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How To Deep Clean A Mattress

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Deep cleaning of your mattress is an essential part of maintaining it to help it last as long as possible.

Mattresses are notorious for developing really tough stains, bad smells, and even bed bugs which sleep inside your mattress as you sleep!

If you want a restful night's sleep on a hygienic, fresh-feeling mattress then you've come to the right place.

In this blog post, we will go through all of the essential steps for deep cleaning your mattress, how you can clean it by hand, or with a helping hand from some more professional tools.

Steps for deep cleaning a mattress by hand

Pre vacuum

The first thing to do would be to vacuum away any loose debris on the surface as well as inside mattress fibres.

This is an essential first step. If you don't do it, those fibres will be clogged up with dust and loose dirt which will prevent the process from working to it's full-effect.

Apply a powerful enzyme-based cleaner

Now that you have prepared the mattress by vacuuming the loose dirt, it's time to apply a powerful enzyme cleaner.

You will need a ton of this stuff (literally soak it). The best way to do this is with a pump sprayer or, as we do it, use a hydroshot with a short lance to saturate the mattress.

Now that you've covered the mattress, you can move on to arguably the most important step.

Agitate & Let Sit

Now that the enzyme cleaner is on your mattress, it's time to work that product into the fibres of the mattress. To do this, use a carpet brush or something similar. The motion that you choose doesn't matter, you can go up and down, left and right, or in circles.

What does matter is how much pressure you decide to use when scrubbing. Don't use too much force when scrubbing, just enough so that you can see some suds starting to develop on the mattress.

Allow the cleaner to sit for at least 20 minutes before moving on to the next step. Mattress stains are really tough to remove hence the extended dwell time.

Baking Soda & Vacuum

baking soda for mattress cleaning

It's now time to deodorise and soak up that enzyme cleaner filled with dirt, grime, sweat, and whatever else was in your mattress.

To do this, apply a thick layer of baking soda evenly across your mattress. This will absorb the foamy substance you created during the agitation stage and transfer it into the baking soda.

Once you have done this, let the baking soda sit for a further 10 minutes so that it gives enough time to dry up the mattress enough for it to be vacuumed away. Beware, this step is essential because if you attempt to vacuum the mattress when wet, you can easily break the vacuum cleaner.

Now that your baking soda is dried up, use your vacuum cleaner and remove it from the surface of your mattress. You should notice that the mattress has been significantly improved, if not completely rejuvenated.

If you want to get it even cleaner, all you need to do is repeat this process until all of the dirt has been completely removed.

You Can Steam Clean A Mattresses

Steam cleaning works great on mattresses. We personally use steam cleaning as our go-to solution for mattresses, combined with a professional-grade enzyme cleaner.

In all honesty, sometimes steam cleaning is required for some of the tougher, older stains. Hand washing a mattress will only get you so far before needing to rely on heavy machinery.

If you want a full breakdown of using a steam cleaner on mattresses, have a look at our blog on 'Can you steam clean a mattress'.

You can use a carpet cleaner too

We highly recommend a carpet cleaner with a strong vacuum capacity. This will be enough power to remove all those nasty contaminants burrowed deep inside the mattress.

Fill your carpet cleaner with warm water and possibly a finishing rinse safe to use in a carpet cleaner tank if you have it.

It doesn't matter which way you use your carpet cleaner just make sure that you cover every inch of the top layer of the mattress. On a mattress, we like to work side to side. This gives us less chance of missing anything.

Can You Remove Bedbugs With Mattress Cleaning?

Yes, you can but only with certain methods. A hand wash process for deep cleaning your mattress won't guarantee that you kill those nasty little critters.

To get rid of bed bugs, you will need to use either steam clean or UV ray cleaning.

UV vacuum cleaners are a really easy way to get bed bugs off your mattress. You can purchase them for a very reasonable price and if bed bugs are your only concern, there is no need to deep clean the mattress.

If you want to deep clean the mattress and kill those nasty bugs, then steam cleaning is your best bet. They provide enough heat to kill your bug problem, ready for them to be vacuumed away.

How Can I Clean Up Urine After Bedwetting On My Mattress?

There are a few methods for getting rid of urine from your mattress after a bedwetting incident. Our favourite one is to use steam and an enzyme cleaner mixed with some baking soda to help dry it out.

This is by no means the only method available to you though. For more information have a look at our guide on 'how to remove dried urine from a mattress.'

How Long Will It Take My Mattress To Dry After Cleaning?

For your mattress to fully air dry without help it will take around 6-10 hours. However, if you want to reduce that timeframe then it's certainly possible to do so.

The main things you can do to speed up the process are whack the heater up, open the windows and place fans on or near your mattress to help dry it out.

If you want more tips on drying out your mattress, have a look at our article on 'How to dry your mattress out and preserve its quality.'

Can you use these cleaning methods on memory foam mattresses?

By and large, all of the methods (except for using a carpet cleaner) are safe for memory foam mattresses. While the methods are safe, details matter and there are some intricate differences that you should be aware of when cleaning memory foam.

For a full guide check out our blog on 'how to safely clean your memory foam mattress.' The tips in there will ensure a clean mattress without damaging the delicate material.

Final inspection

Finally, it's time to check your work. All of the stains should be gone by now. If not then you will need to touch up on the areas missed.

Also check for any bad odour as this is also a sign that some stains haven't been removed. If it's a urine stain, you may need to use a water claw to fully remove it.

Having a dri buddy will help dry the mattress out ready for the customer to use. If you don't have this then it can take a few hours to dry naturally.


All of these steps are required if you really want to deep clean that mattress.

Why? Because it is biological stains that need removing and not only are they tougher to remove, they're also more essential to get rid of as well.

Hiring a professional mattress cleaner is the only true way to deep clean your mattress so you can sleep in a safe environment.

I promise you that I'm not just writing this to direct you to paying for the service.

Actually mattress cleaning is not very profitable for carpet cleaners and can be very cumbersome having to get all of my equipment out just for a £30-£50 job which takes 45 minutes to do properly Is far less valuable than cleaning carpets.

It is however an important service that needs professional attention.

If you are looking to hire someone to clean your mattress, make sure that they follow all of these steps above and have the right equipment for the job.

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