How to Clean and Sanitize a Used Mattress

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Buying a used mattress instead of a new one has its risks. Before you bring that mattress into your home, consider cleaning and disinfecting it first.

In this article, we'll help you through getting rid of those nasty stains on that used mattress. From cleaning to sanitizing, our guide will help you get your mattress to a spotless clean - almost like it's brand new!

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Why Should You Disinfect a Used Mattress?

If you bought the mattress from someone you know, then you probably think you have a good gauge of their cleanliness, at least when it comes to the mattress. However, as mattresses are not often deep cleaned, there is a high chance that the previous owner did not do any sort of mattress cleaning.

If you bought the mattress from someone you don't know, then all the more you need to disinfect the mattress pad before bringing it into your home! That mattress may be covered in sweat stains, dust mites, bed bugs, and body fluids. You wouldn't want to be sleeping in someone else's filth! 

Cleaning and disinfecting a mattress is essential to your health and well-being. Those sweat stains can harbor bacteria and viruses, which can make you sick. The mattress may have mold and mildew as well, which contribute to your bouts of sneezing during allergy season. For these reasons and more, you need to clean the mattress first. 

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How to Clean a Used Mattress

Most mattresses don't fit in the laundry machine, so you will have to do the mattress cleaning by hand. This method takes some elbow grease and time, but it will leave you with a fully deep-cleaned mattress that you can confidently sleep on without worrying about the grime. 

How to Wash the Entire Mattress

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Gather the supplies you need:

  • Plastic Liner
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Scrub Brush
  • Spray Bottle
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Hydrogen Peroxide (at least 3% concentration)
  • Disinfecting Solution

Step 2: Prepare Your Wash Area

The first thing you need to do is to prepare your wash area. Leave some room between your wash area and your house to prevent any bugs from getting into your home. Preferably, choose a washing area that is easy to clean, such as the driveway or a paved road. Place a plastic liner to act as a barrier between your mattress and the ground.

Step 3: Vacuum the Mattress

Vacuum up the mattress to get rid of dust and debris. Pollen, dead skin cells from the previous user, and other dirt may be on the surface of the mattress, and the vacuum removes these before they sink deeper into the mattress fibers. Sprinkle baking soda for a more thorough cleaning.

Step 4: Scrub, Scrub, Scrub!

Make a soapy solution using laundry detergent and water. Soak your mattress with a soapy solution, and start your scrubbing! Go over all the discolored areas, stain spots, and all over the mattress. Mattresses typically have zippers so you can wash the mattress protector separately. Do so if this is the case. 

Step 5: Wash Away the Soap Solution and Dry

Rinse the mattress with fresh water, and allow the soapy solution to wash away. If you have a wet vacuum, use it to remove the excess liquid. Otherwise, squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can, and allow the mattress to fully air-dry under the sun before using.

How to Remove Stains from a Used Mattress

Baking Soda to Remove Sweat Stains and Other Body Fluids

Baking soda may be used to deodorize the mattress, and remove stains from sweat, blood, and other body fluids. Place baking soda and water in a spray bottle for easy spot cleaning, and spray the solution all over the stained areas, making sure to soak the mattress. 

Allow the baking soda solution to sit for 10 minutes, then use a soft brush or damp cloth to scrub the stains away. Baking soda lifts out the stains from the fibers of the mattress, and removes four odors emitted by the stains as well. Baking soda and cold water is best solution in removing blood stains

Vinegar to Remove Mold and Mildew

Place vinegar in a spray bottle, and use it to get rid of mold and mildew stains. These stains are indicative of a healthy population of mold and mildew, and the vinegar should kill the spores to prevent the colonies from growing. 

Spray pure or diluted vinegar directly on the mold spots, and allow the vinegar to dry. This should kill off the mold, while adding baking soda to the solution gets rid of stains. No more musty mattresses! 

How to Get Rid of Dust Mites and Bed Bugs

Mites and bugs that may be crawling around your mattress will pose a huge problem later on if you don't address them immediately. These critters can eat you out of house and home, and pests such as fleas and ticks feast on your blood, possibly infecting you with blood-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease. 

Temperature is your best ally when it comes to getting rid of pests. Extreme cold or extreme heat will instantly kill all sorts of bugs and their eggs. If you purchased your mattress in the wintertime, make use of the icy-cold temperatures to freeze the bugs, killing them for good. However, heat is a much better killer when it comes to pests.

Soak your mattress in boiling hot water, making sure to get through the folds of the entire mattress. Bugs die at a temperature of 50 degrees Celsius, but water boils at 100 degrees. Use boiling water to instantly kill off bugs and their eggs. You need to treat the entire mattress at the same time as to not give the bugs a chance to move onto cooler areas. 

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How to Sanitize a Used Mattress

Sanitize Mattress Using a Steam Cleaner

Steam cleaning your mattress will kill off the bacteria, viruses, and other germs that may be lingering about. This is the best method to sanitize a memory foam mattress as the high heat of the steam will disinfect the mattress. Make sure you cover each area of the mattress thoroughly. The high heat also kills off bugs and pests. 

Sanitize Mattress with Hydrogen Peroxide

Alternatively, you can sanitize a mattress with peroxide, which will kill off most germs and bacteria at a concentration of at least 3%. Spray the solution all over the mattress, and spray over bed sheets, mattress protectors, and pillows as well if necessary. 

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How to Keep Your Mattress Clean

Now that you've made sure that your mattress is fully cleaned and disinfected, you need to make sure the mattress stays that way. Use a mattress cover over the pad to prevent stains, and switch out your bedding every week to maintain cleanliness. 

Go for professional mattress cleaner services to properly clean a used, soiled, or otherwise dirty mattress, as they would know how to get rid of stubborn stains, and refresh your mattress! At Luce SG, we provide top-quality mattress cleaning services in Singapore so you can live comfortably. Contact us today for more details.

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