Disinfecting a mattress may be challenging, but we’ve all been in a position when we needed to clean and disinfect a mattress, whether as new parents, caregivers for elderly relatives, or as part of our yearly spring clean.

We at Pro Housekeepers know a thing or two about the best methods to remove mattress stains, which is why we’ve compiled our top recommendations for keeping your mattresses clean and disinfected at all times.

The good news is that cleaning your mattress does not need a lot of costly chemicals or equipment. We’ll demonstrate how to clean a mattress using baking soda, vinegar, and a household detergent.

While it’s probably too late now that you’re reading this, investing in a water-resistant mattress cover in the future can save you time and aggravation.

What is the proper way to clean a mattress protector?

Mattress protectors may often be machine washed, but always check the label and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations if they vary.

Utilize a cold or lukewarm cycle to avoid damaging the water-resistant coating, and air dry protectors and mattress toppers rather than tumble drying them.

This will guarantee that your mattress cover continues to provide protection for the longest possible period.

The proper way to clean a mattress

Before you begin cleaning a mattress, there are many things to consider. These factors include the mattress’s kind and the purpose for cleaning.

To get the greatest results, different cleaning techniques should be utilized on different materials and stains.

Mattress types:

  • Foam made of memory
  • An internal spring
  • Gel-infused mattress
  • Mattress made of latex
  • Mattress hybrid

Typical mattress stains:

  • Blood
  • Urine
  • Sweat
  • Vomit
  • Food and beverages

The majority of mattress types can be cleaned quite easily-just be careful not to get them too wet. Water may seep into mattresses that are too deep to be dried adequately, allowing mold and germs to develop.

Memory foam mattresses are an exception to the usual cleaning guidelines.

What is the proper way to clean a memory foam mattress?

How to Clean a Mattress

How to Clean a Mattress

Because memory foam is petroleum-based, it may react negatively with some cleaning solutions.

Instead of chemical cleaners, create a DIY mattress cleaner like the one below, or spot clean your memory foam mattress with plain water and a few drops of laundry detergent or dish soap.

Can a memory foam mattress be steam cleaned?

It is critical to avoid using a steam cleaner on memory foam mattresses. However, due to the high absorbency of these mattresses, if you need to quickly dry a spill, try using a hairdryer on a low setting.

Whatever kind of mattress you have, always begin by blotting up as much of the spill as possible.

If you are not concerned about spills but need to learn how to clean a dirty mattress, try repeating the odor-neutralizing procedures below many times for the greatest results.

Mattress washing on a regular basis:

Maintaining a clean mattress extends its life, reduces irritants and allergies, and makes sleep more comfortable. The following are the most effective methods for cleaning a mattress.

To clean your mattress, you’ll need the following items:

  • An upright vacuum cleaner
  • Soap for dishes or enzyme cleanser
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Cloths made of microfiber
  • Water that is icy

Begin by stripping the mattress and washing the bedclothes. If feasible, use a hot cycle to aid in the removal of dust mites. Consult our helpful guide on cleaning pillows to freshen them up while you’re at it.

Then, using an upholstery attachment, vacuum your mattress. This will eliminate mites, dust, dry skin, and other contaminants. Check any seams and folds in your mattress and vacuum them thoroughly to remove any dirt.

If the mattress has any stains, now is the time to clean them. Alternatively, you may use regular dish soap and cold water or a specialized enzyme cleanser.

Clean the mattress just on a spot basis, taking care not to soak it. Before using a cleaning, determine the kind of mattress.

After ensuring you’re using the correct cleanser, dampen a microfiber cloth with the solution and dab the stain until it lifts. Add a few drops of cold water to the towel to assist in blotting stubborn spots.

Sprinkle a coating of baking soda on your mattress to break down sweat stains and eliminate smells and leave for several hours, or even overnight. This will aid in the absorption of any residual dirt.

Leave the curtains open if the sun is shining and attempt to get as much light on the mattress as possible. Sunlight’s UV rays may aid in the destruction of germs.

Finally, vacuum the mattress to remove any remaining baking soda.

How to clean a mattress thoroughly

If it’s been a while since your mattress was cleaned, it may benefit from a little extra tender loving care.

The technique you employ will vary according to the material of your mattress and the cause of the thorough clean, but in general, follow these steps:

Step 1: Using a blotting motion, remove any dirt or moisture.

Step 2: Remove stains with an enzyme cleanser, taking care not to wet the mattress.

Step 3: If the mattress is damp, blot up as much liquid as possible using paper towels or a microfiber cloth. Apply pressure on the mattress to push the water out.

Step 4: Cover the mattress with an unscented cat litter layer. Allow it to sit overnight to absorb smells and dry up any residual moisture.

Step 5: Vacuum the mattress to eliminate any remaining trash.

Flip the mattress over and repeat steps 1-5.

How to remove pee from a mattress

Pee stains are especially odious since they penetrate mattresses and leave an odor behind. The sooner you begin cleaning a urine stain from a mattress, the more easily it will come out.

The best method for removing pee from a mattress is as follows:

Begin by wiping up as much urine as possible. Towels made of paper, microfibre clothes, or old bath towels may be used.

Apply pressure to the mattress and push the towels into it to extract as much pee as possible. Scrubbing will simply spread the stain and cause it to go deeper into the mattress.

If you do not have a suitable cleaning solution on hand, you may create a homemade urine cleaner for your mattress as follows:

Mattress disinfecting spray made at home

2 tbsp. detergent

1 cup distilled white vinegar

2 c. iced water

In a spray bottle, combine the solution and generously apply it to your mattress. This defies the conventional wisdom that mattresses should not be too wet, but if your mattress has urine on it, it is already saturated, and adding a little extra moisture will make little difference.

Allow the cleaning solution to sink into the stain for 15-20 minutes after applying it. The detergent will assist in removing pee from the mattress, while the vinegar will eliminate the stink.

After soaking the stain in the cleaning solution, apply a thick coating of unscented cat litter or baking soda to the discolored area.

Allow it to rest overnight to absorb the maximum amount of liquid and odor. Check that the powder is completely dry before vacuuming – if it is very wet, sweep it up with a brush and dustpan and then add more litter/baking soda to dry up what remains.

If any odor persists after cleaning, continue the cleaning solution application and drying procedure until the odor is gone.

How to remove dried pee stains from a mattress

If the urine has dried by the time you find the mistake, you’ll need to take some additional measures to thoroughly remove it.

To begin, rehydrate the stain. This may initially make the area smell worse, but it is the only method to eliminate the urine.

Soak the discolored area in the same vinegar, detergent, and water solution, then cover with plastic such as Saran Wrap or a clean trash bag and leave for 24 hours.

This rehydrates the pee and allows the solution to work on cleaning it without it drying up.

Remove the plastic covering and allow the mattress to air dry after soaking the stain. This process may take up to 12 hours.

After the area has dried, inspect it for stains or odors. You may need to repeat the cleaning procedure many times to ensure that all traces of pee are fully removed.

How to clean a memory foam mattress of dried pee

While memory foam mattresses are not intended to be wet, a dried urine stain will need additional moisture to be removed.

Treat the discolored area with a solution of half a cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and three teaspoons of baking soda.

In a spray bottle, mix the solution (swirl, not shake) and spray the discolored area until it is wet. Allow an hour or two before blotting out any extra liquid and allowing it to air dry. Rep till the urine is completely cleansed.

How to clean a mattress of dog urine

Animal pee is more concentrated and often has a stronger odor than human urine. Many animals, like dogs and cats, use urine to indicate their territory, therefore it’s critical to remove stains promptly to avoid your animals from marking their territory on the bed.

Step 1: Blot as much pee as possible off the stain – do not massage it.

Step 2: Sprinkle a large quantity of baking soda over the area (do not use kitty litter if you have a cat; this will just encourage them to use the bed as a bathroom!)

Step 3: Reapply moistened baking soda

Step 4: Repeat Step 3 until the baking soda stays dry after the first application.

Step 5: Proceed as directed for human urine, beginning by soaking the stain in a cleaning solution.


Without using baking soda, how to remove pee from a mattress

Baking soda is an excellent item to have on hand for a variety of cleaning tasks, not only removing mattress stains. If you don’t have any on hand while cleaning a urine-soaked mattress, you may use unscented cat litter (unless you own a cat!).

Alternatively, baby powder or talcum powder, or in a pinch, ordinary table salt, may be used to absorb mattress stains.

How to remove vomit stains from a mattress

How to Clean a Mattress

How to Clean a Mattress

Vomit is another frequent source of mattress stains. As with pee, vomit may penetrate the mattress deeply and create an unpleasant stench, so you’ll want to clean it completely.

Begin by removing as much vomit as possible without rubbing it into the bedding. Clean the mess with an old bath towel, then blot with paper towels or a microfiber cloth to remove as much moisture as possible.

Following that, combine two cups of detergent with 2 cups of water. The detergent will aid in the breakdown of the vomit and the stain’s removal. Spot clean the mattress’s surface.

To avoid wetting the mattress, moisten a clean cloth with the solution and apply it with that.

Combine three parts white vinegar and one part water in a spray bottle and apply it to the discolored area. Again, avoid soaking the mattress; just dampen it. The vinegar may smell very strong at first, but it will go away as it dries.

Allow the mattress to air dry and repeat the preceding procedures if required until the mattress is thoroughly clean.

Then, to kill any remaining germs, spray the mattress with a thin mist of rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and allow it to air dry once more.

If smells persist, sprinkle the area with baking soda and let it sit overnight before cleaning.

How to clean a mattress of a blood stain

Blood may be a difficult stain to remove, since once it settles, it’s almost impossible to remove.

Always treat blood stains with cold water, since hot water will permanently embed the stain in the fabric. Apply cold water to the stain with a microfiber towel and blot out as much blood as possible.

Following that, dab a tiny quantity of hydrogen peroxide on the stain and let it perform its magic. Once the fizzing has ceased, wipe it up with a clean, dry towel. Rep the procedure if the discoloration is still visible.

Then, using baking soda, cold water, or hydrogen peroxide, create a paste and apply it to the stain. Allow it to rest for 30 minutes before wiping with a wet towel.

Pro Tip: Meat tenderizer works very well as a blood remover. Simply replace baking soda with it when making a paste with cold water and applying it to the stain.

How to properly clean a dripping mattress

When cleaning a wet mattress, the first issue is determining what caused the mattress to get wet in the first place.

How to Clean a Mattress

How to Clean a Mattress

Although mattresses should be avoided whenever possible, it is occasionally necessary. Unless you’re dealing with bodily fluids (in which case, go to the recommendations above), begin by attempting to dry the mattress completely.

Allowing a wet mattress to remain damp encourages the growth of mildew and germs.

If your mattress becomes soaked during a flood, it is unlikely to be salvageable. Flood water is nearly always polluted with microorganisms that you do not want to sleep on, and may even convert your mattress into a biohazard.

If your mattress has been soaked, it is more prudent for you and your family to discard it.


Regardless of how your mattress became filthy, our cleaning pros are trained in the most effective techniques for cleaning it and keeping it clean in the future.