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How to clean a mattress

Is your mattress neglected and dirty? Check out our how to clean a mattress guide with tips for natural cleaning as well as ways to remove urine, vomit & blood.

Vaccuming mattressIt is surprising just how dirty a mattress can become if not properly maintained, so learning how to clean a mattress is very handy. Sweat, dead skin, spills and dust mites can all build up in your mattress, causing stains and bad odours that can even affect the air you breathe.

As such, we will be guiding you through the process of revitalising your mattress, including ways to remove stains, urine and sick. Plus, we will also teach you how to clean a mattress with baking soda or vinegar.

When is it time to clean your mattress?

So, when exactly should you be cleaning your mattress. The following are all times a good cleaning is necessary and later we will show you just how to clean a mattress:

  • Stains: If your mattress is stained, it is time to grab your cleaning supplies.
  • Spills: Unless you have a waterproof mattress protector, you need to mop up and clean spills as soon as possible.
  • Accidents: This is particularly an issue with small children and pets. Always act straight away to prevent stains and bad smells.
  • Time: Even without spills or accidents, you should be cleaning your mattress twice a year to remove dust mites and dead skin cells.
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mattress cleaning costHow to clean a mattress

If any of the above instances apply to you, it’s time to give your mattress a good clean. To do so, simply follow these steps:

  1. Firstly, you will need to strip any bedding, pillows and mattress protectors off your bed.
  2. You can then use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and any debris left from midnight snacking.
  3. Next, target stains on your mattress using carpet cleaner. Our ‘how to clean a stained mattress’ section goes into a little more depth on this stage if needed.
  4. It is also worth eliminating any bad odours coming from the mattress. You can do this with baking soda. For in-depth instructions, skip ahead to our ‘how to clean a mattress with baking soda’ section.
  5. Once you have finished, run the vacuum over the mattress one last time.

How to deep clean a mattress

If you haven’t cleaned your mattress for years or are sleeping on a dirty, smelly mattress, a thorough deep clean may be necessary. Remember, a build-up of dust mites and dead skin can affect your breathing, causing respiratory issues and allergies to flare up.

Unsure how to deep clean a mattress? No problem, just use the below steps:

  1. Before you even touch your mattress, first open a window for ventilation.
  2. As with any time you clean a mattress, remove all your bedding and pillows. Make sure you wash your bedding thoroughly to remove any debris, smells, stains and dust.
  3. Next, use your vacuum to carefully suck up any crumbs and dust.
  4. Now is a good time to follow the guidance in our ‘how to clean a mattress with baking soda’ section, to remove any odours.
  5. Eliminate dust mites by spraying your mattress with essentials oils mixed with water. You can use eucalyptus or tea tree oil for great results. Always allow the mattress to dry before proceeding.
  6. Finish your deep clean by disinfecting your mattress with bleach mixed with water. Spray the mattress and use a damp cloth to wipe the surface. Top tip: Wear gloves and goggles when using bleach.
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Cleaning stains off a mattress

How to clean a stained mattress

If you don’t change your bedding regularly, you may not realise your mattress is stained and dirty. That is why keeping your bedding fresh and periodically inspecting and cleaning your mattress is important.

If you do notice any ugly stains, learning how to clean stains off a mattress is simple. You will need to:

  1. Start by stripping the bed and vacuuming your mattress.
  2. Figure out what caused the stain. Different substances will need to be removed in different ways.
  3. If the stain is from urine, please skip to our ‘how to clean urine from a mattress with vinegar’ section.
  4. If the stain is from blood, you can use lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide.
  5. If the stain is from vomit, please skip to our ‘how to clean sick off a mattress’ section.
  6. For any other stains, use a mixture of dish soap and water to spray your mattress and a clean cloth to remove any moisture after 10 minutes. You may need to repeat this step a few times for best results.

How to clean a soiled mattress

Ah, the joys of being a parent to a young child or a naughty pet. It is fairly common as a parent to have to clean up accidents, some of which are worse than others. However, if you do not properly clean the mattress each time, this can lead to bad smells and a build-up of bacteria.

The three main substances you will need to tackle when figuring out how to clean a soiled mattress are:

  • Urine: Please see our ‘how to clean urine from a mattress with vinegar’ section.
  • Faeces: Immediately remove any faeces from the mattress and use the toilet to dispose of it. Next, warm up a jug of white vinegar and carefully wipe the remaining substance. Then, sprinkle the stain with a bicarbonate of soda and allow about 90 minutes for this to absorb any odours before wiping off. You may have to keep repeating this step.
  • Vomit: Please see our ‘how to clean sick off a mattress’ section.

How to clean a mattress with baking soda

If you have children or animals, you may prefer to clean your mattress naturally rather than using harsh chemicals. A great way to do this is to use baking soda. Affordable and found in most households, this substance is brilliant at absorbing bad odours to freshen up an old mattress.

Use the below steps to clean a mattress with baking soda:

  1. Remove the bedding so your mattress is completely exposed.
  2. Run your hoover over the mattress to pick up any crumbs.
  3. Next, combine a cup of baking soda with several drops of your preferred essential oil. Lavender is a perfect choice as this will help you to relax and sleep better.
  4. Spread this over the mattress and leave it on for up to two hours.
  5. You can then hoover this up, leaving your mattress smelling clean and fresh.
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How to clean urine from a mattress with vinegar

Unfortunately, small children or elderly family members may have accidents during the night. This can be a real issue, especially if you aren’t using a mattress protector. Vinegar is a fantastic, multi-functional item substance to own, and this can help to rescue a urine-soaked mattress.

Wondering how to clean urine from a mattress with vinegar? Read on:

  1. Strip your mattress before beginning. Wash your bedding as soon as possible to prevent staining.
  2. Use kitchen roll or a light-coloured towel to absorb as much liquid as you can.
  3. Fill a spray bottle up with a mixture of white vinegar, cold water and detergent.
  4. Completely saturate the urine stain with your mixture then leave for about 15 minutes.
  5. Absorb any remaining liquid with a clean towel.
  6. You can then cover with baking soda to absorb any odours. Please see our ‘how to clean a mattress with baking soda’ section for more information.

Scrubbing a mattress

How to clean a memory foam mattress

Choosing a memory foam mattress may be the best decision you have ever made. They are amazing when it comes to supporting your body throughout the night, helping with joint and muscle pain.

These mattresses can be expensive, so it makes sense to learn how to clean a memory foam mattress properly to keep it in good condition. Just follow the below steps:

  1. Once your bedding has been removed, mix warm water and dish soap in a spray bottle.
  2. Cover any stains with this mixture and dab with a clean cloth to remove excess fluid.
  3. You can also use a combination of vinegar and water to remove difficult stains.
  4. If you need to remove odours, do so using baking soda, as described in our ‘how to clean a mattress with baking soda’ section.
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How to clean a wet mattress

It is never a good idea to have drinks or other liquids around your mattress. The chances are you have invested in a good quality mattress and spills or accidents can cause real issues.

However, in the instance a spill does happen, follow these instructions:

  1. Remove all the bedding from your mattress and absorb as much liquid as you can with a clean cloth or towel. Do this straight away following a spill or accident for best results.
  2. Top tip: Never rub a stain as this can push the liquid further into the mattress.
  3. An alternate option is to saturate the spill with vinegar and water then cover with towels and weigh down with books to keep pressure on the liquid overnight.
  4. Depending on what made your mattress wet, you may wish to use a targeted treatment. For example, use: hydrogen peroxide for blood, soapy water for drinks, enzymatic cleaner for urine.
  5. Once the fluid has been absorbed you will need to dry off your mattress. This can be sped up by opening windows to increase ventilation or by laying your mattress outside on a sunny day.
  6. Finally, remove any lasting smells with baking soda.

How to clean sick off a mattress

Learning how to clean sick off a mattress isn’t too complicated, just:

  1. Strip and wash your bedding.
  2. Remove as much vomit as you can from your mattress.
  3. Dab the stain to absorb any excess liquid using a clean towel.
  4. Next, use baking soda and vinegar to remove any odours and stains. For more information, please see our ‘how to clean a mattress with baking soda’ and our ‘how to clean urine from a mattress with vinegar’ sections.

Hiring a professional

If you are unsuccessful in cleaning your mattress and removing odours or stains, it may be a good time to call in an expert. The best part about hiring someone to clean your mattress is that you can guarantee excellent, quick results. In fact, there are a range of professionals in your area who will be happy to help, and they can easily be found using our free search feature.

How much does professional mattress cleaning cost?

If you are ready to speak to an expert, you may be wondering how much you will need to pay for mattress cleaning. You may even be surprised just how affordable this service is. Generally, the average amount you pay will vary from £17.50 for a cot to £80 for a super king size bed. For further information and more prices, please see our guide to mattress cleaning prices.

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