How to Clean a Mattress – Removing Pet Stains and Accidents

Picture of dog licking a woman face

Our mattresses are often the most neglected piece of furniture in our homes. They require regular cleaning just like all other household items, yet because they are so cumbersome, we are at a loss where to begin.

Mattresses get a lot of abuse. They are prone to staining and absorbing odors and bodily fluids. They can also be the unwitting hosts of dead skin fragments and dust mites. Our mattresses are far dirtier than we realize, and we need to formulate a plan for regular, thorough cleaning to keep them fresh and free from dirt, unpleasant smells, bacteria, and debris.

Vacuuming Helps

Mattresses are hot spots for the accumulation of “stuff”.  Remnants from a secret midnight snack find their way underneath the fitted sheet and settle on top.  It seems our mattresses are also magnets for pet hair, dust, and other general particles and debris. Vacuuming is the first step towards getting your mattress properly cleaned.  Making use of a powerful vacuum will help remove any residual dirt from your mattress and will act us a primer for deeper, more thorough cleaning.

Spot Cleaning for the Win

Staining is quite easily identifiable on a mattress.  Spot cleaning stains is an effective means of removing concentrated spills.  However, it is important to determine what the stain consists of in order to be able to properly treat and remove it.

Stains on our mattresses could be from many things.  Occasionally, a drink is knocked over leaving a dark stain behind, and many bodily fluids such as urine, blood, sweat, and even saliva leave their mark as well.  Identifying the composition of the stain is critical to helping you understand what approach to stain removal you must take.

Here are several different options you can consider for the removal of stubborn stains:

  • Homemade detergent remedies

One of the best stain removing agents is something you can mix up using ingredients already found in your kitchen. A solution of dish detergent, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide is an excellent product for removing spills, discolorations, and odors from mattresses.

  • Commercial products

There are many excellent commercial cleaning products on the market that are invaluable in the battle for clean mattresses.  When attempting to remove stains from pet urine or blood, it is important to make use of a natural cleaner that is formulated to break down enzymes and thus provide the greatest stain and odor removing benefits.  Two great products to consider are Odoban and Simple Solution.

  • Lemon juice and salt paste

Lemon and salt are two powerful cleansers, but when combined together, they pack a powerhouse punch. Apply the paste directly to the stain and allow it to sit for up to one hour. Once the mixture has had time to penetrate the stain, you can gently remove the excess paste with a clean, dry towel.

Deodorize for Freshness

Once you have completed the stain removal portion of cleaning your mattress, it’s now time to restore a fresh scent. Baking soda is a natural deodorizer and can help to neutralize strong odors that linger after cleaning. Sprinkle it generously over your entire mattress, and it allow it to sit for several hours or even overnight. Once the baking soda has had time to work its magic, you can then vacuum it to remove all traces of it from your mattress.

Your mattress should now smell as good as when it was brand new!

Let the Air and Light In

It’s important to air things out once and a while, and it is no different with your mattress.  Though you cannot haul your mattress outside to allow it the benefits of light and air, you can let the light and air into your bedroom.  On a warm, sunny day, throw open the windows and let nature inside!  The warmth of the sun will help combat the growth of bacteria.

Keep It Covered and Protected

As with most household cleaning challenges, the best way to address a problem is by preventing it from happening in the first place.  But since accidents happen and cannot be avoided or predicted, what can you do to prevent mattress staining and odors?

Mattress pads are an excellent tool to protect your mattress.  Let’s face it; you might not pee your bed, but your new puppy might!  You need to plan for future spills and smells because they will inevitably happen over the life of your mattress.

Mattress pads are easily removable for frequent washing.  Since they are on the frontline of messes, making use of one allows you to do your cleaning on a smaller scale.  Instead of having to do a thorough mattress clean several times a year, you can clean your mattress cover as often as needed and save a deeper mattress clean for part of your spring cleaning ritual.

You can find mattress pads at any department store or major online retailer. Make certain you purchase one that is high quality and made of durable material.  Mattress pads that are thin provide little protection.  It is worthwhile to spend the additional money to get something that will stand up to a little abuse and offer more security against spills, stains, and odors. You will thank yourself for spending that little extra bit of money later!

Our mattresses require frequent cleaning to keep them fresh, clean, and sanitary.  It has been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and nowhere is this more true than when it comes to your mattress.  Pick up a mattress pad today to keep your mattress properly protected and to make keeping your mattress clean a much more manageable job!



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