How to clean a mattress: a no-nonsense guide

Get your mattress looking good-as-new with our tips.

Mattress Cleaning Professional Service Using Vacuum Cleaner

by Piper Huxley |

Keeping up with housework is a nuisance. When it comes to something pricey like a mattress, it’s advisable to keep it on top form – when you have the time, of course. I know what you’re thinking: you don’t really think about giving your mattress a clean.

Well, with a yearly clean, you’ll be prolonging the life of your sleeping aid for as long as you possibly can. A mattress manages to live for around seven to ten years. With that, they get proper dirty and can harbour all sorts of nasties. Essentially, it’s good practice to give your mattress a clean.

Plus, if you get allergies, cleaning your mattress may help. In short, the quality of your sleep will improve and your flare-ups may be less. That’s what we like to hear. Not only that but cleaning your mattress will save you from the hassle of disposing of it and shopping for a new one.

Read More: The best mattresses to buy

Whilst it might seem pretty pointless and unnecessary to clean your mattress, it’s actually much easier than you would think. Plus, you don’t need much.

What’s the Best has got you covered with our no-nonsense guide on how to clean your mattress.

What you'll need to clean a mattress

If your vacuum hasn’t got an upholstery attachment (like a brushing tool), we recommend looking for one on Amazon.

Have a Dyson vacuum cleaner? Maybe this one will help:

Next, make sure you have some baking soda. We’ve included a link in case you’re out:

For cleaning your mattress, we recommend white-coloured cloths.

But, most cleaning cloths or sponges should be fine.

Add some of these microfibre cloths to your shopping basket:

Any should be fine. We recommend Ecover, which is eco-friendly and affordable.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Start by stripping your bed and inspecting for any stains. If you’ve found some, scroll down for a guide to tackling them.

  2. Hopefully, you’ve read below – and your mattress is stain-free. If so, gently vacuum the mattress using the upholstery attachment. Remember to vacuum any nooks. When done, make sure to flip your mattress over – and repeat. Don’t forget the sides of your mattress.

  3. When you’re convinced that you’ve tackled all the dust and debris has gone, leave your freshly-cleaned mattress out to dry. Hopefully, this will tackle any unpleasant smells. If not, scroll down to read more on tackling smells below.

  4. Now is your chance. Remake your bed with fresh bedding. If you want to protect your mattress that little bit further, why not invest in a mattress topper?

Do you have a memory foam mattress?

On the other hand, many memory foam mattresses come with a removable mattress cover. Simply, take it off and pop it into your washing machine. Make sure you read the correct washing instructions, though. If it shrinks, you won’t be able to put the cover back on.

Related: The best cheap mattress to get a great night’s sleep

How do I get rid of stains on my mattress?

If you stain your mattress, it’s best to catch it early on. You’ll have more chance of getting rid of them. When tackling a stain, don’t make your mattress too wet and use the correct products – depending on the stain. We recommend doing a small patch test with your product before using it on the entire mattress.

  1. Dab the stain with a cold, damp cloth. Please avoid rubbing.

  2. Not working? Add some baking soda to the water. Dab your solution onto the bed. Then, leave your mattress for 30 minutes. After this, dab with clean water – and leave to dry.

  3. Still not gone? Pesky! It’s time to get out the washing-up liquid. Mix some water with your washing-up liquid and gently dab with a cloth – or sponge.

  4. If the stain persists, you might want to break out the upholstery cleaner. Make sure to give the mattress a good spray and blot the stained area with a cloth. Then, apply some cold water to a new cloth and continue blotting. Hopefully, this will work.

This upholstery cleaner from Simple Solution doubles as an enzymatic cleaner, which can tackle bodily fluids like sweat, urine or blood. Handy!

How do I get rid of bad smells from my mattress?

A great way to eliminate foul-smelling odours from your mattress, try baking soda.

  1. Add a light layer of baking soda over the entire mattress top and leave for several hours.

  2. Then, if you can, open the windows. Let the light shine in. Why? Well, the sun’s UV rays will help eliminate any bacteria or mould that is on the mattress. Fancy that.

  3. After a few hours, give your mattress a vacuum. That should work.

How often should I clean my mattress?

Sleep Foundation recommends cleaning your mattress once every six months or so.

However, if you suffer from allergies, you should clean your mattress if you feel any symptoms. Make sure to clean your bedding first to see if it makes a difference.

We like this Hometalk video on DIY Mattress Cleaning:

Piper Huxley is a Commercial Content Writer for What's The Best, and also writes for Yours, Modern Gardens and Take A Break Pets across home, gardens and lifestyle.

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