Cleaning Impossible: The Mattress

Author: Lauren Ross


It’s common knowledge that bed sheets need washing, right? The bed can get pretty grimy with all the sleeping, movie watching and homework we do in our bed, so it’s necessary to wash the sheets and comforter regularly.

There’s one part of the bed, though, that often gets overlooked – can you guess it? The mattress collects a lot of the same dirt and allergens as the sheets and duvet, but because of its size and weight, more times than not it goes uncleaned. It’s essential to wash your mattress to preserve its longevity; most sites recommend about four times a year to keep it fresh.

Not sure how to clean it? Here are some cleaning tips to follow so you can get your mattress looking new and better than ever:

Step 1: Vacuum the top layer

Mattresses can get pretty grimy because of the accumulation of dirt particles that get lodged within the fibers. To help preserve your mattress, vacuum the top layer – getting in-between the crevices – using a clean upholstery attachment. Nooks and crannies on a mattress are prime spots for crumbs, dust and dander to collect, so clean thoroughly.

Step 2: Spot clean stains

Spot cleaning is a useful technique for removing stains. Mattress stains, unlike carpet stains, are typically protein-based, meaning you’re dealing with mostly bodily fluids such as blood, urine, and sweat. If the stain has had time to settle, it will be tougher to get out. Below are a few suggestions to remove those tough mattress stains:

  • Apply a lemon juice and salt paste to stain, and let sit for 60 minutes. Using a clean rag, blot the stain and remove the paste.
  • Pet boarding places use natural enzyme cleaners in their facilities – and so can you in your home! The cleaner will breakdown the stain for you, which will allow for an easy cleanup.
  • For extremely tough stains, mix together hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap and baking soda in a labeled spray bottle. Next, blot the stain with the solution until it vanishes.

Step 3: Deodorize with baking soda

Baking soda is a natural deodorizer that will leave a fresh scent on your mattress. Sift a light layer onto the mattress and let sit for two hours.  After, vacuum up any remaining baking soda using an attachment.

Step 4: Air out mattress

Fresh air and sunlight are great and natural ways to eliminate bacteria from your mattress. You probably won’t be able to carry the mattress outside, but you can always open the windows to let the sun and fresh air ooze into the apartment.

Step 5: Cover it up

A cover will protect your mattress, increasing longevity. If you’re not already using one, start right now! They’re incredibly easy to clean, just toss in wash and go!