How to Clean a Mattress

These simple mattress maintenance and cleaning tips will help you keep your mattress looking great.

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You probably change your sheets weekly and don’t think twice about your mattress. The truth is, mattresses collect dead skin cells, sweat, stains, dust mites, and all manner of unpleasant things from your body. Even with consistently changing linens and mattress pads, some dirt and dust will still get down to the mattress.

Spring of Lavender on a White Mattress Closeup

How to Clean a Mattress Cover1

It's important to periodically clean your mattress to help keep in shape and allergens at bay.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Well then how do you actually clean a mattress? You can’t just toss it into a washing machine or take it to the cleaners. No worries! Cleaning a mattress is actually a very simple process that requires only a few supplies.


Baking Soda, Peroxide and Essential Oil Bottle on a Mattress

Supplies to Clean a Mattress

Only a few simple supplies are needed to clean a mattress.

©Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

  • vacuum cleaner
  • baking soda
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • essential oil (optional)
  • spray bottle (not shown)
Hand Adding Essential Oils to Baking Soda

Add a Few Drops of Essential Oils to Baking Soda

Adding a few drops of essential oil to the baking soda will help add a scent to the mattress.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Strip the linens from your bed and vacuum the mattress. Just this step alone gets rid of a good amount of dust, pet hairs and other dirt that has accumulated over time. Next, add a couple of drops of essential oil to a cup of baking powder. The essential oil is optional, but it adds a lovely scent. Set the baking soda aside.

Hand with Spray Bottle and Mattress

Spray Mattress with Peroxide and Water

Spray the mattress with a mix of peroxide and water to get rid of stains.

©Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

If you have sweat stains and/or other stains on the mattress, mix an equal amount of hydrogen peroxide and water. Spray the hydrogen mix onto the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. Alternatively, if there are stains or odors that are persistent, try using an enzyme-based cleaner. Enzyme cleaners chemically break down stains and odors and works wonders with children's mattresses that may have had bedtime "accidents." Let the mattress dry completely before the next step. 

Red Vacuum and Mattress

Vacuum Mattresses to Get Rid of Dirt and Dust

Regularly vacuuming your mattress keeps dust, dirt and allergens down.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Sprinkle the baking soda all over the mattress and rub it in. Let the baking soda sit for 15-20 minutes, then vacuum again. 

If you can, let the mattress air out. Sometimes the best way to get persistent odor and stains out of a mattress (or any cushion) is good old sunshine. This is a natural way to eliminate bacteria. Yes, hauling your mattress all the way outdoors is not an easy task, but it’s a good option if you have a mattress that really needs it. 

General Mattress Maintenance Tips

Spring of Lavender Flowers on a White Mattress

How to Clean a Mattress Cover2

Having a clean mattress is better for you health and helps is last longer.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Once you’ve taken the effort to clean your mattress, it’s a good time to invest in a mattress cover. Mattress covers are a great first line of defense against dirt and stains. Plus, they are easy to wash. Turn your mattress at least four times a year to distribute the wear evenly. It should be turned side to side and also top to toe. This is also a great time to vacuum the mattress. Also, whenever possible, let your mattress breathe. When you go out of town, strip the bed and let the mattress sit uncovered. 

These simple mattress maintenance and cleaning tips will help you keep your mattress looking great for years to come and cut down on allergens lurking under your covers. 

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