How to Disinfect a Mattress in 6 Easy Steps

Cleaning and vacuuming mattress for a blog post on how to clean and disinfect a mattress

How To Disinfect a Mattress

Most people sleep on their mattress for years, sometimes even decades, without ever cleaning or disinfecting it. This doesn’t seem like a big deal until you learn the many things —including germs, bacteria, and bugs— that can find a home inside of your mattress. It's important to regularly disinfect your mattress to keep good personal hygiene. Not only will you have less dust mites, allergens, and germs lying with you, but you will also have illnesses as a result. Upon learning this information, most people start the desperate search to learn how to disinfect a mattress in the easiest and most effective way. 

This is How to Clean a Mattress

Step 1. Remove Mattress Cover

Unzip the mattress cover if you have one. Put this in the washing machine and let the fabric air dry. Mattress protectors will keep you from disinfecting microorganisms deeper within your mattress.

Step 2. Vacuum the Mattress

Initially cleaning should require vacuuming the mattresses surfaces and crevices. Don't forget to vacuum the area surrounding the mattress as well. 

Step 3. Remove Dust Mites with sunlight

This may sound strange but the best time and place to disinfect a mattress is outside on a sunny day. Check the UV index and humidity to ensure that the sunlight is strong enough to do some quality cleaning. Sunlight is the safest and best natural way to disinfect. But those precious UV rays don't disinfect by killing bacteria or dust mites immediately. It creates a photochemical reaction to stop bacteria from reproducing. UV rays attack the microorganisms and damage their cell structure which halts its ability to spread even more. If the sun has already gone down try using an organic disinfectant like BioVex.

Step 4. Remove Stains

To get regular stains out have a damp cloth and dish soap mixed together until you have reached a lathered foam on the mattress. Use very little water so you don't soak the insides of the mattress and cause mold issues. Steer clear of using harsh chemicals like Clorox bleach to not degrade the fabric. Rub this lathered solution in circular motions to and work your way from the center outward.

Mattress Urine Stains

  • A few towels
  • Vinegar & Baking Soda
  • Vacuum
  • Spray Bottle

To remove the urine stain. Use an even mixture of water and vinegar. Spray the mixture over the stained spots throughout your mattress. Blot the vinegar mixture in the sprayed areas. Sprinkle the baking soda over the blotted areas and let it sit for 8 hours. Vacuum the  dried vinegar and baking soda and repeat the process until the stain is gone. 

Mattress Blood Stains

  • One Part Baking Soda 
  • 2 Parts Water
  • Towels

To remove blood stains from your mattress mix one part baking soda and 2 parts cold water in a basin. Wet a rag in the basin and use it to dab the stained areas on the bed. Let the mixture sit on the stain for at least 20 minutes. Continue to blot and set the solution on the stain as needed. Vacuum the stained area once finished. Allow any residue to air dry.

Step 5. Choose a Disinfectant

A good mattress disinfectant spray can help keep your mattress sterilized regularly. The solution you will want to find should be a bactericide, viricide, antimicrobial solution that won't ruin or discolor soft surfaces. If you feel that your mattress smells weird, you can find one that is also a deodorizer. Helpful tip: do not just mask the scent with something that smells good. Some may say Lysol and other quaternary ammonium products are good deodorizers but they are more of a masking agent. BioVex is an oxidizer and actually eats carbon molecules which house odors. That's why I would recommend using Biovex as a deodorizer and disinfectant killing two birds with one stone. However for a cheaper option vinegar and baking soda can have a decent ability to sanitize and destroy odors. I also recommend using a fogger or electrostatic sprayer to apply the disinfectant. This will ensure every piece of the mattress gets coated evenly. Electrostatic sprayers charge the disinfectant to attract to negatively charged surfaces. This forms a bond between the surface and disinfectant allowing the disinfectant to cling to whatever its sprayed on including mattresses. Beware of the solution you use in the electrostatic sprayer. Some disinfectants should not be used in equipment like this.

You can use some of these other options to disinfect your mattress as well 

Hydrogen Peroxide & Baking Soda- 8 ounces of peroxide and 3 table spoons of baking soda will remove stains and disinfect. Allow this solution to air dry like all other disinfectants.

Vodka- I don't recommend using this because of the smell, but if you are desperate Vodka is a disinfectant that could do the job. Spray vodka on the mattress and blot to prevent soaking. Allow the disinfectant time to air dry. 

Steam Cleaning- Steam cleaning is basically dry-cleaning your mattress. Be careful with soaking or burning the mattress when using this method.

Step 6. Air Dry then Vacuum the Mattress

After you have allowed the disinfectant substantial time to air dry indoors or outdoors under the sun, run a vacuum over the mattress one last time to get any left over dust mites or debris attached to the mattress.

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