How to Clean a Mattress

When we sleep, we sweat and shed skin cells which add up over the months and years. Mattresses also pick up stains, spills, dust mites and bacteria. When you consider that you spend about a third of your life lying down on it, it really makes sense to keep your mattress as clean as possible.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your mattress:

1. Vacuum your mattress

Vacuuming your mattress will pick up the dust, debris, dead skin cells and hair that can accumulate on your mattress. You should do this several times a year, or each time you rotate your mattress.

Make sure you use a clean upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. Using a dirty attachment will just spread more bacteria to your mattress.

2. Neutralise odours

One way to remove unpleasant odours from your mattress is to sieve bicarbonate of soda over it, leave it for half an hour and then vacuum it up (with a clean attachment again). Bicarbonate of soda is a natural deodorant.

3. Remove spots and stain

You should try to remove stains as soon as they occur. The longer you leave them, the harder they will be to remove. Use a wet cloth first, then a dry cloth with a lifting motion rather than a circular pressing motion to remove the stain. You can use a natural stain remover or a chemical solution.

4. Deep clean or steam clean (optional)

If you have tough stains or allergies, you might want to either steam clean or deep clean your mattress. When using a steam cleaner, be careful not to get the mattress too wet and don’t forget to clean the sides as well as the top and bottom of the mattress.

Since deep cleaning a mattress is challenging, it’s best to hire a professional rather than try this yourself. They will know what they’re doing and have the best tools for the job.

Other mattress care tips

Turn your mattress at the start of every season

This is a great idea if you and your partner weigh a different amount, as it will prevent one side becoming more weighed down than the other.

Avoid getting it wet

Mattresses, especially memory foam mattresses, don’t deal well with liquids. Once water is in the mattress, there is nowhere for it to escape. If you do accidentally get your mattress wet, use a fan or window vacuum cleaner to dry it.

Use a mattress protector

Unlike your mattress itself, a mattress protector can be put in the washing machine. It’s much easier to clean a mattress protector than it is to clean a mattress itself, and having one will prolong the life of your mattress. A good (and cheap) mattress protector is the Silentnight Quilted Mattress Protector, which you can find on Amazon here.