How to Clean Your Mattress

Since you’re likely to spend hours lying on your mattress every night, it’s important to keep it clean in order to ensure that you get a good night’s rest.

We’ll discuss some steps you can follow to easily and effectively clean your mattress, as well as some additional tips to help keep your bed in great condition.

How to Clean Your Mattress

Taking proper care of your mattress can increase its longevity. Performing regular cleanings helps remove irritants like dust mites, dead skin cells, and sweat.

What You’ll Need

Before you clean your mattress, you will want to make sure you have a few supplies on hand. You will need:

  • A vacuum with an upholstery attachment
  • A gentle cleaner
  • Two clean cloths
  • Plain baking soda
  • Natural essential oils (optional)

As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to use gentle cleaners that don’t contain harsh chemicals. You can also use household items like vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or dish soap. Be sure to double-check that the cleaners you choose are safe for your mattress by reading the manufacturer’s care guide.

Because you will need to air out your mattress for a few hours after you finish cleaning it, you might want to start this process in the morning.

Cleaning Your Mattress: Step by Step

While individual manufacturers’ care instructions may vary, there are a few cleaning tricks that apply to most mattresses.

Step One: Read the Manufacturer’s Care Instructions

To ensure you don’t accidentally damage your mattress, your first step should always be to read through the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and warranty requirements. Only use products and methods that are safe for your specific mattress.

Step Two: Remove and Wash the Bedding

Completely strip the bed to expose the surface of the mattress. Since cleaning your mattress will take a few hours, this may be a good time to wash your sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding.

Step Three: Vacuum the Surface

Vacuuming the surface of the mattress can help remove any dead skin cells, dust, or dust mites. To effectively vacuum your mattress, use an upholstery attachment. Slowly vacuum the entire surface of the bed, making sure to get all the nooks and crannies.

Step Three: Spot Clean With a Gentle Cleanser

Carefully spot clean any discolored or stained areas. The nature of the stain can help you determine what kind of a cleaner you should use. For example, an enzyme cleaner or a mixture of dish soap and water are generally best for blood, sweat, or urine stains.

For other stains, you may want to use homemade solutions such as a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar or a 50/50 mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide. Before getting started, be sure to check the manufacturer’s care instructions to confirm that the ingredients are safe for your mattress.

Once you have your cleaning solution, use the following steps to spot clean stains:

  • Apply a small amount of your cleaning solution to a clean cloth.
  • Gently blot the stained area with the cleaner.
  • Dip another clean cloth into cold water.
  • Gently blot the stained area with the cold water.
  • Repeat these steps until the stain has lifted.

Step Four: Sprinkle the Surface with Baking Soda

Baking soda is nontoxic and can be a gentle, effective cleaner. Due to its alkaline nature, it can neutralize unpleasant odors while also helping to dissolve dirt and grease in water for easier cleaning.

To freshen your mattress with baking soda, begin by sprinkling a generous amount over the surface of the bed. You can also add a few drops of natural essential oils to the baking soda.

Step Five: Let the Mattress Air Out

Once the baking soda is in place, let the mattress sit for anywhere from 2 to 24 hours. To increase air circulation and help your mattress dry more quickly, you may want to open your bedroom windows.

Step Six: Vacuum the Baking Soda

Once the baking soda has done its work, the surface of the mattress should be vacuumed again. Like before, use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment and be sure to get between the seams.

If your mattress is particularly dirty, you can repeat steps three through six for a more thorough cleaning. However, for most beds, one time through is enough.

Step Seven: Flip the Mattress and Repeat

Once one side of the mattress is thoroughly cleaned, it’s time to get the underside. Carefully flip the bed and repeat steps three through six for the other side. If the mattress is heavy, it may be a good idea to get someone to help you.

Though the underside of the mattress likely won’t have the same buildup of skin cells or stains, it can still hold onto dust or moisture. Cleaning the underside is particularly important if you plan to flip the mattress for more even wear.

Mattress Cleaning Considerations

While proper cleaning is an essential part of caring for your mattress, there are some additional things to keep in mind if you want your mattress to stay in good shape for years to come.

  • Specialty Materials: Some materials, such as memory foam, may require special care. Because memory foam is highly absorbent, getting it wet when cleaning it could cause damage. That means individuals with foam beds or hybrid mattresses that use foam layers should make a special effort to refer to the manufacturer’s cleaning guidelines before following the steps above.
  • Additional Protection: Products such as mattress protectors or encasements can help keep your mattress clean. Investing in a waterproof mattress protector or encasement can help you extend your bed’s life by keeping it safe from spills and stains.
  • Mattress Rotation: Rotating your mattress can ensure even wear. Lying in the same spot every night for years on end can cause indentations and sagging. To ensure you are resting on an even and supportive surface, we recommend rotating your mattress one to two times per year.
  • Replacing Your Mattress: Mattresses should be replaced every six to eight years. Even with proper care, mattresses can begin to sag over time. If your mattress is uneven or deteriorating after several years of use, it may be time to replace it.

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