How to Sanitize a Mattress (So You Can Rest Easy Tonight)

Closeup of person lifting a corner of the mattress off of a bed frame.

When you consider some of life’s pleasures, a good night’s sleep has to be right at the top of most lists. Few things can invigorate and energize a person like seven to nine hours of good sleep. A good night’s sleep all starts with your mattress (yes, the right pillow is important too). But your mattress not only has to feel comfortable; you have to be comfortable with your mattress too. If you’re going to bed every night on a mattress that has never been cleaned or sanitized, it could make for a few restless nights. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to sanitize a used mattress so you can go to sleep without worrying about bedbugs or germs.

Why You Should Disinfect Your Mattress

Even if you the mattress you’re using is one you purchased, the fact that you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress for years is reason enough to clean and sanitize it. While your mattress might not look dirty, there are plenty of things on it you can’t see with the naked eye.

Most mattresses are covered in microscopic organisms and irritants like:

  • Dust mites
  • Germs
  • Dead skin cells
  • Human and pet hair
  • Sweat and saliva residue

How to Sanitize a Mattress

The key to properly sanitizing your mattress depends on your level of mattress maintenance (how often, if ever, have you cleaned or sanitized your current mattress?) Are your comfortable with a light cleaning, or do you really want to get down and dirty with a deeper clean? We’ve organized some tips from basic mattress cleaning to an all-out deep clean.

Vacuum Your Mattress

Once your blankets and sheets have been removed, use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment to remove dust, dead skin, and hair. This won’t sanitize your mattress, but it will remove any loose debris and give you an opportunity to do a visual inspection to identify any stains or changes in its appearance that might prompt a deeper clean.

Steam Clean Your Mattress

Using a steam cleaner is an excellent way to sanitize your mattress. Buy or rent one that has a steam wand so you can reach the edges and crevices of your mattress. It’s best to do this on a nice, sunny day since the sunlight can help dry your mattress quickly after you stream it. You can place the mattress outside, directly in the sun, or in front of an open window. It’s also a good idea to run a fan in the room to minimize any musty odors.

An Effective Stain Remover and Disinfectant

A solution of hydrogen peroxide can be incredibly useful for removing any urine, sweat, and bloodstains from your mattress. It is also an effective germ killer. Mix the following ingredients and follow the application instructions below:

  • 1 tablespoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon warm water
  • 1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
  • ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide

How to Apply to Mattress Stains

Once you have gathered all the ingredients, mix them in a spray bottle. If your child has an accident, spray the solution on the stained area. The solution will remove the stain and ensure the mattress is safe for the child to sleep on. Once you have applied the solution, use a fan, sunlight, or a blow dryer to dry out the mattress before covering it with bedding. This is also one of the best ways to sanitize a crib mattress.

Related Topic: My Kid Peed the Bed. Now What?

Get the Smell Out

Eliminating any odor of urine, sweat, blood, or even cleaning products is the last step to sanitizing your mattress. Luckily, it’s also the easiest. Take just a second to sprinkle baking soda on any affected areas of your mattress, and let it sit. Don’t skimp; it may take the entire box to cover the affected area. If possible, leave the baking soda on the mattress for a day or two before removing it with a vacuum.

How to Sanitize a Crib Mattress

To clean your child’s crib mattress, the method recommended above should suffice. Because most crib mattresses are plastic-lined, here is another method you can try:

  • Mix 5 cups of water and a tablespoon of laundry detergent powder.
  • Lightly scrub the surface with this solution.
  • Be sure to give any mattress pads or covers the same treatment!

Never use bleach or harsh chemicals on a crib mattress—or your child’s bedding.

Related Topic: How to Wash Pillows

You Focus on the Bed; We’ll Cover Everything Else

Although the mattress you sleep on every night may be comfortable, cleaning and sanitizing it every so often can provide a healthy night’s sleep, and extend the life of your mattress. While Molly Maid can’t sanitize your bed, you can rest assured we can clean nearly everything else. Our trained, professional cleaning experts are equipped and ready to make your home shine. We offer both one-time and recurring cleaning services that are customized to meet your specific cleaning needs. Call us or schedule your in-home estimate today!