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September 6, 2019

Mattress Care: How To Clean A Mattress & Keep It Clean

A good mattress is an investment into your health and comfort. Surely, we can all agree that it is important to protect and take care of our investments so they last as long as possible. In this post we are going to go over all of the steps to properly take care of your mattress on a regular basis. As well as go over how to treat and remove stubborn stains, including urine and blood. Keep reading to get an in depth guide to taking care of your mattress.

how to care for a mattress

Periodic Mattress Care:

Just like any appliance or piece of furniture it is best to periodically give it a good cleaning. This not only gives it a clean and fresh feel, but also helps it last longer too. Below are a few periodic maintenance mattress care suggestions to keep your mattress cleaner and lasting longer.

1) Remove Dust & Debris

how to care for your mattressPeriodically you will want to give your mattress a good dusting. If you have pets that sleep on the bed with you or if you sometimes eat in bed, then you will want to do this more regularly.

We find the easiest and most effective way to do this is with a handheld vacuum. This will help remove dust, pet hair, food crumbs, etc. from your mattress. This is important not only for general comfort and allergy prevention, but also to keep bacteria and dust mites at bay.

2) Flip or Rotate

guide to caring for a mattressMattresses tend to get worn out in the spots you most frequently sleep rather quickly. One way you can extend the longevity of your mattress is to rotate it. This helps keep the wear of your mattress even and extend the life. It also helps break in your mattress more evenly, which is even more helpful if you share a mattress and you and your partner are different sizes.

If you want a mattress that you can not only rotate but flip, you’re in luck. There are plenty of flippable mattresses on the market. They not only allow you to rotate them, but also to completely flip the mattress over. This can give you two sides of use that not only give you longer life, but in some instances more choice in comfort.

Learn more about the advantages of owning a flippable mattress here in our blog post Best Flippable Mattress: The Pros & Cons.

3) A Good Spring Cleaning

how to take care of your bedEvery so often it is a good idea to give your mattress a good cleaning. We suggest taking baking soda and your favorite essential oil and sprinkle it over the surface of your mattress. Then give it a good vacuuming. This will help soak up any excess moisture and oils as well as help remove dust dirt and germs.

If you want to get things a little sudsy, you can take a teaspoon of laundry detergent and dilute with water in a spray bottle. Take this solution and spray it over your mattress first, then apply baking soda and vacuum. This will leave your mattress fresh, clean, and ready for a good nights rest. Be sure your mattress is completely dry before you sleep on it again.

4) Air Dry

If your mattress is stuck in a stuffy humid house without much airflow, it is going to get stinky. Let it breath outside for a bit. Make sure you do this when it is a dry, sunny day outside. Bacteria loves moisture and humidity so we want to avoid it at all costs. Sunshine helps to kill some bacteria as well, but the main goal is to really air out the mattress.

How to Spot Clean Your Mattress

Find a tiny mystery stain? Or splash a bit of your coffee this morning? No problem. Spot treating your mattress is more simple than it may seem.

  • how to spot clean a mattressIf the spot is fresh, first attempt to remove as much of it as possible with gentle dabbing motion with a dry and absorbent towel or sponge.
  • Mix a solution of 1 part clear detergent or dish soap to 2 parts water. Do not add bleach or ammonia, these can potentially damage the top layers in your mattress.
  • Apply this solution to the spot using a sponge or cloth to dab at the spot. You want just enough of the solution to dampen the area.
  • Gently rub the stains in circular motions. By sure to not overly moisten or press too hard as this will press moisture and detergent down into the top layers of the mattress.
  • Be sure to allow the spot to fully air dry before you sleep on top of it.

How To Get Urine Out Of A Mattress

Accidents happen, and unfortunately sometimes these accidents happen on our mattresses. Cleaning urine out of a mattress is not the easiest of tasks. Especially since these stains are typically large and stinky.

If the stain was made by a potting training child or a fluffy friend, you may want to go about cleaning the stain slightly differently. Both methods should work, however our pet stain instructions will be best for stinkier urine accidents. Keep this in mind and follow the cleaning instructions as needed.

In either instance you will need to first remove your bedding and clean that immediately as well. Throwing bedding into the washing machine shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, so we suggest starting laundry first. The next steps apply to just the mattress.

Remove Human Urine Stains:

how to get urine stains out of a mattress1) Blot away extra moisture with a dry towel.

2) Fill a spray bottle with white distilled vinegar. It should not be necessary to dilute the vinegar. While the vinegar is strong, it should not hurt any fabrics, fibers, or foams within your mattress or mattress topper.

3) Spray stained area with vinegar. This will help combat and neutralize odors.

4) Sprinkle baking soda, allow it to soak up as much moisture as possible. This will help to soak up any leftover urine and vinegar. This will also help to get rid of lingering urine and vinegar smells.

5) Simply wipe or vacuum away dried baking soda.

Remove Pet Urine Stains:

how to get pee stains out of your bed1) Blot away extra moisture with a dry towel.

2) Sprinkle baking soda and allow to soak up as much moisture as possible. You may even notice the baking soda changing color as it absorbs. Repeat until baking soda remains white.

3) Create a solution consisting of 8 oz of hydrogen peroxide, three tbs of baking soda, and a few drops of liquid detergent in a spray bottle.

4) Spray the stained area liberally and let it sit for a while.

5) While it is sitting, mix essential oils with baking soda and do a final layers of sprinkling onto the area one last time and let it dry. The essential oils are simply an added step to add scent if you like.

6) Sprinkle the final layer of baking soda onto the stained area.

7) Final step is to vacuum up the last of the baking soda. Your mattress should look and smell back to normal.

How To Get Vomit Out Of A Mattress

sick childIf you have children than you know the possibilities of having to clean vomit out of a mattress at some point is a good possibility. Waking up in the middle of the night sick might not allow you enough time to get to the bathroom in time. Resulting in a messy situation that you will want to know how to clean up.

There will be some similarities to cleaning up throw up to cleaning up urine.  However, the most scrubbing in this instance may be with the bedding instead of the mattress. The real issue with the mattress will be the smell of any fluids. Which if not taken care of properly and immediately will result in a lingering odor.

1 – Remove the vomit

scraping vomit off mattressThis may not be pleasant, but put on some rubber gloves and find a bowl or paper plate and try to remove the vomit. I suggest putting the remnants where they should have gone to begin with – the toilet. But, you could also put them in a plastic bag and put them in the trash immediately too. Regardless, getting the majority of vomit removed is going to make everything else much easier.

2 – Clean bedding immediately

Now that you have the majority of vomit off the bed it’s time to strip the bed of all linens and get them in the washing machine. The longer you wait to wash anything with vomit, the less likely it is to get the smell out. So move quickly when it comes to all the steps to cleaning vomit out of a mattress.

3 – Blot away any excess moisture

Make sure not to scrub, you are trying to absorb, not rub it in. Using an old towel or rag, gently dab the area of the mattress affected.

4 – Time to clean

cleaning vomit from mattressYou will use two solutions to really get the mattress clean and odor free. The first mixture uses mild detergent and water. Use a clean rag to dab the area with the soapy water. Try not to over saturate, but still penetrate the mattress with just enough of the mix. Once you have worked a bit of the detergent and water mixture into the mattress you can move to the next step.

This step will use a solution that uses one part water to three parts white vinegar. The simplest blend is 1/4 cup water to 3/4 cup white vinegar. If you have a spray bottle, this is most ideal for this solution, if not, a clean bowl will suffice.

Similar to the first solution you will gently dab or spray this solution over the area being cleaned. This solution will help clean, disinfect and deodorize. Again, don’t use too much. You want the mattress to be damp, but not wet. Even though the smell of vinegar seems strong at first, once it dries it should disappear, and with it the smell of vomit too.

Let this solution dry. If the mattress still has a lingering odor, spray again with the vinegar and water combination. Again, just enough to be damp. And again let dry. Repeat again if needed.

5 – Disinfect

disinfecting a mattressTo really kill any germs or bacteria left behind, disinfect. Most commonly you’ll be cleaning up throw up from a mattress because of an illness or stomach bug. So making sure to get rid of any germs is important. Personally, I prefer the simplicity and power of Lysol Disinfectant Spray. It is safe for mattresses and not only does a great job of ridding anything of germs, but also leaves a pleasant, clean scent. Again, don’t go overboard. You don’t want the mattress wet, but slightly damp. You can always spray again if needed.

6 – Let It Fully Dry

Now that you have tackled all the steps to removing vomit from the mattress it is time to let it dry. If you need to reapply any liquids, make sure you allow them to full dry. And, if you still notice a little bit of lingering odor use a bit of baking soda and sprinkle it over the spot. This will help neutralize any remaining scent. Just make sure that next time you change the sheets to vacuum it up.

*Also, some of us may have a hard time stomaching the smell of vomit. So, if you need a distraction, chew a piece of gum. This will help mask the scent while you’re cleaning. And, make sure you use a set of rubber gloves during the process.

How To Get Blood Out Of A Mattress

Okay, okay, we don’t need to know how blood got on your mattress. We are just here to tell you the best way to get it out. Keep reading to get our go to method for removing blood stains from your mattress.

1) Blot & Cold Water

how to get blood stains out of your mattressIf you catch a blood stain when it is still very fresh, then you are lucky. Blot as much away as you can and then wash with cold water. When blood is still wet it should wash away rather easily. Dampen a wash cloth with cold water and dab the effected area.

Try not to rub as this can push the stain deeper into the mattress. Why does the water need to be cold? Hot water has the potential to essentially cook the blood, making it much more difficult to remove.

2) Cold Water & Baking Soda

get stubborn stains out of your mattressMix 2 parts cold water with 1 part baking soda. Put this slush onto the stain. Make sure you don’t put too much or else the moisture may sink into the mattress and cause mildew.

Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes before cleaning up with a slightly damp cold towel. Let the spot air dry afterward.

3) Cornstarch, Salt & Hydrogen Peroxide

removing blood stains from mattressMix a ½ cup of cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of salt, and ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide.

Salt and hydrogen peroxide are great at breaking down protein, which is why it works so well with removing blood stains.

Apply the mixture to the stain and wash off after it fully dries.

4) Meat Tenderizer

remove blood stains from mattressWe know this might sound icky. However, it makes sense when you think about it. If you have tried everything else, with no luck. Then this is the next step to try. Make a paste out of 1 part meat tenderizer and 2 parts cold water.

Apply this paste onto the spot. Gentle rub the paste into the stain and let it sit until fully dried. Wipe off residue with damp cloth and let it dry.

**For all the of the more aggressive treatments, be sure to spot test first before treating large stains. Different materials may react differently**

Prevention – Keep it Clean, Easily

The best way to clean urine or blood from a mattress is to avoid it all together! The easiest way to do this is make sure to protect your mattress and keep your bedding clean. Below are the best ways to prevent stains and keep your mattress truly clean.

Mattress Protector

Puffy's mattress protectorWe can not beat this drum enough – GET A MATTRESS PROTECTOR! It is the easiest way to keep your mattress clean. Not only of stains or accidents that you notice as soon as they happen. But also from dust, dirt, skin oils and sweat that build over time. All these things slowly seep into your mattress with out you even knowing it, making your mattress it breeding ground for germs.

The simplicity of a mattress protector guarantees a clean mattress. With the ability to throw it into the washing machine at anytime, it makes mattress care so simple and easy. It also means that spills and accidents don’t turn into stains. Using a mattress protector is so much quicker and easier than trying to scrub out a stain. Trust me, I have cleaned vomit out of a mattress, it isn’t fun and getting the smell out is .

Visit our page on Mattress Protector Reviews to learn more about our favorite mattress protectors.

Wash Bedding Regularly

taking care of your bed how often to wash sheetsWhen you wash or change your sheets on a regular basis, you are helping to keep your mattress clean as well.

Simply with regular use, sweat, dust, and oils from your skin get absorbed into our sheets. By washing them regularly you are limiting the amount of sweat, oils, and dust that are getting absorbed into your mattress.

We have a perfect guide that walks you through the best methods for Changing & Washing Your Sheets

Bedroom Environment

do i need a mattress protector reallyThe environment that you bed stays in on a regular basis can effect its ability to get rid of bacteria and prevent mildew. If your bedroom is damp, humid, dark, and warm then you are going to have a mildew and potentially a mold issue growing on your mattress rather quickly.

Overall, you want to ensure your bedroom is not getting overly humid or warm. Instead, try to keep your bedroom between 68-75 degrees. This is a good temperature for your sleep and also for preventing bacteria growth. Humidity should ideally stay between 35% – 45% in living environments.

Mattress Care Overview:

At the end of the day, keeping things clean is one of the most important parts of taking good care of your mattress. The best possible way to protect your investment of a new mattress is to get a good mattress protector. It will stay clean, prevent allergies, and stains. With so many high tech and comfortable mattress protectors on the market these days there really is no reason not to get one.

It is also important to let your mattress breath, clean it regularly, and rotate periodically. If you follow our go to guide on how to care for your mattress, then it is sure to last you a long time.

how to take care of your new mattress