How To Clean A Very Dirty Mattress?

Cleaning a very dirty mattress can seem like a daunting task, but with the right strategy, it can be tackled effectively. The process typically involves vacuuming the mattress, spot-cleaning stains, deodorizing to remove odors, and using upholstery cleaner for thorough cleaning. Air drying the mattress is crucial to prevent mold and mildew. For a very dirty mattress, you may need to repeat these steps or use stronger cleaning products to address stubborn stains and odors.

Steps to Clean a Very Dirty Mattress

Starting with Vacuuming

Before tackling stains and odors, it’s important to remove all dust, hair, and other debris from your mattress. Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner to go over the entire surface of the mattress, including the sides. Pay particular attention to seams and crevices, where dirt and dust mites tend to accumulate.

Spot Cleaning Stains

Next, it’s time to focus on spot cleaning any visible stains. It’s important to choose the right cleaner based on the type of stain:

– For blood or urine, use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap, and table salt to form a paste. Apply this to the stain and let it dry before scraping off the residue.
– For food or drink stains, a mixture of dish soap and water can be effective. Use a clean cloth to apply and then blot the stain.
– For oily and greasy stains, sprinkle baking soda on the stain and let it sit for several hours before vacuuming. If the stain persists, you may need to use a commercial spot cleaner designed for grease.

When spot cleaning, always dab or blot the stain rather than scrubbing, to avoid pushing the stain deeper into the mattress fibers.

Deodorizing Your Mattress

Odors can be just as troublesome as stains. To deodorize your mattress, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over the entire surface, and if possible, leave it for several hours or even overnight. Baking soda is great at absorbing odors and moisture. Afterward, vacuum the baking soda up, and the smell should be noticeably reduced or eliminated.

Deep Cleaning with Upholstery Cleaner

For a very dirty mattress, you may consider using an upholstery cleaner or enzyme-based cleaner, which breaks down stains and odors at the molecular level. Test any cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area of the mattress first to ensure it doesn’t damage the fabric. If the test is successful, apply according to the manufacturer’s instructions and scrub the mattress gently with a soft brush. After cleaning, remove excess moisture by blotting with dry towels.

Airing and Drying Your Mattress

After cleaning, it’s imperative to allow your mattress to air out and dry completely to prevent mold and mildew growth. If you can, place the mattress outside in the sun for a natural antibacterial effect. If that’s not possible, place it in a well-ventilated room and use fans to circulate air around the mattress.

Tackling Specific Mattress Cleaning Challenges

Removing Tough Stains

If a stain doesn’t come out with initial efforts, you may need to turn to stronger solutions. For example, an enzymatic cleaner or oxygen bleach can be potent against stubborn stains. These should be used sparingly and only after other methods have failed, as they can be harsh on mattress fabrics.

Addressing Bed Bugs and Dust Mites

For issues beyond ordinary dirt and stains, such as bed bugs or dust mites, you’ll need a targeted strategy. Bed bugs will usually require professional extermination, while dust mites can be reduced by regularly vacuuming, using a mattress cover, and maintaining a dry environment.

Maintenance Cleaning

To prevent your mattress from becoming very dirty again, implementing a routine cleaning schedule is key. Vacuum your mattress regularly, change bedding weekly, and spot-clean spills and stains as soon as they occur.

Preventative Measures

Using Mattress Protectors

A mattress protector is worth investing in to shield your mattress from dirt, spills, and wear. It’s much easier to wash a mattress protector than to clean a mattress deeply.

Regular Rotation

To ensure even wear and to minimize the impact of dirt and sweat, rotate your mattress every three months.

Control Bedroom Environment

Keeping the humidity level in your bedroom low can prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Also, reducing clutter and cleaning floors can minimize dust and debris that might find their way onto your mattress.

Finishing Thoughts

Cleaning a very dirty mattress can be quite labor-intensive, but the fresh, clean, and inviting end result is well worth the effort. By following a step-by-step approach, you can tackle even the toughest of stains and odors. Remember that maintenance is key to preventing future dirt buildup, and always consider using a mattress protector to extend the life of your mattress. With these practices in place, you’ll be able to enjoy a clean and comfortable sleep environment night after night.

Top 5 Mattresses Recommended By


  • Dominic Johnson

    Hello! I’m Dominic Johnson, the whimsical wizard behind the world of sleep at With a background in Sleep Psychology and a quirky love for all things dozy and dreamy, I bring a sprinkle of fun to bedtime blues. I've spent my career unraveling the mysteries of the Sandman, turning dense science into cozy bedtime stories. When I'm not buried in research papers or testing the fluffiness of the latest pillows, I'm usually found playing impromptu lullabies on my old guitar for my twin daughters or teaching my labrador, Rocket, new tricks. My approach to sleep is simple: blend science with a touch of magic and a hearty laugh.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Good Sleep Hub
Available for Amazon Prime