How to clean a mattress

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The question of how to clean a mattress comes up fairly often, especially when you’re expecting out of town visitors.

Remember that a mattress is a piece of upholstery – except that it catches and holds unpleasant things like dust mites, dead skin, and odors.

If you’ve never had a Kirby demonstration in your home, have one. It’s a real eye-opener! When they do the mattress with the attachment that allows you to see how much stuff they are pulling out, it is horrifying.

So the first step in cleaning your mattress will be to vacuum, and vacuum, and vacuum some more. Flip the mattress and repeat. Do your pillows while you’re at it.

If the mattress truly needs cleaning, use an upholstery cleaner, and be careful not to soak it. A foam cleaner, or a dry cleaner would be best. You don’t need mold on top of it!


To eliminate odors and allergens, spray the mattress and pillows down with FeBreeze or Lysol. You can do this every time you change the sheets. I've tried the less expensive brands and they are a waste of money.


Make sure you’re changing your sheets and washing them in hot water once a week. Wash or clean your blankets or comforters as needed. It’s nice to have washable ones so you can do them once a month. If you have dry clean bedding, I would suggest removing it at night when you’re going to sleep. But I guess that’s a personal choice. I’m all about avoiding extra housework!

If you have stains, Pet stain remover works great. Honest! I use Oxy Solution by Simple Solution.

If you can, sunlight is great for a mattress. Letting the mattress air out for an hour or so outdoors is great. Impractical for most of us though.


I think I’ll go visit my mattress now….


Find the rest of the house cleaning secrets here ...

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