How to Clean a Dirty Mattress

POSTED ON February 22, 2021

Cleaning your mattress probably isn't your top priority with chores. But there are many reasons why take the time to work it over. 

For instance, did you know that the average mattress has over 10 thousand dust mites? Gross, right?  

We spend about a third of our life in bed which is why it’s important to maintain good hygiene. In this article, Paul’s Cleaning Company (Melbourne) crafted a detailed guide for you to learn how to clean both mattresses and bedding!

Maintain a Clean Mattress

  • Aim to change your bedsheets every 2 weeks. Let your mattress “breathe” before you put the clean ones on.
  • Flip your mattress every few months to prevent sagging, plus wear and tear.
  • Avoid drinking and eating in your bed. 
  • Use a waterproof mattress protector.
  • Vacuum your mattress to reduce allergen build-up that poses health risks.   
  • Lower the temperature of your bedroom, since mites and other bacteria cultivate better in warm conditions.
  • Air out your mattress regularly. If it’s a sunny day, consider putting it outside and let the sun dry it out. This will decrease humidity, hence bacterial and mould growth. 

How to Neutralize Odours From a Mattress

A variety of unpleasant smells sink into our mattresses. They differ from relatively mild odours, such as sweat, to more stubborn scents, like cigarette smoke, vomit or urine. 

The good news is you don’t need toxic chemicals to annihilate these unpleasant odours. Common household items will work wonders by freshening up your mattress. As a bonus, they’re eco-friendly and inexpensive. 

Here are the ingredients needed to make your own cleaning spray:

  • Half а cup of water
  • One tablespoon of white vinegar
  • Two tablespoons of baking soda
  • A few drops of essential oils 

Mix the listed items in a spray bottle and shake it before use. Then sprinkle the cleaning solution on the mattress and let it sit for an hour. The next step is to wipe the surface with a clean cloth and leave it to dry. Finish by vacuuming the remaining residue from the mattress. 

If you notice a lingering smell, repeat the process in a week.

How to Clean a Mattress Cover

The first thing you need to know is if your cover is even washable! 

There are types with specific fillings or coatings that your washing machine can damage. Therefore, you need to check the tag that shows how and if it can be washed. If it is not washable, then consider using dry cleaning services. It’s good to clean your cover once every 2 weeks.

How To Clean Different Mattresses

Mattresses come in distinct shapes, sizes, and specifications, and each has a proper method of maintaining them.

Here we provide examples of how to clean the common types and the precautions you need to take to prevent damaging your mattress.

How to Clean Mattress Foam

The important thing when cleaning a memory foam mattress is to use a minimum amount of water. Foam is a strong absorbent, thus if soaked with liquid, it takes a lot of time to dry well.

This may lead to an increase in humidity, hence bacteria and mould growth. It’s a bit of a hassle since foam mattresses must be cleaned by hand, but if you follow our steps you’ll do the job in no time. 

Once every season, do:

  • Take your mattress off the bed. Check for stains. If you notice any, treat them with some of the following techniques.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to gently work over the surface. Use circular motions to increase the chances of gathering debris and dust.
  • Proceed by mixing a spray bottle of one part detergent into two parts of hot water and shaking it well.
  • Sprinkle your mattress with the solution.
  • Leave it to dry and air out, ideally outside.
  • Powder baking soda on the surface and leave it overnight.
  • Vacuum away the residue. Wait for your mattress to completely dry before putting it back on your bed. 

How to Clean a Latex Mattress

Latex mattresses are made from organic materials, extracted from rubber trees. Unlike foam mattresses, water is not the worst enemy here. Natural latex can be damaged by store-bought, harsh chemicals, comments Jonathan Prichard, CEO Mattress Insider Custom beds. Thus, we recommend you use non-toxic, homemade solutions to avoid deterioration.

You need:

  • Vacuum
  • Baking soda
  • Essential oils
  • Water
  • White vinegar

How to proceed:

  • Thoroughly vacuum your latex mattress.
  • Neutralise unpleasant odours by powdering the surface with baking soda, combined with a few drops of essential oils to your preference.
  • Dry out and let the mattress “breathe” before putting clean sheets.

Check out our Pro Tips: Small Secrets to Keeping Your Home Fresh and Clean All the Time 

How to Get Blood Out From a Mattress

Blood is difficult to remove because it contains haemoglobin and iron. These components are hard to eliminate once they oxidise and dry. This is why it’s best to clean a bloodstain while it’s still fresh (if possible) otherwise it will set into the fibres of the mattress and become much harder to deal with.

Here are some neat tips for you to consider if you face bloodstains on your bed:

  • Get a cloth.
  • Soak it in cool water.
  • Make sure you’re not using warm or hot water because heat “cooks” proteins. Thus the blood will set deep into the mattress.
  • Dab the stain. Don’t rub or wipe it, otherwise, you’ll spread it and make things worse. 
  • Get some salt, baking soda, and water. Mix the ingredients until you create a paste and smear it on the affected area.
  • Let it sit for about 30-45 minutes and whisk it off after. Once again, use cool water on a clean cloth/towel to exclude any residue and leave everything to dry.
  • If that doesn’t do the trick, try a unique solution. Mix in a bowl 2 parts of hydrogen peroxide and 1 part dish soap.
  • Put a moderate amount of the mixture on the stain. Gently wipe the solution with a small brush and let it sit for 5 minutes. When the time is up, rub it off with a cool, moist cloth.

Is there blood on your sofa? Learn How to Clean the Leather Sofa at Home

How to Clean Vomit From a Mattress

  • Get rid of all solids.
  • Take off bed sheets, mattress tops and protectors and throw them in the washing machine.
  • Use a dry cloth/towel to soak up the remaining fluid. Don’t rub and wipe the stain, dab it!
  • Scatter hydrogen peroxide over the affected area, being careful not to over-wet the mattress.
  • Leave it for 5 minutes, then use a clean towel to absorb the hydrogen peroxide.
  • Powder some baking soda mixed with a few drops of essential oils over the vomit stain and gently rub it. Let it sit overnight.
  • Vacuum the residue in the morning.

How to Clean Sweat Stains From a Mattress

Did you know that the average person produces around 300ml of sweets each night?
Guess where the sweat goes? That’s right, straight into your mattress.

As with all liquid stains on beddings, it’s crucial to treat the mess as quickly as possible.

Here’s how to remove sweat stains from a mattress:

  • Make your own cleaning solution.
  • Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with half a cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1 drop of dish soap.
  • Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Wipe any excess away.
  • Leave the mattress to air out (ideally overnight).

How to Clean Urine From a Mattress

The process for getting urine out of a mattress is the same as with the other protein stains. Time is of the essence alarms Animalso:

  • Treat fresh urine stains straight away by absorbing the fluid with a towel. Spray the affected area with a 1:1 solution of water and white vinegar afterwards. Smear it gently with a cloth. Repeat the procedure if needed and leave the surface to dry.
  • The same method applies when dealing with old urine stains, with the difference baking soda comes into play. Scatter it over the stained area and leave it overnight. Vacuum the residue the next day.

How to Eliminate Dust Mites From a Mattress

Dust mites are tiny creatures invisible to the human eye. They feed off flakes of dead human skin, so the odds are that at some point dust mites will accumulate in your mattress.

Unsettling though, right? Worry not. There are efficient ways to deal with these unwanted guests.

For instance:

  • Lower the temperature and humidity level in your bedroom.
  • Remove dust by regularly wiping and vacuuming.
  • Wash fabrics in hot water at a minimum of 60°C.
  • Use a hypoallergenic mattress, pillow or anti-allergy protector.
  • Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the house (including your bed).
  • Use eucalyptus spray on your bed.

How to Remove Water Stains or Rings From a Mattress

Although harmless, water leaves annoying rings on mattresses after drying out. Luckily, they’re easy to deal with:

  • Dampen the spot with a wet cloth to water down the circle and turn it into a fresh stain.
  • Grab some kitchen paper and put a few layers over the wet spot.
  • Put something heavy on top of it, for instance, a book.
  • Change the paper a few times and use a hairdryer or ventilator to dry out the mattress faster.

How to Sanitise & Disinfect a Mattress

  • Remove your sheets, bedding, covers and other things.
  • Use a soft brush to vacuum your mattress.
  • Deal with all stains using any of the techniques listed in this guide.
  • Place your mattress outside for a few hours to air it out. 
  • Scatter baking soda over your mattress, let it sit for a few hours and then vacuum it up. Another option is to work it over with a steam cleaner. 
  • Lightly spray your mattress with antibacterial spray and wipe it with a clean towel.

How to Air Out a Mattress

Allowing your mattress to air out once in a while is vital, as it will help you deal with allergens, bacteria and mould accumulation.

  • Begin with taking off all bedding, including bed sheets, pillows, covers, etc. Open the windows to freshen up the air. This will decrease the humidity levels in the room. 
  • Proceed by vacuuming the mattress. Work over it to collect any dust or debris build-up.
  • Take the mattress outside and place it under the sun's rays. It’s good to do this at least 1-2 times a year.
  • Let the mattress stay outside for 3-4 hours. The longer it stays under the sun, the better. However, avoid leaving it in the evening as the humidity level gets higher and your mattress becomes damp.

How to Properly Store a Mattress

A common mistake when storing a mattress is to wrap it in a plastic bag to protect it from wear and tear. The thing is, if it’s been regularly used, there is moisture build-up inside, and the plastic bag does more harm than good.

This creates a perfect environment for bacteria and mould growth, which can lead to health problems and difficulty sleeping when you use the mattress again.

So, store your mattress the right way by following these 5 easy steps:

  • Vacuum the mattress to remove any dust or debris and let it “breathe” for an hour.
  • Put it into a breathable cover.
  • Store the mattress in a horizontal position.
  • Don’t place heavy items on top of it as this may harm its features.
  • Before using the mattress again, clean and disinfect it beforehand by using the techniques displayed in our guide.

If all this sounds too overwhelming, delegate the mattress cleaning to us. We’d be happy to take this chore out of your hands!