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How to Clean a Foam Mattress: A Complete Guide [2024]
  • Author: Bargains Online

  • Date Posted:12 April 2024

Ever spilled a cup of coffee on your bed and then watched in horror as it disappeared into your mattress? 

It happens to the best of us. 

One minute you're relaxed, the next you're in a cleaning frenzy. Otherwise, you’ll be sleeping in a modern art masterpiece - complete with coffee stains, and who knows what else.

Thankfully, you don’t have to sleep on a mattress that reeks of your morning coffee. 

In this guide, we'll show you how to clean your foam mattress, step-by-step. 

From the basic dust-off to getting rid of those mysterious stains, you are covered. 

And the best part? You won't need a chemistry degree or an arsenal of harsh cleaning products. Just some household staples and a bit of elbow grease.

Say goodby to the days of turning your mattress over in hopes of hiding the evidence. We promise it's easier than you think.

Before you dive in – pre-cleaning tips

Getting ready to clean your foam mattress takes a little bit of preparation. The last thing you want is to be knee-deep in scrubbing and realise you are missing something. 

So, let's make sure you have everything you need before we get started.

What you’ll need

  • Vacuum with an upholstery attachment: This isn't your average dustbuster. Think of it as your gentle giant, sucking up dust and dirt without hurting your mattress.
  • Mild detergent: Harsh chemicals are a no-go. A mild detergent will clean your mattress without being too strong, ensuring your mattress stays in top shape.
  • Soft Cloth: This is your trusty sidekick. It applies just enough elbow grease without the grease.
  • Cold Water: Sometimes, simplicity is best. It's like giving your mattress a refreshing drink.
  • Baking Soda: It's not just for baking anymore. Baking soda is your secret weapon for deodorising your mattress.

Spot-test your cleaning solutions

Not all mattresses are the same. Before going all in, make sure the supplies you use won’t destroy your mattress. 
Here is how to effectively spot test: 

  • Pick a spot: Choose a small area that isn’t too visible, like the corner of the mattress. This spot is your testing ground.
  • Apply a tiny amount: Use a dab of cleaner on a soft cloth. Think of it as applying a dot of fancy cream on a tester’s wrist - small, dime-sized. 
  • Wait and watch: Give it some time. Go grab a coffee, but maybe don’t drink it on the bed this time. After a few minutes, check back.
  • Check the results: What you want is nothing. No change, no drama. If the mattress looks and feels the same, you’re good to go. If there’s any noticeable change, it's better to try a different cleaning method.

This pre-cleaning ritual makes sure your cleaning spree doesn’t turn into a horror story. 

With your supplies in hand and the green light from your spot test, you're set to tackle the cleaning like a pro. 

The main event – cleaning your mattress

A woman in a blue shirt is carefully stretching a fitted sheet over the corner of a foam mattress, the first step in maintaining a clean and inviting sleeping space.

Roll up your sleeves - it’s cleaning time. 

Follow these steps, and you’ll be back to enjoying a good night’s sleep, night after night.

Strip and vacuum

  • Off with the bedding: First things first, remove every layer until your mattress is bare. Strip everything odd, including the sheets, mattress protectors, and that cosy blanket you love.
  • Vacuum time: Grab your vacuum with the upholstery attachment. Start at the top and slowly move the vacuum down the mattress in straight lines, making sure to overlap each pass. Don't forget the sides. This will remove all the dust, hair, and the occasional lost crumb.

Spot clean stains

Let’s face it, accidents (and stains) happen. Here's how to tackle them without breaking a sweat:

  • Choose your weapon: Grab your mild detergent and mix it with water. Remember, you want more water than soap. Dip a soft cloth in, then wring it out until it's just damp. This should be the same solution you used for the spot test. 
  • Dab, don’t rub: Press the cloth gently onto the stain. Think of it this way: rubbing is like aggressively telling a stubborn stain to stay put, while dabbing is politely asking it to leave.
  • Rinse and repeat: If the stain isn’t budging, use a fresh cloth with water to dab away any soap residue. Repeat this step until the stain disappears. 

Deodorise and freshen

Baking soda isn’t just for baking and keeping our fridge smelling good. It’s also your best bet against stinky odours. 

Here’s how to use it:

  • Sprinkle: Lightly dust the entire mattress with baking soda. 
  • Let it work its magic: Leave the baking soda to sit. This can be from a few hours, or even overnight if you have time. The longer it sits, the more odour it absorbs.
  • Vacuum again: Yes, again. Vacuum up the baking soda with the same care and attention as before. You’re not just removing soda – you’re also vacuuming away those nasty odours it absorbed.

Air dry to finish

The last step is important. Moisture is the enemy of a good, clean mattress, so we need to make sure it dries completely before putting the sheets back on. Here's how:

  • Air it out: If possible, let your mattress dry in a well-ventilated room or by a window. Fresh air is the best dryer.
  • Use a fan: No breeze? No problem. A standing fan can do wonders. Aim it at the mattress to speed up the drying process.
  • Check before you dress: Make sure the mattress is completely dry before you remake the bed. Any moisture can invite mould, and nobody wants that.

Keeping the clean going – aftercare and maintenance

You've done the hard work. Now, let's keep your mattress feeling amazing for a long time. Here are some easy tips:

Regular maintenance tips

  • Vacuum monthly: Make this your new 30-day challenge. It keeps the dust mites at bay.
  • Use a mattress protector: Invest in a good protector that will guard your mattress against spills and stains.
  • Rotate regularly: Every 3-6 months, give it a spin. This helps prevent uneven wear and tear.
  • Air it out: Whenever you change your sheets, let your mattress breathe. Open a window and let fresh air work its magic.
  • Spot clean spills immediately: The quicker you tackle a spill, the less likely it'll set in. So act fast and blot up any spills right away.

Call in the cleaning crew

Sometimes, a mattress needs more than DIY cleaning.  Here’s when to call in the pros:

  • Annual check-up: Even if it looks clean, an annual deep clean can refresh every fibre. This removes built-up dust, allergens, and dead skin cells.
  • After illness:  If you've been sick, a professional cleaning can give you peace of mind and help you make sure all the germs are gone
  • When you see stubborn stains: If DIY solutions don’t cut it, professionals have the tools and know-how to banish tough stains.
  • When odour won’t go: Can't shake a persistent smell? A deep clean can get rid of odours you thought were permanent residents.

Think of professional cleaning as a wellness retreat for your mattress. It comes back rejuvenated, ready to support your dreams. Keep up with these aftercare tips, and you'll extend the life and comfort of your mattress. Your future self (and your back) will thank you.

Your burning questions answered

Close-up of a handheld steam cleaner being used on a white foam mattress.

Cleaning a foam mattress, especially for the first time, can be tricky. Before you dive into cleaning your mattress, let's clear up some common questions.

Can I use regular household cleaners?

Short answer: you can use some, but not all. Many household cleaners are too harsh for your mattress. Stick to mild detergent for general cleaning. For tougher stains, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar can work wonders. Remember, less is more. Always spot-test first to avoid turning a small problem into a disaster.

How often should I clean my mattress?

Do a quick cleaning every two months and a more thorough cleaning every six months. If you have pets, kids, or allergies, you might need to clean your mattress more often. Vacuum regularly and spot clean to keep your mattress in top condition. And remember, treat spills right away before they become a permanent stain.

What about deep stains and odours?

For the stubborn issues, go back to basics. Use baking soda for odours and a concoction of hydrogen peroxide, liquid dish soap, and baking soda for deep stains. Apply a small amount and blot gently. If home remedies don’t work, consider a professional cleaning service. They have the tools and expertise to handle even the most stubborn mattress woes.

And there you have it – a clean mattress

Keeping your mattress happy is all about simple routines. 

Regular vacuuming, prompt stain treatment, and the occasional deodorising are your mattress's best friends. 
Embrace the protector, rotate for even wear, and let the fresh air in every now and then. And when things get tough, don’t be shy to call in the professionals.

Cleaning your mattress might take a little effort, but it will pay off. 

Not only will your mattress look good, but it will be amazing to sleep on. A clean mattress means better sleep hygiene, fewer allergies, and a restful bedroom.

So, as you snuggle into your freshly cleaned mattress tonight, take a moment to appreciate the crisp, clean feeling. 
Sweet dreams are indeed made of this! Close your eyes and drift off with a smile, knowing that the only thing you’ll need to count are the zzz's, not the dust mites.

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