Step 1. Vacuum it
Your vacuum cleaner’s upholstery attachment is your Number One ally in mattress cleaning. Start at the top of the mattress and work your way down in overlapping, narrow paths and then vacuum the sides of your mattress the same way. (Don’t worry about the other side of the mattress just yet; we’ll get there.)
Step 2. Deodorize it
Although we don’t usually notice our own bodily smells, over time sweat can build up and lead to an unmistakable funky aroma. To rid your mattress of rankness, sprinkle it well with baking soda and gently rub it in with a scrub brush, so it gets into the mattress fabric where the stink lives. Let the baking soda sit for 10 minutes, and then…
Step 3. Vacuum again
By scrubbing the baking soda into your mattress you’ve helped it bond with moisture and body oils in the top layers of material. Vacuuming it a second time pulls that moisture out, along with the cause of the odors.
Step 4. Get the stains out
Mattresses typically acquire three types of stains: blood, urine, and what we’ll just call “other bodily fluids.” While it’s best to treat stains immediately, let’s face it, sometimes sleep is more important. Here’s how to clean stains on your mattress after they’ve set in:
Dried blood stains can be treated by making a paste of 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide (3%) mixed with 1 tbsp. each liquid dish soap and table salt. Lightly spread this onto the stain and allow it to sit until dry before scraping the residue off. Dab at any remaining stain with a white rag* dipped into hydrogen peroxide, rotating the cloth as the stain lifts off.
*Using a white rag prevents dye transfer from the cloth to the mattress.