Let's face it:
You hardly ever [ok…pretty much never] wash your mattress.
And you're probably only reading this because you have been confronted with a sudden spill, blot, or insect problem. And now, you are in need of a quick solution.
Welcome to the most detailed mattress cleaning guide there is.
In this crazy guide that is comprehensive, we are going to cover just about every kind of stain and cleaning technique out there. These solutions can be applied to both residential and custom beds (ex: RVs, antique beds, boats and much more).
So buckle up as this is going to be a detailed blog post.
This comprehensive guide will help you on things like how to remove stains and spills such as juice, coffee, tea, blood, and urine, among others.
It will also provide some valuable information on dealing with scary crawlies in your mattresses, such as dust mites and bedbugs.
You will also find tips on cleaning specific parts of the mattress, including the mattress foam, the mattress cover and the mattress pad.
And that’s not it. You will also get some bonus tips on removing odors, storing a mattress or allowing it to air out, and maintaining clean bedding.
So, roll up your sleeves, wear your cleaning gloves and let’s get right into it.
All set? Let’s begin:
Maintaining a Clean Mattress
I want you to read this alarming stat:
You could expect to come across around 10 million dust mites in a standard bed [they love moist and warm atmospheres]. They are not harmful, but their droppings and body fragments may cause allergies.
Feeling sick? We’re just getting started. We have not even touched hazards such as sweat and dead skin.
Don’t worry though, because you can certainly take some safety measures. Among the best tips for getting a clean mattress is developing a healthy cleaning routine.
Here are nine habits that you should strive to develop:
- Change your bed sheets fortnightly. You don't need to place dirty sheets on a mattress that is clean, do you? When you change your sheets, leave them off for the entire day — you would be amazed by how much this deactivates bacterial growth.
- Once a month, rotate your mattress to ensure even wear and tear.
- Similarly, flip your bedding once after every 3-4 months.
- Try to keep the liquids away from your bed. Fluids do not get on fine with mattresses, particularly memory or foam mattresses, so it is excellent to ban the liquid entirely.
- Buy a mattress protector. This will prevent spills from staining your mattress.
- Vacuum your mattress. Just ensure that you use a neat upholstery adapter, otherwise you will risk bringing in more germs.
- Keep the temperature down in your bedroom, since mites and other germs love warm conditions.
- Eliminate any houseplants. They may be good for aesthetics, but they also give insects, pollen, and dust an open invitation to do whatever they like.
- Air out your bedding daily. If it is a sunny day, you may even place your mattress out and let the sun dry it out. This will help get rid of mold and mildew.
Cleaning Dust Mites from a Mattress
Dust mites are tiny insects with eight legs. They are almost invisible to the human eye.
They are commonly found in several homes. Dust mites feed off flakes of human skin. If there is enormous humidity in your bedroom (approximately 80 percent), there are more chances of getting dust mites in your mattress, bed sheets, bedding, and pillows.
There are only 3 ways to get rid of dust mites, which are:
- Freeze them
- Heat them
- Poison them
Within the situation of a mattress, we have one choice, i.e. to heat them.
Ensure that you change your bed sheets once a week and wash them in warm water. The water temperature has to be 130˚F or higher.
At the same time when the sheets are off, vacuum your mattress with the brush handheld attachment.
Clean Bed Bugs from a Mattress
Bed bugs are tiny blood-sucking creatures. To be more specific, they are mattress-residing vampires, ready to feast on your red-juice!
The good news is that they are visible to the naked eye, which makes it easy to identify one. They look reddish-brown in color, can grow up to 5mm long and will leave brown or black stains after defecating.
Just use the same cleaning method as you would use for dust mites. Wash your sheets and clean your mattress using a vacuum cleaner.
Professional Tip: A common myth we often hear is “if I have a memory foam mattress, bed bugs and dust mites cannot touch me.” Well, this is totally wrong. As you're less likely to find dust mites and bed bugs hidden on your memory foam, this does not mean that they cannot reach you when you are sleeping.
Sanitize and Disinfect a Mattress
It's a beautiful feeling to know that you’ve sanitized your mattress. Here’s how you can do that:
Step 1: Eliminate your bedding.
Step 2: Use a padding brush to vacuum your mattress thoroughly.
Step 3: Clean up stains using the stain-removing methods provided in this guide.
Step 4: Place your mattress out for a few hours so that it can get a good airing. Don’t wait for the “right weather,” instead just let your mattress stand erected besides your window to get air. Don't forget to make sure both sides get some sunshine as well, if possible.
Step 5: Run a steam cleaner around and over the mattress. Spread baking soda over your mattress, leave it for a couple hours and then vacuum it up.
Step 6: Use an antibacterial spray [but do not overdo it]. Wipe it with a clean piece of cloth.
Remove Odors from a Mattress
Nothing is as embarrassing as clambering into a smelly bed. To tackle this problem, follow these steps:
Step 1: Take a bowl. Mix a teaspoon of water with a spoon of laundry detergent and 1 tbsp of vinegar. Add 1 drop of a sanitizer and 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
Step 2: With a clean cloth, apply some of this solution onto the stain. After finishing up, wipe the surface with water.
Step 3: Put an ample amount of baking soda and leave it for 7-8 hours.
Step 4: Vacuum up the residue. Utilize an anti-odor spray onto the stain. If you feel that the smell is lingering, repeat the process in a week.
How to Clean a Mattress Cover
In theory, this should be simple.
Firstly, you must look at the label on the cover for any particular instructions.
It's only a case of putting it through a regular washing cycle.
Please note: You should intend to clean your mattress cover as frequently as you do your bed sheets.
How to Clean Mattress Foam
If you love a mattress topper or memory foam mattress, then you have to be prepared to clean it as well.
And we cannot lie. It is somewhat a hassle, as mattress foam has to be cleaned by hand.
Follow this procedure every season [for both sides]:
Step 1: Take out your mattress topper or mattress from your bed. Check for any spots. Treat any marks using any methods mentioned in this post.
Step 2: Gently use a vacuum cleaner over your mattress. Use circular motions to maximize your possibilities of collecting up debris and dust. Make sure you vacuum the crevices as well, if any.
Step 3: When your mattress is free from stains, fill a spray bottle with water and detergent in the ratio of 2:1.
Step 4: Spray the solution on your mattress or topper softly.
Step 5: Take your mattress topper or mattress outside and leave it.
Step 6: Sprinkle baking soda on it and leave it overnight.
Step 7: Vacuum away what is left of the solution and the baking soda. Wait for your mattress or topper to dry up before you put it back in your bed (this could take around 24 hours).
How to Clean a Mattress Pad
You must clean the mattress pad at least every 8 weeks.
The reason is that they are in direct contact with the mattress and you. They are the first line of defense.
Typically, you need to follow the cleaning instructions provided on the label.
How to Clean Blood from a Mattress
Like urine and vomit, blood is a protein spot.
We should note that speed is of the essence. The quicker you handle a protein stain, the more comfortable you will find it to eliminate.
The best way to clean blood stains from a mattress are as follow:
Step 1: Take a wet and cold cloth. It is very important for you to use cool water because the heat will cook the proteins and make the stain reside in.
Step 2: Dab at the stain. Do not rub or wipe the stain (that will only make things worse!)
Step 3: Take some water, baking soda, and salt. Mix them up so that you make a paste and rub some of it on the blot.
Step 4: Leave the paste and then brush off it. Spray cold water on a damp cloth and leave everything to dry.
If this has not worked, then it is time to use another method:
Step 1: Mix up two parts hydrogen peroxide and one part dish soap.
Step 2: Place a small amount of the solution on the stain. Smoothly brush the solution using a toothbrush and leave it. After five minutes, wipe the solution off using a cold and wet cloth.
How to Clean Vomit from a Mattress
Things can happen.
No one throws up intentionally on their bed. So, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. And the good news is that you can remove all the traces of vomit very easily. Here’s how you can do that:
Step 1: Remove and dispose of solids.
Step 2: Take off the sheets, mattress protectors and mattress covers (if applicable). Wash them with hot water.
Step 3: Take a dry cloth to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Make sure you dab at the stain; do not rub it!
Step 4: Scatter hydrogen peroxide over the stain. Be careful not to soak the mattress.
Step 5: Put it aside for 5 minutes and then soak up the hydrogen peroxide using towels.
Step 6: Use baking soda on the remaining stain. Rub the stain.
Step 7: Leave the soda on the stain overnight. Then vacuum it the next day.
How to Wash Sweat from a Mattress
Every night, we sweat up to a liter of water. And that sweat is definitely going somewhere.
Like all the stains on a mattress, it is ideal to care for your bed regularly.
Besides anything else, the longer there is liquid on a mattress, the more likely it is for mold and mildew to develop.
What are the Choices?
Are you really going to look the other way when those perspiration stains rear their dirty heads on the sheet-changing day?
No, you should remove them instead. Here are the steps that you can take to get rid of sweat stains from your bedding:
Step 1: Create your own personalized cleaning solution. Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda with one drop of dish soap and 8oz of hydrogen peroxide.
Step 2: If possible, pour the solution into a large spray bottle. That is not necessary, but it will make it easier for you to take care of the stains (and treat them frequently).
Step 3: Leave the stains for 8-10 minutes.
Step 4: Wipe any residue off.
Step 5: Let the mattress breathe and dry itself (usually overnight).
How to Clean Urine from a Mattress
If you have little children or a pet or two, it is possible that your mattress has been peed upon.
Don’t worry. For removing urine stains, the procedure is exactly the same.
Step 1: Soak up a cloth with the fluid as much as possible.
Step 2: Take an enzyme-based cleaning product and spray on the stain. If you do not have a ready-made product, you can create your own solution with 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 8oz of hydrogen peroxide.
Step 3: When the patch is dry, sprinkle baking soda throughout the region that is affected.
Step 4: Leave the stain overnight. The next day, hoover it up.
How to Remove Water Stains from a Mattress
After drying out, water tends to leave nasty rings. These stains are harmless and can be removed easily.
Let us see how you can eliminate these water stains:
- Take a moist cloth and slowly moisten the affected area.
- Take a paper towel and fold some pieces on top of the stains. Intend to get a coating that is at least ⅛ inch thick. Weigh down the coating with an object, such as a vase.
- Position a hair dryer or fan (be sure you use it on cool setting) to blow towards the stain. The moisture will be transferred to the paper towel by the force of the air.
How to Air Out a Mattress
Airing out your mattress is necessary. However, we often skip this part to either save time or just out of laziness. Airing out your mattress regularly will help against germs and allergens.
It's relatively simple to do. You can do it both indoors and outdoors during the winter.
Here is how you can air out your mattress:
- Begin by pulling all the bed linen, including sheets, cushions, toppers, etc. Open the windows to allow fresh air in and enable the sun rays to light the mattress. Without providing you a bill, in the end, the sun will kill bacteria and germs.
- Continue vacuuming the mattress. This measure is in case you are airing the bedding, rather than deep cleaning it. Grab your vacuum cleaner and vacuum the mattress to collect debris and any dust that may have accumulated or stuck on it. When a mattress is vacuumed, air will smoothly flow through it, and it'll require less time to air out completely.
- Move the mattress. If you cannot do it yourself, it is perfectly okay to ask someone to assist you.
- Allow the mattress to remain out for 3-4 hours. The longer you leave it out there under the sun, the better it is. But, avoid leaving it during the evening as the humidity level is high and your mattress will get damp.
How to Store a Mattress Correctly
The number one mistake is to wrap it in a plastic bag for storing it and keeping it dry.
Thing is, there's already moisture present. This creates an excellent environment for mold and mildew to grow.
To store your mattress properly, follow these storage tips:
- Vacuum the mattress to remove all dirt and dust.
- Put it into a light, breathable cover.
- Store the bedding on its base in a horizontal position.
- Do not put pressure on your mattress as it may harm the mattress features.
- Be sure to vacuum and disinfect your bedding before using it again.
Unique Mattress Cleaning Tips
1. Have a look at shaving foam
Shaving foam is made up of denatured alcohol. It has consistency and acts like a stain remover.
Apply it, wait for about 15 minutes and then wipe it off. Complete the job by massaging the blot with a solution containing 50% water and 50% vinegar.
2. Try an enzyme cleaner
It could be worth considering an enzyme cleaner such as Nature's Miracle [that is available at pet shops].
The other methods mentioned above usually work, but if you would like to try something different, make sure to use an enzyme cleaner.
3. Use cornstarch for smells
For odors, use a combination of cornstarch and baking soda. Baking soda is a regular ingredient in cleaning solutions. On the other hand, the cornstarch will absorb body oils.
4. Turn on fan(s) to reduce drying time
This bit of information comes straight from an expert. Dean Davies specializes in mattress and upholstery, and here is the information that he has to share:
“A wise move is to find a fan near your mattress to reduce its drying time. Needless to say, you can use multiple. In case you've got a wet vac, you can use it to remove the captured moisture. Sleeping on a still wet mattress isn't advised.”
And if all else fails?
If you can't remove the stains out of your mattress and have tried all of the above, it may be time to call a mattress cleaning company.
A mattress cleaning firm or an expert will notice more stains than you could possibly ever imagine.
Chances are that they have removed more difficult stains than you’ve had hot dinners. And selecting a professional would cost far less than buying a brand new mattress.
And now it is your decision
So, there you have it.
The best points to take out from this guide are:
- Keep your bed sheets and mattress clean.
- Handle every stain as quickly as possible.
- Whatever cleaning method you are using, never saturate your mattress.
- It requires a lot to talk to an expert if you are really struggling with a blot.
- For airing out your mattress, select a sunny day.
- Avoid keeping your mattress in a zipped plastic bag.
It's a great feeling knowing you are climbing to a bed that is clean.
And we mean a really clean bed. Because fresh sheets are something, but what about what’s under the covers?
Deep down, you know that you have been bugged by your mattress. You have been desperate to learn how to wash bedding.
It is time to look after your bed.
And bear in mind, eliminating that mark or stain from your mattress might be the difference between a bad night's sleep and a good one.
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