Written by Grove Collaborative

Clean Team: How to clean your mattress and keep it brand new.

Last Updated: February 16, 2021

Looking to keep your mattress in good shape for as long as possible? Learn how to clean your mattress the right way and get the most bang out of your buck!

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Ready to tackle the dirtiest spots in your home? Grove Collaborative has you covered with Clean Team. Each week, we’ll do a deep dive into how to clean a different place or item in your home. No spot is too small — and we’ll tell you how to conquer them all, naturally.

In today’s world, thankfully, mattresses are no longer made of weird things like hay or feathers. Good thing too! Today they are much more sophisticated — and comfy — with of course, a heftier price tag to match the lovely upgrades.

That means that you really want to keep your mattress in good shape for as long as possible to get the most bang for your buck, especially those of you that may be more frugal-minded than your neighbor!

Why you should clean your mattress

For one, it’s said that the average person spends a whopping third of their life sleeping. That means that in a single day, you spend anywhere from 6 to 10 hours on your mattress.

In that time, it comes into contact with sweat, body oil, dirt, dead skin cells, various body fluids, as well as dust and allergens from your surroundings, and oh yeah… pet dander. Assuming you have pets of course.

Regardless of how good your mattress and/or mattress cover is, these things will still make their way inside, accumulating in the core and creating odors, stains, and giving a perfect and warm home for microscopic organisms to breed and feast. Gross.

4 ways to clean and care for your mattress

Air it out

When you think about it, mattresses spend their whole life inside, covered, and mostly away from sunlight. This makes them an excellent breeding ground for dust mites, mold, and bacteria. A simple solution is to uncover your mattress and flood it with sunlight and fresh air.

Vacuum it out

Another great option is to remove the bed sheets, mattress cover, and mattress pad and sweep a handheld vacuum cleaner over the top and sides of the mattress. This will remove any dust and dirt particles, food crumbs, and pet hair from the mattress surface. For best results, use the upholstery tool on the vacuum cleaner. Depending on the design of your bed, you can also use the crevice tool attachment after the upholstery tool to clean quilted areas.

Flip it over

While not technically “cleaning” your mattress, if you have one that’s double-sided, you can flip it, though this can be difficult to do so alone because of its weight. Enlist a buddy before trying it. Flipping the mattress ensures that it endures even wear and tear on all sides.

Protect it with a cover

Remember that mattresses are a long term investment. To make them last as long as possible, you need to keep them safe from dirt, stains, mites, bacteria, and all the things. This is where a mattress protector comes in. Mattress protectors come in a wide range of options. You can even get a waterproof mattress encasement for extra protection against spills, or you might consider looking for a hypoallergenic cover if you’re an allergy sufferer.

How to make a homemade formula to clean your mattress

Below is a quick guide on several homemade formulas you can concoct in your kitchen to clean your mattress. We’ll also cover what types of stains each formula works best on.

Method 1: Baking soda for urine and sweat

What you’ll need:

How to do it:

Step 1:

Mix together hydrogen peroxide, dishwashing soap, and baking soda, until the baking soda is completely dissolved. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

Step 2:

Remove the bedding from the mattress. Spray the cleaning solution on the stained area, soaking it thoroughly.

Step 3:

Let it dry for at least an hour. You can also use a blowing fan, or a blow dryer with cool air to help speed up the process.

Method 2: Hydrogen peroxide for blood

What you’ll need:

How to do it:

Step 1:

Using a clean spray bottle, fill it with hydrogen peroxide.

Step 2:

Spray the mattress stain using the hydrogen peroxide and then blot the area with a clean towel. Repeat spray-and-blot step until the mattress stain is completely removed.

Step 3:

Allow the mattress to air dry before sleeping on it. To speed the drying process up, use a blow dryer on the cool setting.

Method 3: White vinegar for vomit

What you’ll need:

How to do it:

Step 1:

Using a spray bottle, mix together water and white vinegar in equal amounts.

Step 2:

Spray this cleaning liquid generously on the stained area and blot it up with an absorbent cloth. You can also apply a small amount of a vinegar gel cleaner in place of the spray if you have some handy. Continue repeating this step until the stain is removed to your satisfaction.

Step 3:

(Optional) If the vomit stains also smell bad, sprinkle some baking soda on the treated area and let it sit for an hour. Using a handheld vacuum cleaner, remove the dried baking soda and let the mattress continue to air dry.

How often do you have to clean your mattress?

Keeping your mattress clean is a must in our humble opinion. No one actually wants to sleep with bed bugs! Therefore, our motto is… take care of your mattress, and your mattress will take care of you!

We highly recommend that you commit to thoroughly cleaning your mattress every few months. Shoot for 4 times a year in order to keep your bed fresh and yourself healthy.

4 Tips to keep your mattress clean for longer

Tip 1:

To maintain a clean mattress, it is best to vacuum it regularly. Try to aim for at least once a week. This will help prevent any buildup of dirt and debris.

Tip 2:

After every cleaning session, spray the entire mattress with a disinfectant spray. A simple 2:1 solution of rubbing alcohol and water, or even a store-bought one will do.

Tip 3:

To keep the mattress protected from odors, spray it with an essential oil of your choice. Lavender essential oil is one of the most popular choices due to its soothing scent that calms and helps you sleep, but you can use any scent you like best.

Tip 4:

Invest in a good quality mattress protector that is waterproof, hypoallergenic, and machine washable. Trust us, you won’t regret it!

When is it time to replace your mattress?

On average, mattresses should be replaced between the 7 and 10 year mark, though there is no hard and fast rule that requires this. If you take excellent care of your mattress, it could last longer. If you’re more lax in your mattress care, you might consider replacing it sooner. Some warning signs that your mattress needs replacing might be:

  • Noticeable lumps and sagging in certain areas
  • Difficulty sleeping or uncomfortable sleep throughout the night
  • Creaking and weird noises
  • An increase in allergies and asthma symptoms
  • Waking up with stiffness in your muscles and joints

Shop mattress-cleaning products

Looking for more cleaning how-tos and other sustainable swaps you can make at home? Grove has you covered. From timely topics such as our handwashing and hand sanitizer breakdown to evergreen primers like our simple ways to reduce your plastic use at home, our handy guides are here to answer your most pressing questions. And let us know how if you have any cleaning questions (or share your own tips using #grovehome) by following Grove Collaborative on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If you're ready to take on dirty mattresses, shop Grove Collaborative's cleaning essentials for the cleaning tools to tackle the job.

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