will make this chore truly worth it.

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