How to Clean a Soiled Mattress
Mattresses cost a LOT of money. So when a mattress gets soiled, do your best to clean it, the very best that you can!
Mattresses need to be aired and cleaned regularly to prevent dust mites and dead skin cells (ewwww!) from building up. These can aggravate allergies and generally interfere with us getting a good sleep. Mattresses also get a bit on the nose after a while from sweat and various other bodily fluids (again, ewww!).
Imagine having all those invisible dust and dirt on a mattress that you sleep in. That your baby sleeps in! Eww isn’t even close enough to describe it. With that said, it’s important to know how to clean your mattresses.
It’s also important to invest in high-quality mattresses that will last you for years, at least, if not for a lifetime. If you’re a parent, you’ll definitely understand how many ‘accidents’ babies can have in bed. So it has to be durable enough to withstand, uhmmmm, pee and poo.
The best thing about being a parent these days is that there are amazing products designed for specific needs. Like this revolutionary mesh baby mattress, the Numu-roo.
The Numu-roo baby mattress is probably the best and safest mattress out there for bub as it is designed for baby’s safety and comfort. It’s hypo-allergenic, asthma and allergy-friendly, easy to clean, breathable and complies with the Australian firmness standard. The external net is even designed to endure tearing! Also, it’s super easy to clean.
More Reading: List of Bulk Cleaning Supplies You Can Buy Online
Now, if you’ve found an awesome mattress for you and for bub, let’s get to business. Here are some tips to help keep your mattresses in top condition to get as much life out of them as possible.
1. How to get wee out of your mattress.
When the bed is wet, cover the wet area with baby powder, and place a few towels on top and if you can, leave it for a few days (not always possible I know!). Then sponge the area with a damp cloth soaked in white vinegar. If you don’t have a few days to spare, sprinkle bi-carb over the affected area, then sponge with a solution of tea tree oil and warm water (about 5 drops of oil to a bucket) and let the mattress dry in the sun!
Putting your mattress out in the sun is the best way to not only dry your mattress quickly, but the sunlight naturally sanitises the urine – getting any remaining stink out of there!
If you can still smell the wet spot, sprinkle Bicarbonate of Soda over the mattress and allow it to sit as long as you can – the bicarb absorbs odours. Just brush it off or vacuum the mattress before re-using it.
2. How to Spot Clean a Mattress
If the mattress surface becomes dirty or soiled, it is possible to give your mattress a good spot clean!
You can wash your mattress by using an upholstery shampoo or simply with warm, soapy water. Dishwashing liquid is absolutely great for adding to a bucket of warm water to spot clean a mattress. Wipe the area with a damp (not soaking wet) sponge. Allow the area to dry thoroughly. Do not allow the interior padding of the mattress to get wet. If it’s warm outside, you can dry a mattress quickly outside. You can also use a fan blowing across the mattress surface to dry it more quickly.
3. Removing poo and vomit from a mattress.
The key to a successfully cleaned mattress after an accident is time. The quicker you can get to the mess, the better chance of success you will have in getting rid of the stain. Use a damp cloth to ‘collect’ as much of the substance as possible and flush it down the toilet (it is illegal to place human waste in the garbage bin).
Heat some white vinegar and use a damp cloth to wipe at the stain (careful not to burn yourself). When you have removed as much stain as possible, place some bicarb on the area and leave for an hour or so. Again sponge with hot vinegar. Repeat until the stain and any odour is gone.
4. Removing blood from a mattress.
Look, let’s not be shy about it, we are women, we bleed. Often, very heavily, and through multiple layers of clothing, sanitary products, sheets and protectors. So if you have leaked all the way through, the best thing to attack the stain is with hydrogen peroxide. You can buy small bottles of it from the shaving and medicine section of your supermarket and it only costs a few dollars. Apply a small amount to the stain – and it should start to ‘bubble’. Gently use a clean damp cloth to blot at the stain until it comes away. You may have to repeat it a few times to get it all out, then allow it to dry in the sunlight.
Of course if blood in on your mattress from nefarious reasons – use an oxygen-based clothing detergent or oxygen bleach – oxygen is what gets rid of the blood cells so it doesn’t show up as DNA (yes I watch way too many crime shows!).
5. Removing Mould and Mildew from a mattress.
If you spot any mould or mildew on your mattress, attend to it right away – black mould is so bad for your health! Mould and mildew mean that there is too much moisture absorbed into your mattress. So the best thing to do is to take it outside and let it sit in the hot sun all day. To kill the mould spores, grab some isopropyl alcohol (again available from the chemist section of your local supermarket) and some warm water and sponge it into the mould area.
Look at grabbing some containers of ‘Damp Aid’ for your bedroom to absorb excess moisture in the air (always particularly bad during the winter months). Open your windows and let the breeze come in.
If you cannot remove the mould this way – try purchasing some Clove Oil. Clove Oil does kill mould but the smell is very overpowering and lingers for a long time – so ensure you can leave the mattress in the sun for a few days afterwards.
If this doesn’t work – you may be in the market for a new mattress – don’t fuck around with mould or you’ll die.
6. How to make your mattress smell amazing and fresh.
Every few months, strip down your bed. Mix together a few drops of eucalyptus oil into a cup of bicarbonate of soda, and sprinkle all over your mattress. Allow it to sit for a few hours, then vacuum well and place in the sun.
7. Dealing with wet sheets, blankets and doonas.
Wet sheets smell just awful. To freshen them up, wash in your washing machine as usual but add a cup of white vinegar to the wash. It will get rid of any residual odour and make the sheets nice and soft.
8. Flip your mattress over.
To provide even wear, flip the mattress over every two to three months, and also, turn it around so that the foot of the mattress is at the head. If you have a large mattress, this will be a two-person exercise. Some mattresses are only one-sided so just turn these around so the head and end of the mattress are swapped for even wear.
9. Use a mattress protector every time!
Consider purchasing a mattress protector cover to protect the surface of your mattress. Choose a washable cover that is easy to remove and replace your mattress. Some covers are even designed to reduce dust mite allergies. For the kids, it’s a good idea (especially if they are toilet training) to use a waterproof mattress protector.
10. Remove dust from the mattress surface.
Dust, dander (dead skin cells) and dust mites build up in your mattress over time. A mattress can house its own little colony of horrible nasties and this can begin to affect our health. Even those of us without allergies can begin to notice dust and dirt in our mattress. Have you noticed that your mattress gets heavier, the older it gets? The best way to get rid of some of the nasties living in your mattress is to vacuum your mattress using the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If someone does have allergies in your home, you may need to vacuum more frequently and/or purchase mattress covers regularly.
Also, understanding key memory foam vs spring mattress differences is equally important before buying a bed for your little one.
The coils in spring mattresses accumulate more dust compared to memory foam which is naturally hypoallergenic. This may reduce the regular cleaning hassle
11. Regularly air your mattress.
It’s a good idea to air out your mattress regularly in the sun. The sun can kill off any bacteria hiding in the mattress and it also gives it a fresher feel and smell. To get rid of any odours, try our Homemade Febreeze!
Do you have other tips on how to clean a soiled mattress?
- Frugal Living
- Frugal Living