Sleep Talk | Gotta Sleep Blog

How to Clean a Mattress

Author: Cass Howlader

Have you noticed your room has been musty recently? It’s not your laundry, and it can’t be your fresh sheets, where might that smell be coming from? 

More often than we’d like to think, it’s just our old, unwashed mattress. You can hardly toss the whole thing in the washing machine, and you’re pretty sure the dry-cleaners would ban you for life if you asked, but what are you supposed to do with this big sleeping box when it needs to be freshened up? Mattresses aren’t supposed to get wet, they take forever to dry and it could rust your coils, or deteriorate your memory foam.


It seems like there’s only one option, but you don’t have to go buying a whole new mattress any time it gets musty, there is a way to do it! 7 easy steps with things you already have in your home will have your mattress, and your room, feeling fresh and clean. 


You’ll only need a couple items:

  • Vacuum
  • Baking Soda - You might need a lot!
  • Hydrogen Peroxide*
  • Dish soap*
  • Rag*
  • Stain Removal Spray*

*If you don’t need to spot clean your mattress, you won’t even need these!


Step 1 - Clean your Sheets

You should be putting on fresh sheets as often as you can, it not only keeps the bedroom fresh but it keeps you fresh as well! It’s recommended you wash/change your sheets every week, but not everyone has the time to do so. As long as you have a mattress protector, and the sheets smell good, you shouldn’t have any problems if you can only change your sheets every other month.

Step 2 - Spot Clean

Using 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and 1 part dish soap, you can gently scrub any problem areas clean! An old toothbrush should do the trick, but if you don’t have one laying around, gently scrubbing with a rag will work fine. Wipe down the area with a clean, damp rag when you’re done. Remember not to get a lot of water on the mattress, they aren’t meant to get wet, especially memory foam!

Step 3 - Take Care of Those Stains!

Maybe you don’t know where that stain came from anymore, but you know how to get it out! Using stain removal spray (the same kind for clothing!) you can gently rub out those stains on your mattress top. Don’t spray directly onto the mattress, it can’t get wet under the surface, but spraying a rag and scrubbing will get it out just as well! Remember to wipe it off with a damp cloth too, not a wet one.

Step 4 - Baking Soda

Baking soda is the best thing out there for absorbing smell, and depending on your mattress size, you might need a lot! Sprinkle a nice layer of baking soda over the top of the mattress, and let it sit there for at least 30 minutes. It’ll absorb all the smells that make your room smell musty, and leave your mattress fresh!


Step 5 - Vacuum

Depending on your mattress, a spinning carpet cleaning mode might do more harm, and be more cumbersome than is necessary. A small, handheld vacuum with good suction will pick up all the baking soda, and help clean out what dust has embedded itself in your bed. 


Step 6 - Give it a Rest!

Let the mattress sit out and air out for another hour once you’re done to both make sure it’s dry, and just let it breathe! You don’t need to hand it out on the clothesline to let some air through it, just leave your sheets off and let it soak in the air freely. 


Step 7 - Put your Sheets Back

If you didn’t already have a mattress protector, now would be the time to put one on. A high quality mattress protector will stop your mattress from taking in so much sweat and dust (which is what got it dirty in the first place!) leaving your mattress fresh until it really wears out. A fresh set of sheets on top of that and it’s ready to be slept in!


It doesn’t take much to keep your bedroom fresh, and keep your sleep healthy. It’s always worth it for a better night’s sleep.