How to clean a mattress guide

Mattresses play a big part in our lives. We sleep on them every night and they take a lot of wear and tear.

Your mattress can also harbour dust mites, dead skin, and dirt – so it’s important you clean it regularly.

The good news is, cleaning your mattress is easier than you might think.

In this guide, we’ll look at how to clean your mattress, how to remove tough stains such as blood, urine, and sweat, and how to protect your mattress from bed bugs. We’ll also share our top tips for keeping your mattress clean.

What will you need to clean your mattress?

Before you start cleaning your mattress, it’s important to make sure you’ve got all the tools and equipment you need, including:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Bristle brush
  • Baking soda
  • Clean cleaning cloths
  • Water
  • Cleaning products such as enzyme cleaner, dish soap, white vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide.

Cleaning your mattress

Regular cleaning will keep your mattress clean, and free from stains, dust and dust mites.

Here’s our guide to cleaning your mattress so you can keep it in the best condition for as long as possible.

Step 1 – Strip the sheets and bedding, wash these in your washing machine.

Step 2 – Vacuum the mattress using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

Step 3 – Look for any new stains and use stain remover to spot clean the mattress. You can find out how to remove specific types of stains below.

Step 4 – Sprinkle baking soda all over the mattress and leave it for several hours. This will break down acid and absorb any moisture or odours.

Step 5 – Vacuum the mattress again, ensuring you get up all the baking soda.

Step 6 – Flip the mattress and repeat the steps above on the other side.

Person cleaning their bedding and mattress

How to clean mattress stains

The best way to clean a mattress stain will depend on the type of stain and how long it has been on the mattress for.

Below you’ll find details of how to clean the most common and challenging mattress stains.

How to get blood out of a mattress

There are a number of ways to get blood out of a mattress. Using baking soda and vinegar is one of the gentler options, and it is usually very effective, particularly if the blood has not yet dried.

You’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • Cold water
  • White vinegar
  • A clean cloth or paper towel
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Spray bottle

Step 1 – Start by blotting the blood stain with a clean, dry cloth to try and soak up a much of the blood as possible.

Step 2 – Sprinkle the baking soda on the stained area, making sure you apply it generously.

Step 3 – Next, pour equal parts cold water and white vinegar into the spray bottle and shake to mix.

Step 4 – Spray the mixture onto the stain and leave it to work for around 30 minutes.

Step 5 – Once the mattress is dry, vacuum it to remove any remaining baking soda.

How to get urine out of a mattress

If the urine hasn’t dried, then the baking soda and vinegar approach outlined above should remove it. However, if it has dried into the mattress, you’ll need a tougher approach!

Step 1 – Pour equal parts cold water and hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle and mix.

Step 2 – Spray the mixture onto the stained area, making sure you apply generously.

Step 3 – Use a cloth to blot and dab the area.

Step 4 – Let the solution dry on the mattress, then spray with fragrance to remove any remaining smell.

How to remove sweat stains from a mattress

It’s completely normal to sweat on your mattress. Over time, however, the sweat can cause stains and discolouration.

To remove sweat stains for your mattress, try the following approach:

You’ll need:

  • Baking soda
  • A bristle brush
  • Vacuum cleaner

Step 1 – Vacuum the mattress thoroughly.

Step 2 – Sprinkle the stained areas with baking soda, making sure you cover them completely.

Step 3 – Rub the baking soda into the stains using a bristle brush, making sure you don’t push too hard.

Step 4 – Leave the baking soda to work on the stains for around 15 minutes, then vacuum it up.

The majority of the stains should now be gone. If not, repeat the steps again to remove the final stubborn stains.

How to remove vomit from a mattress

When removing vomit from a mattress, time is of the essence.

Step 1 – Remove any remaining vomit from the top of the mattress by wiping it with a cloth. Make sure you blot rather than scrub as this will spread the vomit out further.

Step 2 – Spot clean the stain using warm soapy water and a clean cloth.

Step 3 – Dilute vinegar in water and use it to wipe the stain to remove any odour.

Step 4 – Leave the mattress to dry.

How to get mould out of a mattress

It’s not uncommon for mattresses to get mouldy, particularly if your home is damp or you live in an area of high humidity. To get mould out of your mattress, follow the steps below:

Step 1 – Vacuum both sides of the mattress to loosen and remove any dirt.

Step 2 – Mix together equal parts of rubbing alcohol and warm water.

Step 3 – Dip a clean cloth into the mixture, wring it out so it isn’t too wet, and then clean the mould in a circular motion.

Step 4 – Take a clean cloth, dip it in warm water, wring it out, and then use it to rinse the area.

Step 5 – Spray the whole mattress generously with an upholstery disinfectant.

Step 6 – Dry the mattress. If possible, do this outdoors in the sun.

Dirty bedding and mattress

How to clean a memory foam mattress

Memory foam mattresses are more absorbent than traditional mattresses, so it’s important to take extra care when cleaning them. When using liquids to treat stains, for example, always use them sparingly and make sure you blot the mattress dry with a clean cloth.

Never use harsh cleaners such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide on memory foam mattresses as they may damage the foam.

You should always check the manufacturer’s instructions and warranty before cleaning your memory foam mattress.

How to protect a mattress from bed bugs

No one likes to think of bed bugs crawling over them at night, but they’re actually more common than you might think.

Bed bugs are small, brown oval-shaped insects that feed on the blood of humans and animals.

The first step to protecting your mattress from bed bugs is to look out for signs that they’re there. Bed bugs are difficult to spot in daylight, so it can be difficult to know they’re there. Signs that you might have bed bugs include:

  • Red stains or a rusty appearance on bed sheets.
  • Clusters of eggs or eggshells that are around 1mm in size.

If you find that you do have bed bugs, you’ll need to call in pest control.

To protect your mattress from bed bugs, follow these tips:

  • Clean your mattress regularly.
  • Pull back your bedding each morning and let your mattress air out and cool down (bed bugs love a warm bed!).
  • Wash your bedding and sheets weekly to prevent the build-up of bacteria.
  • Use a mattress protector and ensure it is an encasement style one as this will completely cover the mattress so there’s no point of entry for bed bugs.
  • Vacuum your bedroom and home at least once a week to help stop bed bugs reaching your mattress.

How often should you clean your mattress?

You should give your mattress a good deep clean every six months. Of course, if you spill something on the mattress or notice stains in the meantime, you should spot clean these straight away.

To reduce how often you need to clean your mattress, you should use a high quality mattress protector.

Bed that has been cleaned

Tips for keeping your mattress clean

Here are our top tips for keeping your mattress clean:

  • Always check the mattress label before applying any cleaning products to ensure they won’t cause any damage.
  • Try to catch stains early – the sooner you clean it, the more likely it is to come out easily.
  • Test any cleaning products on a small part of the stain before using them across the full mattress.
  • Air your mattress daily. Pull back the duvet and pillows each morning and leave the bed to air for around 20 minutes, this will allow any body moisture to evaporate out, preventing mould from occurring.
  • If the mattress stain is still wet, dab and blot it rather than rubbing it as this will spread it out.
  • Flip your mattress every two to three months to ensure it wears evenly.
  • Use a mattress protector to protect the surface of your mattress from stains and damage

Whether you’re looking for a new mattress or you want to find out more about keeping your mattress in the best possible condition, get in touch with our team of experts!