The Ultimate Guide To Cleaning Mattresses

Let's face it - accidents can happen especially with your mattress so knowing how to clean your mattress is really important. Mattresses are an essential part of our lives. You spend approximately six to eight hours every night on a mattress. During this time, sweat, dead skin, dust, and oils from the body transfer onto your mattress leading to yellow stains that need an immediate solution.

To help you with your problem, we have come up with a systematic guide to cleaning your mattress. The solution helps get rid of stubborn stains, spills, odor, and other unpleasant substances that might be on your mattresses.

These solutions can be used on all types of mattresses without damaging them. We’ve also included bonus tips to guide through cleaning other things not mentioned in this guide. So, grab your cleaning gloves or other cleaning tools and let’s jump into the details.

how to clean a mattress

How to Get Blood Off a Mattress

Bloodstains are one of the most stubborn stains on a mattress especially after they dry out or are left on for some time. You’ll need to repeat the cleaning process several times for the stains to disappear.

For fresh stains, you can use:

Water and salt

Add 2 teaspoons of salt to 300ml of cold water (avoid warm or hot water as it might stain more) and mix thoroughly. Transfer the solution into a spray bottle. Spray the stained area generously. Cover the area with a dry rug or paper towels to absorb the excess.

Repeat the process 2 to 3 times until the stain disappears. Dip a clean rug into cold water and wipe out the remaining solution on the mattress. Finally, pat the area dry with a clean rug.

Baking Soda

Add 4oz of baking soda into cold water and mix until it all dissolves. Dip a cloth into the solution and pat onto the affected area. Leave the mixture on for 30 minutes. With a different clean rug, rinse the area carefully. Finally use a dry cloth to absorb the excess water and leave the mattress to dry.

For Dry stains, you can use:

Meat tenderizer (it breaks down the protein in the blood)

Take 1 tablespoon of your meat tenderizer and two teaspoons of cold water to make a thick paste. Rub the paste gently on the stains. Leave it on for about an hour. Then brush off the paste with a wet rug. Then use a dry rug to absorb any excess water.

Hydrogen peroxide (it’s a bleaching agent use it cautiously)

Add 2oz of hydrogen peroxide, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 4oz of cornstarch to make a thick paste. Spread the paste on the stains. You’ll notice the stains will foam up immediately when the hydrogen peroxide comes into contact with the mattress. Use a dry cloth to remove the stains quickly.

Apply another layer of paste on the remaining stains and let it sit for a few hours. After the paste dries off completely, brush off and vacuum the residue.  If there are any left stubborn stains, repeat the process until you get rid of the stains completely.

clean mattress

How To Clean Urine Off a Mattress 

Urine stain is tough and has a nasty smell that lingers. You need to act fast to prevent urine from soaking the mattress or it dries off before removing it. Use a dry cloth to remove the liquid as quickly as possible, use pressure to squeeze out the urine in the deeper layers of your mattress.

For fresh urine, you can use:

White vinegar

Dilute one tablespoon of white vinegar with two tablespoons of warm water to make a solution. Spray the solution onto the stain generously. Let it sit for a few minutes then remove the excess with a paper towel. Repeat the process multiple times until the stain and smell disappears. Pour some clean water on the affected area and wipe the excess. Allow the mattress to air dry.

Carpet cleaner

Blot out all the wet urine as quickly as possible. Ring out your carpet cleaner and follow the instructions on your mattress. After you’re done, let your mattress dry out in a ventilated room.

For old or dried out urine stains, you can use:

Note: when you leave urine on your mattress for a long time, you risk damaging it without any possible reversible solutions. The urine smell might also be stuck for a long time. However, cleaning dried urine is not completely impossible.

Upholstery cleaner

Mix 4oz of upholstery cleaner, a few drops of disinfectant, and mix with 2oz of clean water to make a cold solution. Apply on the affected area sparingly. Leave the solution to air dry.

Vinegar and baking soda

Mix a tablespoon of white vinegar with two tablespoons of water. Pour the solution directly on the stains and pat dry. Take a generous amount of baking soda and sprinkle it around the affected area to remove the strong odor. The following day you can vacuum the baking soda.

For Pet Urine

Pet urine stains are stubborn with a burning ammonia smell. You’ll need an enzyme cleaner such as uric acid to break down the urine into carbon dioxide and ammonia gasses that evaporate easily. For the enzyme cleaner, you’ll need to follow the instructions on the label when applying it to your mattress. Let the cleaning agent sit for about 10 to 20 minutes then pat dry with a cloth. Allow your mattress to air dry.

How to Clean A Mattress After Vomit

Vomit stain comes with an awful smell that would make you set your mattress on fire. However, before you do, we have a few ways you can get rid of vomit traces as soon as possible. You need to first remove the solid particles and dispose of them. Strip out the sheets, mattress protectors, and covers and wash them.

When wet, you can use:

Baking soda

Mix two tablespoons with one cup of cold water. Spray the mixture generously on the stained area. Give it at least 30 minutes before rinsing out with a wet rug. Use a dry cloth to blot the excess and air-dry the mattress.

White vinegar

After removing the solid pieces, mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with half a cup of warm water and pour the solution directly on the vomit stain. Give it a few minutes then wipe it out with a dry rug. Repeat the process several times until the stain and smell disappears.

When the vomit is dry, you can use:

Hydrogen peroxide

Mix 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide with 4 tablespoons of cornstarch and a teaspoon of salt to make a thick paste. Apply the mixture directly to the stained area. The mixture will start to sizzle when in contact with the stain. Take a dry cloth and wipe out the buildup stain before it dries. Add another layer of the mixture and let it sit there for an hour or after it dries completely. Then scrape off the paste and vacuum thoroughly. If the stain persists, repeat the process until you remove it completely.

cleaning vomit off a mattress

How to Clean a Self-inflating Mattress

Self-inflating mattresses are also known as camping mattresses. Since you mainly use them indoors when friends and family visit or outdoors when you go camping, collecting dirt is inevitable. However, here’s a few tips to clean your self-inflating mattress

Soap and Water

It’s wise to clean your camping mattress immediately after use. That makes it a lot easier to store away awaiting the next time you need it. Drop a few drops of detergent into a bucket of water and mix well. Dip a cloth into the soapy water, wash the mattress, and scrub the parts with stains. After you’re done, let the mattress dry under direct sunlight and flip both sides.

Baking Soda

If you notice, your inflating mattress has a moldy or other unpleasant odor, use some baking soda to get rid of it. Spread baking soda all over the camping mattress and leave it on for a few minutes. Then vacuum the mattress and store it in a cool dry place.

How to Regularly Clean Your Mattress

You should make a habit of cleaning your mattress after every 3 months to maintain good hygiene. Fortunately, cleaning a mattress is not as complicated as you’d like to imagine. You can vacuum your mattress on both sides to pull out all the piled-up dead skin cells, dust, and dirt. This would be helpful especially if you have allergies or skin conditions. If you own a steamer, you can use it before vacuuming to get rid of dust mites hiding under the covers.

You can also air-dry your mattress. This means you’ll have to strip out all the bedding and take your mattress outside under direct sunlight. If you don’t have space for that, you can place it in a well-ventilated room with direct sunlight. The sun helps dry out moisture that might support mold and kill bacteria. Leave the mattress exposed to the sun for about two hours and flip both sides for the best results.

In addition, you’d want to get rid of odors that build up over time due to moisture, sweat, and dust. You can use store-bought products that deodorize your mattress. Make sure you check the ingredients and avoid products that only cover up strong smells without removing the odor.

Alternatively, you can use baking soda with drops of essential oils to clean your mattress. Leave the baking soda for about an hour and vacuum thoroughly to remove all the dirt. It’s also a perfect natural deodorizer, while the essential oils add the scents you love.


Whether you are cleaning your mattress after an accident or you are due for a regular mattress clean, we hope this ultimate guide to cleaning mattresses has helped! Do you have any other great home tips for cleaning your mattress? Share your tips with fellow Cosy Sleepers!  

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