If you haven’t thought about cleaning your mattress lately, consider this: You probably spend six, seven or eight hours on it every night. During that time, dust, dead skin cells, sweat and oil from your body can make their way onto and into it, leading to possible yellow stains. Not to mention that this environment is a magnet for dust mites. Whether you suffer from allergies or not, it’s a good idea to give your mattress a regular spruce-up.
How to deep clean your mattress
- Ditch the dust. The easiest way to remove dust is to use the upholstery tool on your vacuum cleaner. It’s a good idea to do this every couple of months or more often if someone in the family suffers with allergies. Go over the top and sides of the mattress and as much of the box spring as you can access. Press down firmly on the tool or tap it on the fabric to draw out dust beneath the surface. Then, use the crevice tool to get into the quilting, along the edge welting and where any pillow top is attached. Some newer vacuums now come with tools that vibrate against mattress and upholstery fabrics to better draw out dust.
- Give it some steam. If you have a garment steamer, go over the mattress with the steamer holding the nozzle as close to the fabric as you can (without causing the steamer to drip). The penetrating steam will kill dust mites lurking near the surface. Vacuum the mattress again to remove them. No steamer? Give it bursts of steam from your iron.
- Remove stains. If pets sleep with you or you like to snack in bed, chances are your mattress may have some stains on it. The easiest way to remove them is with a carpet and upholstery cleaner formulated to remove pet stains, like Good Housekeeping Seal star Bissell Pet Stain and Odor Remover. “It not only removes pet stains, like urine and vomit, but also food stains. And it contains enzymes to tackle odors,” Forte says. To use it, lightly spray the stain — or a cloth — and dab the stain working from the outside edge towards the center to keep the stain from spreading. You want to avoid over-wetting the mattress. When the stain is gone, sponge the area with a damp cloth to rinse and remove all traces of the cleaner. Blot the area with a dry cloth and let the mattress dry thoroughly before making the bed.
How to remove yellow stains from your mattress
Yellow stains on your mattress are likely a result of sweat and body oil buildup. While it’s difficult to wet clean an entire mattress (and you never want to fully saturate it), you can try to whiten it with a 50/50 mix (one cup each) of hydrogen peroxide and warm water, plus 1/4 teaspoon mild dish liquid:
- Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spritz the mattress surface.
- Work it into the fabric with a soft brush or terry towel and let set about 30 minutes.
- Spritz the mattress again with clear water to rinse, blot well to remove all traces of the cleaner, and let it air dry completely. For tough stains, repeat or add a little more hydrogen peroxide to the solution.