How to clean a mattress – Tips & Advice

Last Updated on April 27, 2021

When you buy a bed for your home, you’ll also need to get yourself a bed frame, a mattress, and all sorts of bedding products such as fitted sheets, comfy pillows with silky pillowcases, plush duvets, soft blankets and even mattress toppers.

However, the mattress you choose to sleep on is arguably the most crucial decision you’ll make when it comes down to your sleep and its quality. Often they can be quite an investment, which makes many people think that after the purchase, they don’t have to take care and clean the surface they sleep on.

In today’s guide, we’ll discuss how to clean a mattress in detail while also helping with some other helpful tips and advice. Read on to hear how to remove any stubborn stains and keep your mattress clean and fresh!

How to clean a mattress in 8 easy steps?

We spend a third of our life’s sleeping, which is why you have to make sure you have a good night’s sleep every night. A considerable part of the quality of your sleep will be your bed hygiene and how well you take care of your bed.

If you regularly clean your mattress, that will help with the reducing of allergens in your bedroom and prolong the bed’s life. Next, we’ll show you how to clean a mattress in eight easy steps with some basic cleaning tools and ingredients. They are the following:

Strip the bed and wash bed linen

how to clean a mattress

Before you can start cleaning your mattress, you should remove everything that’s covering it and put it in the washing machine (if possible). You can begin by stripping all the bedding and throwing them in the laundry basket. The items that aren’t going to be wash such as blankets and pillows can be aired out and put away to a different part of the room, so they aren’t in your way.

When you separated your bedding items, the one in the laundry basket can go into the washer to be cleaned, and you can start the cleaning process.



The first actual step of cleaning your mattress comes after you’ve stripped the bed. You’ll have to clean it by vacuuming to remove mites, dust, dead skin, hair, and other debris. We recommend using an attachment with a wide brush for the top and a lengthy upholstery nozzle for cracks, edges, sides and piping. Don’t forget to check if the attachments you’re using are clean before you turn the vacuum on.

Spot clean stains

Spot clean stains

We want to start this part by saying that if any recent spills are still wet, you should clean them immediately. You can do so by getting a clean cloth, which is damp with cold water and blot it. Don’t scrub or rub it since it may push the stain farther into the mattress.

Now, if you want to clean an older stain, you have to make yourself a concoction by combining two tablespoons (30 ml) of hydrogen peroxide with one tablespoon (15 ml) of liquid dish soap in a container. After you’ve made your mixture, it’s time to dip an old toothbrush into the suds and gently scrub until you receive the wanted effect.

Usually, this is an effective solution for treating stains from dirt, food, drinks, but keep in mind that if you have a memory foam mattress, you should be careful with the cleaner since it’s a material that shouldn’t get wet.

Use enzyme cleaner for biological stains

Use enzyme cleaner for biological stains

As we mentioned, the mixture above works only for specific stains, and if you need to clean biological ones, we have another solution. Start by sparing some enzyme cleaner onto a clean cloth and blot the area to remove the stain. After you’ve done so, we highly recommend you blot it another time with a clean cloth, damp with cold water.

Enzyme cleaners can break down many stains such as blood, urine, sweat, vomit, oil, grease, etc. Plus, it’s helpful with odours, but don’t spray the liquid directly on the mattress because some materials can get damaged, like memory foam.

Deodorise mattress with baking soda

Deodorise mattress with baking soda

After you’ve dealt with the stains, it’s time to deodorise the whole mattress. How can you do that? Easy, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the entire surface. And if you want your bed to smell extra nice, you can stir a few drops of your favourite essential oils into the baking soda. If you want the soda to be distributed evenly, you can pour it into a sifter and use it over your bed.

Let it sit and absorb

Let it sit and absorb

You have to let the baking soda sit for at least 30 minutes in order to give it enough time to break down acids, absorb smells, and absorb any liquid leftover from your spot cleaning. But if you have the time, you can leave the baking soda on for a couple of hours. The longer you let it sit on the mattress, the better it will absorb and clean it.

Another round of vacuuming

Another round of vacuuming

If you’ve given the baking soda enough time to sit, your next step will be to vacuum your mattress again to remove it. By doing so, you’ll take acids, odours, and liquids that the baking soda has absorbed. This time we recommend you use a brush to cover the top and a long nozzle to get into corners, cracks, seams, and piping.

Let the mattress air out

Let the mattress air out

Finally, now that your mattress is clean, it will be best if you let it air out for some time so that the left liquids can dry out (if there are any). This way, you’ll avoid the moisture that can get trapped inside and lead to mould, which is incredibly difficult to remove.

When the weather outside is warm, you can leave your bedroom window open during the day to let in the fresh air. Another way to keep bacteria and mould away is by keeping the curtains open since the UV rays in the sun will help kill them.  

Why should you clean your mattress?

If you’re someone that has never cleaned their mattress, you’re probably wondering why start now? We will try and explain it most simply. You wash your bed sheets and other bedding regularly. Why shouldn’t you do so with your mattress?

The first and one of the most crucial reasons why you should clean it often are the 100,000 to 10 million mites inside. This can have quite a negative impact.

Another issue can be the fact that your skin flakes and sheds around 3.5kg of dead skin for a year, and if you don’t have the appropriate protection (mattress protector or topper), you can also sweat around 200ml each night if you sleep for 7 to 8 hours. If that’s not a dirty mattress, we don’t know what it is. Don’t underestimate your health and sleep hygiene.

How often should you clean your mattress?

clean your mattress

There isn’t a specific rule on how often you should clean your mattress, but if you want it to stay clean and fresh, we recommend doing it at least once every six months (meaning twice a year). However, if you have some sort of a medical condition, you may want to schedule the cleanings to suit your lifestyle.

Additionally, people and pets are constantly shedding skin cells, hair, whiskers and dander, which can be pretty nasty, especially since we spend approximately 33% of our lives in bed. If you take care of your bed, it will also be beneficial to your health since it won’t be as prone to containing allergens.

How to maintain a clean mattress?

Now that we’ve discussed how often and how you can clean your mattress is time to talk about how can you keep it fresh and clean for as long as possible. Here are some tips you can follow to get that fresh feeling in-between mattress cleaning. The recommendations are the following:

  • Air out your bed whenever you get a chance
  • Throwback your sheets every morning for half an hour
  • Keep your windows open during the day (if the weather allows it)
  • Change your bedding regularly (wash and dry what you can)
  • Spot clean and stains you make while they are still fresh and wet
  • Get yourself a mattress protector
  • Be careful with food and drinks in bed (avoid if possible)

How can you protect your mattress?

Protect your mattress

Let’s be honest it’s better not to have coffee stains in the first place than to clean them, which is why you should find a way to protect your mattress from spills, stains and odours. We advise you to get a mattress protector since it’s a cost-effective way to keep your bed clean.

Overall, mattress protectors will protect your bed against spills and accidents, but what makes them even better is that they are also perfect for those who suffer from allergies. Most of them can be both machine washed and tumble dried so that they stay fresh and clean at all times. But if you aren’t sure if you can wash yours, you can also read the individual product’s instructions.

How often should you replace your mattress?

Let’s start by saying that if you’re already asking yourself this question, then it’s probably time to change it. There might not be a set rule as to when you need to make a change, but if any of the following are true, that’s a good enough sign. Here are a few things you can do to maximise the lifespan of your mattress:

  • Squeaking springs – if your springs are becoming nosier, that’s a good sign that your coils are no longer providing the support you need since they’ve been worn out.
  • Signs of wear & tear – this may include lumps, sagging and even coils tearing through the fabric.
  • Muscle stiffness – when your body is feeling sore and stiff, your mattress is no longer comfortable or supporting for your body and its needs.
  • Allergies have worsened – with the years’ mattresses collect the majority of the dust mites and allergens in your home, which is why they can have a negative impact on allergies and asthma.
  • Gaining weight – sometimes adding a few extra kilos can affect an older mattress and change your sleep quality.
  • Partner’s movement – if the mattress needs replacement, it would have lost its ability to reduce motion transfer, thus why you can feel more action from your partner.

If you want to learn more about this subject, take a look at our guide: How often should you change your mattress?

How to clean urine stains?

If you have children or pets, it can be easy to spill or even for urine to leak through the sheets at night. As long as you have the right cleaning materials, cleaning those stains won’t be as hard. That’s why we’ll try to teach you how to deep clean a mattress.

You can either purchase a cleaner from the store or make one yourself. To remove a tough stain such as urine, you’ll need to use a mixture of three tablespoons of baking soda, 240ml hydrogen peroxide and 1/2 teaspoon of liquid dish soap.

Apply the mixture and rub lightly until it is removed, but if that doesn’t work, you can try to combine three tablespoons of laundry powder with one tablespoon of water and spread the solution over the urine stain. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes, remove the paste and then vacuum.

How to clean blood stains?

Bloodstains are not as common as urine stains and a lot harder to get rid of, but if it’s that time of the month and an accident happened throughout the night, there is a way to fix your problems. You will need another concoction for this, and it will contain 59 ml of hydrogen peroxide, one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of liquid dish soap.

You’ll have to spread the mixture over the blood stain and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. After that, you can scrape away with a blunt knife or a spoon. Lastly, you can grab a rag that has been slightly dipped in hydrogen peroxide in order to remove any excess residue.

Bottom line

Now that we’ve told you how to clean a mattress, it’s time for you to do some work to keep it fresh and clean. If you have a bust life and can’t remember when you’ve last cleaned your bed, you should make a schedule or set a reminder on your calendar so that your mattress is regularly deep cleaned and always fresh!

We hope we were able to help you in your venture of keeping keep your mattress clean for longer. Now it’s our turn to hear from you if any questions regarding the subject were left unanswered. If you want to share some information, we would gladly hear about it in the comments below.

Isabelle Harris
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