Mattresses get a lot of use which results in a buildup of bacteria and fungi, but is there an easy way to disinfect and clean your mattress? Carpet cleaners are fairly inexpensive and are available for rent in many stores. We did the research to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to clean your mattress with this highly available machine.
Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Here are the steps for how to clean your mattress with a carpet cleaner:
- Flip the mattress on its side
- Vacuum the mattress
- Prepare carpet cleaner and solution
- Wash the mattress
- Allow drying time
Cleaning your mattress with a carpet cleaner isn't tough, but it is time-consuming, so start early in the day to be sure the mattress has time to dry before bed. Keep reading to learn some tips and tricks to make this job a little easier, as well as how to clean different types of mattresses.
How To Use A Carpet Cleaner On A Mattress
1. Flip the Mattress on its Side
Strip your bed and put the dirty bedding into the wash. Put the mattress on its edge against a wall and make sure it is stable before you start cleaning. It will be much easier to access the full area of the mattress while it is on its side.
2. Vacuum the Mattress
Use a handheld dust buster or a vacuum with hose attachments to thoroughly vacuum the entire area of the mattress. This will remove any dry material built up in the fabric and cushioning like dead skin and dirt. You may want to go over it twice to ensure you suck up as much as possible.
Black + Decker Dustbuster
This dustbuster will make short work of vacuuming your mattress. Click here to see it on Amazon.
3. Prepare the Carpet Cleaner and Solution
Clean the machine thoroughly before proceeding; make sure there is no dirt or residue in the reservoirs. Follow the directions that came with the carpet cleaner to prepare the machine. Make sure you read the directions on the bottle of cleaner when mixing the cleaning solution and adhere to their recommendations.
Carpet Miracle Natural Cleaning Solution
This solution is all-natural and non-toxic, which makes it perfect for mattresses. Click here to check it out on Amazon.
4. Wash the Mattress
Use the hand tool to slowly work from one end of the mattress to the other in even strips. Be cautious not to soak the mattress as this will slow drying time and, if too wet, could result in mold. After cleaning the mattress, you can perform another dry run with the hand tool, sucking up any excess water and shortening drying times.
Bissell Spot Clean Carpet Cleaner
This carpet cleaner is perfect for mattresses, upholstery, and small carpet messes. Click here to see it on Amazon.
5. Allow Drying Time
Let the first side of the mattress air dry before moving to the next side. It's a good idea to set up a fan or open up a window to help speed this along. Once the first side is dry, flip the mattress over and repeat the process on the other side. You can repeat the process a second time on each side of the mattress if you have time and want a truly deep clean.
Can You Use a Carpet Cleaner on a Memory Foam Mattress?
No, while carpet cleaners are perfectly safe to use on standard inner-spring mattresses, you should never use this method on memory foam. To perform a deep clean on a memory foam mattress, you will want to use a steam cleaner or consult a professional cleaning service. Steam dries much quicker than the water and solution mix used in carpet cleaners, which is important since memory foam is so dense it dries slowly.
How to Steam Clean a Memory Foam Mattress?
After stripping the bedding from the mattress, hold the steamer nozzle about six inches from the surface of the mattress and move the nozzle in a circular or left-to-right motion. Do not allow the nozzle to rest in one place for more than 10 seconds, or the mattress may absorb too much moisture and cause mildew. Allow the mattress to dry completely, use a fan to speed the process.
Eave Handheld Steam Cleaner
This steam cleaner will work wonders on your memory foam mattress. Click here to take a look at it on Amazon.
Can You Use Carpet Cleaner Spray on a Mattress?
You want to be careful of chemicals when using a carpet cleaner spray on your mattress. Renting a machine won't cost much more than a couple of cans of spray cleaner, and it will do a much better job of cleaning your mattress. If you still decide to go this route, try to find an all-natural cleaner that is non-toxic so it doesn't irritate your skin.
Good Life Solutions Odor and Stain Remover
This spray cleaner is designed to remove stains and odors from upholstery. Click here to see it on Amazon.
How Do You Clean a Mattress Without a Carpet Cleaner?
If you have a vacuum, but do not have access to a carpet cleaner, try the baking soda method. Sprinkle a good layer of dry baking soda over the entire surface of the mattress. Let the baking soda sit for two or three hours, then vacuum it very well to remove as much of the soda as possible.
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Shakers
This baking soda is perfectly packaged for mattress cleaning, and there is enough for multiple uses. Click here to see it on Amazon.
How to Clean a Mattress Without a Vacuum?
Mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda with 1-cup of white vinegar until it's dissolved, then wet a washcloth in this solution. Use the washcloth to wipe down your entire mattress, scrub stubborn stains. Use a dry cloth or dishtowel to wipe down the mattress and remove some moisture, then allow the mattress to air dry completely.
Lucy's White Vinegar
This white vinegar is all-natural and perfect for cleaning. Click here to check it out on Amazon.
How To Clean a Mattress Topper
For memory foam mattress toppers, use a steam cleaner the same way you would for a memory foam mattress. For padded mattress toppers, you should follow the care instructions provided. Some may be machine washable; others may require a baking soda and vinegar soak and rinse.
How to Maintain A Mattress Properly?
To ensure your mattress ages well, be sure to provide it with protection. You will also want to make sure you flip the mattress regularly so it wears evenly, and be sure to make sure your bed frame is level and secure. Clean the mattress and your bedding regularly, and shower before bed to prevent bringing dirt, sweat, and grime into your bed.
Are Mattress Covers Worth It?
Yes, whether you are purchasing a new mattress or just finished cleaning your existing one, investing in a good machine washable mattress cover will save you time and effort later on. Instead of renting a carpet or steam cleaner, you can just toss the cover into the washing machine with the rest of your bedding.
Is it Time for a New Mattress?
If your mattress is very dirty and has stubborn stains, you may be wondering if it is time for a full replacement. A general rule with mattresses is to replace them every 8 years or so. You may notice that you no longer feel well-rested in the morning, or you wake with aches and pains - once your comfort is compromised, you know it's time.
Sealy Bed In A Box Foam Mattress
This memory foam mattress has great customer reviews. Click here to take a look at it on Amazon.
How to Keep Your Mattress Clean?
To keep your mattress clean and sanitary, use mattress covers and wash them regularly along with the rest of your bedding. When you strip the bed and spray a light misting of Lysol over the surface to sanitize it, then let it dry completely before replacing your bedding. Provide your mattress with a semi-annual deep clean as detailed in this post.
Now that you know the best ways to clean your mattress, you're ready to get started. Once your head hits the pillow tonight, you will see just how big of a difference cleaning your mattress can make. Enjoy a good night's sleep and a fresh, clean bed.
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If you've decided that cleaning your existing mattress is too much trouble and it's time for a new mattress altogether, you may be interested in our article "Can You Put A New Mattress On An Old Boxspring?"
If you are looking to protect your mattress from future soilings, take a look at our article "Can You Put A Mattress Cover On A Foam Mattress?"