Updated January 3, 2020

How to Deep Clean a Mattress

Read more about Mattress

Washing your sheets and bedding isn't enough to eliminate dust, debris, and body oils. You'll also need to deep clean your mattress periodically. Keep reading to learn how.

You inhale dust mites, fungus, bacteria, and even your own skin cells as you sleep. Deep cleaning your mattress can help, and it's not as difficult as it sounds.

Start by stripping the mattress of all sheets and bedding. You should toss them in the wash on the hottest cycle possible. Then follow the following simple steps.

Vacuum the Mattress

While the mattress is bare, vacuum every inch of it. Not just the top, but the sides and crevices too.

Use appropriately sized vacuum attachments or an upholstery vacuum to get into the tightest spots. This helps eliminate bugs, skin cells, crumbs, and dust mites.

How often should I deep clean my mattress?
Clean your mattress every six months if possible. But you should also take steps to make sure it stays clean—keep reading to learn more.

Clean the Stains

Sweat, urine, and unnoticed spills can leave stains on your mattress. Attacking stains right away is ideal. But with a little work, you can minimize old ones too. Here's what to do:

  1. Scrape up or vacuum up as much of the debris from the stain as possible.

  2. Spray the area lightly using one of the mixture options below.

  3. Let it sit for 15–20 minutes.

  4. Blot the stain and soak up any liquid.

  5. Repeat these steps until the stain disappears.

  6. Make sure to let the mattress air dry 8–10 hours or overnight if possible.

Be careful not to soak the mattress, as they aren't intended to hold moisture. If the mattress doesn't dry out completely, you'll end up with mold.

What to Use
You can create your own "stain remover" with the household items. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle when you're ready.

  • Equal parts water and vinegar with a dash of dish soap

  • 1 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide with 1 tablespoon baking soda and a dash of dish soap

  • 1 tablespoon powder laundry detergent with 1 tablespoon water

Cleaning Old Urine Stains Out of a Mattress
You can remove a urine stain (and the smell) using laundry detergent and water. Here are the steps:
  1. Mix a few tablespoons of laundry detergent with water.
  2. Spray the stain.
  3. Blot the area, soaking up the urine, and repeat as needed.
  4. Sprinkle on a layer of baking soda to deodorize the mattress after you remove the stain.
  5. Vacuum the baking soda up after a few hours.
You can also use equal parts of white vinegar and water to neutralize the smell. But vinegar has a strong odor of its own.

Deodorize the Mattress

Mattresses can begin to stink as dust, debris, and other "stuff" accumulates. You may be used to the smell by now. But you'll likely notice a difference once you deodorize your mattress.

To de-stink your bed, you can buy a commercial mattress deodorizer product. Or you can just use a box of baking soda and your favorite essential oils (the oils are optional but add a pleasant smell to the room).

Here are the steps:

  1. Liberally spread the deodorizer over the mattress.

  2. Allow it to sit for at least 8 hours, but overnight is even better.

  3. Vacuum the deodorizer off the mattress.

How to Clean a Memory Foam Mattress
The same cleaning techniques apply to a memory foam mattress. But use caution with harsh chemicals that can damage the memory foam. Instead, stick with dish soap, vinegar, and water.

Memory foam may also take longer to dry. If you can't put the mattress out in the sun, use a hairdryer to speed the process along.

Disinfect the Mattress

Your final deep cleaning step is to disinfect the mattress. You can do this in a few ways:

  • Use a garment steamer
  • Use a carpet cleaner/steamer
  • Use an antibacterial spray

When using a steamer, slowly cover each crevice in the mattress. The heat from the steamer will help kill germs.

If you spray the mattress, work lightly over the entire surface. Wipe the spray off with a clean, slightly damp towel, and then lay the mattress out in the sunlight if possible. The UV rays will kill germs and decrease the risk of mold growth.

Can you have your mattress cleaned?
Companies like Stanley Steemer offer mattress cleaning services. They clean stains as well as disinfect and deodorize mattresses, just like they do for carpets.

Keeping Your Mattress Clean

Deep cleaning your mattress takes some work. Here are a few ways you can keep it clean once you're finished.

Buy a Mattress Cover

A mattress pad or cover keeps the dust mites, dirt, and bodily fluids off the mattress. Consider a waterproof mattress cover if you have a child who wets the bed or if you sweat while sleeping.

Be sure to wash the mattress cover as often as possible just like you would your sheets. This keeps the cover in good condition and provides your mattress with better protection.

Clean Up Spills Right Away

Liquids and bodily fluids can stain your mattress and cause mold or mildew growth. If that happens, your only recourse is to toss the mattress.

Use these steps to clean your mattress as soon as possible after an accident:

  • Blot the area as soon as possible.

  • Vacuum up any debris.

  • Spray a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water on the area.

  • Let the vinegar mixture sit for an hour.

  • Sprinkle baking soda over the area.

  • Vacuum the baking soda up after 8–10 hours.

  • Repeat these steps if necessary.

Bottom Line

Deep clean your mattress at least once every six months. This helps eliminate the germs you sleep in every night, giving you a better night's rest. It may even help improve your health.

Write to Kim P at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Not sure what mattress is right for you?

Answer a few short questions in our mattress quiz to receive tailored recommendations.

Take Mattress Quiz


Stay informed with free money-saving tips, deals, and reviews from CreditDonkey.
Mattress Buying Guide

Mattress Buying Tips

Better sleep is a new mattress away. But which type is best? And how much should it cost? Find out with this mattress buying guide.

About CreditDonkey
CreditDonkey is a mattress comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.

About Us | Reviews | Deals | Tips | Privacy | Do Not Sell My Info | Terms | Contact Us
(888) 483-4925 | 680 East Colorado Blvd, 2nd Floor | Pasadena, CA 91101
© 2024 CreditDonkey Inc. All Rights Reserved.