How to Remove Stains, Odors, and Allergens from Your Mattress

You want your home to be as clean and safe as possible, and we are sure you put in a lot of effort to keep everything clean.

However, no matter how much you dust, wipe and vacuum your floor and furniture, it is almost impossible to get rid of all the dust particles and allergens from your home.

Keeping your mattress clean is particularly difficult as it is often exposed to the worst: sweat, shed skin flakes, hair, drool, skin oil, blood, urine, and other bodily fluids.

Add to this the dust mites, various allergens, indoor pollution, etc. and cleaning your mattress can turn out to be more than a challenging task.

The Importance of Keeping Your Mattress Clean?

You mattress is not only an expensive purchase, but it also plays one of the crucial roles in keeping you healthy both physically and mentally.

However, many people still neglect this fact and they show their mattress little love, never really paying attention to how clean it is. But, just as you wash your sheets on a regular basis, you need to clean your mattress too.

Cleaning your mattress is particularly important in humid environments where the sweat and moisture from the surface of the mattress can’t evaporate so quickly after you get out of bed.

As the time passes the moisture can accumulate in your mattress and eventually lead to the growth of mold, mildew and various bacteria that can be really harmful and hard to get rid of.

Also, if you have small kids or pets, it may happen that your mattress has some stains you don’t even know are there.

So, how to remove the stains, allergens and odor from your mattress and keep it clean?

In this guide, we provide various solutions and outline the best ways to remove stains, odors, and allergens from your mattress. Keep reading and find out how to clean your mattress properly without damaging it.Last updated Apr 28, 2021 @ 3:31 pm

How Often to Clean a Mattress?

You should clean your mattress at least every 6 months, but if you have more time, you can clean it thoroughly every 3 months.

Even if your mattress is brand new, you should begin your dust-flip-rotate routine within a month of first use and repeat it every month to prevent the dust and dust mites from accumulating on your new mattress and prolong its lifespan.

If your mattress is a bit older, then you should flip and rotate it at least every six months to get the dust off and distribute the wear evenly.

Besides this, you should dust and wipe the mattress every time you flip and rotate it. If there is a possibility of exposing it to sunlight, then you should do this about every 2 months. And if there is a stain, you should treat it immediately to avoid setting.

How to Clean Your Mattress?

Strip the Bed

Before you start cleaning your mattress, you should strip all the linens and wash it. Check the manufacturer’s labels to see the instructions on how to wash it and, if it is allowed, use the hottest setting as the heat will kill any dust mites.

Use ½ to 1 cup of vinegar when washing your linens if necessary to remove any extra odors and make your sheets softer.

Vacuum the Mattress

Once you remove your bedding, you should vacuum your mattress. Make sure to vacuum the top of your mattress, its sides and underneath the bed.

Use your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment to easily reach all parts of the mattress.

Take Your Mattress Outside

To make your mattress smell fresh and nice, you can take it out, if the weather permits, and leave it outside on a sunny day to air out.

The sun will kill all the bacteria hiding in your mattress. Let it sit in the sun for the day and don’t forget to flip it to the other side half way through the day and bring it back in at the end of the day.

Use Baking Soda

If you can’t get your mattress outside, you can sprinkle baking soda all over the surface of the mattress instead and leave it to sit at least 30 minutes or longer before vacuuming it.

This will absorb any odors and make your mattress smell fresh and clean. You can even mix the baking soda with a few drops of lavender essential oil. This will make your mattress smell even better and help you relax.

Clean Stains

If there is any stained area on your mattress, you should treat it first before you do any of the above cleaning options, but do vacuum the mattress before working on the stained area to remove any loose dust and dirt and prevent it from getting even deeper into the mattress. The quicker you treat the stain, the easier it will be to remove.

How to Remove Stains from Your Mattress?

If you notice any stains on your mattress, it is important to remove them as quickly as you can and prevent them from setting.

First of all, you have to determine what kind of stain you are dealing with, whether it is a blood stain, urine, sweat, vomit or combination of these bodily fluids.

If it is a fresh stain, you should blot up any excess liquid as soon as you can and as much as you can to prevent the stain from spreading. Avoid scrubbing the stained area as this will only spread the stain and make it get deeper into the mattress.

When treating mattress stains, you shouldn’t use too much of a cleaning fluid to avoid over-saturating the mattress as this can lead to the growth and development of mold and mildew or damage the materials inside the mattress.

For a greener clean, you can spray the mattress with the vinegar and water solution and then sprinkle the baking soda. Let it bubble and place a clean white towel over it for one to two hours. Vacuum any remaining baking soda.

Avoid using chlorine bleach for cleaning because it can damage the fabric.

How to Clean Blood Stains from a Mattress

If your mattress gets stained with blood, you should treat the stain as quickly as possible.

To clean a blood stain, you can apply 3% percent hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain. (Note that hydrogen peroxide can bleach the fabric so you should check the manufacturer’s label first.)

Spray the blood stain and blot it with a clean white towel while it is bubbling. Leave it for some 5 to 10 minutes and then repeat the process with clean water and blot until dry. Repeat if necessary.

You can also use a salt water or dish soap and water solution to treat a fresh blood stain.

How to Clean Urine and Sweat Stains from a Mattress

If you have small kids or pets, bed wetting is inevitable sometimes. This can leave yellowish stains on your mattress.

Sweat produces similar yellowish stains, and as the time passes, your mattress can become discolored and musty smelling from sweat.

First of all, you should blot the excess fluid with a clean white towel. Then you should make a cleaning solution.

Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with 2 tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of liquid dish soap and stir until the baking soda dissolves. Use a spraying bottle or a soaked cloth to apply the solution to the stained area.

Let the solution sit on the mattress for up to 24 hours and then vacuum or wipe up any remaining baking soda. It should dry completely by then. You can even use the fan or blow dryer set on the cool setting to speed the things up.

If any odor remains, especially from pet urine stains, you can repeat the process or try blotting the stained area with a cloth soaked in vinegar.

Removing Vomit Stains from a Mattress

If you need to remove vomit stains, you can mix a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar. Fill the spray bottle and spray the stained area. Use the clean white towel to blot the area.

Repeat the process until the stain is gone. Once you are done with this, you should sprinkle baking soda all over the treated area. Let it sit at least for an hour and then vacuum the baking soda and let the mattress air dry. This will help you get rid of the foul vomit smell.

Removing Allergens from Your Mattress

Do you know that there are around 50 million people in the United States suffering from allergies? If you find yourself waking up with watery eyes and a stuffy nose, chances are these symptoms are triggered by dust mites!

Apart from stains and odors, there are also dust mites living in your mattress. Since dust mites are microscopic, we can’t see or feel them, but they can trigger asthma and allergies in some people, especially kids.

In fact, dust mites, along with mold spores, mildew, dust, and animal dander are some of the most common triggers of asthma and indoor allergies in general. Besides this, dust mites can also affect the longevity of your mattress.

Since these parasites feed on our dead skin, we can’t completely get rid of them. On average, a person sheds about 1.5 grams of skin every day, feeding about 1 million dust mites.

They can be found everywhere in your house, no matter how clean it seems to be: on your bedding, curtains, carpets, chairs, etc.

How to Deal with Dust Mites?

While it’s nearly impossible to keep dust mites at bay, there are various ways to keep them under control.

  • Use bedding resistant to dust mites – The easiest way to keep dust mites away from your mattress and pillows is to use antibacterial and allergen-proof covers. These covers are densely woven, making it impossible for dust mites to penetrate. There are also duvets and pillows that are resistant to dust mites and that can prevent their accumulation.
  • Wash your bedding regularly – To prevent the accumulation of dust mites, you should wash your bedding regularly. Note that dust mites can be killed at 130 degrees F, so make sure you wash and dry all your bedding weekly on the hottest setting.
  • Air out your mattress – Air out your mattress on a sunny day to get rid of any bacteria. Remove animal dander, dust mites, dust mite feces, and dead skin cells by beating the mattress with a baseball bat. Let it sit in the sun for the day and don’t forget to rotate it so that it is entirely exposed to the sun. Give it another round of beating before taking it back to your bedroom.
  • Replace your old mattress – A mattress that is too old is full of these unwanted guests, so you should replace it with a new one. Foam and latex models are the best to reduce allergens in the bedroom since dust mites can’t live in them.
  • Lower the humidity level in your bedroom – High levels of humidity (Around 80% or higher) are the best for dust mites to grow. To kill dust mites, you need to take down the humidity level to around 35%, making it hard for them to survive. To do this, you will need a dehumidifier. However, this costly method is not ideal as it doesn’t help remove any dust mite feces from your bedding.

Tips for Keeping Your Mattress Clean

Taking a good care of your mattress does not only prolong its lifespan but also helps you get the most of it. To keep it clean, you should:

  • Change your sheets regularly – Change the sheets at least once a week to prevent dead skin and dust mites from building up on the bed.
  • Invest in a mattress protector – This will prevent moisture, dirt, dust, and any stains from getting deeper into the mattress, which will further help prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew.
  • Vacuum your mattress – Make sure you vacuum your mattress every time you change the sheets, or at least every 3 months to reduce dust accumulation.
  • Sprinkle your mattress with baking soda – To get rid of odors, sprinkle your mattress with baking soda and let it sit for at least one hour before you vacuum it.
  • Flip your mattress every three months – Make sure you flip and rotate your mattress every 1-3 months to allow more even wear and tear of your mattress and prolong its lifespan.
  • Keep your bedroom clean – Clean your bedroom regularly to prevent the build-up of dust and dirt which can get into your mattress and lead to the appearance of dust mites and other allergens.


Dealing with stains, odors, and dust mites on your mattress can be a challenging task, but not if you know the tricks how to prevent and eliminate them.

Cleaning your bedroom and mattress has a significant impact on the quality of your sleep and your overall health. Clean mattress and bedding can help promote a good night’s sleep.

After a long day at work, you want to go home and sleep on a fresh-smelling, stain and allergy-free surface which promotes quality sleep, crucial to good health, and improves learning, memory, and your mood.

Dirty and smelly mattresses can lead to quite the opposite from what’s been mentioned above and cause poor sleep and various health issues.

Keeping your bedding and mattress clean and fresh will ensure you always get enough of a quality night’s sleep.


Join the Memory Foam Talk mailing list! 

Enter your email below to get exclusive mattress / pillow / bedding discounts, to get notified of giveaways, and more! We never spam!