How to Deep Clean a Mattress

We all sleep on our mattresses almost every night.
This fact brings us to the point of needing to learn how to deep clean a mattress.
The alternative is to sleep on a dirty one.

While not a challenging activity, mattress cleaning gets often overlooked. This lapse can lead to a buildup of dirt or even more unpleasant things like mites and pathogens in our beds.

Having a mattress cover makes cleaning much more manageable. You can remove the cover, wash it, and put it back on. But, if you don't have a cover, you will need to disinfect the mattress.

If you have never done it before, read on to learn how to deep clean a mattress!


How Often Do I Need a Mattress Cleaning?


Most of us spend nearly a third of our time in bed, on our mattresses. 

This fact leads to mattresses collecting skin cells, dust, bacteria, and even bugs. No matter how clean we keep our bedding and how often we shower before going to sleep, our mattress will get dirty.

While dirty mattresses look unpleasant and smell, they pose health risks. Pathogens and allergens in your bed are dangerous to you and your family and could lead! 

This nastiness calls for frequent cleanings, either our mattress cover if we have one or the mattress itself if we don't.
To keep your mattress clean, you must clean it at least once every six months.


What Products Do I Need for a Clean Mattress?


How to Deep Clean a Mattress


Deep cleaning your mattress is not an expensive undertaking.
The products required are items you most likely already have in your house.

A Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner removes dust and debris before cleaning and removes cleaning products after using them.
Any good vacuum with a hose attachment will do.

Baking Soda

Baking soda works great for deodorizing the mattress. There is no need for nasty chemicals that will get into your bed and enter your body while you sleep.

Dust Mite Killer

Dust mites must get taken into consideration when you deep clean your mattress.  

You can make a simple spray that will kill the mites with items you may already have on hand:

  • Two cups of distilled water
  • Two teaspoons of clove, rosemary, tea tree, eucalyptus, or caraway essential oils

    Combine water and oils in a small spray bottle before starting the project.


    Pathogens make it necessary to disinfect mattresses when cleaning them.

    While bleach kills the bacteria and other pathogens on your mattress, it is also very toxic. You sleep in your bed and spend hours on your mattress. So it is best to avoid bleach and look for a non-toxic disinfectant. 

    You can make a spray like the dust mite killer, but with oils that kill pathogens:

    • ½ cup distilled water
    • ½ cup white vinegar
    • Ten drops each of lavender and lemongrass essential oils

        Combine in a small spray bottle, and have it ready to use during your mattress cleaning project.


        What are the Steps to Cleaning a Mattress?


        Now that we know what products and tools we need to deep clean a mattress, let's go over the steps.

        (Note: starting this process early in the morning, right after getting out of bed, is a good idea. Doing this lets you give the mattress plenty of time to air out and dry before bedtime!)

        Open Windows and Get a Fan Going
        Adequate air circulation is essential! 

        The debris and dust that get stirred up during the process get into the air. These toxins get breathed in, causing coughing, runny noses, or other health issues. This can significantly affect sensitive individuals. So, get some good ventilation and push that dirt out of the room!

        Remove All Bedding

        The next step is to remove all bedding.
        By bedding, we mean:

        • sheets, 
        • pillowcases
        • blankets and comforters,
        • and even pillows from the bed. 

        Launder all right away - if you don't, they will bring back all their dirt and pathogens into the bed.


        Vacuum the Entire Mattress (Both Sides)



        How to Deep Clean a Mattress


        Get out your vacuum hose and clean all surface areas on both sides of the mattress.

        Deodorize the Mattress

        This part is where the baking soda comes in! 
        Sprinkle a large amount on the top side of the mattress, and let sit for as long as possible. The longer, the better - it will absorb more moisture and smells.

        Vacuum Again

        Once you get satisfied with the work of the baking soda, vacuum it all up.

        Kill Dust Mites

        Use the dust mite spray bottle that you made, and spritz over the entire surface area of the mattress. Let it dry, then move on to the next step.

        Disinfect the Mattress

        Use the disinfectant spray you made to kill:

        • bacteria, 
        • fungi, 
        • and other harmful pathogens. 

        Spray it over the entire surface area, then wipe with a clean paper towel or rag.

        Let the Mattress Air Dry 

        Finally, while maintaining air circulation, let the mattress air dry. After it dries, fit it with a mattress cover to keep it clean for much longer. 

        Make your bed with the freshly-laundered sheets, and you are good to go!
        These steps also apply to cleaning memory foam mattresses. 

        Memory foam is very absorbent. You will need to be careful not to spray too much of the deodorizer or the disinfectant onto the mattress. 

        Make sure that it is all the way dry afterward. Letting the mattress air dry outside with sunlight and fresh air, if possible, is ideal.


        How to Spot Clean Mattresses


        How to Deep Clean a Mattress


        Sometimes you might not need to know how to deep clean a mattress but rather how to spot clean one. Or, you might have spots and stains on your bed that need to address during a deep clean.

        Either way, the best way to spot clean a mattress is to do it right away. Don't let the stains have time to soak in and become more difficult to remove.

        General Stains

        For general stains, spray white vinegar and sprinkle with baking soda. Let this sit for an hour or two, then scrape it up. After it dries, vacuum up the rest of the baking soda.

        Blood Stains

        Blood stains can be hard to remove if they don't get tackled immediately. 
        Yet, you can usually lighten them, if not remove them altogether, even once they are old.

        Start by combining:

        • two ounces of hydrogen peroxide
        • one tablespoon of dish soap 
        • and one tablespoon of table salt. 

        Apply to the blood stain, let sit for an hour or two, and scrape up. You may need to vacuum it once it dries to remove all the salt.

        Urine Stains

        Urine stains are prevalent on children's mattresses.
        When left untreated, it will result in a foul-smelling mattress and bedroom.

        To remove, combine 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide with three tablespoons of baking soda and ½ teaspoon dish soap. Apply to the stain, avoiding getting the mattress too wet. 

        Let the mattress air dry with plenty of fresh air and keep the windows open. If you can, dry it outdoors in the sunlight!

        Vomit Stains

        For vomit stains, start with a white cloth moistened with cleaning ammonia. Be sure to open all windows and have a fan blowing to avoid breathing in the ammonia. Dab the stain, then soak the ammonia with a clean, dry, white cloth.
        Let air dry outdoors in the sunshine, if possible, before sleeping on the mattress.


        Our beds should be a place of rest and refuge, not somewhere we get exposed to toxins, bacteria, fungi, and dust mites. 
        To make this possible, we need to clean our mattresses and then protect them with a mattress cover.
        It is best to clean your mattress at least every six months; you can make it much longer if you get a mattress cover.
        With a mattress cover or mattress protector, you won't need to figure out how to deep clean a mattress near that often!

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