Whether you have pee stains, poop stains, food stains or sweat stains on the mattress, you may find that you need to clean the mattress. In some cases, you need to know the best way to wash a mattress to remove a variety of stains. We’ll also warn you of what not to do so that you don’t end up in a worse situation.
Warnings Of What Not to Mix
This mattress wouldn’t be complete without addressing what you should do to your mattress and what you should not use on a mattress. Don’t use cleaners that contain bleach on a mattress, even if it is laundry detergent containing bleach mixed with other substances to treat a stain. The bleach could discolor the mattress, and it would only add to the corrosiveness of cleaning mixtures that contain hydrogen peroxide.
If you used vinegar to minimize urine odor, rinse it out with water before you apply any hydrogen peroxide or cleaning compound that may contain bleach. Vinegar plus hydrogen peroxide creates toxic parecetic acid, while bleach vinegar creates dangerous chlorine gas.
On the flipside, if you want to use vinegar to neutralize urine smells, use colorless cooking vinegar mixed with water, not the blue-dyed ammonia window cleaner sitting in your cabinet. The dye in it will stain the mattress worse than the stains you want to remove.
Hydrogen peroxide can be used in small amounts as part of a cleaning mixture, but you are taking the risk that it will discolor your mattress. If using hydrogen peroxide in a cleaning mixture, use light or white cloth to dab the stain so that color can’t leach out of the cloth and into the mattress.
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How to Wash Your Mattress
Now that we have covered what you shouldn’t do, let’s outline the best way to wash your mattress. We’ll give general tips to cover pretty much any type of mattress.
Before you start treating stains, take off the sheets and blankets. You can spot treat stains on the blankets and rinse them off in the sink before you throw those in the washing machine. Barring this, rub the spots on the bedding with a bar of soap and rinse it before throwing it in the clothes washer.
Cleaning the Mattress Itself
If there are obvious wet spots even after you’ve stripped away the bedding, soak it up with a sponge or towel. Get everything up you can, working your way from the outside in so that you don’t spread the staining substance.
If you’re dealing with a stain that contains protein, be it blood, vomit, chicken noodle soup or poop, apply meat tenderizer, pet stain remover or something else that can break up the stain. After you’ve rinsed that away, you can move on to the generic mattress cleaning compounds.
You could try upholstery shampoo on the bed. You can make your own with dye-free laundry detergent and water. You could add baking soda or salt to the mix to make it more abrasive. Dab the mixture into the stain. Let it sit. Then rinse it out with wet towels pressed against the stain before drawing the moisture and stain out with clean towels or a sponge.
We’re going to assume you’ve wiped up any physical remnants of your cleaning mixture. You could spread baking soda on the bed to help neutralize the odors or dry things out, though this should be vacuumed up afterward. If you haven’t vacuumed the bed for a while, go ahead and use the upholstery brush on your vacuum cleaner to clean the surface of the bed. You’ll lift up dead skin, dander and possibly dust mites. This will speed up the process of drying out the bed, too. Then air dry the bed, since letting it remain wet will breed mold and mildew.