What is the Best Way to Clean a Mattress?

Cleaning your mattress might seem like a silly chore (after all, you don’t see it very often) but it’s actually really important to do to keep the bed fresh, free from biological stains and moisture spots and to avoid any allergies or other irritation. Plus, working it into your regular washing routine might extend the life of your mattress.

First, give the entire surface of your mattress a quick brush and vacuum to remove any loose dirt, dust, hair, lint or other debris. Then it’s time to spot treat any stains or odors. Before applying any cleaning solution, blot the stain with a paper towel to lift as much of the liquid as possible. Next, use a microfiber cloth or sponge to apply your cleaning agent, being careful not to soak the mattress. If you’re worried about the potential of damaging your mattress, a mild cleaner like laundry detergent or baking soda should work just fine. For blood stains, try a mixture of equal parts cold water and hydrogen peroxide. Sweat stains can be broken down by a mix of peroxide, white vinegar and a few squirts of liquid dish detergent. If you can’t identify the stain, spray a bit of your cleaning solution onto a clean sponge or cloth and blot until the mark fades.

If you can’t get rid of a lingering odor, try putting the mattress out in the sun. This will help dry out any remaining moisture, prevent mold or mildew, and eliminate bacterial build-up that can cause odors. Alternatively, a simple sprinkle of baking soda can also do the trick — just leave it on overnight to absorb the odors and then vacuum it away.

Always check with your mattress manufacturer for specific wash care instructions. You should also consider getting a mattress protector, pad or topper, as these can help make it easier to clean the whole thing while protecting the warranty.

One last tip: Don’t spray cleaning solutions directly onto your mattress, as this could cause mildew or bacteria to form. Instead, mist the cleaning agent on a sponge or rag and then wipe the mattress. If you’re concerned about the toxicity of any cleaners or want to avoid the chemicals found in commercial products, make your own enzyme cleaner at home by mixing four drops of dishwashing liquid, 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 16 ounces of hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Apply this to any remaining stains and let the mattress air dry completely before you put your sheets back on.

While cleaning your mattress regularly can help prolong its lifespan, even the best mattresses will eventually need to be replaced. Investing in a mattress protector, pad or topper will make it much easier to clean and maintain your investment while making it more comfortable and ensuring that you get the most restful night’s sleep possible. Good luck! Sweet dreams.