Care Tips

How To Clean A Mattress: 8 Simple Steps

    Last Updated
    March 16, 2023
    min read

    A mattress is a big investment. So you want to make sure you do everything you can to make it last. Overtime mattresses can collect dirt, dust mites, fur, or other allergens. So it's important to clean it regularly.

    But you may be wondering how to clean your mattress. Cleaning your mattress is easier than you might realize and involves just a few cleaning supplies and some elbow grease. 

    Read on for eight easy steps you can follow at home to keep your mattress squeaky clean all year round.

    Find the Right Mattress for You

    Whether you prefer a firm mattress, a soft one, or something in between, Purple has the perfect option for you.

    How To Clean A Mattress

    You can clean your mattress by stripping your bed of bedding, vacuuming, airing it out, and flipping it. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your mattress:

    Step One: Gather Your Mattress Cleaning Supplies

    The first step to a clean mattress is to get the right cleaning supplies. Proper cleaning supplies will make a big difference, as well as make cleaning go much faster.

    • Vacuum cleaner or carpet cleaner
    • Laundry detergent
    • Baking soda
    • Cleaning cloth
    • Enzyme cleaners or dish soap

    If you have a carpet cleaner, you may get better results using that to clean your bed instead of a standard vacuum cleaner. Check out our guide to using carpet cleaners on a mattress to learn the ins and outs of using a carpet cleaner

    Step Two: Strip the Bed and Wash all Bedding

    Once you gather your cleaning supplies, your next step is to clean all the bedding. Remove all sheets from the bed, including the comforter, fitted sheet, and any blankets. Make sure to remove the pillowcases as well. Toss them into your washing machine to clean them of any dirt, grime, or stains. You should also decide if it’s time to replace your sheets at this time.

    Keep in mind, your pillows may require a different method of cleaning, so follow the directions on the tag. Check out our guide to washing your pillows.

    Once your bedding has been cleaned, make sure to properly dry them. Damp bedding could develop mold or other bacteria you do not want on you or your mattress

    Step Three: Vacuum Your Mattress

    While washing your bedding, you can start vacuuming your mattress. Using your upholstery attachment, vacuum your mattress thoroughly. Vacuuming your mattress will help get rid of most of the dirt, dust, hair, and dander that has been collected on it. Vacuuming is important to do before using water and cleaning solutions because it will help remove any dirt or grime that could be set in place with water.

    Make sure when vacuuming, to go over the side you sleep on several times, as well as the edges. This step is especially important if you've been storing your mattress.

    Step Four: Spot Clean Your Mattress with Stain Remover

    After having vacuumed your mattress thoroughly, it is time to spot clean. The type of stain remover you will use will depend on the type of stain. For general stains, like dirt and grime, a standard stain remover should work. For urine, vomit, or sweat stains, an enzyme cleaner or hydrogen peroxide will help break down the stains and make it easy for you to remove them.

    If you do not have access to stain remover or enzyme cleaner, dish soap works well to remove most stains. Also, hydrogen peroxide can remove blood stains with ease, so it might be a good product to have on hand.

    It is important to not use too much cleaning solution when trying to remove stains. Less is more when starting out. Here are four steps for spot-treating a stain:

    1. Apply a small amount of cleaning solution to a rag. Then gently pat the stain with the rag.

    Hand putting cleaner on rag to clean mattress

    2. Let the solution sit for a few minutes. Then gently pat the area with a clean cloth.

    Waiting on solution timer

    3. Add cold water to another clean rag. Then pat the area with a wet rag.

    Hand adding cold water to rag to clean mattress

    4. Repeat steps 1-3 if the stain is still present.

    Following these steps will assure you do not add too much cleaning solution, which could take a long time to dry and potentially damage your mattress.

    Step Five: Sprinkle Baking Soda Over the Entire Mattress

    After you allow any treated areas to dry, sprinkle baking soda over your mattress. Baking soda acts as a natural deodorizer, helping to remove any odors.

    When applying the baking soda, gently pat it into your mattress, then allow it to sit for a while. We recommend letting the baking soda sit for at least 15 minutes, preferably for several hours. This will ensure the baking soda has plenty of time to lift any odors out of your mattress

    Step Six: Vacuum Again

    After you let the baking soda sit for a while, you then need to run your vacuum over the mattress again with the upholstery attachment. Pay close attention to any and all mattress seams, carefully vacuuming up all of the baking soda, especially around the corners.

    It may help to go over your mattress a couple more times with the vacuum, to make sure you have vacuumed up all the baking soda

    Step Seven: Air Out the Mattress

    Now that you vacuumed, spot treated, and deodorized your mattress, it is time to let it air dry. This is an extremely important step in the cleaning process. Airing out your mattress will allow it to dry properly and help clear it of any leftover odors. Open your bedroom window for extra ventilation, or move your mattress to direct sunlight if possible.

    Always make sure your mattress is properly dry before replacing the bedding. If your mattress is still damp while the bedding is on, it could prevent your mattress from drying completely and create mildew. Mildew could cause stains, unpleasant odors, and damage to your mattress

    Step Eight: Flip the Mattress

    After airing out your mattress, you will want to flip your mattress over and repeat steps 1-7 for the other side. Cleaning your mattress may require a good amount of time from your day, but it will save you money in the long run and make sure you get the most life out of your mattress.

    Read our guide to flipping your mattress to find out how and why you should regularly flip and rotate your mattress.

    With a Purple mattress, you can skip step eight. Purple mattresses are designed with the patented GelFlex™ Grid technology, which requires the mattress to stay upright. We advise that you rotate a Purple mattress every three to four months. This will help maintain its support and structure, and prevent too much wear on one specific side

    Additional Considerations

    Protect The Mattress

    A mattress protector will also help keep your mattress clean. Mattress protectors work to keep dirt and stains off your mattress. Although we still recommend cleaning your mattress every few months, using a mattress protector will help make the process easier by preventing most stains and requiring less vacuuming.

    Here’s a nifty guide to cleaning mattress protectors.

    Mattress Stains

    • Blood stains: Blood is difficult to remove from bedding and mattresses, but with the right tips and tools, you can remove these types of stains without too much difficulty. You can check out our comprehensive guide to cleaning bloodstains.
    • Urine stains: These stains require a good enzyme cleaner to break down the stain. If you’re having trouble, read our guide on how to remove urine stains from your mattress.
    • Sweat stains: Over time, your sweat can cause yellow stains on your mattress. Similar to urine stains, sweat stains are easily removed with either hydrogen peroxide or a good enzyme cleaner. Add a small amount of cleaning solution, let sit, and gently pat the stain dry. If necessary, repeat the process until the stain is gone. Read our blog post on what causes yellow stains on your mattress and how to deal with them.
    • Deodorize your mattress: Ensure foul odors are eliminated by taking the proper steps to deodorize your mattress

    Are Memory Foam Mattresses Harder To Clean?

    Memory foam mattresses are not any harder to clean than regular foam mattresses. Even though the material is denser, you can apply the same cleaning techniques on a memory foam mattress to get the same results.

    Can I Wash My Purple Mattress Cover?

    Since the white mattress cover (the puffy cover with a Purple logo) has a zipper, you have the ability to entirely remove it. This may tempt you to take it off and machine wash it. PLEASE DON’T.

    The cover has an incredible amount of spandex so you get the full benefits of Purple. When it goes through the washer and dryer, the mattress cover will shrink. Your mattress and bedding play a big role in how you sleep. Caring for your mattress properly by cleaning it regularly will ensure your mattress lasts a long time, and you continue to get the proper sleep you need. Here’s a handy guide to how long mattresses last and when you should replace them.

    When it does come time to get a new mattress, Purple has the perfect fit for you. Purple delivers quality sleep straight to your bedroom


    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.