Eachnight may earn commissions for products you purchase through our links. Our articles and reviews include affiliate links and advertisements, including amerisleep advertising. Learn more Updated September 6, 2021A mattress is a serious investment, so you want it to last for years—but if you don’t care for it properly, you may have to replace it sooner than expected.Without regular mattress cleaning, allergens, sweat, and dead skin cells accumulate within your bed. When you sleep on a dirty mattress, you’re more likely to suffer from watery eyes, an itchy throat, sneezing, and coughing. These reactions can disrupt your sleep and make you feel drowsy during the day. In this article, we’ll show you how to keep your mattress clean and reduce allergen buildup.Strip the MattressTo start, strip the mattress of all bedding including any mattress pads or toppers. It might be a good idea to place these items out of the way, so you have room to clean your mattress.Remove Pillows and Other DecorationsIf you have any decorative pillows or throw blankets, move them out of the way. Make sure to fold up any blankets that don’t need to be washed and remove pillowcases if they’re washable.Remove the LinensRemove the bedding from your mattress, including comforters, duvets, blankets, bedsheets, and pillowcases. Also, don’t forget to remove the mattress protector, but keep the mattress cover on. Most mattress covers are non-removable because they protect the inner materials from exposure.Wash the BeddingWash the bedsheets, blankets, and pillowcases according to the care instructions. These are guidelines from bedding manufacturers on how to best care for their products. If you have a duvet instead of a comforter, remove the duvet cover and place it in the washing machine. If possible, wash the bedding in hot water and dry on the highest possible heat to kill any dust mites or bacteria.Clean and Deodorize the BedAfter you’ve removed all the bedding (except the mattress cover), it’s time to clean the mattress. This process may take some time, but it’s essential to be thorough for a fresh-smelling bed. You should clean the mattress every six months to cut down on allergens and extend the bed’s lifespan.VacuumVacuuming your mattress removes dust mites, hair, dead skin cells, and other debris. Using the vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment (wide brush), vacuum the surface of your mattress. Then, switch out the upholstery attachment for the upholstery nozzle to vacuum the beds’ sides, paying close attention to the seams along the edges.Flip the mattress to vacuum the other side with the upholstery attachment; then vacuum the edges with the upholstery nozzle attachment.Spot CleanNext, you’ll want to remove any mattress stains. For fresh stains, take a clean, white cloth and wet it with cold water, just enough to dampen it. Blot the fresh stain with the damp cloth.Starting in one corner, gently press the cloth down and lift up. Continue this process in a circular motion until the excess liquid is absorbed. Don’t scrub the stain because that could spread the stain and make it harder to remove.For older stains, we like to use a basic DIY stain remover. Combine two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide with one tablespoon of liquid dish soap until suds start to form. Dip an old toothbrush into the stain remover and gently scrub the stain in a circular motion. Use a clean, damp white cloth to blot out the suds.If you have a memory foam mattress, use as little fluid as possible. Too much liquid can damage the memory foam.Biological stains from sweat may require an enzyme cleaner. Spray the enzyme cleaner onto a clean white cloth. Don’t spray directly onto the mattress because you don’t want to soak the mattress. The liquid can cause mold and mildew growth inside your bed.Blot the stain with the cloth to dampen the area, then let it sit for 15 minutes. Using the same cloth, blot the area to remove the stain. Blot the area again with a new clean cloth dampened with cool water.DeodorizeAfter you’ve taken care of the stains, it’s time to deodorize the mattress. Sprinkle baking soda over the bed’s surface. Using a sifter helps to distribute the baking soda evenly. You can also add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the baking soda before sprinkling it, to give your mattress a fresh scent.Let the baking soda sit for about an hour to absorb odors and leftover liquid from spot-cleaning. There’s no set time to leave the baking soda, but the longer it sits, the more odor baking soda absorbs. Vacuum the baking soda with the upholstery attachment, then flip the mattress and repeat the process.Air the MattressNow that your mattress is nice and clean air it out for a couple of hours to ensure any moisture dries out. If possible, set your bed in a sunny area. The UV rays from sunlight kill any lingering bacteria.Protect the MattressProtecting your mattress from future stains and spills can help your bed last longer. Relying on mattress covers as the only means of protection may not be enough, though some companies encase their mattresses inside waterproof covers. Taking extra steps, like regularly rotating your mattress, covering your bed with a mattress protector, and making your bed every morning may reduce allergens and even out wear and tear.Rotate the BedMost modern mattresses don’t need to be flipped. Mattress manufacturers design their models with a single-sided construction, so the bed doesn’t need to be flipped. But, the mattress should be rotated 180 degrees every three months. This evens out wear and tear and can reduce the risk of premature sagging.Add a Mattress ProtectorA mattress protector is a great first line of defense by shielding your bed and preventing any liquids and dust mites from getting inside your mattress. Some mattress protectors are also resistant to bed bugs, a pest that is near impossible to get rid of. Mattress protectors are a low-cost method of ensuring your mattress lasts. If you don’t have a mattress protector, you run the risk of voiding your mattress warranty in case of an accident.Make Your BedOnce your mattress is nice and dry, make your bed with clean sheets. Add your mattress topper or mattress pad first, then the fitted sheet and top sheet. Don’t forget to place the pillows inside clean pillowcases.Return the blankets, comforter or duvet, and decorative pillows to the mattress. Remember to always make your bed every morning. The layers of bedding further shield your mattress from dust mite and allergen exposure.FAQsHow can I freshen up my mattress naturally?Baking soda is a natural odor neutralizer and the perfect solution to freshening your mattress. Vacuum the bed’s surface first, paying special attention to any crevices. Then sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on top of the bed until semi-coated. Let the baking soda sit for at least an hour before vacuuming. The longer the baking soda sits, the more odor it absorbs.If you want to add a scent, mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with the baking soda before sprinkling. The mattress absorbs the essential oil, giving the surface a pleasant scent.Can you steam clean a mattress?Most mattresses can be steam cleaned. Steam cleaning removes dust mites and other allergens from your mattress in an environmentally safe way. Check with the mattress manufacturer before steam cleaning your bed, to make sure the model can be steam cleaned. Steam cleaning may damage memory foam mattresses because too much liquid can break down the material.How do I get my mattress white again?You may notice a slight discoloration on your mattress, which can be caused by colored sheets staining the bed or from age. To remove, follow the cleaning process for your mattress.After vacuuming up the baking soda, fill a spray bottle with cold water and add one tablespoon of clear liquid soap (colored dish soap will further stain the mattress). Shake to mix. Lightly spray the bed’s surface until evenly coated.Then take another spray bottle and fill it with half cold water and half hydrogen peroxide. Again, lightly spray the bed’s surface with the solution. Coat the surface with another layer of baking soda, and using a clean white towel, lightly rub the surface to mix the solutions.Lightly spray a second coat of the hydrogen peroxide mixture, add a second layer of baking soda, and then let the mattress sit overnight. The next morning, vacuum the bed’s surface, including seams and crevices, removing the baking soda.How do you clean mildew off a mattress?Unfortunately, once mold and mildew penetrate the mattress, it’s next to impossible to remove. There are preventative measures you can take to avoid mold and mildew growth. Regular mattress cleaning is one method. Another is making sure your mattress is completely dry before covering it with bedding. Otherwise, leftover moisture is the perfect environment for mold and mildew.Does sunlight kill mold?UV rays from sunlight naturally kill mold and mildew on the bed’s surface. One of the best things you can do once you’ve cleaned your mattress is to let the bed sit in a sunny area with fresh air, like by an open window on a sunny day. Sunlight also kills any remaining bacteria and dust mites. Make sure to leave your mattress for a few hours to ensure it’s completely dry before covering the bed with clean sheets.ConclusionTo fully enjoy the comfort of your bed, it’s essential to clean the mattress regularly. This cuts downs on allergen build up and may even help you sleep better at night. If not, you may wake up sneezing and coughing, or be bothered by a bad smell. Cleaning your mattress may take some time, but it’s worth it when you climb into a clean bed at the end of a long day.About the author Malik Karman“Professional sleeper” Malik Karman is a freelance writer for the eachnight blog. Over the years, Malik has read countless medical studies and explored hundreds of different bedding products in an effort to better understand what goes into a restorative night’s rest. Malik curates many of our “best mattress” guides to assist readers in the mattress buying process. Find more articles by Malik Comments Cancel replyLeave a CommentYour email address will not be published. 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