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Care Tips

Here’s How To Clean A Mattress Using A Carpet Cleaner

    Last Updated
    September 10, 2022
    min read

    Everyone wants to sleep comfortably, which often means keeping your mattress and bedroom clean and well-maintained. However, mattress maintenance can be a little time-consuming when done by hand, and professional services might be too expensive for some. 

    Luckily, many gadgets, gizmos, and cleaning products help DIY cleaners refresh dirty mattresses – the carpet cleaner is one of them. Keep reading to learn more about using a carpet cleaner to maintain and restore your bed.

    What Is A Carpet Cleaner?

    A carpet cleaner is a device used in both home and commercial contexts to scrub dirt and debris off carpets and upholstery. It usually comes with a water tank, hose, and nozzle, plus a few brush heads for agitating and loosening grime. 

    Some carpet cleaners are designed for extracting dirt and pulling it to the surface as a thick foam, while others tackle surface-level grime using water. Most consumer-grade carpet cleaners are the latter since they require less preparation, chemicals, and aftercare. 

    Can I Use A Carpet Cleaner On My Mattress?

    While you certainly can use a carpet cleaner on your mattress, it won’t work for every bed.

    Earlier, we mentioned that carpet cleaners push water into upholstery and carpets while also agitating dirt, meaning folks using them on beds need to be mindful of their mattress’ composition. For example, if you have a densely-packed foam mattress (such as memory foam), saturating your bed with water can be a disaster. In this case, it would take days before your bed is dry enough to use again.

    Conversely, using a carpet cleaner on a more traditional mattress like an innerspring bed is entirely acceptable. These bed types are usually less dense and easier to dry, making them compatible with water-based cleaning methods.

    If you are looking for a new mattress. Purple offers a variety of mattresses for all sleeping positions and body types. Purples Gelflex Grid is firm enough to support you. While providing the comfort you need. 

    Are Carpet Cleaners Harmful To The Mattress?

    While most modern water-based carpet cleaners are safe for mattresses, some may not be suitable because of the harsh chemicals used in the product or cheap brushes that destroy your bed. 

    Here’s a breakdown of the two main factors that determine whether a carpet cleaner is harmful to your mattress.

    Harsh Carpet Cleaning Products

    Some carpet cleaners can harm mattresses, especially when they’re used with strong cleaning products. 

    These carpet shampoos and cleaning solutions are usually designed for cleaning commercial spaces or carpeted stairs. As a result, they’re often too intense for bedding and other soft items. 

    An excellent way to avoid this is by purchasing gentle or all-natural cleaning products.

    Cheap Or Rough Inner Brushes

    Some carpet cleaners use brushes to remove dirt, primarily if they’re meant for commercial use. While these inner brushes may not always be rough and rigid, it’s best to steer clear of them when maintaining a mattress. Instead, choose carpet cleaners that mainly use water to loosen dirt and grime.

    How Do I Use A Carpet Cleaner To Clean My Mattress?

    When using a carpet cleaning machine to maintain your bed, expect to unmake, flip, vacuum, and wash both sides of your mattress. Despite sounding a little difficult, it’s actually very straightforward. DIY cleaning just takes a bit more time.

    Here’s how to use a carpet cleaner to maintain your mattress, step-by-step:

    1. Remove All Beddings

    Before starting the cleaning process, you must remove all bedding, sheets, blankets, pillows, and other sleeping accessories from your mattress. Additionally, you need to set mattress toppers and covers aside since they need to be cleaned separately for proper maintenance.

    We recommend tossing your sheets into the washing machine while cleaning your mattress.

    2. Lift Your Mattress

    Once your bed has been stripped of all sheets and accessories, lift it from its foundation or bed frame. Cleaning your mattress will be exceedingly difficult if left in its regular position. 

    We recommend setting it against a wall at an angle for easy access. Other sturdy structures like bookcases, wardrobes, or even large tables are also acceptable.

    3. Vacuum Thoroughly

    Fasten your hand tool attachment to your vacuum head and carefully run it across all corners and crevices of your mattress. This includes both bed faces and around the edges. Taking your time with this step will help remove some of the loose dirt and make deep cleaning more straightforward.

    4. Bring Out The Mattress Cleaner

    Once your bed has been thoroughly vacuumed, use your water-powered carpet cleaner for a thorough maintenance session. We recommend running the nozzle over each side of the bed in long, consistent strokes to avoid oversaturation and pushing dirt deeper – there’s no need to go back and forth over one section.

    After one side has been thoroughly washed and cleaned, give it time to dry out before moving on to the other face. You risk attracting more dust and dirt to your wet mattress if you don't. 

    Repeat this process for the sides of your bed.

    5. Let It Rest

    Give your mattress a bit more time to dry out completely. This can take a few hours up to a few days for some mattress types. We recommend checking on your mattress’ dryness by gently pushing your hand into both faces to feel for moisture.

    6. Remake The Bed

    The hardest part is now over. Once you’ve checked and confirmed that your mattress is dry, replace it on your bed foundation or frame and remake it with fresh sheets. Sleeping on this newly cleaned bed will feel amazing!

    Other Tips For Keeping Your Mattress Fresh

    You don’t have to own a carpet cleaner to refresh and maintain your mattress correctly. There are many other things you can do to keep your bed feeling new and fresh without hiring a professional cleaning service. 

    Here are our four biggest tips for maintaining your sleeping area.

    Schedule A Deep Cleaning Every Six Months

    The key to proper maintenance is regularity. Some people hire mattress cleaning professionals once a year for a deep and thorough clean, but doing it more frequently will prevent dust, dirt, and debris from accumulating over a year.

    We recommend scheduling either a professional or DIY cleaning session every six months. This way, you’ll be able to clean your mattress before it gets too grimy, which also cuts down the time and effort you spend actually cleaning it.

    Flip Your Mattress Regularly (Unless It’s A Pillow Top)

    Flipping your mattress often means you’ll sidestep most of the issues associated with bed warping. Generally speaking, sleeping in the same spot night after night will make it wear faster, resulting in dips on your bed’s surface. 

    However, flipping your mattress every six months means that both sides will wear evenly. This prolongs your mattress’ overall lifespan. 

    Note: Pillow top mattresses aren’t meant to be flipped unless they have that extra layer on both sides.

    Spot Clean Right Away

    If you see stains and discoloration on your bed, it’s best to start spot cleaning straightaway. Allowing stains to dry can make them harder to clean in the long run and may result in permanent yellowing. 

    We recommend mixing a 1:1 solution of hydrogen peroxide and warm water with a ¼ teaspoon of mild dishwashing liquid for the best results.


    Nobody wants to sleep in a bed that smells like sweat, so deodorizing is crucial. Luckily, the process is usually pretty straightforward and can be completed within a day. 

    All you’ll need is a package of baking soda and a little bit of time. Sprinkle the baking soda over the side you’re currently sleeping on, wait a few hours, and vacuum thoroughly. Your bed will smell incredibly fresh and clean afterward.

    Final Thoughts On Using A Carpet Cleaner For Your Mattress

    Carpet cleaners are essential when you live in a home with rugs and plush upholstery, but they also come in handy when cleaning your mattress. With just a few hours every six months, you’ll be able to keep your bed feeling brand new for years to come.

    Are you ready to invest in the best sleep of your life? Purple can help you achieve that. Check out our shop for some of the most comfortable beds, pillows, and sleep accessories.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can you use a Little Green Machine on the mattress?

    Yes, you can use Bissell’s Little Green Machine to clean your mattress. This compact carpet cleaner uses no harsh brushes and doesn’t require any cleaning agents, making it one of the best solutions for non-foam mattresses.

    Can I steam clean my mattress?

    Yes, you can steam clean your mattress. If you own a memory foam mattress, steam cleaning may actually be a better option compared to carpet cleaners.


    About the authors

    April Seifert

    April has nearly a decade of writing experience, with 3+ years specializing in sleep content. Her work has been covered by sites like BuzzFeed, Entrepreneur, and Money Under 30. She has an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Communication Studies. As a self-proclaimed expert in all things cozy, she sleeps better at night, knowing her writing helps others sleep in comfort, too.