While you may deep clean your home on a regular basis, there’s likely one piece of furniture that gets overlooked: your mattress. Even the best mattress can get dirty over time.
Your entire mattress may look clean to the naked eye, but underneath the surface, there’s a good chance it’s ridden with bacteria, sweat, dead skin cells, dust mites, and other debris. Fortunately, sprucing up your mattress and preventing a dust mite infestation is an easy process.
In this article, we’ll explain how to clean a mattress in ten simple steps. We’ll also provide some tips and tricks for maintaining its cleanliness long-term as well as focusing on how to clean mattress stains effectively.
Why Should You Clean Your Mattress?
If you’ve never done it before, cleaning your mattress may sound like a time-consuming and inconvenient process. However, it’s well worth the effort.
If you still need a little extra motivation to give it a deep clean, just take a look at these statistics:
- The average person spends 33 years of their life in bed.
- You shed over half a billion skin cells per day (many of which end up in your mattress).
- Dust mites feed on dead skin cells, making your bed their favorite dust mite breeding ground.
- For some people, dust mites can cause allergies and respiratory issues.
- On average, adults produce 26 gallons of sweat per year in their beds.
- Sweat’s warmth and moisture can facilitate the growth of fungus and bacteria.
- Older mattresses contain 10+ million colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch.
With these statistics in mind, let’s dive into those best mattress cleaning steps for most mattress types.
Step 1: Schedule Your Cleaning Session Strategically
If you want to clean your entire mattress properly, you’ll need to stay off of it for at least a few hours. Thus, it’s important to choose the right time and day to schedule your cleaning session.
By starting the process early in the morning, you can make sure your mattress has plenty of time to air out before you go to bed. If it needs some extra TLC, you may even want to plan your cleaning session on a day you’re heading out for an overnight trip.
Step 2: Round Up Your Cleaning Supplies
Next, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need to refresh your mattress on hand. Some helpful items include:
- A vacuum with an upholstery attachment
- Clean, white washcloths
- Clean, cold water
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Clear dish soap
- Enzyme cleaner
- Laundry detergent
Step 3: Strip Your Bedding
Once you’re ready to start the cleaning process, strip your bed of its sheets, mattress toppers, blankets, pillowcases, and duvet cover. You can use this opportunity to wash these items according to their laundry instructions.
If you use the hot water setting on your washing machine, you can kill off any dust mites that have burrowed their way into your bedding and prevent them from contaminating your mattress later on.
Step 4: Vacuum Your Mattress
Now that your mattress is cleared off, look it over and examine its state. You may notice that it has dirt, dust, or food particles in its crevices.
You can eliminate these particles with ease using your vacuum. Simply secure the upholstery attachment and suck up any sneaky debris that’s nestled into your mattress’ surface.
Step 5: Select a Mattress Stain-Lifting Solution
If you’ve had your mattress for some time, it may have some stains here and there. And each mattress stain may be trapping unpleasant aromas.
Luckily, you can spot-clean mattress stains using one of the following solutions:
- Enzyme cleaner – Commercial enzyme cleaners are quite effective at lifting biological stains, such as blood, sweat, urine stain, and vomit. They work by breaking down organic waste and eliminating odor in a blood, vomit, or urine stain.
- Dish soap solution – If you don’t have an enzyme cleaner on hand, you can make your own cleaning solution by combining water with a small amount of dish soap. Make sure to use a dye-free dish soap so you don’t stain your mattress any further.
- Hydrogen peroxide solution – Another effective DIY solution can be made by mixing equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide. Thanks to hydrogen peroxide’s oxidative effects, it can kill germs and bleach fabrics. In turn, this cost-effective solution can disinfect your mattress stains without leaving any chemical residue.
Note: Before you select your stain-removing solution, ask your mattress manufacturer if it's safe to use on your mattress material.
Step 6: Spot Treat Stains
With your cleaning solution ready to go, you can tackle tough stains by following these steps:
- Spray your solution onto a clean, white cloth
- Blot the stains away with the cloth
- Spray cold water onto another clean cloth
- Use this second cloth to blot away the remaining solution
- Repeat this process until the stains are removed
Note: As you blot away stains, aim to use as little liquid as possible. Since mattress materials are highly absorbent, using too much liquid can create a mold-friendly environment (which is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve during this cleaning session).
Step 6: Sprinkle Baking Soda Across Your Mattress
After removing all of the stains, it’s time to bring out your baking soda and sprinkle it across your mattress. You’ll likely need an entire box of baking soda to cover the mattress in full.
Baking soda can soak up any remaining odor or moisture, drying and deodorizing your mattress in the process. You want to give the baking soda a few hours (at least) to work its magic. The longer you let it sit, the more effective it will be.
If you can expose your mattress to sunlight and fresh air during this time, even better! The sun’s powerful UV rays can kill off any mold or bacteria that’s still hanging out in your mattress.
Step 7: Vacuum Your Mattress Again
Once you’ve let the baking soda sit for a few hours, you can vacuum it up using your upholstery attachment. At this point, you should notice a significant improvement in your mattress’ color and aroma.
Step 8: Clean The Other Side of Your Mattress
Mattress experts recommend that you flip your mattress every three months or so. Timing this process with your mattress cleaning sessions can save you a lot of hassle.
Once you flip your mattress, repeat steps four through seven to make sure the second side is just as spotless.
Step 9: Put On a Mattress Protector
Mattress protectors are a special type of fitted bed sheet that can encase your mattress in a waterproof material.
By providing a protective layer between your mattress and your bedding, these bed-set accouterments can:
- Mitigate your mattress’ exposure to moisture, sweat, saliva, dust mites, and other contaminants.
- Extend your mattress’ lifespan.
- Protect your skin from your mattress’ pre-existing mold, bacteria, dust mites, and chemicals.
- Avocado Organic Waterproof Mattress Protector
- Purecare Frio Cooling 5-Sided Mattress Protector
- Purecare OmniGuard Total Encasement Mattress Protector
- Purple Purple Mattress Protector
- Tempur-Pedic Protect Mattress Protector
Step 10: Make Your Bed
The final step in the mattress cleaning process is to make it up with your freshly washed sheets and blankets. After that, you can snuggle into your bed and feel the satisfaction of knowing that everything’s fresh and clean.
How Often Should You Clean Your Mattress?
Maintaining your mattress’ cleanliness can enhance your health, especially if you struggle with allergies. It can also prolong the lifespan of your mattress—with proper cleaning and flipping practices, mattresses can last between seven and 25 years.
While cleaning your mattress is important, you don’t have to do it that often. Once or twice a year should suffice. As we mentioned earlier, you can clean your mattress less frequently if you use a high-quality mattress protector.
How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress?
If your mattress is on its last legs, you may want to skip its final cleaning session and invest in a new mattress instead. You’ll know it's time to swap out your mattress when it sags or has permanent impressions of your body shape.
These signs indicate that your mattress can no longer support your body adequately. In turn, further use may cause you to develop back pain or toss and turn throughout the night as you struggle to find a comfortable position.
Mancini's Sleepworld: Upgrade Your Sleep Quality With a High-Quality Mattress
Now that you know how to clean a mattress, you can keep yours in tip-top shape for years to come. But, if you’d rather swap out your old mattress for a new one, check out our selection at Mancini's Sleepworld. With over 50 years in business, we strongly believe that good sleep is the foundation of a happy life. That’s why we only carry the highest-quality bed products.
Whether you prefer a mattress that’s soft, firm, or organic, we have a wide range of premium options. Using our SleepMatch technology, our mattress matchmakers can help you find the perfect mattress for your sleep preferences. We also carry a wide selection of mattress protectors, bed sheets, and bedroom furniture.
So, what are you waiting for? Treat yourself to better sleep with a new mattress from Mancini's Sleepworld today.
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