Updated April 28, 2020

How to Disinfect a Mattress

Read more about Mattress

How do you really clean and sanitize a mattress? Learn how you can sterilize your bed with DIY sprays, Lysol and other disinfectant hacks.

Follow these steps to get started. We'll explain:

Vacuum Your Bed

  1. Strip the bed of all linens, including the bed skirt.

  2. Wash the linens on the hottest cycle.

  3. Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum or a handheld vacuum to remove as much surface dust as possible. Don't forget the sides and tight corners.

Keep reading to learn about the methods you can use to disinfect your mattress.

How often should I disinfect my mattress?
It's worth deep cleaning your bed every 6 months. You might also want to buy a quality mattress pad to help prevent dust, debris, and stains from getting to your mattress.

Disinfect the Mattress

You have a few choices to disinfect your mattress. No matter which you choose, make sure to let it dry completely for 8–10 hours to avoid mold growth. If possible, expose your mattress to direct sunlight since UV rays kill germs.

Here are some other ways to disinfect your mattress:

Steam Clean
A garment or carpet steamer is a great tool, but it may take a while depending on the capacity of the steamer.

Here are some tips when steam cleaning a mattress:

  • Work in small sections to cover the surface several times.
  • Always keep the steamer moving.
  • Don't soak the mattress to avoid mold growth.

Antibacterial Spray
If you don't have a steamer, antibacterial sprays and cleaners work well. Lysol is a popular disinfectant that you can use on your mattress.

Follow these guidelines:

  • Read the instructions carefully before use.
  • Dilute the product as directed.
  • Dip a rag or spray the product directly on the mattress.
  • Lightly dampen the surface to give the disinfectant a chance to work.
  • Allow the disinfectant to work on the mattress for several hours.
  • Gently wipe the mattress with a clean, lightly damp cloth to remove any residue.

You can make your own mattress disinfectant to avoid using chemicals in your home. Start by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Pour it in a spray bottle and lightly spray the surface of the mattress. Follow the guidelines as you would with other disinfectant sprays.

Professional Cleaning
If you suffer from intense allergies or you don't have the time, this is another great way to disinfect your mattress.

Much like carpet cleaners, a mattress cleaners will come right to your home. Some companies use organic products, specialize in stained mattresses, or address specific allergens.

How Do You Disinfect a Mattress From Bed Bugs?

If you have bed bugs, you should hire a professional pest management company. In the meantime, though, try the following:

  • Strip the entire bed of all linens. Wash and dry them on the hottest temperature possible.

  • Vacuum the mattress, box spring, and all areas around the bed.

  • Scrub the mattress down with a stiff brush to loosen any hidden bed bugs or eggs.

  • Wrap the mattress in a zippered mattress cover to suffocate the bed bugs.

Renting a steam cleaner should also kill bed bugs. Use caution, though. Without a trained eye, you may miss the pests—or their eggs. That could mean a re-infestation before long.

How to Disinfect a Mattress From Urine

Urine on a mattress can leave a bad odor. Follow these steps to reduce the risk of a sour-smelling room.

  • Blot the area.

  • Spray a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water.

  • Blot again until mostly dry.

  • Sprinkle baking soda over the area and let sit for 8–10 hours.

  • Vacuum the baking soda.

Should you disinfect your mattress after the flu?
Disinfecting your bed after the flu reduces the risk of spreading the infection throughout the house. Use any of the methods above. At the very least, strip your bed of all linens and wash them on the hottest temperature then spray the mattress with disinfectant.

How to Disinfect the Box Spring

Your box spring can harbor just as many germs and dust mites as the mattress. Use similar steps to clean it:

  • Separate the mattress and box spring.

  • Vacuum all sides and crevices of the box spring.

  • Vacuum the dust cover on the bottom of the box spring.

  • Lightly spray the surface with a 50/50 vinegar/water mix.

  • Blot away any excess moisture.

  • Let the box spring dry completely before replacing the mattress.

Bottom Line

Disinfecting your mattress kills germs and may lengthen its life. Make a habit of disinfecting your mattress every six months to create a healthy place to sleep.

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

What to Look for in a Mattress

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.