How to Clean a Mattress: A Step-By-Step Guide With Tips – Flo Mattress
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How to Clean a Mattress: A Step-By-Step Guide With Tips

How do I clean my mattress? This is a question homeowners, renters, and, in fact, anyone who owns a mattress often ask themselves. Like any frequently used product, mattresses, whether with or without zippered covers, accumulate dust, allergens, and dead skin cells over time. Unhygienic mattress causes a variety of problems and allergies.

As a mattress owner, how do you clean and protect your mattress? Don’t worry! We have outlined an easy-to-follow, step-by-step mattress cleaning process. You can do it at home without much effort. Let's begin!

How to Clean a Mattress with a Zippered Cover?

All Flo mattresses come with a zippered, machine-washable cover made of high-quality materials that protect your mattress in nearly every situation. Simply unzip the cover and toss it in the washing machine. However, in extreme situations where the mattress itself gets dirty, you can follow the steps below to deep clean it after removing the zippered cover.

8 Easy Steps to Clean a Mattress at Home

Cleaning your mattress is a multi-step process involving a combination of vacuuming, spot-cleaning, deodorising, and airing out. Follow these steps carefully to ensure a thorough and effective cleaning:

Step 1: Gather Cleaning Materials

Before you begin cleaning your mattress, make sure you have all the necessary materials on hand. You’ll need:

  1. Vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachment
  2. Mild detergent or enzymatic mattress cleaner
  3. Baking soda
  4. Hydrogen peroxide (optional, for stain removal)
  5. Spray bottle (optional)
  6. Stiff-bristled brush or upholstery brush
  7. Cleaning cloths or rags

Step 2: Remove the Bedding

Remove all bedding, including the bedsheet, pillows, mattress protector, and blankets. Clean them according to the manufacturer's instructions. Most bedding products have a care label sewn onto the side. It's usually a white rectangular tag with specific cleaning instructions.

Step 3: Vacuum the Mattress

To clean your mattress, use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner and vacuum the entire surface properly. You should focus on seams, crevices, tufts, and any visible stains. This will help get rid of loose dirt, hair, and debris that may have built up over time.

Step 4: Spot Clean Stains

Before sprinkling baking soda, inspect the mattress for any visible stains. Treat these stain spots with a mild detergent or enzyme mattress cleaner. To clean, blot the stain with a clean, damp cloth (preferably white to avoid colour transfer), absorbing any excess liquid. Remember, never scrub the stain as it can spread further and worsen it.

Step 5: Sprinkle Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda evenly over the entire mattress surface. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and will help absorb any lingering odours or moisture. Let the baking soda sit for at least 30 minutes (or overnight for best results) before vacuuming it thoroughly.

Step 6: Scrub and Vacuum the Mattress

Using a stiff-bristled brush or the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner, gently scrub the baking soda into the mattress. This will help loosen any remaining dirt or stains. Once you've scrubbed the entire surface, vacuum up the baking soda thoroughly, making sure to go over the mattress several times to remove all residue.

Step 7: Flip and Repeat

Now follow the same process with the other side of the mattress. Carefully flip the mattress over and repeat steps 3-6, vacuuming, spot-cleaning any stains, and deodorising with baking soda.

Step 8: Air Dry the Mattress

Once both sides have been cleaned, prop the mattress up against a wall or open windows to allow it to air out completely before putting fresh, clean linens back on. Proper ventilation is crucial for drying out any remaining moisture and preventing mould or mildew growth.

Note: For severe stains or odours, use a professional mattress cleaning service or consider replacing the mattress if it cannot be adequately cleaned.

Why Clean Your Mattress

Over time, mattresses collect dust, dead skin cells, sweat, and allergens, creating a breeding ground for dust mites and bacteria that cause allergies and respiratory issues.

Regularly cleaning your mattress can help reduce the risk of respiratory issues, skin irritations, and other health problems. Cleaning also prolongs the lifespan of your mattress, saving you money in the long run. So, clean your mattress regularly to keep it fresh and healthy for a good night's sleep.

How Often Should You Clean Your Mattress

One of the most common questions people have is how often they should clean their mattress. Our general recommendation is to clean your mattress at least every six months.

Various factors influence how frequently you should clean your mattress:

  • Usage: If you use your mattress every night or often eat or drink in bed, we recommend cleaning your mattress every two to three months. Food crumbs attract pests, and spills lead to stains and odours.
  • Allergies: For those with allergies or asthma, especially to dust mites and pet dander, clean the mattress every month. Cleaning will help to reduce allergens and alleviate symptoms.
  • Spills and Stains: In case of spills or stains, it’s best to clean your mattress immediately to prevent the stain from setting in. This involves blotting the spill with a clean cloth and using a suitable stain remover.

How to Remove Stains From Your Mattress

Before you tackle a stain on your mattress, identify what type of stain it is. Common stains include: urine, sweat, blood, and food and drink spills. Let’s understand the appropriate stain-removing method for each of these stains:

1. How to Remove Blood Stains From Your Mattress

For fresh blood stains, blot the area with cold water and a clean cloth. For dried blood stains, make a paste of 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide mixed with 1 tbsp each of liquid dish soap and table salt. Apply the paste to the blood stain and let it dry for at least 30 to 60 minutes. Then scrape the residue off and dab the area with a white rag dipped in hydrogen peroxide.

2. How to Remove Urine Stains From Your Mattress

Blot the area with a dry towel to absorb as much liquid as possible. Spray a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water on the urine stain. Blot again to remove the excess liquid, then apply baking soda and let it sit overnight. Vacuum the baking soda the next day.

3. How to Remove Sweat Stains From Your Mattress

Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide, water, and baking soda to create a solution. Apply this to the sweat stain and let it sit for at least 30 to 60 minutes before vacuuming it up.

4. How to Remove Wine Stains From Your Mattress

Blot the wine stain with a clean, dry cloth. Then, apply a solution of one tablespoon of white vinegar, one tablespoon of dish soap, and two cups of warm water. Blot until the stain is removed.

Remember: Always blot the stain instead of rubbing it, as rubbing can spread the stain further into the mattress fabric.

Tips for Preventing Future Stains

To prevent future stains on your mattress, consider using a mattress protector or waterproof mattress cover. Regularly washing your bedding and airing out your mattress can also help prevent stains from setting in. Additionally, try to avoid eating or drinking in bed to minimise the risk of spills.

How to Freshen and Deodorise Your Mattress

Over time, a mattress absorbs odour and becomes musty if not properly cared for. Hence, it's important to keep your mattress smelling fresh. Here are some tips for deodorising your mattress:

1. Sunshine Therapy

Take advantage of sunny days by placing your mattress outside in direct sunlight for at least 4-6 hours. The UV rays will help kill bacteria and freshen up your mattress.

2. Use Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda liberally over your mattress and let it sit for at least an hour. Baking soda absorbs any odours and moisture trapped in the mattress. Vacuum up the mattress thoroughly to remove the baking soda.

3. Essential Oils

If you prefer to use natural alternatives, use essential oils or vinegar. Mix a few drops of your favourite essential oil with water in a spray bottle and lightly mist your mattress for a fresh, natural scent.

Tips to Keep Your Mattress Clean and Fresh

You can prolong the life of your mattress by following a few simple preventative measures. To keep your mattress in pristine condition, follow these tips:

1. Use Mattress Protectors

Investing in a good quality mattress protector is one of the best ways to prevent spills, stains, and dust mites from penetrating your mattress. Make sure to choose a waterproof and hypoallergenic protector for maximum protection.

2. Regular Vacuuming

Vacuum your mattress regularly, at least once a month, to remove surface debris and minimise the buildup of dust and allergens. Use an upholstery attachment for best results.

3. Rotate Your Mattress

To prevent uneven wear and tear, it's recommended to rotate your mattress every 3 months. This will help maintain the shape and support of your mattress for longer.

4. Keep Pets off the Bed

While it may be tempting to snuggle up with your furry friends, allowing pets on your bed can lead to odour, dirt, and hair build-up on your mattress. Set boundaries to keep your mattress clean.

5. Wash Your Bedding Regularly

Your sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers should be washed at least once in two weeks to prevent sweat, oil, and dirt from seeping into your mattress. Use hot water (at least 130°F/54°C) to kill bacteria and dust mites.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning a Mattress

Avoid these common mistakes to ensure effective cleaning:

1. Using Too Much Water

Excessive water can seep into the mattress and cause mould or mildew. Instead of soaking the mattress, use a damp cloth for spot cleaning. For deeper cleaning, use as little liquid as possible and ensure to dry the mattress thoroughly afterwards.

2. Not Allowing the Mattress to Dry Completely

A damp mattress can breed bacteria and mould. After any wet cleaning methods, ensure your mattress is completely dry before putting the sheets back on. This can be done by air-drying it or using a fan or a hairdryer.

3. Not Using a Mattress Protector

A mattress protector can help prevent spills, stains, and dust mites from getting into the mattress, making it easier to clean. It also adds an additional comfort layer and extends the life of your mattress.

4. Using the Wrong Cleaning Products

Harsh chemicals or improper cleaning solutions can damage the material of your mattress or cause discolouration. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before using any product. Opt for gentle, natural cleaners whenever possible.

5. Not Spot-cleaning First

Before attempting to clean the entire mattress, spot-clean any visible stains or spills first. Spot-cleaning prevents the stain from spreading and makes it easier to remove.

6. Using Too Much Force

Scrubbing or rubbing the mattress too vigorously can damage the mattress fabric or materials. Use gentle motions and avoid excessive pressure.


Congratulations! Now you have understood how to clean your mattress easily at home. Following the steps and tips in this article will keep your mattress safe and clean without damaging the mattress structure. Hence, you’ll get a fresh and hygienic sleeping surface.

Tired of cleaning an old, stubbornly dirty mattress? Discover the clean and comfortable Flo Mattress for better sleep hygiene.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. How often should a mattress be replaced?

Mattresses should generally be replaced every 7-10 years. However, replace the mattress sooner if it starts to sag, develop lumps, or become uncomfortable.

2. What is the best way to clean a mattress?

To clean a mattress, remove the bedding and vacuum it with the upholstery attachment. Spot-clean stains with a mild detergent or enzymatic cleaner. You can also use baking soda to absorb odours and moisture.

3. Does baking soda clean the mattress?

Baking soda is an affordable and natural way to clean a mattress. Sprinkle it over the mattress, let it sit for a few hours or overnight, and then vacuum it up. Baking soda acts as a natural deodorizer and helps absorb moisture, odours, and stains while freshening and deodorising the mattress.

4. Is it OK to wash a mattress?

Mattresses are not recommended to be washed in a washing machine or submerged in water. Instead, spot-clean your mattress. Excessive moisture will damage internal components and promote mould growth.

5. How do you make a homemade mattress cleaner?

Mix equal parts of warm water and white vinegar in a spray bottle for a homemade mattress cleaner. You can also add essential oils for a fresh scent. Avoid harsh chemicals or bleach to prevent damage to the mattress.

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