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We spend about a third of our lives in bed and keeping our mattresses clean can help us get a good night’s sleep. However, spills, stains, and accidents do sometimes happen. Besides, giving your mattress a regular cleaning will keep it in better and more hygienic condition. It will reduce the build-up of dead skin cells, dust, mould, dust mites, and bacteria.

Keeping your mattress clean of buildup is especially important for anyone who has allergies. Regular mattress cleaning will prevent allergens such as dust mites from settling within your mattress. What is the best way to clean your mattress and create a healthier environment for sleep?

In this article, we share with you how to give your mattress a regular clean. You will also information on how to clean common stains, such as urine or blood stains, off your mattress. Use this guide to help your mattress last longer and start regular cleaning at the latest twelve months after you get a new mattress.

How to Clean a Mattress

How to Clean a Mattress

Our mattresses get a lot of use, yet a lot of people do not clean their mattresses regularly. Over time, sweat and dust mites can seep into the fibres of the mattress causing unpleasant odours and stains even if you use a mattress protector. You can give your mattress a good clean by following the steps below.


Remove all bedding off your bed. If possible, take the mattress off the bed and into a sunny area. The UV light from the sun will help kill bacteria hiding in the mattress. If you can, position your mattress upright and beat it to start removing the dust that has seeped inside. Do this on both sides.


Get your vacuum cleaner and using the upholstery tool go over your whole mattress. Go over the top and sides of the mattress, focusing on any seems as this were bed bugs like to hide during the day. Press the vacuum firmly on the surface of the mattress. This will help to remove the dust that has got beneath the mattress’s surface. Repeat the process on the other side of the mattress.


If you have a steamer, you can also go over your mattress with that. Hold the nozzle of the steamer as close to the mattress as possible without it starting to drip. The steam will kill any dust mites hiding near the surface. Alternatively, you can also use your iron to give the mattress bursts of steam. Vacuum the mattress again after steaming to remove any dead bugs.

How Often Should a Mattress Be Cleaned?

Cleaning your mattress thoroughly is time-consuming so how often do you need to go through the process? The good news is that for most people cleaning their mattresses once a year is enough to keep them free of debris and dust buildup. However, if you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, you might like to clean the mattress twice a year.

How Often Should a Mattress Be Flipped?

You have probably heard that you should flip your mattress over regularly to help it last longer. This is especially true if you have a mattress in a box in Canada. What is the best schedule for mattress flipping? You should flip and rotate your mattress more often than you clean the mattress.

While cleaning is required just once per year, you should flip the mattress four times per year. Many of us sleep in the same spot every night and flipping and rotating your mattress will combat body indentations.

Removing Stains From a Mattress

Removing Stains From a Mattress

How you tackle stains depends on the type of stain. Some surface stains can be easy to remove with just a little soap and water, but others will require stronger products. However, you should not use cleaning materials that contain bleach or chlorine, or any harsh stain removers as they will be hard to rinse out fully from the fibres of your mattress.

The sooner you attend to the stains, the more chance you have of removing them. However, this is only possible with spills or accidents that you can notice immediately. Some stains, such as sweat stains build up over time and need to be dealt with differently.

Removing Surface Stains

When you have a surface stain on your mattress, you can remove it using a mixture of lukewarm water and mild soap or laundry detergent. Dampen a cloth in the mixture and dab on the spot. Avoid rubbing the stain as this could cause it to spread or sink further into the mattress. Use as little of the soap and water mix as possible since you do not want to soak the mattress. Let it dry thoroughly before you put the bedding back on.

Removing Sweat Stains

Sweat stains are relatively easy to remove even though they have built up over time. Simply use a mixture of dish soap or laundry detergent to clean the sweat stains off your mattress. Dab the mixture onto the mattress with a clean cloth or sponge. Continue until the stain has faded and then leave the mattress to dry. Repeat if stains are still visible when the mattress has thoroughly dried.

Removing Urine Stains

You can use dish soap and laundry detergent with water to tackle urine stains, too. If the accident just happened, use paper towels to soak up as much of the urine as possible. When you have got out as much of the urine as possible, use the soap and water mix on the stain.

Dap on the stain until it is gone. Urine stains are stronger than sweat stains so they will take longer to remove. When the stain has disappeared, leave the mattress to dry and repeat the stain removal process if necessary.

Removing Fresh Blood Stains

If you need to remove blood stains from a mattress, ensure you use cold water because it will break down proteins in the blood faster than warm water would. Also, try to use as little water as possible, especially if you have a memory foam mattress. Too much water can damage the fillings and foam inside the mattress.

Use a clean cloth, sponge, or towel. Dip it in the cold water and soap mix and then dab on the blood stain. Ensure the cleaning tool you are using is only slightly damp and then press gently on the stain to lift it. Again, there should be no rubbing.

Removing Dried Blood Stains

If the blood has had a chance to dry, it will be tougher to remove than fresh stains. Instead of water and soap, try using baking soda. First, dab the stain with cold water and then sprinkle baking soda over it.

Leave the soda to work for thirty minutes and then dab with a clean, damp cloth to lift the stain. Let the stain dry completely and then vacuum to remove the baking soda. You may need to repeat the process with baking soda a few times before the stain has come off. Sometimes, you may not be able to get it off completely depending on the age and size of the stain.

You can use solutions such as Vanish instead of baking powder. If you are using a shop-bought cleaning product, follow the instructions on the label to get the best results. After cleaning, always leave to dry and vacuum.

Removing Deep Stains

If you have stains that are old and you think may have soaked deep into the mattress, you can use vinegar with baking soda. Start by spraying vinegar on the stain and then sprinkle baking soda on it. Place a towel on the stain and leave it for up to two hours. When they have set in and dried, vacuum over the stain to remove the products and lift the stain with them.

Removing Smells From Your Mattress

If your mattress is smelling stale, you can freshen it using a sanitizing spray. Just ensure that it is safe to use on fabrics and will kill bacteria that cause odours. You can also use baking soda to get rid of smells. Sprinkle baking soda on the mattress, brushing it in lightly. Leave it for fifteen to thirty minutes and then vacuum.

Cleaning Your Bed Frame

When you are cleaning your mattress, you should also clean your bed frame. Vacuum and dust the bed frame to clean away dust and dirt that may have collected on it. Ensure you clean the slats, too, where your mattress sits. After vacuuming, use a damp cloth to wipe down any parts of the frame that are not upholstered.

Keeping Your Mattress Clean and Fresh

Keeping Your Mattress Clean and Fresh

You can keep your mattress clean by using a mattress topper. In addition, you should consider using a mattress protector to keep out dust, pollen, and dust mites. When using a mattress topper and protector, ensure these are cleaner regularly.

To help your mattress stay fresher, throw back the sheets each morning and leave your bed open for around twenty minutes. Open the window to let some fresh air in, which will help remove odors and excess moisture from the room and your bedding and mattress. Try to do this even when it gets cold in the winter, even if it is just for a few minutes.

Change all your bedding once a week. Check the instructions for washing temperature but the hotter the better for dust mites and other germs. Tumble drying or letting the bedding dry out in the sunlight will also help get rid of germs.

You should also change your mattress regularly. How often that depends on a range of factors such as how much it gets used, its quality, and type. For example, latex mattresses tend to last longer than innerspring mattresses.

Cleaning a Mattress Topper

If you use a mattress topper, it will need regular cleaning, just like your mattress. You can use the same methods and products to clean your topper as you would your mattress. The best thing to do is to place the topper on the floor first before you start the cleaning process and let it dry fully before you place it back on top of the mattress.

Cleaning a Mattress Protector

Using a mattress protector is one of the best ways to keep your mattress clean. They are usually waterproof to keep contaminants such as sweat, urine, blood, and dust mites off the mattress. In addition, they can protect you from bacteria and mould that may already be inside the mattress.

When you use a mattress protector, ensure it gets cleaned regularly, too. Wash it separately from your bed lines so that it has plenty of space to clean fully and follow the care instructions for your protector as these will vary depending on the fabric it was made with. Wash it as hot as allowed to kill bacteria more effectively.

After washing, let it dry outside in the fresh air or use a tumble dryer using a cool setting. Make sure it is fully dry before you put it back on the bed.


Giving your mattress a regular clean can help it last longer and you sleep better when your bed is clear of dust, bed bugs, and other debris. For most people, a yearly clean is enough but you may wish to do it more often, especially if you have allergies.

When you clean your mattress, remember to clean the bed frame and mattress topper, too. Your mattress protector will need cleaning more often, and you should flip your mattress over every three months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Like everything else in a home, your mattress will collect dust and debris over time. Therefore it is important to give it a proper clean at least once a year to reduce the buildup of allergens and bed bugs. If you get stains on your mattress, these should be tackled as soon as possible because fresh stains are much easier to clean than old, dried-up stains.

It can take a while for your mattress to dry after cleaning, which is why mattress cleaning is best done in the morning. Alternatively, if you are going away on an overnight trip, you could clean your mattress before you go away, leaving your mattress to dry out fully before you get back home.

Mild cleaning agents such as dish soap or laundry detergents are best for cleaning your mattress. Avoid harsh stain removers because it can be very difficult to get them out of your mattress fully. When cleaning stains, use lukewarm water with the cleaning agent and always dab, no rubbing, to avoid spreading the stain.