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How to Clean a Mattress

Your mattress is an investment in your sleep for many years to come. With proper care and cleaning, most mattresses can last well beyond their warranties. Though, it is not always easy to know how to clean a mattress when there are so many different mattresses on the market. You want to be sure you are maintaining your mattress properly to ensure it lasts well into the future.

Whether you are buying a new mattress, or caring for your tried-and-true old faithful, it is a good idea to learn how to clean a mattress the right way. Take into account your type of mattress, its manufacturer instructions, and your sleep environment. The good news is that keeping your mattress clean is not that hard. Soon, you will be sleeping better than ever.

Why Do You Need to Deep Clean a Mattress?

Think of the amount of time you spend in bed. Even if you are not sleeping the entire time, the odds are good that you spend about one-third of each day in bed. Most of us cannot stand to go an entire day without taking a shower. Yet, you might go years without giving a thought to cleaning your mattress.

Your dead skin builds up in your mattress nightly, making the perfect snack for dust mites. As gross as that is, if you are not cleaning a mattress, you are allowing that debris to build up. Regularly cleaning a mattress not only gets rid of stains, but it will get rid of the microscopic nuisances you cannot see.

Even with latex mattresses that have added benefits, such as natural resistances to microbes and bacteria, your bed can still create an atmosphere that is ripe for unpleasant smells to develop. Cleaning your mattress regularly helps to remove germs, viruses, bacteria, and more that may be hiding within the depths of your mattress.

Additionally, a clean mattress is more comfortable, allowing you to sleep better at night. If you deep clean a mattress periodically, it will last longer. It also allows you to spend less time tidying up during your regular cleaning. There are plenty of reasons to clean a mattress. While it does require some work, the benefits are clear.

Remove Bodily Fluids

During the time we spend in bed, all kinds of bodily fluids can make their way onto our mattresses. These include urine, blood, saliva, sweat, and others. Without a waterproof mattress protector to protect a mattress from stains, these fluids will leak onto the mattress, and leave lasting impressions.

  • Blood stains
  • Sweat stains
  • Pee stains

All of these stains accrue on a mattress over time, and they can go unnoticed if the mattress is not cleaned very frequently. Fortunately, a good stain remover can clean the stained area of a mattress effectively.


Allergens accumulate on a bed, as well. While some mattress types are hypoallergenic, that does not mean that all bedding is. Dust mites, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, and other microbes can build up in your sleeping environment if it is not cleaned regularly. Cleaning a mattress not only freshens up how your bed looks, but how healthy you feel.


You should never eat in bed if you want to keep your mattress clean. However, we all do it at some point. Whether you are sick and munching saltines, or enjoying a cozy breakfast in bed, crumbs make their way onto the mattress somehow. Clean these off to avoid debris from accumulating, and bugs from coming around for food.


Similar to crumbs, spills in bed are more common than you might think. Many people keep a glass of water beside the bed, which inevitably ends in spills. Others might be drinking wine, and watching a movie when catastrophe strikes. Either way, these spills result in mattress stains that must be cleaned.

How to Clean a Mattress

There are a few different ways to go about cleaning a mattress. Below are several different methods for keeping your mattress in tip-top shape. Always remember that if your mattress gets stained, you should try to spot clean the stain with cold water, and a clean cloth as soon as you can to prevent it from setting in.

Vacuum the Mattress

No matter what kind of mattress you are cleaning, your first step should be to vacuum the mattress with your vacuum cleaner. Your vacuum will remove dust mites, dirt, dander, and any other debris from the surface of your mattress.

You can use a hand vacuum in many cases for this part, but you may wish for the deeper cleaning power of a traditional vacuum cleaner. This will help get what is on the surface of the mattress, as well as addressing items buried deep within the layers of your mattress. Use the upholstery attachment of your vacuum for your mattress. The upholstery attachment will ensure your vacuum is gentle enough on your mattress.

Steam Clean

Steam cleaning your mattress with hot water is another great way to clean it. The hot water helps to disinfect the bed, and cleanse any mattress stains or dirt. You do not have to use a special steam cleaner to steam your mattress; any steam cleaner will do, such as a laundry steamer, or handheld steam cleaner.

However, some mattresses should not be steam cleaned as the heat will damage the structure. Before you clean your mattress using this method, make sure your mattress can handle steam cleaning.

Whenever you allow your mattress to get wet during cleaning, you must always let it air dry completely. It must be entirely dry before replacing any mattress protectors or bedding. Otherwise, mold or mildew could develop with devastating health consequences.

Use Baking Soda

You can effectively clean your mattress using baking soda. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer, and it works to lift stains from mattresses.

After you vacuum your mattress, sprinkle baking soda across its entire surface. Let it sit and absorb the moisture and stains on your mattress for as long as possible. After you have allowed the baking soda to sit on your bed, vacuum it off.

For tough stains like old sweat or urine stains, you can create a baking soda paste by mixing baking soda with a bit of warm water. Gently scrub the baking soda onto the mattress. Brush the baking soda paste onto the stains, and allow them to sit for about ten minutes, or 15 to 20 minutes for deep stains. Then vacuum the baking soda away to reveal a whiter mattress underneath.

Dish Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide

You can also create a mattress stain removing solution yourself using baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap.

Mix the following ingredients into a spray bottle:

  • Three tablespoons of baking soda
  • Eight ounces of hydrogen peroxide
  • One tablespoon of dish soap

These ingredients create a powerful stain remover solution that you can use on stains, even if they have been set overnight. These are especially useful on urine stains that might occur at night, and are not noticed until the next morning.

Spray the solution onto the urine stain or other stain, and let it sit for several minutes. Dab at it with a damp clean cloth, and you will notice that the stain disappears. Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant and bleaching agent. It is a great tool to spot clean stains.

White Vinegar

White vinegar is a wonderful cleaning agent. Create a solution in a spray bottle using equal parts vinegar and water. Spray the solution onto a mattress stain, and let it sit for several minutes. Gently dab at the stained area with a damp cloth that was dampened with cold water or warm water.

If you are using this solution on a urine stain, the vinegar and urine smell will not be pleasant. Use baking soda to deodorize and eliminate the smell.

Enzyme Cleaner

Enzyme cleaner is fantastic for cleaning organic stains like the kind you will often find on mattresses. These include blood stains, urine stains, and other stains caused by bodily fluids. Enzyme cleaner uses good bacteria to break down stains. It is a great tool to have around the house for your mattress, or if you have pets or children.

Spot Clean

Spot cleaning is a way of taking a clean cloth, water, and cleaning solution of your choice, and gently dabbing at a stain or spot until it is gone. Note that if you find a blood stain, you should always use cold water to dab it. Warm water or hot water will cause the blood to set in quickly. Cold water keeps the blood from becoming a permanent fixture.

Laundry Detergent

Another great solution to clean mattress stains is to mix mild laundry detergent and water. Most people have luck with powdered laundry detergent like Tide. However, you can also use liquid laundry detergent, if that is what you have on hand.

Mix the detergent with cold water, and dip a clean rag into the solution. Blot at the stain gently until it is gone. Remember to let it air dry completely. With any solution that calls for water and dampness, your mattress will need to dry before you redress your bed.

Give Your Mattress Some Air

To speed up drying, open windows, and let fresh air in. Some mattresses can be placed in direct sunlight for drying and ultraviolet exposure. This helps to dry up moisture and oils, and freshen your mattress.

However, if you have a latex mattress, do not set it in the sun, or it will get damaged.

Wash and Change Bedding

When you strip your bedding to clean your mattress, always take the opportunity to clean your bedding, too. If your mattress comes with a mattress cover, remove the cover before cleaning your bed.

Follow the care instructions for the mattress concerning washing and drying the cover. Some require spot washing and air drying, for instance, while others can be placed in washing machines (on gentle cycles) and dryers on low heat.

How to Keep Your Mattress Clean

You know how to deep-clean your mattress, but you should also work to keep your mattress tidy in between deep cleans. That way, your deep-cleans can be easier and less strenuous.

Use a Mattress Cover

Protect your mattress between cleanings by using a waterproof mattress protector. This is a highly cost-effective method for protecting your mattress and your mattress investment.

Frequently Change Bedding

Change your bedding at least once a week. Invest in a second set of sheets and blankets, so you always have a clean set of bedding on hand.

Use Hypoallergenic Bedding

Consider using organic cotton or wool bedding. If your mattress is hypoallergenic, like a latex mattress, you should also use hypoallergenic bedding, so your entire sleep experience is healthy and comfortable.

Rotate Your Mattress

You can flip or rotate your mattress every six months or so to ensure that every inch of it is getting used equally. This way, no one section is accumulating all the dust and debris. Flipping your mattress will only work if it is reversible.

Avoid Eating in Bed

If you can avoid crumbs in the bed, you should. Eating in bed is a luxury, but it is one that our pristine beds cannot afford.

Keep Pets Out of Bed or Bathe Pets Regularly

No pet lover is realistically going to keep their pet out of their bed. So, the next best thing is to keep our pets bathed and well-groomed, so that their dander does not accumulate in our mattresses.

Shower Before Bed

If you get into bed with dirt, grime, and sweat all over you, your mattress is going to soak that all up as you sleep. Take care to go to bed clean. Not only will it keep your mattress clean, but it will make you sleep better.

Cleaning Different Types of Mattresses

Not all mattresses are the same when it comes to mattress cleaning. Different mattress materials include innerspring cloth, memory foam, gel, and organic materials like latex, cotton, and wool.

When researching how to clean a mattress, be sure you adhere to the specific instructions for your mattress type.

Sunlight Will Damage Natural Latex

While some people highly recommend “sunning” mattresses to get them clean, that is very harmful to natural latex. In fact, direct sunlight can cause the cellular structure of your latex mattress to break down. Allow your mattress to dry inside your home, or in the shade, if airing it outside.

Latex Mattresses are Hypoallergenic

Unlike some other mattress types, latex mattresses are hypoallergenic. This means that latex mattresses naturally repel allergens like dust mites, pollen, and pet dander. Due to latex’s composition, these allergens are not able to burrow into the surface of the mattress like they do in innerspring mattresses fibers.

Memory foam is also hypoallergenic, but it is not organic or natural, and contains synthetic chemicals that can off gas.

For this reason, latex mattresses are a great choice for healthy, all-natural, clean living. Additionally, when you want to keep your mattress clean and free of pollutants and irritants, latex mattresses make it much easier to do so.

Latex Mattresses do not Need to be Rotated

It is not necessary to rotate latex mattresses for the sake of avoiding sags and lumps. It does, though, help to spread the “sleeping area” around a bit, and to reduce the amount of dirt and debris that may sink into certain areas of your mattress.

You may rotate every time you wash your sheets, once per season, or even twice a year if you choose to do so. Again, though, it is not necessary.

Cleaning Mattress Toppers

If you have a gel or memory foam mattress topper for added support or comfort, you should wash it like you would wash a fragile mattress. Do not put a memory foam mattress topper or pad in the washing machine, unless the manufacturer instructions specifically list that it is okay to do so. Follow the same methods to clean a natural latex mattress topper as you would a natural latex mattress.

Can You Just Hose a Mattress Down With Cleaning Products?

One of the primary reasons people choose natural latex mattresses — like our mattresses at Latex For Less — is that they are healthy to bring into your home, and expose to your family. We go out of our way to bring you mattresses that are made without toxic ingredients and noxious chemicals.

Using cleaning products filled with these types of items defeats the purpose, creating an unhealthy atmosphere inside your home in the name of cleanliness.

At the same time, some of the cleaning products on the market today are caustic to humans, as are the materials used to make some mattresses. Exposing your mattress to these types of products may cause it to break down faster than normal, and may even negate your warranty.

There are better ways to clean your mattress. More importantly, there are healthier ways to clean your mattress. Methods that do not result in unhealthy situations for you. How can conventional cleaners promote worse health for you? These are just a few key examples:

  • Causing upper respiratory problems
  • Promoting difficulty breathing
  • Generating off-gassing
  • Causing headaches
  • Initiating rashes and redness on your skin

These are not ideal for you or your family, and can be avoided with options for greener cleaning methods instead.

Why are Green Cleaning Methods Better?

Not only are greener cleaning methods and products better for your family, but they are also better for the planet. These are just a few reasons to choose eco-friendly cleaning products when cleaning your mattress.

  • Improves air quality inside your home. According to the EPA, the air inside the modern home is far less healthy for your family than the air outside. Even in large cities where smog is a significant problem. Adding more chemicals into the mix only exacerbates the problem in today’s energy-efficient homes.
  • Makes your home a safer haven for children and pets. You love the people and animals you share your home with. Green cleaning products make your home a safer haven for them, and reduces risks of accidental poisonings and worse from cleaning products.
  • Saves you money on your cleaning efforts.Believe it or not, many green cleaning products are quite inexpensive. They include things readily available in stores and supermarkets, such as baking soda, vinegar, salt, lemons, and essential oils for a hint of fragrance.

Of course, you cannot ignore the fact that greener cleaning products often help to preserve the structural integrity of products in your home, including the natural latex used in our mattresses.

Order Your Latex For Less Mattress

Latex For Less is committed to offering you an affordable mattress-buying experience without sacrificing quality and health in the process. We are the manufacturer, and the Latex For Less mattress ships directly to you with two firmness levels in one mattress. Read our customer reviews, order your latex mattress today, and see what a difference you can enjoy in price and quality when you buy direct.

Elizabeth Magill

Elizabeth Magill is a professional freelance writer and editor who holds an MBA. Liz specializes in writing about health news, medical conditions, healthy living, small business, career and work, personal finance, and green-living, including news and trending topics in these specialties. Her clients include Healthline, The Motley Fool, GoBanking Rates,, Big Interview, HealthNews, Intuit Small Business Blog, Intuit Health, American News Report,, IFX Medical, and many others. She’s also a published eBook author and ghost writer for various clients in the health, medical, career, small business, and personal finance niches.