How to Clean a Mattress

How to clean a mattress and remove stains with baking soda, a vacuum, and hydrogen peroxide

Learning how to clean a mattress (like learning how to wash pillows) is one of those household tasks that isn’t always top of mind. If you think about it, you spend about ⅓ of your life laying on your mattress so making sure you take good care of it is important. Luckily, mattress cleaning and maintenance isn’t very difficult – all you need is baking soda, a vacuum, and hydrogen peroxide to clean, deodorize, and treat stains!

How to Clean a Mattress

  • Remove all pillows, sheets, mattress protector, etc. and sprinkle the surface of your mattress with baking soda
  • Leave baking soda on the surface of your mattress for 12-24 hours (the longer the better!) to absorb any odors or moisture
  • Vacuum baking soda plus any lingering dust, dirt, and dead skin that inevitably seeps between the fibers of your sheets away before re-making the bed!

How to Remove Stains from a Mattress

How to clean a mattress and remove stains with baking soda, a vacuum, and hydrogen peroxide

If your mattress has a tough stain to remove, follow these steps:

  • Attach a spray nozzle to a bottle of hydrogen peroxide
  • Spray the mattress stain lightly with the hydrogen peroxide then leave it alone to dry completely
  • You will be amazed by how effective this is! If after drying, you notice the stain isn’t fully gone just repeat the process
  • Never spray so much that you soak the mattress and always make sure it is FULLY dry before covering up with sheets

How to Remove Bugs from a Mattress

If you have the deeply unfortunate experience of bed bugs nesting in your mattress, there is a way to kill them without using harsh chemicals. Steam – very very hot steam – is the answer here.

I recommend investing in a quality steam cleaner like this one. It will cost less than a mattress replacement and can be used throughout your home to kill the rest of the bugs in carpeting and elsewhere.

Make sure your steam cleaner can reach high temperatures of at least 120 degrees F. You might need to maintain steam on the bugs for 30 seconds up to a minute to fully kill them but if you’re diligent then you can minimize (extinguish?) your bug problem within a weekend.

Follow up by vacuuming dead bugs then go over your mattress with an upholstery or carpet steam cleaner.

RELATED: 5 Best Upholstery Steam Cleaners

How to Maintain the Quality of a Mattress

  • Rotate your mattress every 3 months (TIP: set up a recurring calendar reminder to let you know when it’s time to rotate again)
  • If you use a box spring, rotate the box spring every 6 months (but never flip!) to keep it from wearing too quickly in one area
  • Protect your mattress from future stains with a quality mattress protector – consider a waterproof mattress protector if you have young children who are more prone to getting sick/having accidents

Don’t Forget to Wash Your Pillows

Pillows require regular cleaning as well! Check out how to wash your pillows.

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