Mattresses collect a fair amount of dead skin cells, sweat, dirt, and dust every night. For this reason, they need to be deep cleaned at least twice a year to prevent allergens, dust mites, and other nasties from contaminating your sleep area.

In this article our Balham end of tenancy cleaning team shares how to deep clean your mattress in seven easy-to-follow steps. Roll up your sleeves, open your windows, and let’s get cleaning!

Items Required

  • Vacuum cleaner (with mattress or upholstery attachment, if available)
  • Baking soda or similar deodorizer
  • Cloth or sponge
  • Stain remover, enzyme cleaner, or vinegar
  • Garment steamer or iron (optional)
  • Essential oils (optional)

Step 1: Strip the Sheets and Bedding

Before cleaning your mattress, you’ll first have to remove anything that covers it. This includes the sheets, covers, protectors, pillowcases, and any fabric piece that can be detached.

Roll them up, toss them in a washing machine, and wash them as per their care instructions. Polyester blends are best washed with warm water, while cotton blends can tolerate hot water. Specialty fabrics need extra care because of their weak fibers. Silk, acetate, and rayon sheets, for instance, must be dry-cleaned or hand-washed.

Since you’re in the process of deep-cleaning your mattress, why not toss your pillows in the mix? Wash your pillows one at a time with warm water on the gentle cycle of your washing machine. Don’t add too much detergent as soap residue can build up inside the pillow.

For specialty pillows, double-check the care label and clean them according to the written instructions.

Step 2: Vacuum the Mattress

Now that your mattress is stripped out of its beddings, it’s time to remove any debris, dust, pet hairs, or dirt that it’s accumulated over time.

For best results, use an upholstery or mattress attachment with your vacuum. These attachments have lint-catching textured pads that are ideal for removing dust, lint, and dirt from your mattress. Plus, their unique shape makes them best suited for the job.

Vacuum your mattress in the highest setting with a back-and-forth width-wise motion until you clean the whole thing.

Then, use the crevice attachment to vacuum hard-to-reach areas like seams, indentations, embroider, and crevices. This is where the gross stuff usually accumulates.

Step 3: Spot Clean Stains

If you tend to eat on your bed or have small children or pets, the mattress is bound to have some stains. This is especially true if the mattress hasn’t been deep cleaned in a while.

For this step, a commercial upholstery cleaner, stain remover, or enzyme-based pet odor remover works best. These cleaners chemically break down odors and hard-to-remove biological stains like blood, vomit, urine, and sweat.

If you don’t have the mentioned cleaners to hand, you can instead use vinegar.

Spray the cleaner onto a clean cloth or sponge then blot the area you wish to clean until it lightens or disappears. Blot up as much moisture as you can until it’s mostly dry.

If you’re using vinegar, spray the affected area with undiluted white vinegar and let it sit for about 10 to 15 minutes. Then, blot away the stain. Reapply if needed.

If vinegar doesn’t work, use hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide combats old blood and urine stains like a master.

Simply mix eight ounces of hydrogen peroxide with two drops of dishwashing liquid and three tablespoons of baking soda. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and swirl around to combine. Spray the affected area with the peroxide solution, let it sit for 10 minutes, then blot dry.

Keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide discolors fabrics. As such, it’s best to use the above solution on a white mattress.

Step 4: Freshen and Deodorize

Freshen and deodorize your mattress with baking soda. Baking soda is known for its ability to absorb unpleasant odors, which is why it’s often used in natural deodorant brands. Depending on the size of your mattress, prepare a box or two of baking soda. You can also use a commercial deodorizer.

Liberally sprinkle the deodorizer all over the surface of your mattress. Leave it for several hours. The longer, the better. Make sure to open all your windows to air out any foul odors the mattress may release.

If you’re deep cleaning your mattress in the early afternoon, try to point the sun’s UV rays towards it to help kill bacteria or mold.

Step 5: Vacuum Again

After the deodorizer does its magic, vacuum the mattress again to get rid of the excess powder. Similar to step 2, use your upholstery or mattress attachment to remove the deodorizer. Also, don’t forget to use a crevice attachment to remove any product that made its way through the seams and crevices.

Step 6: Kill Dust Mites Through Steam or Essential Oils

This step is optional but highly recommended, especially if you have allergies or asthma. Dust mites produce indoor allergens that can trigger rashes and allergic reactions. Ongoing exposure to dust mites may severely impact the health of those who have skin and lung sensitivities.

If you have a garment steamer, go over the mattress several times. Press the nozzle as close to the mattress as you can without causing the streamer to drip. Then, vacuum again to remove the dead mites. If you don’t have a garment steamer, use the steam from your iron.

Alternatively, use chemicals like ascaricides or a mixture of essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, and lavender. Take three to five drops of any of the mentioned essential oils per 100ml of water. Spray the mixture over your entire mattress and let it dry before proceeding.

Step 6: Flip the Mattress

Now that you’ve cleaned one side of the mattress, don’t forget to clean the other side, too! Repeat steps 1 to 6 so both sides are equally fresh and clean. If you don’t have the time to clean the other side, you can do it after a few days or weeks.

As a general rule of thumb, your mattress should be flipped every three months to prevent sagging and compression.

Step 7: Cover Your Mattress With Fresh Beddings

The hard part is over; now you’ll simply have to put a fresh cover over your mattress. This protects it from dirt, dust, sweat, etc., which therefore keeps your mattress cleaner for longer.

Congratulations, you’ve now deep cleaned your mattress!

Final Thoughts

Regularly deep cleaning your mattress is important for your health and hygiene. If possible, deep clean your mattress at least twice a year to keep your sleeping environment clean and allergen-free.

Lightly cleaning your mattress every time you change your sheets is also a good habit to have. Good luck!