How to Clean a Used Mattress

If you’re getting a used/secondhand mattress, cleaning it becomes all the more important. Since you spend 1/3rd of your life sleeping, your mattress requires cleaning more than any other household item you own. Why’s that?

That’s because it contains all the dirt and dust combined with sweat your body releases. Not to forget the spill stains including urine and blood at times.

While thoroughly cleaning it is a pretty cumbersome task which is better handled by professionals, basic cleaning can be tried out at home as well. If you’re not up for spending much on mattress cleaning, here are a few simple ways you can make your mattress look and smell like new from the comfort of your home.

1. Give Your Mattress a Fresh New Look

The simplest of techniques to clean your mattress is by using a citric solution accompanied with baking soda later. A dilute dish-washing detergent can also be used if you do not have a citric solution readily available. Pour vinegar in a water spray bottle and spray on to the mattress top. Let it stay for about 5-10 minutes before you sprinkle baking soda on to it. Do not try to press into the mattress as it will only push the vinegar deeper, which is something you don’t want to do at any cost.

Turn the fans on and leave the windows open while you let the vinegar sit in since air circulation helps speed up the process. Next, use paper towels to absorb the vinegar from the mattress. After that, sprinkle baking soda on to the mattress. This process basically helps soak up the vinegar and remove the smell from the mattress, once cleaned. The baking soda needs to sit on for a couple of hours (2-4) before you clean it with a vacuum cleaner. This removes the yellow stains from your mattress and gives it a fresh and cleaner look overall.

2. Deodorize

The sweat and odor from our body builds up in our mattresses, which goes unnoticed at large. If the odor from your mattress has been bothering you, you are two simple steps away from getting a clean and fragrant mattress. Before you use essential oils, you need to address the actual problem where the smell is originating from. For this, we recommend repeating the aforementioned vinegar and baking soda technique. Once that is done, mix up your favorite essential oils with one box of baking soda. Spread this mixture all over your bed and let it stay for an hour or so.

This removes all the dust and absorbs the rotting odor from the mattress, leaving it with a fresh scent for you to enjoy aromatherapy as you sleep.

3. Cleaning Stains

Although its never a good idea to purchase a used mattress with stains on it, there are a few tested ways to get rid of them. Did you know that stains can be categorized into three types? Grease, tannin and protein stains. However, the only ones that last and bother you with their existence are protein stains. This includes all the stains your body is responsible for: namely blood, urine, vomit and sweat. Now there are a numbered ways to clean these stains. Firstly, you can use the basic mixture i.e. salt, cold water and baking soda. Rub it on the stain in a pressing motion instead of massaging it in circles (since that only spreads the stain further). After that, soak the excess moisture with a dry cloth or paper towel.

Another technique that is used widely is the hydrogen peroxide and dishwashing soap solution. You”l be needing 2/3rd hydrogen peroxide in 1/3rd of dishwashing solution and you’re good to go. Enzyme cleaners are also a tested way of removing stains from your mattress as they work rigorously to break down the protein stain molecules.

4. Vacuum Clean

If your mattress if fairly new and simply needs a dust removal, all you need is a vacuum cleaner and your job is done. Apart from the dust, your dead skin cells also fall off on to the mattress. Now majority of these are washed away when you change sheets but can also fall on the mattress when you’re changing sheets. When accumulated over time, these can make up for considerable amount of waste that needs to be removed.

Vacuum clean your mattress especially in the crevices, that change color with dust and spills. Using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner works wonders for those who suffer from allergies and asthma as it leaves no room for allergens and dust molds.

What to Watch Out For?

Although the above mentioned two step methods seem super easy to carry out, you need to look out for a certain factors to avoid further problems from originating.

  1. Make sure you dry out the mattress when cleaning it with a liquid solution to avoid any bed molds from growing in there. Any moisture content left in the mattress, especially memory foam mattresses isn’t absorbed anywhere due to the cellular structure of these mattresses. Cutting it short, blot, absorb and soak all the moisture with paper towels and cloth you can find to leave absolutely no water content in the mattress. Turn on the fans and open your windows for thorough air flow and quick drying.
  2. To keep your mattress from wearing out evenly, it is recommended that you flip sides often and rotate it. If you share your mattress with a heavy sleeper, it becomes all the more important to do so to prevent one side of the mattress from sinking in unevenly compared to the other one.
  3. The best way to increase your mattress life is by using a mattress protector. Not only does it protects against spills and stains, but also keeps dust mites and debris from accumulating in it. A wide variety of these is available commercially, including hypoallergenic ones for asthma and allergic patients as well as waterproof ones. Why should you invest in a mattress protector? Because washing a mattress protector is way simpler than cleaning your mattress. Secondly, no matter how well you clean it, it can’t be compared to the washing machine cleaning your mattress cover can get.
  4. Never, I repeat never, use hot water for cleaning your mattress since it makes the stain permanent. Always use cold water when it comes to washing off stains from your mattress.