How to Clean Your Mattress

How to Clean Your MattressThe average person sweats about a half pint of perspiration every single night. Combine that with the fact that you shed about 1/5 of an ounce of skin every week and that dust mites see your dead skin as their personal buffet – all 100,000 to 10 million of them – and it’s pretty easy to get skeeved out by your mattress. Especially when you think about the last time you cleaned it. (And no, we don’t mean the sheets!)

The Problem With Mattresses

Your mattress isn’t like your sheets, which you can just throw in the wash. There’s no zipper to unzip or buttons to undo and once we get down the mattress we figure we’ve done the best we could. But that’s not true. There is a way to clean your mattress and we’re going to tell you how so you can actually get a good night’s sleep tonight. Let’s get started!

Vacuum Up!

This is the first and maybe most important step in the process because it removes dust, dead skin cells, and other debris that’s been accumulating on the surface since you bought it. Make sure you use the upholstery attachment. Do not put your whole vacuum up on the bed. It’s sucked up some pretty gnarly stuff and you definitely don’t want to deposit that in your bed. A handheld vacuum would also work if you’re lucky enough to have one.


Your mattress can develop a unique aroma after years of sweat, dust, and other build up accumulating there. But you’re probably so used to it you don’t notice it. That’s why you gotta deodorize. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and will help eliminate any odors that may exist. Simply sift some baking soda over the surface, leave it for about 30 minutes (the longer the better), and then vacuum it up with the upholstery attachment. If you have a favorite essential oil, put a few drops (about 5) in the baking soda before you sift it and enjoy it for the next few nights.

Spot Cleaning and Removing Stains

Baking soda is great for odors, but it won’t remove stains. Now, there are three kinds of stains – protein, tannin and grease – but since bodily liquids like blood, sweat, urine, and vomit only cause protein stains, that’s what we’re going to cover today.

Of course, it’s always better to treat a stain as soon as it happens. Liquid stains should be blotted with a cool, wet cloth and then reblotted with a clean, dry cloth to remove excess moisture. Do not use heat, since that will set a protein stain. And remember to press down, not scrub. This way you’ll be lifting the stain, not rubbing it in.

A paste mixture of salt, baking soda and water can help remove fresh protein stains that are being a bit stubborn. Create the mixture, brush it over the stain, and vacuum or brush it off about 30 minutes later. A clean cloth dipped in cool water can be used to get any leftover residue up. Again, make sure you’re blotting, not rubbing. Repeat this process with a clean dry cloth.

If there’s any discoloration on the mattress, try a mixture of 2 parts hydrogen peroxide to 1 part dish soap. Brush it into the discolored area gently with an old toothbrush, let it sit for five minutes, and then wipe down with a cool, damp cloth. This will also work on stubborn stains that aren’t coming up with the salt and baking soda mixture.

Enzyme cleaners are also great at removing protein stains and can be found at your local store. Just remember that you should use as little liquid as possible and make sure your mattress is completely dry before you sleep on it. Turning on a fan in the room can help dry everything more quickly. If you don’t, you’re just going to start growing mold spores, which aggravate allergies and leave behind a weird smell. This is why we also don’t recommend using a steam cleaner on your mattress. If this option is appealing to you, make sure you hire a professional company that has the equipment to do this properly without destroying your mattress.

Other Tips to Make Your Mattress Last and Keep It Clean

Each time the seasons change (so four times a year), you should rotate your mattress to make sure it wears evenly.

Mattresses are not meant to be wet. Avoid spilling drinks or using excessive amounts of water while you’re cleaning. And forget about getting your memory foam mattress wet. Liquid that gets spilled onto this material will get trapped in the cellular structure and stay there. So never ever get your memory foam mattress wet – ever. If you absolutely have to spot clean, use the tiniest amount of liquid possible and blot like your life depends on it.

If your mattress gets wet, use a fan to dry it. It will speed up the process. A wet/dry vacuum can also help you extract moisture. Never sleep on a wet mattress. You don’t want mold.

Bed bugs are a serious issue that needs professional attention. The key is to act fast and call them as soon as you notice. Let them treat your mattress, your bedroom, and any other areas of the house that may be affected. These guys know what they’re doing. Do not try to make this a DIY project. It’s a losing battle.

Invest in a mattress protector. It’s that simple. There a few different kinds so you should definitely do your research, but these babies really come in handy and protect your mattress from all kinds of spills and stains. And it’s a lot easier to clean – all you have to do is take it off and throw it in the wash. Plus, a stained mattress will void your warranty, so you should definitely consider investing in one.

Professional House Cleaning in NYC

For help with these and other cleaning-related issues, contact 1st Class Cleaning. We’re a professional cleaning service that works in the greater NYC area.

Sweet dreams!

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