How To Clean A Mattress

Your mattress is your safe place for the night, a familiar and comfortable oasis for you to rest and sleep. However, in time it begins to collect dirt, sweat and a variety of bodily fluids; even blood. Not all of these are obvious, or even visible, but they do demand that we clean our mattress regularly. So, here is a guide to doing that, including some tips for removing blood stains.

In order to clean your mattress thoroughly, you will need the following:

A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment

Baking soda

Mild washing up liquid

A scrubbing brush or strong cloth

Cold water

A spray bottle


Strip the bed and wash the bedding, including mattress and pillow covers. This is also an opportunity to wash your pillows.


Using the upholstery attachment to your vacuum cleaner, clean the entire surface of your mattress, taking particular care over any folds or wrinkles where dirt might have accumulated.

Every stain on the mattress now needs to be given individual attention to spot clean it. Mix a little washing up liquid with a cup of cold water, dip a cloth in it and dampen the stained area. Try not to wet the mattress too much.

Sprinkle baking soda over the entire mattress and leave it for a few hours to absorb any lingering odours.

When you are satisfied that the baking soda has done its job, vacuum the mattress a second time to remove the powder and any dirt that it may have loosened, then air it outside, if there is time. Sunlight has natural disinfecting properties and any light breeze will freshen your mattress and let it breathe.


Blood stains are more difficult to remove, but not impossible. They just require a little more care and application. Here’s what you will need.

Cold water

A clean cloth or sponge

Hydrogen peroxide (3% solution)




First, blot the stain. Use a clean, cold, damp cloth. Never use warm water as this will fix the stain instead of removing it.

Using your cloth or sponge, lightly dab a small amount of the hydrogen peroxide onto the stain. Be careful to spot test an inconspicuous corner of the mattress first, because hydrogen peroxide can bleach certain fabrics. If the stain is stubborn, use one part salt, two parts hydrogen peroxide and enough cornstarch to thicken the mixture and make a paste. Now apply it to the stain and leave it.

Once the paste is completely dry, scrape it off carefully and it should lift the stain out of the mattress. Dab the area with a damp cloth to remove any remaining marks and then blot the area dry with a clean towel.

Air dry the mattress before replacing it on the bed.


Regularly cleaning your mattress deals with dirt, stains, dust mites and bed bugs and ensures you are not only sleeping comfortably, but free from these potential threats to your health.