Cleaning your mattress may not be at the top of your to-do list unless an unfriendly, wet visitor pays a visit to your comfy sleeping spot.
Unlike sleek countertops and smooth surfaces, mattresses need a gentle and intentional cleaning approach, especially when figuring out how to clean a mattress.
In this guide, we’re giving you the resources to create a go-to cleaning solution: from how to clean with baking soda to how to clean pet stains from your mattress. Whether a routine mattress cleaning is in your new future or your current mattress is in need of a serious deep clean, bookmark this guide to keep for past, present, and future mattress-cleaning solutions so you can keep your resting area a sanctuary, not a soaked spot.
3 simple steps to cleaning your mattress
Step 1: If you’re tackling a stain, blot as much as possible as soon as possible.
This goes out to the stain stoppers– the ones who were horrified to witness, wake up to, or come home to that dreaded coloured spot that might smell just as bad as it looks.
When tackling a stain, never skip your first step:
Take a clean, dry cloth, blot up as much liquid as you can, and soak up as much as possible. Having excessive liquid soaked into your mattress doesn’t just provoke mould and mildew to start living in your cosy space, but it makes the cleaning process even more strenuous.
Step 2: Remove as many layers as possible.
Get rid of your quilt, top and fitted sheets, mattress protector, and anything else that might naturally be covering your mattress. Think of this cleaning as a shower for your cosy confidante: the more layers it has on, the harder it’ll be to clean.
Strip your mattress down to its barest form (and while you’re at it, get all those excess layers into the wash).
Step 3: Gather your cleaning equipment together.
We’ve gathered a list of our favourite cleaning supplies that target specific stains. Below is a brief overview of what makes them great, and later on, we’ll show you how, when, and where to use them:
- Laundry detergent: naturally meant to pull away dirt from clothes, this powerful, simple mattress cleaning tool made up of surfactants traps food, dirt, sweat, and other grimy fellows from fabrics. Better yet, it’s found in almost any house with a washer and dryer, so you probably already have it.
- Hydrogen peroxide: a far less intense cousin of bleach, this mild antiseptic fulfils almost every duty of bleach, its biggest strength being a great stain remover.
- Enzyme cleaner: this dual-powered solution tackles both stains and odours, not just taking away a stain’s smell, but absolving it completely.
- Dishwashing liquid: this oil and grease-fighter isn’t always just limited to the kitchen; it’ll also help spot-treat stubborn stains.
- Vinegar: its naturally acidic nature is strong enough to kill bacteria, and rid a soft surface of unwanted stains and spots.
- Bicarb soda (baking soda): used in kitty litters everywhere, this liquid-absorbing sidekick is a simple, shakeable, and effective way to both absorb and deodorise puffy, fluffy, and soft surfaces like your mattress.
- Clean cloth: this will be your partner-in-crime with any solution you use. When paired with fabrics like your mattress, it’ll only serve you if it’s dabbed– not rubbed– onto its surface.
- Vacuum: for those looking for a dry-cleaning method, a vacuum can help suck up any additional dry leftovers after cleaning is complete. Plus, with a wet-dry vacuum, you can suck up any additional liquid that you might not be able to get with your cloth alone.
Step 4: Commit to a cleaning technique and know the ground rules.
Now that your tools are collected, it’s important to know how to use them. Below, we’ll break down exactly how to use them to tackle what they’re designed for. But first, some ground rules to note:
Dab stains (never rub). Rubbing can risk ruining your mattress from the friction, and also sets the stain further in. Dabbing is a gentle way of ensuring you’re taking care of your mattress while you’re cleaning it and preserving its fabric while ensuring your cloth is absorbing the liquid, not spreading it around.
Spray the cleaning solution you’re using on the cloth first (not the mattress). The key to this is being able to control the amount of liquid you’re putting in the mattress. Oversaturating your cloth is fine– oversaturating your mattress isn’t.
Have patience. Depending on how old your stain is, you might have to repeat a process over and over again. Don’t fret; it’ll seem frustrating, but if you follow instructions, stay the course, and do your research (if you’re reading this, you already have!), you’ll be able to find a solution.
Other popular methods of deep cleaning mattresses
Let’s dive into the cleaning techniques you can use. Now that you’re armed with your top cleaning products mentioned above, you can approach your cleaning with knowledge, equipment, and strategy.
How to remove stains out of mattress: cleaning methods for each type of stain
Cleaning type #1: dry cleaning (for water stains and routine cleaning)
A natural deodoriser and cleaner, our good friend bicarb soda naturally dissolves dirt, grease, oil, odours, and sweat stains, all of which can easily pile on your mattress either over time or after a spill.
What is dry cleaning? It’s simple: a cleaning method using minimal or no water. It’s great for when you don’t want your mattress to attract mould, mildew, and bacteria because of water build-up, and a good approach for water stains or as an additional deodorising method after prior cleaning is complete, as any other liquid will require a solution to combat the stain and odour beforehand.
Dry clean your entire mattress routinely with a handheld vacuum or with your vacuum cleaner's upholstery attachment to get rid of dust mites, dead skin, pet dander, and any additional mattress stains you might have. As an added touch, sprinkle baking soda on the entire surface of your bed and vacuum it up to deodorise.
Dry clean with a hairdryer by holding it above the stain and oscillating warm air on and around the area for several minutes.
Dry clean with a specialty wet/dry vacuum by soaking up as much liquid as possible with your vacuum.
Dry clean with baking soda by sprinkling it gently on and slightly around the area, letting it sit between 30 minutes and 24 hours, and vacuuming it up with the regular setting on your vacuum.
Cleaning type #2: white vinegar solution (for getting rid of stains)
White vinegar, our resident superhero when it comes to stain removal, is a household classic. Perhaps it was sitting in your kitchen, waiting to make a move in one of your meals, or in your hallway closet, ready to deodorise a dirty load of laundry.
White vinegar is great for deodorising, alleviating stains, and cleaning in a hurry.
How to make your cleaning solution:
Mix 2-part water and 1-part vinegar together into a spray bottle. For an extra spot-cleaning boost, add a few drops of laundry detergent. Spray your area, gently blot, and if you’d like, sprinkle on some baking soda to help absorb the remaining liquid.
(For a more concentrated mixture, you can also make a 50/50 cleaning solution!)
Cleaning type #3: Baking soda (for pee stains)
Animal and human pee tend to leave that pungent smell if they’re not cleaned up from a particularly absorbent surface. Our tip for pee removal: bicarb soda (or baking soda). There’s a reason why it’s used in cat litter: its highly absorbent quality and deodorising element eliminates both culprits: the spill, and the smell.
How to get pet stains out of a mattress when dry
The great part about baking soda is that it can be used on stains completely dry; no solutions are necessary, and there’s minimal risk of oversaturating your mattress more than it already is.
A dry cleaning solution: if you have a specific spot you’re tackling, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda in that area. Wait for it to dry for 5-10, and use your handheld vacuum or upholstery attachment to vacuum up the remains.
A slightly wet cleaning solution. Combine the following in a spray bottle:
- 237 ml of hydrogen peroxide
- 3 tablespoons of baking soda
- 2-4 drops of dishwashing liquid or laundry liquid
Spray the area and wait for a few minutes for it to dry. You’ll see a layer of the solution on top of your mattress. After a few hours of waiting, vacuum off the baking soda and check to see if your stain is still there.
How to remove stains out of mattress: the best products to use
For your stain-related woes, the best products are
- Laundry detergent
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Enzyme cleaner
- Dishwashing liquid
How to get rid of odour from mattress: the best products to use
For all of your scent-related needs and urine stains, our top-shelf products include
- Enzyme cleaner
- Bicarb soda
How to get blood stains out of mattress
Cleaning type #4: cold water and baking soda (for blood stains)
Try these three solutions for getting blood stains out of your mattress:
For a new blood stain, dab the stain with a damp cloth made up of cold water.
For a cleaning solution, mix 1 part bicarb soda and 2 parts water in a spray bottle. Spray it onto a rag, and then onto the mattress. Wait a few minutes, and then gently dab with a dry rag.
For a last resort: try meat tenderiser. Wet the stain with cold water, then sprinkle some meat tenderiser on top. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes, and then gently dab it with some more cold water.
Cleaning type #5: Hire a professional
If you’re still stuck after trying to find solutions, bring in a team. Research professional house cleaners who specialise in upholstery and mattress cleaning and ask them what their approach is. Don’t forget to look for local reviews to see if your neighbours would also recommend their work.
How do professionals clean a mattress?
A professional will determine what type of stain your mattress has, and how long it’s been there, and will then determine the cleaning technique based on the information. If you’re looking for a more routine mattress cleaning, then it’ll depend on whether you pick steam cleaning, dry cleaning, or disinfecting as your preferred method of cleaning.
Can a dirty bed make you sick?
Just like inhaling dust from a dirty house can cause long-term damage to your health, so can a dirty bed make you sick, being filled with skin cells, dirt, and dust mites. It’s best to clean it at most every 6 months so your sleep can be filled with cleanliness.
How often should a mattress be replaced?
Every 5-8 years, depending on the wear-and-tear, physical condition, and how much you care for it while you have it.
How do you sanitise a mattress?
The simplest way to sanitise a mattress is to sprinkle a light layer of baking soda over your bed, let it set overnight (or for a few hours if you don’t have the time), and then vacuum off the remaining particles.
Our 30-night comfort guarantee
Did you know about our 30-night comfort guarantee after buying a new mattress? If you don’t absolutely love how you’re sleeping, let us know, and we’ll help exchange your mattress for another comfort level, model, or design, subject to our terms and conditions (and so long as you purchased your waterproof mattress protector in your same purchase.
Because you deserve to take some time to decide how good a night’s sleep you’re getting.
Contact the cOMFy mattress experts
Talk mattress to us!If you’re figuring out accessories for your current mattress, or are nearing that point where a new mattress is on the horizon, let us help you decide the best choice for you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or swing by and say hi at one of our mattress stores near you.