Your mattress is exposed to a lot: sweat, drool, shed skin flakes, hair and skin oil, and various bodily fluids. Add the allergens, dust mites, and pet dander found in most homes, and your mattress is ripe for a cleaning.
Despite using it daily, most people show their mattress little love, never giving it a proper cleaning. But just as you wash your sheets on a regular basis, you need to clean your mattress, although fortunately not nearly as often.
When it is mattress-cleaning time, you might already have everything you need at your disposal. While it is very important to keep the space where you spend up to a third of your life clean and fresh, you can use natural methods and simple ingredients to freshen and clean your mattress, remove stains, and leave your sleeping space pleasantly scented and ready for dream time.
Equipment / Tools
- Small strainer
- Clean cloths and/or towels
- Spray bottle(s)
- Fan or blow dryer (optional)
- Baking soda
- Lavender essential oil
- 3-percent hydrogen peroxide
- A few drops liquid dish soap
- White vinegar
Strip the Bed
Strip all the bedding from your mattress, and toss it into the washing machine while you work.
Vacuum the Mattress
Vacuum the top of your mattress, the sides, and underneath the bed. Now lift the mattress (get someone to help if it’s difficult), and vacuum between the mattress and the box springs.
Sprinkle Baking Soda
Mix 1 cup of baking soda with a few drops of lavender essential oil in a bowl, and then put the mixture in a strainer. Shake the fragranced baking soda evenly over the entire mattress. Leave the baking soda on the bed until your bedding is finished washing and drying. Vacuum the baking soda off the mattress.
Spot-clean any stains on the mattress by mixing a paste of baking soda, salt, and water. Rub the stain with the paste, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Wipe away with a damp, clean cloth.
Remake the Bed
Remake your bed with clean linens.
Removing Urine and Sweat Stains
Bedwetting happens plus sweat produces similar yellowish stains, and over time, it’s common for mattresses to become discolored and musty smelling from sweat.
Create a Cleaning Solution
Mix together 1 cup of 3-percent hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and just a few drops of liquid dishwashing soap. Stir until the baking soda dissolves.
Soak the Mattress
Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, and then spray the entire stained area of the mattress, letting the solution soak into the mark.
Let the Mattress Dry
Leave the solution to air dry for at least an hour. If you want to speed things up, set a blowing fan near the mattress, or use your blow dryer on the cool setting.
Removing Blood Stains
If your mattress gets stained with blood, treat the stain as quickly as possible with the following steps.
Prep the Cleaning Solution
Fill a spray bottle with 3-percent hydrogen peroxide.
Spray the Mattress
Spray the bloodstain, and then blot with a clean towel. Repeat spraying and blotting the stain until it is gone.
Let It Dry
Let the mattress air dry, or use your blow dryer to speed up the process.
Removing Vomit Stains
Acting quickly is key to eliminating the odor and stain from vomit. Here's what to do.
Prep the Cleaning Solution
Mix a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
Treat the Mattress
Spray the soiled area of the mattress, and then blot with a clean towel. Continue spraying and blotting until the mark is gone.
Apply Baking Soda
Sprinkle a little bit of baking soda over the treated area. After an hour, vacuum away the baking soda, and let the mattress air dry.
Tips for Keeping Your Mattress Clean Longer
- At a minimum, you should clean the mattress every six months. However, if you have the time, clean it thoroughly every three months. If there's a stain, treat it immediately to avoid setting.
- Change the sheets at least once a week to prevent dead skin—and its ramifications, such as dust mites—from building up on the bed.
- Invest in a mattress cover. This will protect moisture from getting into the mattress, which will help prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
- Regularly use a vacuum with a HEPA filter on the mattress to suck up dust mites, using the crevice tool to get into tight spots. To get rid of odors, sprinkle baking soda on the mattress first and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Flip your mattress every three months. If it's a pillowtop mattress, rotate it from top to bottom every six months.