How To Clean A Foam Mattress

How To Clean A Mattress (2024)

Last updated: 15.04.2024 Reading time: 14 Min.

Have you ever wondered what's lurking in your mattress?

Dust mites, allergens, and the odd tea spillage make it less of a dreamy haven and more of a nightmare for cleanliness and health.

Cleaning your mattress regularly is not just about good hygiene; it's about ensuring a blissful night's sleep and prolonging your mattress' life.

So, let's get to grips with simple yet effective tips on how to clean a mattress to tackle even the most pesky mattress issues.

how to clean a mattress

Preparing for a mattress deep-clean

Before you dive into the nitty-gritty of mattress cleaning, let's gear up with the right tools and set the stage. 🧤

Step 1: Gather your cleaning arsenal

You'll need a vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment, baking soda, and your choice of cleaning solution.

Whether you opt for a store-bought cleaner or a homemade mix (like diluted dish soap or white vinegar), ensure it's suitable for your mattress type.

tools for cleaning a mattress
Even household staples like dishwashing liquid, vinegar, and baking soda can be used to clean a mattress.

Don't worry: We take you through some of the best cleaning solutions below, but you can also check out our guide on the best mattress cleaners to help you get started.

Step 2: Strip and clear

Off with the sheet, mattress topper, duvet, and pillows!

This is more than a decluttering act; it's about giving yourself a clear workspace. ✅

But, of course, this is also the first step in ensuring your entire bed setup is sparkly clean.

Wash your bedding on a hot cycle to kill any mites or bacteria hiding there.

This is also a good time to wash your mattress protector, duvets, and pillows.

Unlike bedding, which should be washed every 7 - 10 days, the rest of your bedding and sleep accessories only need to be washed occasionally.

Don’t forget that you also want to remove any mattress covers - most bed-in-a-box mattresses come with removable and washable top covers that you can simply pop into your washing machine.

Please be aware, though, that many of the how-to-clean steps below apply to mattresses with non-removable covers - you need to be careful about using any cleaning products on naked foams, especially if you have a latex mattress or a memory foam mattress.

Step 3: The initial cleanse: vacuuming

Before diving into any spot-cleaning, give your mattress a thorough vacuum.

This will remove dead skin cells, hair, and those pesky dust mites that call your bed their home.

The cleaner your mattress surface, the more effective your deep clean will be.

vacuum cleaner
One of the first steps in cleaning your mattress is giving it a thorough vacuum.

By following these steps, you're setting the stage for effective cleaning and taking a crucial step towards a healthier sleeping environment.

Let's keep the momentum going!

How to clean a stained mattress

Mattresses are prone to various types of stains, each requiring a different approach for removal.

Here, we discuss how to tackle the most common mattress stains - from sweat and blood to urine and other bodily fluids. 🔍

Whether you opt for DIY cleaning solutions or commercial cleaners, the key is to act quickly and use the right technique.

How to clean sweat stains from a mattress

Sweat stains are the most common stains you'll find on mattresses, generally identified as large, yellow blotches.

man on mattress with sweat stains
Sweat stains are very common - but can be easily prevented by using a good mattress protector.

Using a waterproof mattress protector is the smartest way to prevent these stains from occurring in the first place, but what can you do if the damage is already done?

Here are our top tips.

The cleaning solution you'll need:

  • DIY solution: Mix equal parts cold water and distilled white vinegar.
  • Commercial cleaners: Opy for enzyme-based cleaners.

And here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean sweat stains from your mattress:

  1. Blot the stain with a dry cloth to absorb as much moisture as possible.
  2. Apply the cleaning solution using a spray bottle or a damp cloth.
  3. Gently dab the stain and don't rub to avoid pushing the stain deeper.
  4. Let it sit for 10 - 15 minutes.
  5. Blot again with a dry cloth and let it air dry.

This should remove sweat stains from your mattress.

How to clean blood off a mattress

The important thing about cleaning blood off your mattress is to act fast. ⏰

blood on a mattress
Dry blood stains can be difficult to remove, so it's important to act fast.

Here are our top tips.

The cleaning solution you'll need:

  • DIY solution: Combine 2 parts cold water with 1 part baking soda. An effervescent aspirin tablet can also be effective if applied circularly over the stain with a glass or spoon.
  • Commercial cleaners: Enzyme-based cleaners are effective, and hydrogen peroxide can help with stubborn, dry stains.

And here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean blood stains from your mattress:

  1. Blot as much blood as possible with a clean, dry cloth.
  2. Wetting the stain slightly with a sponge or washcloth is sometimes helpful if the stain is dry.
  3. Gently apply the cleaning solution to the stain.
  4. Let the solution sit for 30 minutes.
  5. Blot the area with a damp cloth to remove excess solution.
  6. Allow to air dry.

This should get rid of nasty blood stains.

How to clean urine from a mattress

Whether you've had a nighttime accident or a pet or a young child has had an oopsie, urine stains on a mattress are never pleasant.

But we're here to help.

dog looking sad about peeing
Your favourite furry friend may be the culprit behind a urine stain.

The cleaning solution you'll need:

  • DIY solution: Mix 3 tablespoons of baking soda, 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, and a few drops of dish soap together.
  • Commercial cleaners: Look for urine-specific enzyme cleaners.

And here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean pee out of your mattress:

  1. Blot up as much urine as possible.
  2. Spray or gently apply the cleaning solution on the stain.
  3. Leave it for about an hour.
  4. Blot the area dry and let it air out.

This should leave your mattress clean and urine-stain-free!

How to clean vomit from your mattress

This may be more common with children or pets, but you never know when a bad illness can get you, too.

The cleaning solution you'll need:

  • DIY solution: Mix warm water and mild detergent or white vinegar.
  • Commercial cleaners: Use enzyme-based cleaners for effective results.

And here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean vomit out of your mattress:

  1. Start by scraping off as much vomit as possible without spreading it further.
  2. Blot the area with a dry cloth to soak up moisture.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda over the area and let it sit for about 15 minutes for odour absorption.
  4. Prepare your cleaning solution in a spray bottle.
  5. Lightly spray or dab the solution onto the stain.
  6. Gently blot the stain; avoid rubbing to prevent the vomit from going deeper into the mattress.
  7. Allow the solution to work on the stain for 10 - 15 minutes.
  8. Blot the area again with a clean, dry cloth and let the mattress air dry, ideally in a well-ventilated space or in direct sunlight.

Don't forget to check out the section on deodorisation below, which will help you eliminate any nasty odours.

How to clean coffee stains from your mattress

Whether you enjoy your morning cup of coffee in bed or have spilt some hot chocolate or tea while snuggling up with a movie, there's nothing worse than accidentally getting your gorgeous beverage all over your expensive mattress.

coffee stain on mattress
Coffee stains on a mattress can be annoying, so something like this Emma mattress protector is handy.

The cleaning solution you'll need:

  • DIY solution: Create a mixture of one part dish soap and two parts cold water. Alternatively, coarse salt or rice grains can effectively absorb moisture.
  • Commercial cleaners: Mild laundry detergent or upholstery cleaner can be effective.

And here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean coffee stains from your mattress:

  1. Blot up as much coffee (or other beverage) as possible with a clean, dry cloth.
  2. Apply the cleaning solution to the stain using a cloth or a spray bottle.
  3. Gently dab the stain with the solution, avoiding rubbing or scrubbing.
  4. Allow the solution to sit on the stain for 5 - 10 minutes.
  5. Blot the area with a damp, clean cloth to rinse the cleaning solution.
  6. Pat the area dry with a dry cloth and let the mattress air dry completely.

Your mattress should be as good as new.

Top tips for treating stains without causing damage

Regardless of what type of mattress you have or which stain you're dealing with, it's important to keep a few key things in mind to avoid damaging your mattress.

  • Tackle all stains as soon as possible to prevent them from setting in.
  • Be cautious with the amount of liquid you use. Too much liquid can saturate the mattress and cause further issues.
  • Always blot gently. Rubbing can damage the mattress fabric and spread the stain.
  • Test any cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area first to check for adverse reactions.
  • After cleaning, ensure the mattress is completely dry before remaking your bed. A damp mattress can lead to mould and mildew.

If a stain persists, repeat the cleaning process or consider a professional cleaner for stubborn stains (more below).

How to clean a smelly mattress

Removing odours from your mattress is crucial for maintaining a fresh, hygienic sleeping environment.

It’s particularly important if you’ve recently cleaned up spills or stains (particularly urine stains), as these can leave residual smells.

baking soda
Something as simple as baking soda can leave your mattress smelling fresh.

Regular deodorising also helps combat the natural accumulation of sweat and oils that can lead to musty odours over time.

Using baking soda to remove odours

Baking soda is a highly effective, natural deodoriser ideal for freshening your mattress.

Here’s how to use it:

  • Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the entire surface of your mattress.
  • Leave it to sit for at least 30 minutes. For deeper odours, you can leave it for up to a few hours.
  • Vacuum the baking soda off from your mattress thoroughly, using an upholstery attachment to ensure all residue is removed.

This should leave your mattress smelling clean and fresh.

Adding a scent boost when deodorising your mattress

If you're looking for a scent boost and deodorisation, consider adding a few drops of your favourite essential oil to the baking soda before sprinkling it on your mattress. 🪻

Lavender, chamomile, or eucalyptus are popular for their soothing and refreshing properties.

Tea tree also has special anti-bed-bug properties.

You can also mix 1 - 2 drops of essential oils with water and spritz it lightly over your mattress for a pure scent boost, but avoid using perfumes as these may stain your mattress.

Pro tip: Deodorising is essential after treating stains or spills, as these can sometimes leave behind lingering bad odours. Regular deodorising every few months can also help keep your mattress smelling fresh and clean.

How to deep clean a mattress

Deep cleaning your mattress goes beyond removing stains or surface dirt.

It's about thoroughly sanitising and refreshing the entire mattress.

This is especially important if you suffer from allergies or asthma, as it can help remove dust mites and other allergens.

Ideally, deep clean your mattress every six months to maintain optimal cleanliness and hygiene.

woman with allergies on mattress
A mattress deep-clean can really help keep allergies at bay.

Two key ways to deep-cleaning your mattress are steam cleaning [1] and relying on commercial enzyme-based cleaners [2].

How to steam clean your mattress

Steam cleaning effectively penetrates deep into the mattress fabric, removing allergens, dust mites, and deep-seated dirt.

It's also a great eco-friendly option as it only relies on water. 💦

Here's how to steam clean your mattress:

  • Use a steam cleaner with an upholstery attachment. Start from the top of the mattress and work your way down in slow, overlapping strokes.
  • Allow the mattress to dry completely before remaking the bed. This could take several hours, so ensure good ventilation or use a fan to speed up the process.

If not done correctly, steam cleaning can leave your mattress damp, leading to mould or mildew growth.

steam cleaning a mattress
A thorough deep-clean can really bring new life into your mattress.

Some mattress materials may not be suitable for the high heat of steam cleaning.

How to use enzyme cleaners to disinfect your mattress

Enzyme cleaners effectively break down organic matter like sweat, urine, or blood.

They work by breaking down the structure of the stain, making it easier to remove.

This is especially helpful for tough, set-in stains or odours.

How to use enzyme cleaners:

  • Apply the enzyme cleaner to the stained area, following the product’s instructions.
  • Allow it to sit for the recommended time.
  • Blot up the excess liquid and let the mattress dry thoroughly.

Always test enzyme cleaners on a small, inconspicuous mattress area first to ensure they do not cause discolouration.

How to address allergens and dust mites

Dust mites [3] and allergens in your mattress can contribute to various allergic reactions, including sneezing, itching, and asthma.

These tiny creatures thrive in a mattress's warm, humid environment and feed on dead skin cells. 🦠

Even if you have a sparkly-clean mattress that smells wonderful, it's worth giving it a regular dust mite clean to keep allergies at bay.

Vacuum your mattress regularly

While you don't have to deep-clean your mattresses every time, regular vacuuming can significantly reduce the presence of dust mites and allergens.

Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter [4] is most effective, as it can trap even the smallest particles.

Aim to vacuum your mattress every time you change your sheets.

Air out your mattress

Allowing your mattress to air out can also help. 💨

This removes any excess moisture built up and prevents any future mould or mildew problems.

The sun's UV rays are also a natural disinfectant and can kill microorganisms [5] living on the surface of your mattress.

woman opening curtains to let the sun in
Let the sun in on a good day to air out your mattress more effectively.

On a sunny day, strip your bed and let the sunlight bathe your mattress for a few hours.

This not only tackles mites and allergens but also helps to eliminate any lingering odours.

Top tip: Keeping the bedroom environment dry and cool can also inhibit the growth of dust mites. Consider using a dehumidifier in particularly humid climates and maintaining a cooler bedroom temperature.

By implementing these practices, you can maintain a cleaner, more allergen-free sleeping environment, enhancing the overall quality of your sleep and health.

Protect yourself by using a mattress protector

Finally, one of the best things you could do to protect yourself is investing in a mattress protector.

A mattress protector is a barrier, preventing dust mites and allergens from penetrating the mattress fibres.

You can look for protectors that are specifically designed to be anti-allergenic, but any good waterproof mattress protector will do.

They should be washed regularly, at least once every two months, in hot water to kill any mites that may have accumulated.

Our favourite UK waterproof mattress protectors:

When to call professional mattress cleaners

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a mattress may need professional attention. 🧑‍🚒

Hiring a professional for mattress cleaning is best for tough situations like deep-seated blood or urine stains, water damage, or mould growth.

It's particularly useful for allergy sufferers, as professionals use advanced techniques to remove allergens and dust mites effectively.

However, it can be costly and means you can't use your mattress for a while after cleaning.

Generally, it's worth considering for serious issues that can't be resolved with home cleaning methods.

Maintenance tips: How to ensure your mattress stays in mint condition

Keeping your mattress in top condition is crucial not just for its longevity but also for ensuring a clean and healthy sleeping environment.

Regular maintenance can significantly extend the life of your mattress and improve your overall sleep quality.

two people rotating a mattress
Rotating your mattress regularly can keep it in a better condition for longer.

Here are some essential tips for maintaining your mattress:

  • If your mattress is double-sided, flipping it every 3 - 6 months helps even out wear and tear. Please keep in mind that many bed-in-a-box mattresses are one-sided mattresses.
  • Rotate your mattress head to toe every 3 - 6 months, regardless of whether you have a one-sided or double-sided mattress.
  • Keep your bedroom well-ventilated to avoid moisture buildup in the mattress.
  • In humid climates, consider using a dehumidifier.
  • Set a routine to vacuum your mattress every time you change your bed linen to remove dust and potential allergens.
  • Use a waterproof mattress protector to guard against spills and stains.
  • Quickly address any spills or accidents to prevent the liquid from soaking into the mattress.
  • Minimise the risk of spills and stains by not eating or drinking in bed.

By incorporating these simple yet effective maintenance steps, you can safeguard your mattress against common issues and ensure that it remains comfortable, clean, and supportive for years to come.

Recognise when it's time for a new mattress

Even with meticulous care, every mattress has its expiry date.

On average, a good quality mattress can last between 7 to 10 years.

However, this can vary based on the type of mattress, materials used, and how well it's been maintained.

woman lying on worn mattress
If your mattress starts sagging and support dwindles, it's time to start looking for a new one.

Knowing when it's time to replace your mattress can ensure you continue to enjoy quality, restful sleep.

Here are some tell-tale signs of wear and tear to look out for:

  • Sagging: If your mattress dips in the middle or at the edges, it's no longer providing the support you need.
  • Lumps and bumps: Over time, the internal structure of a mattress can break down, leading to uneven surfaces.
  • Creaks and noises: Noises from a mattress, particularly inner spring or pocket sprung mattresses, when you move can indicate that the internal structure is deteriorating.
  • Allergen build-up: If you wake up with allergies, it could be due to dust mites and other allergens that have accumulated over time in an old mattress.
  • Discomfort: Increased back pain or discomfort while sleeping can signal that your mattress no longer supports your body correctly.

Remember, a good mattress is essential for a comfortable night's sleep and maintaining overall health and well-being.

If your mattress is showing these signs of wear and tear, it may be time to start shopping for a new one.

Luckily, you're already in the perfect place for that - check out our guide on the best mattresses in the UK to get started.

Or, check out some of our top recommendations below.

Some of our favourite mattresses in the UK:

Summing it all up: Why mattress cleaning matters

Maintaining a clean mattress is crucial for ensuring a hygienic, comfortable sleep environment.

Regular cleaning, spot treatment of stains, and addressing allergens are key to prolonging your mattress's lifespan and promoting better sleep health.

Employing prevention strategies like using mattress protectors and understanding when to seek professional help can also save time and effort.

However, recognising when it’s time to replace an old mattress is equally important for ensuring ongoing sleep quality.

By following these comprehensive care tips, you can enjoy a fresher, cleaner, and more restful sleeping space.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the best way to clean a mattress?

    The best way to clean a mattress effectively involves a combination of regular maintenance and targeted cleaning techniques.

    Here’s a comprehensive approach:

    • Regular vacuuming: Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to regularly vacuum the mattress. This helps remove dust, dead skin cells, and other debris that accumulate over time. Aim to do this every month or every time you change your bedding.

    • Spot cleaning stains: As soon as stains occur, spot clean them. Use a mild detergent or a mixture of baking soda and water for most stains. For protein-based stains like sweat, blood, or urine, an enzyme cleaner can be more effective. Remember to dab the stains gently rather than rubbing them to avoid pushing the stain deeper into the mattress fabric.

    • Deodorising: Sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface of the mattress and leave it for several hours before vacuuming it off. This helps to neutralise odours. For a fresher scent, you can mix a few drops of essential oil with the baking soda before applying it.

    • Deep cleaning: Every 6 to 12 months, consider a deeper clean. You can use a steam cleaner for a thorough cleaning, which also helps kill bacteria and dust mites. Ensure the mattress is completely dry before putting sheets back on to prevent mold growth.

    • Addressing allergens and mites: Regularly air out the mattress and expose it to sunlight, if possible. This helps reduce allergens like dust mites. Using mattress protectors can also help keep allergens at bay.

    • Preventive measures: Use a mattress protector to shield against dirt, spills, and wear. Wash your bedding regularly and consider hypoallergenic covers if you have allergies.

    • Professional cleaning: In cases of severe stains or for an annual deep clean, consider hiring professional mattress cleaners.

    Remember, each mattress type may have specific cleaning instructions, so it's wise to check the manufacturer's recommendations.

    Regular maintenance not only keeps your mattress clean but can also extend its lifespan.

  • Why does a mattress turn yellow?

    A mattress can turn yellow due to several factors, most commonly due to sweat and body oils.

    Here's a breakdown of why this happens:

    • Sweat: Everyone sweats during sleep to some degree, and, over time, this sweat can soak into the mattress. Sweat contains salts and other compounds that can leave behind a yellowish stain as they accumulate.

    • Body oils: The natural oils produced by your skin can also seep into the mattress fabric and padding, leading to yellowing. These oils can attract dirt and dust, further contributing to the discolouration.

    • Other bodily fluids: Apart from sweat and oils, other bodily fluids like urine (especially common in mattresses used by young children) can cause yellowing.

    • Aging of materials: The materials inside the mattress, such as foam and fibers, can oxidise and break down over time due to exposure to air and light, leading to yellow discolouration.

    • Spills and acidents: Food and drink spills, if not cleaned properly, can leave yellow stains over time.

    • Environmental factors: Factors like humidity and exposure to sunlight can also contribute to the yellowing of mattresses.

    To mitigate this, using a mattress protector is advisable, as it can help absorb sweat and oils, protecting the mattress from direct exposure.

    Regular cleaning and maintenance of the mattress also play a crucial role in preventing and reducing the appearance of yellow stains.

  • How do you clean a yellow mattress?

    Cleaning a yellowed mattress, often caused by sweat, oils, or age, involves a few steps:

    Vacuum the mattress

    Begin by vacuuming the entire mattress with an upholstery attachment to remove dust and loose debris.

    Spot cleaning

    DIY solution: Mix a solution of equal parts cold water and distilled white vinegar, or use a mild detergent mixed with water.

    Method: Apply the solution directly to the yellowed areas using a spray bottle or a damp cloth. Gently dab the stain - avoid scrubbing to prevent the stain from spreading or going deeper into the mattress.

    Baking soda treatment

    After spot cleaning, generously sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface of the mattress.

    Baking soda is excellent for absorbing odours and drawing out moisture and stains.

    Leave the baking soda on the mattress for several hours or, ideally, overnight.

    Vacuum again

    Once the baking soda has done its job, vacuum it off thoroughly. This should lift off the baking soda along with some of the yellowing.

    Air out and dry

    Allow the mattress to air out and dry completely.

    If possible, let it sit in a well-ventilated area or near an open window.

    Sunlight can also help bleach the fabric naturally, but avoid excessive sun exposure, which can damage some mattress materials.

    Repeat if necessary

    For stubborn stains, you may need to repeat the process.

    Remember, always check the mattress manufacturer’s care instructions before applying any cleaning solutions, and test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t damage the fabric.

    If the mattress is severely yellowed or stained, or if these steps don’t work, you might consider professional cleaning or assessing if it’s time for a new mattress.

  • Does baking soda really clean a mattress?

    Yes, baking soda can effectively clean a mattress.

    It's particularly good for deodorising and lightly cleaning the surface.

    Here's how baking soda helps:

    • Odour absorption: Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a natural odour absorber. It's effective in neutralising acidic odours and lessening the smell of various organic compounds. When sprinkled over the mattress, it can help in removing smells like sweat or urine.

    • Mild abrasive: Baking soda has a slightly abrasive texture, which can help in dislodging light stains and dirt from the surface of the mattress when rubbed gently.

    • Moisture absorption: It can also help in absorbing moisture. This is particularly useful in humid environments or if the mattress has been exposed to dampness.

    For general cleaning, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the mattress, leave it for a few hours to absorb odours and moisture, and then vacuum it off.

    For stain removal, it can be used as a paste (mixed with a bit of water), applied to the stain, left to dry, and then scraped off or vacuumed.

    However, it's important to note that while baking soda is effective for surface cleaning and deodorising, it's not a substitute for a thorough deep clean, especially for removing deep stains or addressing issues like dust mites or allergens. 

    For more intense cleaning, other methods or professional services might be required.

  • How do I get pee out of a mattress without baking soda and vinegar?

    Removing urine from a mattress without baking soda and vinegar can be done using a few alternative methods.

    Enzyme cleaner method

    Enzyme-based cleaners are specifically designed to break down organic matter like urine.

    They are often used for pet stains but work just as well for human accidents.

    • Blot the area: Use a clean, dry towel to blot as much of the urine as possible.
    • Apply enzyme cleaner: Follow the instructions on the enzyme cleaner. Typically, you spray it onto the affected area.
    • Let it sit: Allow it to sit for the time specified on the product label. This is usually around 15 - 20 minutes.
    • Blot again: Use a clean, dry towel to blot the area again, removing as much moisture as possible.
    • Air dry: Allow the mattress to air dry completely. This may take several hours.

    Hydrogen peroxide and dish soap method

    If the stain is fresh and you don’t have an enzyme cleaner, a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and dish soap can be effective.

    • Mix the solution: Combine 2 parts hydrogen peroxide with 1 part dish soap.
    • Apply the solution: Lightly spray or dab the solution onto the stain. Don't oversaturate the mattress.
    • Gently scrub: Use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub the area.
    • Blot and rinse: After scrubbing, blot with a damp cloth to remove the solution, then with a dry cloth to remove moisture.
    • Dry the mattress: Allow the mattress to air dry fully.

    Liquid laundry detergent method

    If the urine stain is not too strong, this method can be effective.

    • Dilute detergent: Mix a small amount of liquid laundry detergent with water.
    • Apply to the stain: Using a cloth, apply the solution to the stain.
    • Blot and rinse: Blot the area with a damp cloth, then dry with a clean towel.
    • Dry the mattress: Let the mattress dry completely.

    For all methods, always blot and don't rub as rubbing can push the urine deeper into the mattress.

    It's also a good idea to test your cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the mattress first.

    Always ensure good ventilation in the room to speed up drying.

    Sometimes, it might be necessary to repeat the process to completely remove the odour and stain.

    In all cases, it's important to tackle the stain as soon as possible for the best results.

    If the stain is old or the odour persists, you may need to consider professional cleaning or, in extreme cases, replacing the mattress.

  • Can I shampoo a mattress?

    Yes, you can shampoo a mattress, but it's important to do it carefully to avoid damaging the mattress.

    Here's a brief guide on how to shampoo a mattress:

    • Choose the right shampoo: Use a fabric or upholstery shampoo suitable for mattresses. Ensure it's gentle and non-toxic. Avoid harsh chemicals that might damage the mattress fabric or cause health issues.

    • Vacuum the mattress first: Before shampooing, thoroughly vacuum the mattress to remove dust, dirt, and debris. This helps the shampoo to work more effectively.

    • Spot cleaning: If there are any specific stains, pre-treat them with a suitable stain remover.

    • Apply the shampoo: Follow the instructions on the shampoo. Typically, you would apply a small amount of the shampoo to a clean, damp cloth or use a spray bottle to apply it evenly over the mattress surface. Avoid saturating the mattress with too much liquid.

    • Gently scrub: Gently scrub the surface with a soft brush or cloth in a circular motion. Focus on areas with stains or odours.

    • Wipe and rinse: After scrubbing, wipe the mattress with a clean, damp cloth to remove any shampoo residue. It’s crucial not to over-wet the mattress.

    • Air dry: Let the mattress dry completely before making the bed. This might take several hours. You can speed up the drying process by using a fan or placing the mattress in a well-ventilated area.

    • Vacuum again: Once the mattress is dry, vacuum it again to remove any loosened dirt.

    Always read and follow the instructions on the mattress shampoo label and test the shampoo on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause discolouration.

    Ensure the mattress is thoroughly dry before using it to prevent mold and mildew growth.

    If you’re unsure or the mattress is particularly valuable or delicate, consider professional cleaning services.

  • Can I use a carpet cleaner on my mattress?

    Using a carpet cleaner on a mattress is generally not recommended.

    Carpet cleaners, especially those designed for deep cleaning, are often too harsh for mattresses and can saturate them with too much moisture.

    Here's why it's advisable to avoid using carpet cleaners on mattresses:

    • Excessive moisture: Carpet cleaners are designed to deeply penetrate fibres, which can result in too much moisture being absorbed into the mattress. Mattresses are not designed to handle this level of moisture and can take a very long time to dry completely, leading to potential mold and mildew growth.

    • Harsh chemicals: The detergents and chemicals used in carpet cleaners might be too strong for mattress materials. This can lead to damage or discolouration of the mattress fabric and can also be harmful if you're sensitive to strong cleaning agents.

    • Depth of cleaning: Carpet cleaners are designed to clean thick fibres and can be overly aggressive for the delicate structure of a mattress, potentially damaging the internal materials.

    Rather use one of our best mattress cleaners to keep your mattress fresh.

  • References



Editor & Certified Sleep Therapist

Nicky is an experienced writer and editor with numerous qualifications. As a certified sleep coach, her interests lie in understanding how sleep problems arise from hormonal and environmental issues, particularly as part of stress and anxiety management.

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