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How To Spot Clean A Mattress

Sweat, urine, dust mites, bloodstains – no matter how careful you are, it’s more or less inevitable that you will eventually have to deal with stains and odors on your mattress.

Fortunately, you can spot clean your mattress with just a few simple items that you probably already have at home.

Below we take you through the quickest, easiest and most effective ways to spot clean a mattress and keep it in top condition:

how to spot clean a mattress

What Is The Best Way To Spot Clean a Mattress?

Knowing how to spot clean a mattress can save you countless headaches and many dollars, however, as with cleaning any other fabric you must always check the cleaning codes first.

This will tell you what cleaning agents can safely be used on your mattress. If you can’t find any cleaning codes stated, call the manufacturer first as using the wrong cleaning substance will run the risk of severely damaging your mattress.

So, assuming your individual mattress’s cleaning code allows for it – start by dabbing the stain with a wet white cloth or sponge, but don’t use paper towels. Paper towels can disintegrate and make more mess, as well as make your entire mattress too wet.

After you’ve dabbed the stain with water, you’ll want to blot the mattress dry with a dry white cloth as much as you can before you begin the cleaning process.

The best cleaner for your mattress will depend on the fabric type, but generally speaking, you will get great results from simple DIY mixes of cleaners such as hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice or washing liquid (you can even use certain types of carpet cleaner on some mattresses!).

Our favourite natural mattress stain remover here at Soffa Mag is a simple mix of baking soda, white vinegar and warm water.

Spray it on the stain, let it sit for an hour, and then cover the stain with baking soda. You can use something like vinegar too, or lemon juice. It generally depends on what you have in your home, but making a spray solution will be the easiest way to go about this.

If you need a bit more lift from your cleaner – this DIY solution from Urcreatedbeautifully packs a bit of extra punch, with not much more needed!

Can I Vacuum My Mattress?

Yes, you definitely can vacuum a mattress. Your mattress can actually cause and trigger many common allergies due to all the dust and other particles that it absorbs and collects over time.

Not to gross you out too much – but this might include dust mites or pet dander, insects droppings, bacteria from your skin or body fluids, and even the chemicals from the actual mattress itself.

No matter how clean you are, you still do sweat, and your mattress will therefore need cleaning and deodorizing even if it is still in good visual condition. Every 1 to 3 months is generally a good timeframe to consider vacuuming your mattress.

You’ll want to use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum, and switch to the crevice attachment for any seams.

Don’t forget the bed frame, baseboard, carpeting, and even under your bed. If you have a stain on your mattress, you’ll want to do this vacuuming step first before you begin blotting out any excess liquid.

Tips to Prolong Your Mattress’s Life

A good mattress will generally last for years, but you can prolong your mattress’ life by performing a few simple cleaning tasks.

how to spot clean a mattress cover

1.) Minimum Cleanings

You might not be able to clean your mattress every few months as you should, but you should try to do a deep clean AT LEAST every six months. At the very least, you will want to treat every stain immediately to make sure that it doesn’t set into the mattress.

If you eat in bed or sweat a lot at night, you may want to put some effort into ensuring that you clean a little more often too.

2.) Covers and Sheets

A small but important investment is a good mattress cover. These covers are thin and made to fit snugly over your mattress, kind of like a fitted sheet.

You can buy any type of cover to provide an effective line of defense against stains and odors.

While you might make a mental note to clean your mattress regularly, don’t forget to clean your sheets even more often too.

Even though those sheets are indeed protecting your mattress, they get dirty too. They end up with sweat and dead skin cells, which can damage your mattress if you don’t clean them. Same obviously goes for your pillows!

3.) Extra Support

Having something like a mattress pad may provide some nice extra support when you’re sleeping at night, but it’s actually very useful for protecting your mattress too.

A mattress pad will prevent sweat and other fluids from reaching your mattress, although just like your sheets, you’ll want to make sure that you do wash it frequently.

You might also look for support in the form of a strong base beneath your mattress. Any bed frame or base that doesn’t support your mattress well might make your mattress sag over time, especially if you have something like memory foam.

4.) Mattress Care

You don’t really need to do a lot to care for your mattress. It can be as simple as rotating your mattress every three or so months, which will distribute your weight over the mattress more evenly and allow the mattress some time to bounce back.

Speaking of caring for your mattress, don’t let your kids jump on the mattresses either.

While of course, you don’t want anyone falling and getting hurt, jumping on the mattress puts a lot of pressure on the mattress that can lead to it breaking down over time.

5.) Eating in Bed

You might want to sit back, relax, and eat in bed—a lot of us do it. However, eating in bed will inevitably lead to spills, which insects and bed bugs happen to LOVE.

It’s best not to eat in bed for this reason, but if it is a guilty pleasure, make sure you clean anything you drop immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How to Spot Clean a Mattress Topper, Cover, or Mattress Protector

That mattress topper of yours will help keep your mattress clean and can add a little extra comfort for you too.

Any topper, cover, or mattress protector will need to be cleaned regularly. If it isn’t a machine washable cover, you’ll need to spot clean it.

Just take a spray bottle filled with the cleaning solution we’ve mentioned above, spray it on the stain and blot the stained area with a clean cloth.

To get rid of odors, sprinkle baking soda right there on top, and let everything sit to dry. Once it’s dried properly, you can vacuum it up.

Sleeping on a wet mattress topper will only end up trapping that moisture and leading to more problems.

How to Spot Clean a Memory Foam Mattress

If there’s a cover, you’ll start by removing it and throwing it in the washing machine (if it’s machine washable of course).

Dab the stained area on the mattress surface with a damp cloth, but don’t use anything overly wet or with harsh chemicals. You can instead use a mix of warm water and mild liquid detergent that you slowly dab in. If the stain smells, you can spray a water-vinegar mixture on it before you scrub it in too.

Set your mattress out to dry, preferably in the sun if you can. As always – check the tags on the mattress for any specific care instructions first!

How to Spot Clean a Futon Mattress

Your futon is both a couch and a mattress, and with you using it for both, you might find that you’re more likely to end up with some sort of stain on it.

If you don’t notice any visual stains, or if your stain has some dry particles around it, vacuum first. Then you can move to get your stain with a damp sponge and a very mild natural or liquid dish soap.

Essentially, you’ll clean your futon just like you might clean memory foam mattresses: by not getting them too wet and by gently dabbing up the stain.

For tougher stains or stains that are more set, you can use cold water and vinegar as your cleaning solution before sprinkling it with baking soda. Once the futon is completely dry, just vacuum the baking soda off.

Remember to clean up your stains as soon as they happen. This will make it much easier to keep your futon clean and blot those stains out.

How To Spot Clean A Pillow Top Mattress

For routine cleanings, it’s as simple as vacuuming everywhere, including all the seams and crevices. If you notice some odors, sprinkle baking soda over everything, let it sit, and use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum it up once again.

For stains and discoloration, you’ll need to take some time to spot clean. Start by using a damp cloth to really clean that stain and blot up as much as you possibly can before you add some white vinegar to a spray bottle and let that sit on the stain for around 10 minutes. Blot at the stain again.

While that rests, take your baking soda and cold water and make a paste that you’ll apply to the stain. Once that dries, you’re in the clear to vacuum up the baking soda solution. Of course, you might choose to use a commercial cleaner as well, but if you do that, make sure that you follow all instructions on how to clean it properly and safely.

You will also want to make sure that any commercial cleaner you’re using isn’t too harsh. Having a cleaner that’s too harsh or with a lot of chemicals can damage your pillow top, so make sure that you check the instructions on any bought cleaner before you attempt to use it.

What Causes Yellow Mattress Stains?

You’ve noticed some yellow stains on your mattress, but you can’t remember spilling anything that might cause the stains?

Those yellow mattress stains are usually from urine, sweat, food, or other body fluids, so it’s natural that your mattress would become a little discolored over time.

These are one of the most common stains you’ll find when cleaning any mattress.

Blot out the area before you spray a vinegar solution on top. Let that soak for around 15 minutes before you cover it with baking soda and let it sit for around 10 hours.

Because you’re waiting so long, you’ll want to do this sometime in the morning so that you can sleep on your mattress at night.

Before you sleep on it again, just use a vacuum cleaner on that dry baking soda and replace your sheets on top.
how to spot clean a memory foam mattress


You will spend more time on your mattress than any other piece of furniture, so it’s incredibly important to keep it clean!

Spending so much time on it means that it will inevitably pick up stains and odors – but as you’ve just read, spot cleaning these areas isn’t particularly difficult. Many of these spot cleaning methods will also work wonders when it comes to cleaning other bedding and linen (e.g. cleaning your electric blanket)

Whether it’s sweat stains, urine stains, a bloodstain or any other type of mattress stain, you now know how to tackle them with a quick spot clean.

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