We spend a lot more time lounging on our mattresses than we’d care to admit. And we’re not just talking about the time we spend sleeping on them, which apparently is a third of our lives. In addition to us, there’s the fact that our pets like to cuddle with us on our mattresses (if you’re the lenient kind of pet parent), and that our kids use it as a trampoline.

In time, our mattresses become filthy, what with dirt and dust accumulating on it, stains of everything from sweat, blood, urine, and food as well as unhealthy odors. This makes it necessary to deep clean our mattresses once every six months. 

Continue reading as we take you through the different aspects of how to deep clean a mattress at home.

How to deep clean a mattress at home? The process

clean mattress

Read the manufacturer’s care guide

The first step to deep cleaning your mattress is to read the manufacturer’s care guide. There are two reasons why you ought to do this.

  • To find out if there are any specific care tips given by the manufacturer that you will need to follow.
  • To find out if your mattress is single-sided or double-sided. A single-sided mattress doesn’t require cleaning on both sides, while a double-sided mattress does.

Stack up the supplies

Next, make sure you have all the supplies listed below to help you get through the cleaning process without a hitch.

  • Baking soda
  • Lukewarm and cold water
  • Dish soap or a mild laundry detergent
  • A vacuum cleaner (ideally a handheld one with an upholstery attachment)
  • A sponge of a soft cloth
  • White vinegar

Begin with sheets and pillows

Big pillows cleaning
  • The first thing you will need to do is begin with your sheets, mattress cover, and pillows. Put them in a hot wash and follow that up by tumble drying them at a high temperature if possible.
  • This will make sure all the germs present in them will die. It will also make sure you have a much more pleasant sleeping experience in the future. 

Air out the mattress

  • Once the mattress is free of all bedding, open up all the bedroom windows and let some fresh air in.
  • By airing out the mattress, you have already begun the first step to reducing unwanted odors.

Get to work with the vacuum cleaner

  • Vacuum your mattress, ideally using the upholstery attachment. This will make picking up the smaller bits of dirt easier.
  • Vacuum in a circular motion, since this will help clear up the dust, dirt, hair, dead skin cells, and other debris from the mattress.
  • Be sure to clear up as much of the visible debris as possible, since that will help make the steps that follow easier.
  • If your mattress is stain free, sprinkling some baking soda over it and leaving it for a couple of hours will help remove any odors from it.

It’s stain removal time

  • There are multiple products that work to remove stains from mattresses. The best ones are hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, baking soda, enzymatic cleaners, laundry detergent, and dish soap.
  • Mild stains can be removed using laundry detergent or dish soap mixed in lukewarm water.
  • All you need to do is gently dab at the stain with a soft cloth or sponge until it reduces. Be sure you do not rub the stain aggressively, because you may end up spreading it instead of removing it.
  • The above process works brilliantly on sweat stains.
  • The procedure to remove urine stains (a common occurrence in homes with pets and small children) is slightly different. 
  • Press paper towels wet with a mixture of dish soap and lukewarm water into the stains.
  • Remove the paper towels every few minutes and repeat the steps until the stains are gone. This might take a bit of time if the stain is an old one, so patience is the key.
  • You could follow the same process using a mixture of equal parts cold water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the stain, let it rest for a while, and dab it with a wet cloth until the stain is removed.
  • Air dry your mattress after you are done removing the stain.

Blood stains take more work

  • The removal of blood stains requires more delicate handling, so we’ve made it a separate section by itself. 
  • There are multiple ways to deal with this, and we’re going to discuss three of them. 
  • However, always keep in mind that while removing blood stains, you should always use only cold water and not warm water.
  • It is also recommended that you use water minimally, since the fillings in some mattresses, especially memory foam mattresses, can get damaged by too much water.
  • One method involves using dish soap and cold water. Wet a soft cloth with the mixture and gently dab at the stain until it disappears completely. Then, dry out your mattress.
  • The second method involves using baking soda and cold water. Baking soda is a particularly effective stain remover. Wet a soft cloth with cold water and dab the stain gently. Then, sprinkle baking soda on the stain and let it rest for 30 minutes. 
  • Then, wet the cloth in cold water again and dab at the stain again until it is gone. Once the mattress dries up, vacuum clean the baking soda off of it. 

Odor removal is next

  • Now that we’ve got the stains out of the way, let’s look at how to get rid of those unpleasant odors.
  • One of the easiest ways to deodorize your mattress is to sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda on the mattress and let it rest for a few hours at least. Then, remove the baking soda using your vacuum cleaner. You will find your mattress surprisingly fresh smelling.
  • Once you’re done with removing bad odors from your bed, here’s a great tip to help you keep it smelling fresh. Mix baking soda with a few drops of essential oils, such as lavender or chamomile, and a little water in a spray bottle. Use this to lightly spray your mattress. Not only will it smell great, the essential oils will also help you sleep a lot better.

Flip and repeat

Mattress cleaning
  • If your mattress is a double-sided one, you will need to flip it and repeat the process from step number 5 onwards.

Don’t forget to clean the bed frame

  • Now that your mattress is deep cleaned, the only thing left for you to do is to clean your bed frame before you add your sheets and pillows again. Depending on the type of bed you have, either vacuum it or wipe it down with a wet cloth.
  • Once you’re done, you can put your mattress back on the bed before adding your bedding and pillows to make your bed.

Why is it important to deep clean my mattress?

Mattresses collect a lot of filth over time. For example, stains ranging from bodily fluids like blood stains to urine stains, pet paws, and food stains not only look ugly and make the mattress smell terrible, but they also form the perfect breeding ground for fungi, and mold and mildew. If your mattress has yellow spotted stains, that’s mold. And we all know mold and mildew can lead to respiratory problems.

Then, there’s pet dander, dust mites, dead skin cells, and other contaminants that find a home in our mattresses and sheets. Imagine how much of this could build up over the period of six months! It is important to deep clean your mattress once every six months to ensure you continue to live a reasonably healthy and disease free life.

Read more: About winter bedding

How to deep clean a mattress at home? was last modified: December 7th, 2022 by Narayan Shrouthy
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I always clean my mattress, but I make it stronger since I saw the dust bugs on animal planet, how ugly