Chances are, you’ve spent a considerable sum on a place where you spend a third of your life: your mattress. And while you’re slumbering, you’re shedding skin and hair cells, sweat and other microbes that you really don’t want to be exposed to long term, which means you should really take the time to clean your mattress 1-2 times per year. No matter how lovely and soft your mattress pad and linens are, you’ll rest easy if you make the time to deep clean your mattress.


Remove Mattress Cover


How to Clean a Mattress

1. Vacuum: Take off the mattress cover. Wash it and your other linens in warm or hot water, and then vacuum. Make sure you get both sides of the mattress and into the seams around the edges.

2. Spot Clean: The type of stains you have to remove will determine what you use. Usually you’re dealing with bodily fluids (think sweat, blood, urine) and if they’ve had time to set in, then you may need to try more than one of the following solutions:

  • Combine hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap and baking soda in a spray bottle and treat the stained area, blot and/or rub with a clean rag
  • Try a non-toxic, natural enzyme cleaner that chemically breaks down stains and odors
  • Make a paste of lemon juice and salt, apply the mixture to the stain, and let it stand for 30–60 minutes before wiping off salt with a clean towel

3. Deodorize: Sprinkle baking soda on the surface of the mattress; this will absorb odors and any moisture left from one of the spot treatments above. Let sit for 2-3 hours then vacuum, making sure you’ve paid attention to the crevices of the mattress. Flip the mattress and do the same to the other side.

4. Air Out: Bonus if you can drag your mattress out into the sunshine for fresh air and gain the deodorizing qualities of the sun. Some say that sunshine can also bleach out stains. If you’ve got mold or mildew, use a whisk broom to brush off as much of the visible mold or mildew you can. You can use a solution of lemon juice (see above) on the the mildew, but extended time in direct sunshine is your best bet to get rid of mold and mildew on your mattress.

5. Rotate: If you’ve been sleeping on one side of your mattress for a while, now’s the time to commit to a regular rotation. If your mattress is new, some manufacturers say it should be rotated (think: flip to other side, and then rotate head and foot) every two weeks for the first 90 days. After that, rotating it every 2 weeks will keep it in tip top shape. Over time (even a short time), the layers that make up your mattress will compress to form to your body. Regular rotation ensures proper, even wear.

6. Protect: Now’s the time, if you haven’t already, to make sure you’ve got a zip up cover for your box spring, if you have one, and for your mattress. This will help keep out dust mites, bed bugs and other pests. Top your mattress with a mattress pad or cover for extra comfort, along with creating a barrier against future dirt and stains. Bonus: you can easily wash this along with your sheets.


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About the Author: is a full-service home remodeling and construction general contractor serving the greater Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, and San Jose area. Home improvement is hard, and we make it easier for you every step of the way. That starts by understanding your goals, whether it’s making a space more livable, expanding your home, repairing damage, adding room for relatives, or something completely different. We’ll work with you to ensure you’re happy with the project from start to finish.