Your Mattress Is Disgusting – Here’s How To Clean It

·13 min read

Even though you may wash and change your sheets as often as you should, you may not realize how quickly dust mites and bacteria can gather and multiply on your mattress. As the years pass, this community of minute critters can become rather unpleasantly disgusting. However, given that mattresses collect sweat, dirt, dust and sometimes even mites, it’s not so surprising. This is why it’s so important to know how to clean a mattress correctly. Especially since the idea of replacing your mattress every time it needs cleaning is both financially and logistically unrealistic.

It is most likely that you should be cleaning your mattress more often than you currently do. Experts recommend cleaning your mattress at least every six months on average, with the ideal times being spring and fall, right before the weather changes. This is because different temperatures enable the growth of dust mites and bacteria to different extents. Warmer temperatures often lead to more sweat which can encourage a build-up of bacteria. This is why, if you are going to clean your mattress more regularly than every six months, it’s best to do so in the summer.

How to Clean a Mattress

Seeing as you can’t exactly throw your mattress in the washing machine, cleaning such a large piece of furniture requires its own specialized process. Here we are going to break down the process into a handy, step-by-step guide. And even if you choose not to follow every single step, it is still worth keeping these tips in mind when cleaning your mattress:

  • Step 1: Take the bedding off your mattress and wash it.

  • Step 2: Vacuum your mattress. Pay special attention to the seams and crevices.

  • Step 3: Remove the stains on the mattress by spot cleaning with a generic stain removal solution, an enzyme-based stain removal solution or dish soap foam and a damp microfiber cloth.

  • Step 4: Sprinkle baking soda over all of the mattress and leave it to sit for several hours or overnight.

  • Step 5: Vacuum the mattress again to remove the baking soda.

  • Step 6: Turn the mattress over and repeat steps two to five.

  • Step 7: Cover the mattress with a mattress protector.

  • Step 8: Make the bed with clean sheets and pillowcases.

  • Step 9: Sink into a super clean bed for a well-deserved nap.

While the above may be the optimal way to clean a mattress, it’s certainly not the only method. There are tons of tools, tips and cleaning hacks for doing so. Read on to learn more of the recommended answers to the question of how to clean a mattress.

1. RAYCOP LITE UV Sanitizing HEPA Allergen Vacuum

BEST OVERALL

Designed to target mites, bed bugs and other tiny annoyances, this RAYCOP LITE UV Sanitizing HEPA Allergen Vacuum uses pulsating pads to loosen particles and kill bacteria with 99.9% efficiency. First, the pads beat out the mites from deep within the bedding layer of the mattress, then it uses powerful suction to remove them. To help ensure they remain removed, the vacuum includes both a UV light and a HEPA filtration system.

How to clean a mattress
How to clean a mattress


Buy: RAYCOP LITE UV Sanitizing HEPA Allergen Vacuum $132.99 (orig. $189.99) 30% OFF

2. Woolite Advanced Stain and Odor Remover

BEST ALL-PURPOSE STAIN REMOVER

Don’t just replace your mattress if you discover unpleasant stains. Try returning it to its former glory with this Woolite Advanced Stain and Odor Remover. It works to kill 99.9% of bacteria on soft surfaces, including your mattress. In addition to your mattress, this versatile cleaning agent can also be used on your pillows, carpets and curtains.

woolite advanced
woolite advanced


Buy: Woolite Advanced Stain and Odor Remover $12.99

3. Resolve Urine Destroyer Spray Stain Remover

BEST FOR BED WETTERS

Whether you have children who wet the bed or your dog occasionally uses your mattress as a pee pad, mattresses have a tendency to fall victim to urine. Not only does pee leave behind a stain and a nasty odor, but it’s also less than sanitary. Luckily, the Resolve Urine Destroyer Spray Stain Remover was designed to take on urine with great results. Simply spray it on your mattress after an accident, wait five minutes and then blot the liquid away. To save time on cleaning your mattress in the future, invest in a mattress protector while you’re at it.

how to clean your mattress resolve urine destroyer spray
how to clean your mattress resolve urine destroyer spray


Buy: Resolve Urine Destroyer Spray Stain Remover $6.00 (orig. $8.99) 33% OFF

4. Loftek 51 Ultraviolet Flashlight

BEST FOR ILLUMINATING DIRT

While you may have been tempted to use one of these on a hotel bed, have you ever thought about turning it on your own? This flashlight is packed with 51 powerful UV bulbs, designed to track down those secret stains invisible to the naked eye. The sturdy and well-built light is battery powered, and its bulbs boast a 100,000+ hour lifespan.

how to clean your mattress loftek uv flashlight black light
how to clean your mattress loftek uv flashlight black light


Buy: Loftek 51 Ultraviolet Flashlight $11.99

5. Febreze Fabric Refresher

BEST FOR ODOR ELIMINATION

Sometimes, no matter how often you clean it, your mattress simply stinks. It could be caused by excess night sweating, pets or the accidents of children. Whatever the case, Febreze Fabric Refresher can help. This spray-on liquid gets rid of odors, eliminating them at the source. This two-pack comes with one bottle of original Febreze spray for a freshly laundered scent, and a bottle of Febreze Fabric Unstopables, which provides an extra-strong scent that lasts two times longer. Both will help your mattress to smell freshly laundered in a matter of seconds.

how to clean your mattress febreze fabric refresher
how to clean your mattress febreze fabric refresher


Buy: Febreze Fabric Refresher $11.99

6. AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

MOST USEFUL

One of the most useful things you can have in your home cleaning arsenal is a set of microfiber cloths. For mattress cleaning, microfiber cloths are essential when applying and cleaning off stain removal solutions. You’ll need one cloth to blot up the stain remover, and you’ll need another cloth soaked with cool water to continue to blot at the stain until it’s gone. This pack of 24 microfiber cloths is produced by Amazon and has an amazing number of five-star ratings with over 90% of people giving the cloths a positive review.

how to clean your mattress microfiber cleaning cloth
how to clean your mattress microfiber cleaning cloth


Buy: AmazonBasics Microfiber Cleaning Cloths $12.82

7. Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap

BEST MATTRESS CLEANING HACK

If you don’t have a stain remover built for your mattress, you can always use dish soap. Simply mix this Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap with water until it foams. Then, apply only the foam to the stains on your mattress. Blot the foam into the mattress using a cleaning cloth. Then, once all the foam has disappeared, use another slightly damp cloth and continue to blot at the stain until it has disappeared. This works best on biological stains, like blood, vomit or urine.

how to clean your mattress dawn ultra dishwashing liquid dish soap
how to clean your mattress dawn ultra dishwashing liquid dish soap


Buy: Dawn Ultra Dishwashing Liquid Dish Soap $15.22

8. Lysol Disinfectant Spray

BEST DISINFECTANT SPRAY

With over 31,000 five-star ratings from Amazon clear, it’s clear this Lysol Disinfectant Spray is doing something right. The tried-and-tested product is an ideal choice for cleaning both hard and soft surfaces around the home, including your mattress. Its effective formula kills up to 99.9% of odor-causing bacteria and viruses, making it a great preventive product for use on your mattress and not just a corrective one. In addition, its deodorizing effects ensure your surfaces are left smelling fresh, too.

lysol disinfectant spray
lysol disinfectant spray


Buy: Lysol Disinfectant Spray $14.99

9. Bissell Spot & Stain Fabric Cleaner

BEST SPOT CLEANER

The integrated scrubber located on the inside of the lid of this Bissell Spot & StainFabric Cleaner makes it a particularly good option for spot cleaning mattresses and other fabrics. If there’s a specific area of your mattress which requires focused attention, then this is the product to tackle it with. Despite being surprisingly capable of removing both stains and odors, the built-in brush is designed to be kind on upholstery, including carpet fibers, so you can be confident it won’t damage your mattress.

bissell spot stain fabric cleaner
bissell spot stain fabric cleaner


Buy: Bissell Spot & Stain Fabric Cleaner $9.94

10. Babyganics All Purpose Surface Wipes

BEST FOR EDGES

When in doubt, rely on the classics. These easy-to-use wipes eliminate bacteria and allergens with just a few swipes. SPY tip: focus on wiping down the creases, edges and folds of your mattress with these wipes. Not only is it a more effective way to do it, but it’s also where dust mites and — gasp! — bed bugs tend to reside.

how to clean your mattress babyganics all purpose surface wipes
how to clean your mattress babyganics all purpose surface wipes


Buy: Babyganics All Purpose Surface Wipes $15.98 (orig. $19.99) 20% OFF

11. Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover

BEST FOR BIOLOGICAL STAINS

Because you can never be 100% sure that all the cleaning solution gets removed from your mattress, it’s best to use something all-natural. You have to sleep on your mattress every night with the residue of the solution after all. The Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover boasts an enzyme-based formula that works on most biological stains, which are the most common types of stains found on mattresses. One bottle can treat more than 800 stains on your mattress, clothing or carpets, and the formula is hypoallergenic, biodegradable and vegan. Plus, it has received positive reviews from over 2,300 people on Amazon.

how to clean your mattress puracy natural laundry
how to clean your mattress puracy natural laundry


Buy: Puracy Natural Laundry Stain Remover $11.99

12. Allersearch ADMS Anti-Allergen Spray

BEST FOR ALLERGEN REMOVAL

This spray helps to eliminate dust mites and other allergens from fabric, including your mattress. It uses an inorganic formula with an oxidizing compound that eliminates dander, pollen, mildew, mold and mites on contact. Furthermore, the spray is safe for use around people and pets, and it won’t harm the environment. Plus, it won’t leave behind a chemical scent, either.

how to clean your mattress allersearch adms anti allergen
how to clean your mattress allersearch adms anti allergen


Buy: Allersearch ADMS Anti-Allergen Spray $26.95

13. Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

BEST FOR MOISTURE ELIMINATION

Most mattresses aren’t meant to get wet. Unfortunately, moisture almost always finds its way into these sleep platforms. Think about it – we sweat, we drool and we even pee in our sleep. But there’s usually no way for that moisture to escape. Baking soda is the best solution. Simply sprinkle baking soda all over your exposed mattress. Let it sit for several hours or overnight, and then vacuum the powder up. Flip the mattress and repeat on the other side. While the baking soda sits on the fabric, it’s constantly absorbing both moisture and odor, leaving you with a cleaner and better-smelling mattress.

how to clean your mattress arm hammer baking soda
how to clean your mattress arm hammer baking soda


Buy: Arm & Hammer Baking Soda $15.86 (orig. $20.40) 22% OFF

14. Good Life Solutions Stain Remover And Odor Eliminator

BEST FRAGRANCE FREE

Good Life Solutions Stain Remover And Odor Eliminator is powered by an effective plant-based formula. It can be used for removing any kind of organic stain or odor, including those created by babies, pets and even adults, too. The bio-enzymatic formula, which contains no harsh chemicals, makes this product a much safer option to use around your home compared to many alternatives. Plus, it won’t leave any unpleasant residues on your furniture after use, either.

good life solutions cleaner
good life solutions cleaner


Buy: Good Life Solutions Stain Remover And Odor Eliminator $18.97

15. Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Stain & Odor Eliminator

BEST FOR PETS

Eliminate all the gross things from your mattress with this Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Stain & Odor Eliminator. This enzyme-powered cleaning product is ideal for homes with pets, especially if you love to cuddle with them on the furniture, including your bed. Any unexpected pet or human accidents can easily and effectively be cleaned up in minutes with this impressively reviewed and popular product. Furthermore, the cleaner is color-safe, chlorine-free and can be used on a range of other surfaces, including carpets, floors, clothing, litter boxes, kennels and pet carriers.

How to clean a mattress rocco roxie professional
How to clean a mattress rocco roxie professional


Buy: Rocco & Roxie Supply Co. Stain & Odor Eliminator $19.93 (orig. $29.99) 34% OFF

16. The Amazing Whip-It All-Natural Enzyme Cleaner

BEST REFILLABLE

Inside each pack of this The Amazing Whip-It All-Natural Enzyme Cleaner, you’ll find one spray bottle of premix and one bottle of concentrate. The cleaner’s formula is made up of six plant-based enzymes, giving naturally powered stain removal which is strong enough to tackle marks left by food, drink and even some oils. Furthermore, once you’ve sprayed your way through the first bottle of premix, you can use the concentrate to refill it again up to 16 times.

How to clean a mattress whip it all natural
How to clean a mattress whip it all natural


Buy: The Amazing Whip-It All-Natural Enzyme Cleaner $31.95

17. MOSCHE Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner

BEST CHEMICAL-FREE

For more intense mattress cleaning, try using this nine-piece steam cleaner set by MOSCHE. It’s 100% chemical-free, so you don’t need to worry about harmful fumes or residue. The powerful steam action uses the power of hot water to eliminate stains and germs from your bedding. Handily, the steam cleaner can also be used around the house for cleaning other surfaces, including your rugs, furniture and garage too.

how to clean your mattress handheld pressurized steam cleaner
how to clean your mattress handheld pressurized steam cleaner


Buy: MOSCHE Handheld Pressurized Steam Cleaner $40.99 (orig. $48.99) 16% OFF

18. BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum

BEST VACUUM

Even if you choose not to invest in a made-for-purpose mattress vacuum like the one featured on this list, you’re still going to want a handheld device to properly clean your mattress. Dust and dirt, not to mention mites and bed bugs, can hide in the seams and crevices of your mattress. The only way to really eliminate them is to use a vacuum. This BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum is cordless and boasts powerful cyclonic suction, making your cleaning task a whole lot simpler. It’s also a handy device to have around the house away from mattresses, too, as it’s great for cleaning headboards, sofas and even the inside of your car.

How to clean a mattress black decker dustbuster
How to clean a mattress black decker dustbuster


Buy: BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Handheld Vacuum $55.34 (orig. $59.99) 8% OFF

19. SafeRest Waterproof Mattress Protector

BEST PREVENTATIVE CARE

Once you’ve gone through the hassle of cleaning your mattress, don’t let your effort go to waste. Protect your mattress and make your next cleaning session a little easier by using a mattress protector, like this one from SafeRest. This protector is hypoallergenic and waterproof, meaning it won’t let dust mites, bacteria or stain-causing fluids reach your mattress. Not only will this extend the life of your mattress, but it will also make your sleeping environment a lot healthier, too. The SafeRest Mattress Protector is available in a variety of sizes, from twin to California King.

how to clean your mattress saferest full size premium protector
how to clean your mattress saferest full size premium protector


Buy: SafeRest Waterproof Mattress Protector $32.99

20. IRIS USA Inc. Mattress & Furniture Vacuum Cleaner

USER-FRIENDLY PICK

The IRIS USA Inc. Mattress and Furniture Vacuum Cleaner is a lightweight, handheld device that features a dust indicator to let you know when cleaning is in process. This smart machine is also capable of removing dust mites, allergens and dead skin through its extra-wide agitator which acts to release particles from the mattress before being sucked away. When you start cleaning, the smart color indicator shines red before progressing to orange and then finally green when the cleaning process is complete.

How to clean a mattress iris usa
How to clean a mattress iris usa


Buy: IRIS USA Inc. Mattress & Furniture Vacuum Cleaner $99.99

21. McCulloch Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner

BEST STEAM CLEANER

Steaming your mattress using the McCulloch Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner lets you clean without using chemicals. This device is capable of heating up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an effective way to eliminate grease, dirt and stains from a range of different surfaces, including your mattress. Additionally, it sports a large-capacity water tank which offers up to 45 minutes of cleaning steam in one go. This long duration means you can cover your mattress and a number of other household surfaces from a single fill of the tank.

How to clean a mattress mcculloch heavy duty
How to clean a mattress mcculloch heavy duty


Buy: McCulloch Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner $139.99 (orig. $199.99) 30% OFF

22. BISSELL SpotClean Pro

BEST SPLURGE

Even if it wasn’t the primary purpose during the design process, it turns out the BISSELL SpotClean Pro was made for cleaning mattresses. This impressively reviewed device is like a tiny, affordable carpet cleaner and vacuum all rolled into one. It scrubs and lifts stains away from fabric surfaces and also boasts powerful suction to get rid of dirt and debris. Just be careful not to use the spray function too vigorously on your mattress as it may allow too much moisture to seep into the fibers, especially if it is made from memory foam. In addition to mattress cleaning, the SpotClean Pro can be used to clean carpet, auto interiors and fabric furniture.

How to clean a mattress bissell spot clean
How to clean a mattress bissell spot clean


Buy: BISSELL SpotClean Pro $228.99

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