How to Clean a Used Mattress: Everything You Need to Know

Knowing how to clean your mattress is important when it comes to your health, especially if you buy it used. If you have never washed your mattress or you are unsure if your used mattress has ever been cleaned, you could potentially be dealing with mold, mites or dander.

Make sure that the mattress is in decent shape first and free of any bed bugs, blood, and urine stains.

Deep Cleaning a Mattress


  • Dish soap or detergent
  • Handheld vacuum
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Clean cloth
  • Baking soda
  • Gloves

Start by vacuuming the mattress. Use a handheld vacuum or an upholstery attachment on an upright vacuum as you’ll need a tool that can reach every corner of the mattress. 

Next step is to mix together equal parts of hydrogen peroxide, water and dish soap or detergent. Apply this mixture directly to the stain with a spray bottle. Let it sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

Use a clean cloth and make sure to wipe off any excess moisture as leaving any behind will develop into mold.

Next, baking soda should be sprinkled over the entire surface of the mattress. Let the baking soda sit for a minimum of four hours, but the preference is to have it sit overnight. The following step is to vacuum the baking soda for a fresher-smelling mattress.


Sanitizing a used mattress is another step you can take further to ensure cleanliness.  Use a handheld steam cleaner. The heat of the steam will kill off more germs and eliminate dust mites, dirt and debris. 

Use an antibacterial spray and lightly spray the entire mattress with Lysol. Be sure not to saturate it. Let the product sit for several hours before wiping it off with a slightly damp and warm rag. The directions can also be found on the bottle. 

UV rays also kill germs, so if you have good sunlight in your home, opt to dry the bed in an area where sun will hit it the most. This will also dry your mattress faster.

How to Deodorize Your Mattress

To deodorize your mattress, vacuum the entirety of it, which includes the base, and underneath it. Sprinkle baking soda all over the mattress, and let it sit for several hours in sunlight if you have the ability to do so. Vacuum again to remove the baking soda.

Bleaching Your Mattress

Products that have been through the process of being deep cleaned with bleach or ammonia are going to come out pretty clean. However, bleach might not be the best product to use for a mattress that you are going to be sleeping on for a long time.

Bleach contains a lot of harsh chemicals that are not good for humans to inhale or be in contact with. Bleach should be used with caution or as a last resort.

If you do use bleach for your mattress, make sure it is very diluted, and make sure that you’re in a ventilated room while cleaning.

Bottom Line

After cleaning your used mattress, make sure to clean it every six months. To help you remember, you can jot it down in your calendar or put a reminder in your phone. Every three months is ideal, but, if that’s too large of a task, six months will do.

If you happen to spill something or get sick on your mattress, it’s best to clean it immediately. Also, it’s a good idea to flip your mattress every three months or rotate it.

We also recommend that you change and clean the sheets often to prevent mites and dander. Plus, what’s nicer than fresh, warm sheets to crawl into? You should also vacuum your mattress when you are cleaning the sheets.

Invest in a mattress topper or mattress cover. This will protect it from pets or moisture as it acts as a shield from things that may damage your mattress. Lastly, proper maintenance of your mattress will ensure that it will last a lot longer and keep you healthy. 

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