Start Off the New Year Fresh: How to Clean Your Mattress

Cleaning Your Mattress: A step by step guide (with video!)

Happy 2018, folks! Are you feeling the energy of a fresh year, or are you still crawling out of the laze of the holidays? I've finally started to put all our Christmas decorations away which is making the transition feel more natural. All this organizing and putting away of things is propelling me towards some deep cleaning goals that I've always wanted to attempt. There's a long list of tasks I want to tackle, but priority number one was cleaning my mattress. If you too have ever thought about cleaning your mattress, keep reading, because it's really not as daunting as you'd think.        

Cleaning your mattress: A step-by-step guide (and it's easier than you'd think!)

Let's explore why you might want to try your hand at cleaning your mattress. While you may wash your sheets regularly, your bedding isn't airtight, and junk, gunk, and all sorts of bacteria and odor are going to permeate your mattress. Even if you don't have pets or kids, and you don't make a habit of eating in bed, your mattress is still going to get dirty. It's natural. The good news is that cleaning your mattress can be done with ingredients you probably already have in your house.

Watch as I get down to business and clean my mattress, and keep reading below for all the details. Pro tip: Start this cleaning process in the morning, as the mattress will need time to air out.


What you'll need for cleaning your mattress (most items you'll already have in your home)


* Use a white rag as to not transfer fabric dye onto your mattress!

How to Clean your Mattress: Strip and vacuum the mattress

1. Strip & Vacuum

Start by stripping all the bedding off of your mattress. Next, use a vacuum to get rid of all the crumbs, dead skin cells (gross, I know), and other debris from your mattress. Make sure to use smaller upholstery attachments to clear out all crevices and crannies. 

Stay ahead of the dirt: A good rule of thumb is to vacuum your mattress every three months.

How to Clean your Mattress: Use an enzyme-based cleanser

2. Remove stains

If you haven't been using a mattress cover, your bedding is going to have some soiled areas on it. For me, the biggest enemy of my bed is my cat. When she's upset about something - like, when she doesn't get enough attention - she'll throw up on my bed. So inconsiderate, I know. Even though I immediately wash the bedding and spot clean the mattress, a deep clean is really the only way to eliminate all the stains. Even if you don't have pets, your mattress is naturally doing to be dirty. Whether it's sweat, blood, urine, vomit, or just drool, the stains you'll be dealing with are most likely enzyme-based.

There are a few different cleansers you can use:


  • For quick work of stain removal, use a non-toxic, enzyme-based cleaner.  If the bottle says "pets" or "urine," you're in good hands. After letting the cleaner sit on the stains for the appropriate amount of time, blot with a white rag. It's important not to use a dyed cloth, as the dye might transfer onto your mattress. Be sure to keep pets and kids out of the bedroom while you are using this type of cleaner. 
  • To avoid a chemical smell in the bedroom, try a more natural approach. Mix 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide with one tablespoon of salt, and one tablespoon of dish soap in a spray bottle. Cover the stained area with the solution, then let the mixture sit on the stain until it has dried completely. Scrape off the remaining mixture. If any stains persist, blot with a hydrogen peroxide and a white rag. 

How to Clean your Mattress: Clean stains with this homemade mixture

How to Clean your Mattress: Use baking soda to remove moisture and odor

3. Deodorize

Now that you have removed all the stains, it's time to dry and deodorize. Sprinkle the bed with baking soda, and let it sit until all the moisture has been removed from the mattress. Once that's done, vacuum up the baking soda, making sure you get all the nooks and crannies.

How to Clean your Mattress: Vacuum baking soda to remove moisture

For reference, I've never cleaned my mattress, and after all the stain removal, I ended up using an entire box of baking soda. Use your own judgment when cleaning your mattress, and if their seems to still be moisture on the bed after you've vacuumed, try another round of baking soda on the damper spots. 

4. Air it out

If you can, haul your mattress into your backyard or onto your balcony and let it sit in the sun for a few hours. This will kill any remaining bacteria, and will dry out any remaining moisture. 

If you don't have an outside space of your own (what's up, fellow apartment people), let the mattress air out as long as possible. If you started the mattress-cleaning process in the afternoon, you might need to find another place to sleep while it airs out. I cleaned my mattress in the morning, and was able to air it out before bedtime with the help of a few fans. 

How to Clean your Mattress: Use a mattress cover

5. Flip and cover

If your mattress is one you can flip over, do so! If it's a pillow top, rotate. Go ahead and buy yourself a mattress cover too, so you don't have to do all this work over again any time soon. I would recommend using a mattress cover with temperature regulation, as the cheaper ones tend to make the bed less comfortable.

Start the new year with a new (feeling) bed! Cleaning Your Mattress: A step by step guide (with video!)
Share this cleaning method on Pinterest!

When I lie down at night, I can't really physically tell that my mattress is a million times cleaner than it used to be, but I certainly do rest a bit easier. And it smells nice. With that ticked off my January to-do list, now it's just a matter of tackling the dirty carpets and organizing the storage closet. Wish me luck! 

Looking for more ways to improve your bedroom other than cleaning your mattress? Check out these 12 ways to make your bed the coziest spot in the house.

12 ways to make your bed more comfortable

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