How to Properly Clean a Mattress From Stains and Bacteria

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says an average American spends a significant part of his life lying on a mattress (more than 8 hours a day). 

Mattresses are an integral part of the bed you sleep and rest on. So, how can we ignore the importance of cleaning something we spend so much time in?

While you lay on the bed, your sweat, dead skin cells, oils, and dust gets an easy path into the mattress. All these things lead to stains and are a breeding ground for dust mites and bacteria too.

Moreover, a typical mattress may have up to 1 million mites living in it. Imagine how many different skin allergies and other health conditions they may give you? 

That is why keeping your mattress clean is equivalent to looking after your hygiene.

Here’s a complete guide about how to clean a mattress properly at home without any professional help.

Why Should You Regularly Clean Your Mattress?

Before talking about different ways to clean your mattress, it’s essential to know the benefits of a clean mattress. Mostly, the mattress may look clean, but tiny organisms such as bacteria, mites, etc., may be living in it.

Therefore, to eliminate the risk of these invisible organisms settling in the mattress, you must clean it periodically.

A clean mattress offers you the following benefits:

Keep Allergies Away

Allergens, including dust mites, fungi, or dust, trigger several allergies when you continuously lay on a dirty mattress. In addition, when you move around in the bed, the dust particles spread in your bedrooms’ air. They may seriously disturb your sleep quality by causing itchy sensations, nasal congestion, and irritation of the throat.

However, a properly cleaned mattress won’t let the allergies and itching disturb you. It also keeps you safe from potential health conditions by removing bacteria.

Better Air Quality

Since a dirty mattress hosts dust mites, bacteria, and sweat, etc, it contributes significantly towards polluting the rooms’ air quality. When ignored for long, the room begins smelling foul and leads to various breathing problems.

On the contrary, a clean mattress improves the overall air quality too. After a deep clean, all the biological contaminants get washed away. As a result, the room would no longer smell funky.

Peaceful Sleep

Sleeping on a dirty mattress is agonizing in itself. The mere idea of mites crawling your mattress may give you shivers.However, if the mattress is clean and hygienic, you will sleep with a peaceful mind.

You no longer will face breathing issues or congested nose while sleeping either.

Increases Mattress Life

Apart from mental and physical health benefits, regularly cleaning your mattress gives you economic benefits too. When a mattress is properly looked after, the chances of wear and tear are minimized. Consequently, it lasts longer. 

How to Clean a Mattress Properly?

Now that you know the advantages of a clean mattress, it’s time to move onto ways to clean a mattress. 

There are plenty of methods to clean a mattress at home. Some people also use certain popular cleaning solutions. However, they’re not always a necessity.

The technique below is simple, effective, and does not require any expensive cleaning equipment.

Step 1: Read Instructions Manual

Every brand provides a care guide with a mattress that helps you with the dos and don’ts. So, before proceeding with cleaning the mattress, you must go through the instructions.

These instructions mention what cleaning techniques you can employ and what to avoid. It is because each mattress is built differently. Thus, a particular cleaning method may damage it.

Step 2: Gather Your Equipment

The next and essential step is to collect supplies that you will need during the cleaning process. Generally, the things required for cleaning a mattress at home are more or less the same as those used by professionals.

Here’s a list of equipment that you should keep with you:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Dish soap or laundry detergent
  • Water (cold and lukewarm)
  • Cleaning rag or cloth
  • Distilled vinegar (optional)
  • A toothbrush

Step 3: Remove Bed Linen and Pillows

Before cleaning the mattress, put pillows aside and strip the bed linen. Moreover, if you have any protective mattress cover, remove it too for a deep clean. 

Put the pillow covers and linen in the laundry basket for washing them later. Also, place the decorations or other things somewhere else while you clean.

Step 4: Wash Sheets and Bedding

Linen and pillowcases are typically the first defense for the mattress, and they can get dirty quickly. Therefore, cleaning the bedding is as important as the mattress. 

Put the linen, beddings, and pillowcases in the washing machine to clean. Ideally, you should hot-wash them to ensure all the bacteria, dust, etc., are completely gone.

After getting washed, they’ll be as good as new. Also, you’ll feel extremely pleasant while sleeping on them. However, make sure to read the instructions for washing the fabric of pillowcases and linen to avoid any mishap.

Step 5: Put Mattress in Fresh Air

Once you have removed everything from the mattress, take the mattress out in fresh air for some time. Alternatively, you can also just open the windows of the room for ventilation.

The air will help the mattress freshen up and eliminate bad smells. In short, your mattress will be able to breathe again.

Step 6: Vacuum the Mattress

Finally, it’s time to begin cleaning the mattress. Vacuuming the mattress may seem like a simple step. However, it’s the most vital part of the whole process.

Vacuum cleaning removes dust, mites, dead skin particles, hair, and other such debris from the mattress. Ensure to apply the cleaner to every corner of the mattress. Even if you miss a minute part, the mattress will not be thoroughly cleaned.

Attaching upholstery equipment to the vacuum can increase its efficiency. However, it’s not a necessary tool. But if you use one, make sure the upholstery attachment is clean before using it.

Step 7: Clean Mattress Stains

Now it’s time to wipe out stains from the mattress. Ideally, you should clean the stains immediately. However, they can be addressed later on too.

Start with blotting the stain with a clean cloth damped in cold water. Make sure you don’t rub the stain as it would spread deep in the mattress. 

Also, remember not to use any toxic chemicals or excessive water while deep cleaning the mattress. Both of these can be harmful to the integrity of the mattress.

Removing Sweat Stains

To clean sweat or dirt stains, you can also use the following technique:

  • Put a laundry detergent and lukewarm water in a small bowl and stir them
  • Now dip the toothbrush in the solution
  • Next, gently rub the wet toothbrush on the affected areas until the stains fade
  • Finally, wipe any extra solution from the mattress using a clean damp cloth

Also read: What Are the Softest Cotton Sheets to Buy in 2021?


Removing Other Stains

If you have children in the house, urine stains on the mattress must be a headache for you. Bloodstains, oil grease, and vomiting stains are also too hard to clean from the mattress. Sometimes, you may even need to use an enzyme cleaner to remove them properly.

Here’s how you can get rid of these hard stains:

  • Take a clean cloth and spray it with an enzyme cleaner
  • Now blot this cloth on the spots
  • Wait for at least 15 minutes to let the enzyme cleaner mix well in the stains
  • After some time, take another clean damp cloth and blot it on the stains
  • Repeat the process until the stains are completely gone

An enzyme cleaner breaks down the proteins in the blood, oil grease, and other such biological stains. Moreover, it also neutralizes foul odors created by them. 

However, remember never to spray any liquid cleaner on the mattress directly. It can damage it internally.

Step 8: Sprinkle Baking Soda to Deodorize the Mattress

After successfully dealing with the stains, you have to deodorize and clean the mattress to impart freshness. 

To do this, take baking soda and sprinkle it gently over the entire surface of the mattress. If possible, put baking soda into a sifter for a more balanced spray.  

Moreover, you can also mix an essential oil in the soda for enhanced odor and freshness. Generally, chamomile or lavender oils have soothing aromas that help you sleep peacefully too.

After applying the baking soda, leave it there for a few hours. It will allow the soda to absorb foul smells, break acids down, and suck any remaining liquid from earlier stain cleaning.

Step 9: Vacuum Again

When your mattress starts smelling fresh and clean, it means the baking soda has done its job. So, now vacuum the mattress again to clean the remnants of baking soda. 

In addition, if any dust or debris is still lingering on the mattress surface, the vacuum will suck it off. This also ensures that the mattress is completely clean, and you can now put the bedding back on it.

Step 10: Flip the Mattress

See if your mattress is single or double-sided in its instructions manual. Typically, double-sided mattresses don’t have a defined top or bottom. So, you’ll need to flip the mattress and repeat the steps above to clean it completely.

Step 11: Air Out the Mattress

After deep cleaning, put the mattress out in fresh air once again. This will dry any liquid or moisture entangled in it. Any trapped moisture may even lead to mold inside the mattress if ignored.

If it’s warm outside, just open the windows and room door to let sunlight fall directly on the mattress. The UV rays will eliminate bacteria, mold, and bad odors as well.

Step 12: Make the Bed

Finally, the cleaning part is done. Now take clean sheets and bedding to put on the mattress. For extra protection from bacteria and other such agents, you should use antimicrobial silver bed sheets like Mizu

These sheets not only keep you safe but provide an extra cozy and soothing feeling.

Tips to Keep Your Mattress Clean

By and large, cleaning your mattress is the last resort to eliminate harmful mites, bacteria, and allergens. However, there are certain things you can do to protect your mattress and keep it clean for a long time.

Use a Mattress Protector

The importance of a Mattress protector is immense for a mattress. It is often a synthetic covering or sheet that does not let food crumbs, stains, or similar things get to the mattress. In addition, mattress protectors are water-proof. Therefore, your mattress would remain safe even if any beverage is spilled on it.

Immediately Clean Stains

Stains are a major factor contributing to the overall foul smells and dirty look of the mattress. So, try to remove a stain as soon as it appears. If you let it dry, it’ll sit deep in the mattress and will be difficult to eliminate.

Wash Bedding Regularly

Since you spend a major part of your day on the bed, the linen can harbor sweat stains and bacteria. Moreover, if you have pets, they can leave dander on the linens. 

Washing the bed linen, pillowcases, and beddings once a week does not let the bacteria or mites on them sneak into the mattress. In addition, the feel of freshly washed sheets can help you sleep better.

Use High-Quality Bed Sheets

Today, plenty of premium quality bed linen is available in the market that protects you and your mattress. For instance, antimicrobial silver bed sheets are designed to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria. Moreover, they are thermoregulating, meaning that their temperature is coherent to your body temperature.

Last Words

A clean mattress is evidence of your healthy hygiene. When ignored for long, a dirty mattress can harbor many allergens, bacteria, and mites. 

Typically, a major reason for people ignoring cleaning mattresses is that the process seems tiresome and costly. However, the reality is the opposite. Cleaning a mattress may be time-consuming, but it does not cost you much. 

The guide above details how to clean a mattress deeply at home with common household items.