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Mattress Cleaning: How To Remove Stains & Odors From Your Mattress

Keep your mattress clean & hygienic with this helpful guide – including advice on cleaning methods, products & how to remove stains.

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mattress stain removal

We spend around a third of our lives in bed, which means your mattress has to put up with a lot! Mattresses can harbor hair, dust, stains, dirt, and even dust mites. A mattress is something you invest in for the long-term, so you need to prevent it from deteriorating. Be sure to check the wash care label before using any mattress cleaning products, and to follow any directions on the label.

So what are you waiting for? Read on to find out how to remove mattress stains and odors, and get your bed fresh and clean once again.

As well as washing your bedding with detergent, you can also spot-clean mattress stains with it as well – simply apply a small amount with a damp cloth, and blot to remove!

Mattress Cleaning Methods:

  • Vacuum

Vacuuming your mattress on a monthly basis will help to remove dust, dead skin cells and other debris that accumulates over time. It’s important to use a clean vacuum attachment; otherwise you will only transfer dirt back onto your bed. If your mattress instructions advise against vacuuming, instead wipe away any debris with a damp cloth and leave to dry.

  • Deodorize

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With all the sweat, dust, and other nasty stuff mattresses get left with – they can start to smell. To maintain a fresh, clean mattress, sift baking soda over the surface, leave for 30 minutes, and then vacuum up. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer so it will help to neutralize any odors. If you favour the smell of essential oils like lavender, try adding five drops to the baking soda before you sift. You’ll be left with a lovely smelling bed for a great night’s sleep.

Mattress stain removal

If you’re wondering how to remove mattress stains – the answer is to clean any spillages as soon as you can! Mattresses have to put up with a lot of liquid abuse such as vomit, urine, blood, and sweat. These aren’t nice to clean, but it’s better to remove them before they become embedded in the mattress. The same goes for mattress odor removal! The quicker you get to work – the quicker it’ll be gone.

mattress stain

To clean a mattress, effectively blot any liquid stains with a cool, wet cloth as soon as possible. Only use cold water as heat sets these kind of protein stains. Blot using a pressing motion to avoid rubbing the stain in any further. You can also apply a small amount of laundry detergent to the stain and gently blot it with a clean, damp cloth. Remember not to get the mattress too wet, as it is difficult to dry!

How to Clean a Mattress – 3 Quick Tips

  • Cover up: A mattress protector is the best investment you can make to keep your mattress clean. They help to prevent stains from becoming deeply embedded in your mattress and can be easily cleaned in the washing machine. There is a variety available, including hypoallergenic and waterproof.

  • Flip it: Turn your mattress every three months so it wears evenly on both sides. This will help the mattress to last longer. Be sure to make this a team effort, as mattresses can be heavy and awkward to lift.

  • Fan it: Speed up the drying time after cleaning by using fans. Do not replace bedding or sleep on the mattress until it is completely dry. This will prevent any mold from growing.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on mattress cleaning

Can you power wash a mattress?

Can you power wash a mattress? Well, yes, but should you? If you are looking for a deep and powerful clean of your mattress, power washing will definitely do it, but you must make sure that your mattress is thoroughly dry before bringing it back in, and this could take a while. Spot treating stains and using other cleaning methods that involve less water may be preferable.

How do you remove coffee and tea stains from a mattress?

If you need to know how to remove tea stains from a mattress (and coffee stains as well), you should start by wiping up the tea or coffee mess. If it is still wet, use a paper towel or dry cloth to collect as much of the wet spill as possible. Then, make a mixture of white vinegar and warm soapy water, apply a damp cloth to the stain and blot it working inwards to prevent spreading of the stain. Next, use another cloth soaked in the soapy, vinegar mix and blot the stain with that. Leave the mix on the surface of the stain for 5 minutes before coming back to it with another wet cloth, and then drying it with some paper towels.

How do you clean a mattress made of memory foam - is it any different?

Memory foam is an altogether different kind of mattress to a regular one, so the cleaning method is different. In particular, you should use as little water as possible because memory foam material is very absorbent. If you find a stain on your memory foam mattress, make sure you only try to clean that area and do not spread too much water around. Make a mixture of soap and water, but try putting that in a spray bottle so that you only use a tiny squirt on the affected area. Then, use a dry cloth or sponge to wipe the area clean of the stain. If you do think you have used too much water, or just want to make sure the mattress is dry, try using a hair dryer to help dry it. Fitting a mattress protector once cleaned can help you reduce the chance of getting unsightly stains directly on the memory foam mattress in the future.

Originally published