How to Disinfect a Mattress

We spend about a third or more of our lives lying on mattresses. Most of the time, that’s not a problem, but we sometimes encounter a stained and infested mattress. Knowing how to disinfect a mattress lets us breathe easier and keeps us and our families healthy and happy.

It’s crucial to have a tried-and-true mattress sanitizing technique that you can use to keep your beds clean. In this article, you’ll find out how to sanitize a mattress. Our guide gives you a step-by-step rundown of mattress sanitization.

We show you the complete process, from cleaning bedding to deep cleaning the mattress. You won’t need to use all of the steps with every cleaning, but you’ll sleep soundly knowing that you can reach for this guide if you need it.

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Disinfecting a Mattress

You should plan on cleaning your mattress, even if it’s a memory foam mattress, at least a couple of times a year to keep it sanitized and healthy.

Even if your mattress seems clean and has no visible stains, take the time to put it through essential disinfection every six months or so. Understanding how to properly clean a mattress ensures that it has a long, productive life.

Basic Mattress Sanitizing

This section covers basic mattress disinfection practices that you should perform every time you clean your mattress. If you have bedbugs or deep stains, you might need to go beyond this section and look at more intense cleaning options. These first steps should suffice for semiannual cleanings, though.

Remove and Clean the Bedding

You need to change your bedding at least once a week to keep you and your mattress clean and sanitary. In addition to regular changes, you should also give all of your bedding a thorough cleaning when you do your scheduled mattress sanitizing. Your bedding soaks up oil and grime, so it can always use a good cleaning.

Make sure to send all of your bedding, including a mattress protector, through the washing machine. That includes the mattress topper, mattress pad, mattress covers, bed sheets, pillow top, and duvet covers. Dust mites, bedbugs, and other pests can’t tolerate the heat of your washing machine.

So, make sure to run the bedding through a hot water wash with laundry detergent. Dry them in the dryer for more heat exposure.

Vacuum and Sanitize Your Mattress

If you’ve removed the bedding and find no infestations or stains on the mattress, you can avoid a deep cleaning. You’ll still need to vacuum and clean your mattress, but you won’t need to spend time working with liquid cleaners and odor control agents. A good vacuuming and steam cleaning should get your mattress back to new condition in a flash.

  • A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment and crevice tool
  • Steam cleaner
  • Dust mask
  • Safety glasses or goggles

If possible, bring your mattress outside to sit in the sun while you work on it. Sunlight is a fantastic disinfectant and will help you get your mattress sanitized. When you’ve got it in the sun, give the entire mattress a thorough vacuuming to remove dust, dirt, dead skin cells, and allergens.

Don’t skip the edges, corners, and crevices; that’s where bed bugs like to hide. Then, steam clean the mattress from top to bottom and back to front. Let the mattress sit in the sun for a few hours to dry out.

How to Sanitize a Mattress – Deep Cleaning

If you vacuum and steam clean but discover a pest infestation or stains, you’ll need to try some deep cleaning to get your mattress sanitized. Deep cleaning can take some time, but your reward is a clean bed and peace of mind when you sleep, so it’s worth the effort. Don’t be afraid to move to deep cleaning with a homemade antibacterial cleaner if needed.

Take care if you have to clean a memory foam mattress. While you can use these recipes to tackle stains and odor, be careful not to soak liquids into the foam, as this can lead to mold and mildew that will be almost impossible to remove.

This section examines the in-depth cleaning process for mattresses that have stains or infestations. You’ll find out the best cleaners for blood, urine, and other organic fluids, and we also show you how to mix up a dynamite DIY mattress cleaner that’s fantastic for getting sweat stains out of your bed.

Clean Mattress Infestations with Vinegar

An infestation can ruin your mattress if left unchecked, but if you catch it early enough, you can get rid of the critters before they dig in. We’ve provided an excellent bed bug spray recipe that you can use. It will knock early infestations right off your mattress and leave it looking and smelling amazing.

  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 15 drops essential oil
  • Spray bottle

Fill the bottle with vinegar, and add the essential oil. Spray every bit of the mattress, soaking the surface with the vinegar mixture. Allow the mattress to dry in the sun, and repeat until the infestation has cleared.

You can also use vinegar as a homemade dust mites spray. Once the infestation is gone, spray your mattress with an antibacterial disinfectant spray for mattresses to clear away any lingering contaminants.

Spritz your yoga mat with this cleaning and disinfecting spray as the best way to clean your yoga mat with all-natural ingredients.

Eliminate Organic Stains with Peroxide or Enzyme Cleaner

Unsightly stains and mildew can ruin a mattress so you need a good stain cleaner for mattresses that you can depend on to work when you need it most. Fortunately, you have a few different options to tackle mattress stains, most of them using popular home products you probably already have on hand.

You can always opt for commercial organic cleaners, which are cleaning products designed to cut through urine stains, blood stains, and other bodily fluids. We’ve also included a tremendous DIY mattress sanitizer that you can use for smaller stains. If you encounter a urine stain, clean a mattress after bedwetting with this recipe to completely eliminate the stain.

  • ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 1 tbsp liquid dish soap
  • 1 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tbsp table salt
  • Clean white cloth

Mix the soap, peroxide, water, and baking soda. Apply the stain remover to remove urine stains from a mattress, as well as blood and vomit, and let it dry completely.

Scrape the residue off the mattress with a blunt utensil. Then, dip the cloth in peroxide, and dab at the remaining stain until it lifts out. Allow to dry thoroughly before replacing bed linens.

Remove Odors with Baking Soda

You should now have a clean-looking mattress with no stains or infestations. That doesn’t mean that you’ve finished your work, though. Your mattress could still contain unpleasant odors.

Get bad smells out of a mattress with baking soda. Although an important part of cooking, baking soda is also a celebrated odor absorber and one of the best mattress deodorizers around. It can make your mattress smell fresh and clean again.

  • Large box of baking soda
  • A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment and crevice tool
  • Blunt utensil for scraping

Sprinkle baking soda over the entire surface of the mattress. Be generous with the baking soda; it’s not uncommon to use a whole box on a mattress. Let the baking soda stay on your mattress for 24 hours to deodorize it. Then, vacuum up the baking soda.

If you have cleaned up your mattress so that it smells better and looks more presentable but decide that it’s really time for a new mattress, you won’t have done all that cleaning for nothing. Donate your mattress to a charity organization or learn more about old mattress disposal in your community. Many businesses offer pick up services for your convenience.

We hope that you enjoyed our mattress sanitizing guide. A clean bed is essential to good health and comfortable sleep, and our cleaning tips can help you keep your mattress looking its best. We give you a step-by-step mattress cleaning process that you can use to handle light and deep cleaning. You’ll get a good night’s sleep knowing that your bed is clean and disinfected.

Thanks for reading our tips on how to sterilize a mattress. If you found our guide on how to disinfect a mattress useful, we’d appreciate it if you’d share our tips for disinfecting a mattress with your family and friends on Facebook and Pinterest.


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