How To Clean A Stained Mattress

December 22, 2022

You spend nearly half of your lifetime in bed—which is reason enough to keep your mattress in tip-top shape. But a stained mattress can be a real headache to clean, so we understand if you’ve been avoiding it! But how do you clean a mattress? This blog post will give you detailed instructions on cleaning different types of stains from your mattress. We will also provide tips on preventing these stains from happening in the first place. 

How To Wash a Mattress

Here’s how to clean a stained mattress using the following: 

  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent
  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A sponge or clean cloth

Step 1: Prep

Strip your bed of all bedding, including the mattress cover. Then, using an upholstery attachment, vacuum your mattress to remove any dirt and debris from the surface. Pay attention to the piping around the edges and clear away any debris. Removing dust is especially helpful for allergy sufferers, so don’t skip this step!

Step 2: Clean

  • Use a spray bottle to mist the stain.
  • Mix one cup of hydrogen peroxide with three tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of dishwashing soap, and put it in another spray bottle.
  • Spray the stain (less is more!) and scrub with a brush until the stain is gone.
  • Mist again with clean water, and blot with a towel.
  • Scrub away any extra residue with a brush or cloth.

Different stains and types of mattresses may require more—or more specialized cleaning solutions (more on that below).

Step 3: Deodorize

Sprinkle baking soda over your mattress and allow it to sit for at least 24 hours to help remove any odors.

Step 4: Vacuum

Once you’ve finished scrubbing the area, use a vacuum cleaner to remove any residual dirt or baking soda. Be sure to move the cleaner slowly and steadily over the affected area to ensure that all residue is removed.

How To Clean Memory Foam

Memory foam responds differently to cleaning than other mattresses. Here’s how to clean memory foam: 

  • Choose detergent specifically designed for memory foam, mild liquid laundry detergent, dishwashing soap, or fabric cleaner diluted with two parts warm water for every one part cleaner.
  • Cover the stain generously with your cleaning solution. Then scrub with a clean, damp cloth.
  • Once the stain is removed, wipe it away with another moist rag.
  • Dry immediately with a dry, absorbent cloth.
  • Try to dry it entirely as quickly as possible by placing it in sunlight, with a fan, or using a blow dryer.

For removing more extreme stains (like urine or vomit) from a memory foam mattress, use a solution of one part vinegar to three parts warm water. Wondering how to clean a foam mattress topper? The steps above will work for that, too. 

How To Remove Urine Stains

Accidents happen! Wondering how to clean dog pee (or other urine) from your mattress? Removing urine stains as soon as they occur is your best option for fully getting rid of them! Here’s how to clean fresh urine stains:

  • Combine equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Blot the fresh stain with a dry, absorbent towel to try and lift it from the mattress. Avoid rubbing, which can force the stain further into the mattress.
  • Generously cover the stain with your spray bottle mixture.
  • Sprinkle with baking soda and let dry for 8+ hours.
  • After drying, vacuum the area.

To remove a thoroughly dried, longstanding urine stain, follow the steps outlined at the beginning of this article.

How To Remove Blood Stains

The most important thing to remember when removing blood stains is that blood is very reactive to temperature. Warm or hot water could set the blood stain in place even further, so always use cold water to clean a blood stain. You can use the general method outlined at the beginning of this post to clean blood stains, ensuring the water is cold.

Try meat tenderizer if you need a more heavy-duty cleaning alternative for blood stains. It breaks down the proteins found in blood, making bloodstains easier to remove.

  • Combine one tablespoon of meat tenderizer with two teaspoons of cold water to make a paste.
  • Apply to stain and scrub with a brush or toothbrush.
  • Allow to dry, then vacuum. 
  • Repeat if needed.

How To Remove Vomit Stains

You’ll probably be cleaning up vomit stains shortly after they happen. Here’s how to clean vomit from a mattress:

  • Start by blotting up as much vomit as possible with a clean cloth.
  • Combine equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Generously cover the stain with your spray bottle mixture.
  • Sprinkle with baking soda and let dry for 8+ hours.
  • After drying, vacuum the area.

The step you will not want to skip when removing vomit stains is the baking soda. Baking soda helps remove the odors that vomit is sure to leave behind.

How To Prevent Mattress Stains

What’s even better than learning how to clean a stained mattress? Preventing stains from happening in the first place. The best way to prevent mattress stains is to keep your mattress clean and dry. The easiest way to avoid stains is by investing in an absorbent mattress pad to help keep moisture away from your mattress.

Baking soda is also an outstanding preventative tool since it helps prevent your mattress from absorbing skin and sweat cells. When cleaning seasonally, sprinkle baking soda on your mattress and let it sit for a couple of hours. Then vacuum up and enjoy a fresher mattress!

Can You Wash A Mattress?

If the above methods aren’t effectively removing stains or odor from your mattress, here’s how to wash a mattress using deep cleaning options. 

Steam cleaning: Rent a steam cleaner for your mattress (as long as it’s not memory foam), and give it ample time to dry.

Enzymes: Enzyme cleaners come with their own instructions and add heavy-duty cleaning power to break down stains.

Shampooing: To shampoo your mattress, use upholstery shampoo and a carpet-cleaning vacuum. Carpet cleaners can get deep down into your mattress and will be able to remove most water. However, you’ll still need to allow for ample drying time and ventilation to dry your mattress completely.

Deep cleaning washing methods can be overwhelming with the labor and tools needed, and we don’t blame you if stain removal is far down on your list of ways you want to spend your weekend. A Home Improvement Tasker can help you figure out how to clean a dirty mattress with minimal ick factor. Hire a Tasker today!