How to Clean a Mattress

/ May 2021

Deep cleaning your mattress can be beneficial to the life of your mattress and can be beneficial to your own personal health. Many people do not realize what they are laying on top of and breathing in every night. Your mattress is full of dried remnants of blood, sweat, urine, and basically any and all other bodily fluids. It also houses skin cells and dander that is shed when you lay down at night. And if you don’t sleep alone, not just your fluids and particles, but your partners’, kids’, cats’, dogs’ and anyone else that sleeps in the bed. YUCK! But that is not even the worst of it. There are things actually LIVING deep within your mattress feeding on all this yucky stuff being left behind.

What is living in my mattress?

According to an Ohio University study, there are 100,000 to 10 million dust mites living inside a typical used mattress. Dust mites are microscopic insect-like bugs that feed on dead skin cells. These bugs are not visible to the naked-eye. Though they are small, their effects on your health may be mighty. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has identified dust mites as the number one cause of allergies within the home;, with over 20 million people being allergic to them. Allergic reactions to dust mites in your mattress can include sneezing, itchy/watery eyes, itchy skin, runny nose and coughing. Bacteria and fungi can also be living within your mattress. Lab tests from swabs taken from 7-year old mattresses found more than 16 million colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch. Bacteria and fungi are linked to respiratory illnesses and sinus infections.

How can Rug Doctor help me clean my mattress?

Simply cleaning the surface of your mattress will not remove everything deep within, but deep cleaning can help you rid your mattress of these harmful particles and organisms. Rug Doctor can help! Follow these steps to get the best results. Before beginning any cleaning regimen, you should always check the cleaning recommendations from your manufacturer.

  1. Visit one of our 40,000 rental locations and rent the Pro Portable Detailer and Spot Cleaner. Don’t forget your Spot and Upholstery triple-action cleaning solution located on the rental rack.
  2. Remove all bedding and sheets and wash in hot water.
  3. Vacuum your mattress to remove surface dust and particles.
  4. Spot clean spots and stains with a spot cleaner. We recommend Spot and Pre-treat Dual Action Cleaner for food, makeup and mud stains. For urine and other biological stains, it is best to use Urine Eliminator Plus.
  5. Deep clean your mattress with the Pro Portable Detailer and Spot Cleaner. Instructions for using the deep cleaner can be found on the machine or on our website support page.
  6. After deep cleaning your mattress, turn on your ceiling fan to help with drying time. Or you can rent one of our floor dryers to cut drying time in half.
  7. Flip the mattress and repeat steps on the other side. Do not replace sheet and bedding until mattress is completely dry.

How often should I clean my mattress?

We recommend you deep clean your mattress every six months. We also recommend you replace your mattress when the warranty runs out. Average warranty of a mattress is anywhere between 10 and 20 years. Regular deep cleans can help your mattress perform at its best until it is time for it to be replaced. Deep cleaning it can also help you sleep better knowing all that icky stuff is not lurking beneath you!

Can deep cleaning my mattress get rid of bedbugs?

Bedbugs are small, brown bugs that live on human and animal blood. They are about the size of an apple seed and they hide in soft surface items like bedding, clothes, and upholstery. They travel well and can easily jump on luggage or clothes in an infested hotel room and be brought back home into your bedroom. Cleaning infested areas can help control bedbugs, however, we recommend you call a professional exterminator to completely get rid of them. After an exterminator eradicates them, it is a good idea to deep clean your entire home. Rent a Rug Doctor Pro Deep Carpet Cleaner with the Upholstery Tool attachment and deep clean all of your soft surfaces – carpet, chairs and couches, mattress, pet areas, stairs – basically everywhere a bed bug is likely to hide. Be sure to wash all infected bedding, linens, curtains and clothing in very hot water. You can place other soft, unwashable items (stuffed animals, shoes) in the dryer for 30-60 minutes. After deep cleaning your mattress, place a mattress cover over your mattress and leave it in place for at least a year. Bedbugs can survive for up to a year without feeding, so keeping the mattress cover in place will guarantee that if any of the bugs survived the exterminator and deep cleaning, they will die before being able to feed again.

Is it okay to get a used mattress if I deep clean it?

If you’re thinking of picking up that mattress you spotted on the side of the road, DON’T DO IT! Purchasing a previously owned mattress can also be risky. We would not recommend purchasing a used mattress for many reasons, including: bedbugs, internal damage that you cannot see, non-transferrable warranties, and all the other yucky stuff we have already discussed. Instead of purchasing used, look into discount furniture stores or bulk retailers like Costco and Sam’s for cheaper purchasing options. If you absolutely have to purchase a used mattress, please take care to only purchase from 1 of 2 sellers.

  1. A home/person that you know and trust
  2. A reputable furniture store

If purchasing from an individual, make sure the mattress is lightly used or even unused and it is still within its lifespan. If purchasing from a furniture store it should be a completely refurbished mattress. Of course, regardless of where you purchase a used mattress, it should be deep cleaned before using.

At Rug Doctor, our mission is to empower you to use professional grade equipment to keep your home clean on a deep level. Whether it’s your mattress, your deck, or your area rugs, renting our tools to clean your home saves money versus hiring a pro to do the job for you.