How To Clean Your Mattress – A Homeowners Guide.

By: Ryan Poppie Reading Time: 10 minutes

Cleaning a mattress
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Once you’ve found the perfect mattress, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of it and forget to consider how to care for it. But don’t worry; this article will explain how to clean your mattress and extend its life with proper maintenance.

On average, a mattress will last somewhere between 7 and 15 years. However, if the mattress is well-managed and maintained, it could last longer. That means you could enjoy your mattress for nearly two decades with the proper care!

And let’s face it. A good quality mattress isn’t cheap. Who wouldn’t want to enhance the longevity of their mattress and save some money?

If you don’t know how to clean a mattress or remove mattress stains, keep reading to learn a few simple maintenance techniques. From preventive measures to cleaning, these tips will keep your mattress in excellent condition, so all you have to worry about is getting a good night’s sleep.

memory mattress by The Beloit Mattress Company

Why do you need to learn how to clean a mattress?

Even though you may not notice it, your mattress can become covered in filth if not cleaned.

While we sleep, we shed dead skin and sweat a little. Over time, this accumulates and creates a breeding ground for dust mites, bed bugs, bacteria, and fungi, which can cause itching or an allergic reaction, disrupting sleep.

A carpet can look clean, but then you roll a vacuum cleaner over it, and you can hear all the dirt and debris. The same is true for your mattress. And when you get down to the microscopic level, it gets much worse; the unseen poses the greatest threat.

Besides extending the longevity of your mattress, maintaining good health is the main reason to clean your mattress regularly. We spend nearly half of our lifetime lying around in bed. If those 7 to 8 hours per day are spent in contact with allergens, irritants, and worse, it will affect your health in the form of sneezing, headaches, eczema, asthma, or something more detrimental.

And let’s not discount the adverse health effects of regularly interrupted sleep that the above might cause.

How to clean your mattress

While cleaning your mattress may sound like a vast, harrowing ordeal, it isn’t. Below is a simple 7-step process for cleaning your mattress that shouldn’t take longer than a few hours, not counting wait times.

Gather your mattress cleaning supplies.

Here is everything you will need to clean your mattress at home deep:

  • Several boxes of baking soda
  • Clear dish soap or enzyme cleaner
  • A spray bottle or bucket
  • Several clean, white rags
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • Hydrogen peroxide for hard-to-remove stains
  • A toothbrush (optional)

Wash your bedding.

Strip off all the sheets, pillowcases, mattress covers, protectors, or toppers, then let the washing machine do its magic while you do yours. But first, make sure that all covers and toppers are machine washable. And always opt for hot water to get rid of dust mites, in particular.

If your mattress topper isn’t machine washable, there is still a simple process for cleaning toppers.

Check the labels on your pillows; they might also be machine washable. If they are, add them to the mix. Also, washing your sheets once a week is a good idea, as this will go a long way to keeping the mattress clean.

Vacuum your mattress thoroughly.

You’ll want to use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum for this. Go over the entire surface and pay special attention to creases or seams. Use your fingers to spread them apart, if necessary, to get inside them. Dirt and debris will find their way into those spots.

Suppose you have a smaller attachment for those small spaces; even better. And don’t forget to vacuum the sides of the mattress as well.

Spot-clean your mattress.

Spot Cleaning a MattressIt’s time to take care of any stains or discoloration you see. But a word of caution: You don’t want to apply water directly to your mattress, and a memory foam mattress isn’t made to get wet.

Accidents happen. Dogs jump on the bed with their dirty paws. Children get sick. Whatever the cause of stains or odors on your mattress, don’t worry. There are ways to get them out so your mattress can look new again.

First, never use commercial cleaners that contain strong chemicals such as ammonia or bleach. These chemicals can harm your mattress.

Instead, use a natural cleaner that is made of enzymes. An excellent commercial enzyme cleaner works incredibly well for biological stains—blood, sweat, vomit, urine, etc. Liquid dish soap mixed with water can also be used, but make sure it’s clear. Colored dish soap will likely leave colored stains.

Mix dish soap with a large amount of water (a bucket works well if one is available). Once you have a bubbly, foamy mixture on top of the water, use a clean white cloth and dip it into the bubbles but NOT the solution. Then blot the stain.

Put a little on a clean white cloth using an enzyme cleaner and blot the stain. And remember that less is more when exposing your mattress to moisture of any kind.

After you apply your cleaning solution, grab another clean white cloth and some cold water. Use as little water as possible and blot the stained area again. Repeat this process until the stain is entirely out.

In rare instances, you may find that some stains won’t respond to either of those cleaners. In this case, try using hydrogen peroxide mixed with cold water. And if necessary, try using a toothbrush for hard-to-remove stains.

Apply baking soda

After you’ve removed all the stains, sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda over your mattress. This will help absorb any remaining moisture and odors. Leave the baking soda on overnight or for at least a few hours. Longer is better.

Baking SodaIf you can open windows and allow sunlight and fresh air into your bedroom, your mattress will dry much faster. As a bonus, the sun’s UV rays will kill any remaining mold or bacteria.

Opt for total coverage if you’re wondering whether to apply baking soda to the stained areas or the entire mattress. You never know what odors, particularly the baking soda, will remove.

Vacuum your mattress again.

Once you’ve left the baking soda to sit on your mattress for at least a few hours, it’s time to vacuum it all up. Use the same upholstery attachment as before and, once again, get into seams and crevices.

If your mattress is filthy, you may have to repeat steps 4 and 5. But for most of you, one time through will be plenty.

Flip your mattress and repeat.

Unfortunately, your mattress has two sides, so you’ll need to flip it over and repeat steps 3 through 6 for the underside of the mattress.

If you haven’t been flipping your mattress regularly, the bottom of your mattress shouldn’t be stained much. But it will likely have a lot of dust and maybe some unwanted surprises like bed bugs, which are much more prevalent than people realize.

If your mattress was not designed to be flippable, be cautious when flipping it over, and do not apply too much pressure to that side of the mattress.

How often should you clean your mattress?

Generally, we recommend deep-cleaning your mattress about once every six to 12 months. If you spill something on your mattress, you’ll want to clean it immediately so the stain doesn’t set in.

Also, Consumer Reports recommends vacuuming your mattress monthly, mainly if your pet sheds. Besides regular cleaning, anything you can do to take care of accidents immediately and prevent mishaps from affecting your mattress, the less time you’ll spend deep cleaning.

mattress prorector

How to keep your mattress clean

Using a high-quality mattress protector is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your mattress clean. This will reduce the need to clean your mattress as often and make cleaning it much less time-consuming.

However, the benefits of using a mattress protector don’t end there. Did you know that using one can help keep your warranty valid, while not using one may have the opposite effect? There are many great reasons to use a mattress protector.

Other mattress maintenance tips on how to clean your mattress.

Properly maintaining your mattress will help extend its longevity and ensure your sleep routine isn’t disrupted.

Here are seven mattress maintenance tips that will help.

1) Rotate the mattress from head to toe.

We recommend rotating your mattress every three months from head to toe.

Rotating your mattress now and then will help it wear more evenly. Certain body parts put more weight on some mattress areas than others. If you rotate where these body parts lay on the mattress, it will prevent certain areas from wearing down quicker than the rest of the mattress.

Rotating your mattress can extend its life by 50%!

An easy way to remember to rotate your mattress is to time it with changing seasons. This way, you’ll be sure to rotate at least four times a year.

mattress foundation

2) Get enough support under your mattress.

A mattress lasts much longer with a solid foundation or frame beneath it. And you’ll sleep better when your bed can support your weight properly.

If you like to use a box spring under your mattress, ensure it’s good quality, wide enough for your mattress, and has a hard top surface. Another way to protect your mattress is to use a new box spring. Like mattresses, box springs lose their support and durability with age and use.

If you’re placing your mattress on a slatted bed frame, use a base with little to no space between the slats. This will ensure your mattress gets a solid foundation throughout.

3) Vacuum your mattress regularly.

One of the easiest ways to maintain your mattress and extend its life is to keep it clean. And the easiest way to keep it clean is to vacuum it regularly.

Use a hand-held vacuum with a brush attachment. This will help the vacuum catch hair, dust, and other small unwanted particles.

Be sure to vacuum the hard-to-reach areas, such as the sides of the mattress and the top where it meets the headboard.

4) Wash your mattress protector or cover.

You should also wash the protective mattress cover in the washing machine regularly to keep your mattress clean and healthy. We recommend doing this each time you vacuum your mattress since you’ll have to take the cover off anyway to vacuum.

Use a mild detergent on the cover and the right amount based on the size of your mattress (a larger mattress cover calls for more detergent). Also, use warm water and a few drops of white vinegar for extra cleanliness. But first, make sure your cover or protector is machine washable.

5) Let your mattress breathe.

While this next tip may sound like a hassle, it benefits your mattress’s health and longevity.

Placing your mattress outside in the direct sun will let it breathe and disinfect. The open air helps to eliminate odors, bacteria, mold, and allergens. The hot sun can kill bacteria and allergens, too.

Plus, putting your mattress outdoors in the sun will ensure it is dry. A dry mattress prevents odors and mold. This is especially important in areas with a lot of humidity.

This method is also the best way to dry your mattress after you have washed it.

6) Clean your bedding regularly.

Since your bedding comes into direct contact with your mattress, washing your sheets, pillowcases, and blankets is recommended once a week.

These items collect dirt, sweat, skin cells, pet dander, and more. Cleaning your bedding regularly will keep these unwanted guests off your mattress.

7) Get a waterproof mattress protector.

Another excellent tip to keep your mattress clean and properly maintained is to use a waterproof mattress protector.

A waterproof mattress cover will keep any liquids from reaching your mattress. Sweat, drinks, and whatever other elements life throws at you will stay on the mattress cover rather than soaking through your mattress and creating much more work for you later.

puppy on dog bed

Bonus Tip: Get your beloved pets their beds.

We all love our pets. But pets can wreak havoc when it comes to mattress longevity and health. From being outdoors in the dirt to shedding and drooling, it all ends up on your bed just like it would from humans.

If you want your mattress to last as long as possible (who doesn’t?), it’s best to get your pets their beds rather than let them sleep in yours.

Plus, they make memory foam beds for pets, too! So, your pet will enjoy the same comfort as you and have a mattress all to themselves.

Ready to care for your new mattress?

Performing regular maintenance on a mattress doesn’t have to be complicated. Regular cleaning, rotating, and preventive measures will keep your mattress like new for many years.

Now that you know how to care for your mattress, perhaps you’re ready to purchase a new one. At The Beloit Mattress Company, we have mattresses perfectly designed for you and your needs. Check out our complete line of mattresses today; we even have a matcher so you can find the perfect mattress for you.


What is the easiest way to clean a mattress?

The 7-step process we laid out above is the easiest way to clean a mattress:

  1. Gather the proper supplies.
  2. Remove and wash your bedding.
  3. Vacuum your mattress thoroughly.
  4. Spot clean any visible stains.
  5. Apply a thin layer of baking soda to the mattress.
  6. After letting the baking soda sit for a few hours, vacuum again.
  7. Flip the mattress over and repeat.

How can I clean my mattress at home?

Cleaning a mattress at home does not need to be difficult, but it does require some time. A combination of everyday household items like dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda are all required, plus a good vacuum cleaner and several clean white clothes.

How do I get my mattress white again?

Mix a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Lightly spray the discolored area and blot with a clean, white cloth; then repeat until the discoloration has been removed. Apply a layer of baking soda over the discoloration area and vacuum it up a few hours later. And finally, let your mattress dry properly.

How do you deep clean a dirty mattress?

The best action is to protect your mattress so you don’t have to clean it deep as often. To accomplish this, consider using a mattress protector. Beyond protecting your mattress from spills, allergens, dust mites, bed bugs, and whatever mishaps life throws, a mattress protector can keep the warranty valid. And we have a thorough article answering the common question, “do I need a mattress protector.”



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About Ryan Poppie

Ryan Poppie, President and Chief Bedmaker at The Beloit Mattress Company. He's not just a mattress maker but a true expert in sleep. Leading a 4th generation family business, Ryan uses his deep sleep knowledge to ensure every mattress made gives his customers the best rest possible. Each custom mattress is handcrafted to show his love for sleep and how it can improve our lives. With his team, Ryan's passion is to improve your quality of life through a better night's sleep.

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