How to clean your mattress (spring/coil).

Cleaning a spring coil mattress...

Let’s face it, our mattresses come into contact with a lot of things that we’d rather not think about. And sleeping on a soiled mattress is not always the most pleasant thought. Even if you use a mattress pad and are careful not to spill anything on your bed, your mattress will still become soiled. Your body oil will leach through and it’s likely that dust mites will find their way into your bedding.  

Using a mattress pad is a preventative measure and it is recommended to launder the pad regularly. It is also a good idea to clean your mattress every so often. The frequency of that cleaning is determined by what your mattress is exposed to.  

Here are our step-by-step recommendations for routine semi-annual cleaning (once in the spring and once in the fall) of your spring coil mattress.  

1.) Pour approximately one cup of baking soda into a flour sifter.

Use baking soda to clean your mattress

2.) Gently shake the sifter over the top of the mattress, distributing the baking soda evenly on the surface. 

Use a sifter to sprinkle baking soda on the mattress surface

3.) Take a small, fine-bristled brush and gently scrub the mattress surface, working the (dry) baking soda into the fabric.

4.) Allow the baking soda to sit for about 15 minutes. Once that time has elapsed, get your vacuum cleaner and attach the upholstery attachment. Then, vacuum the mattress slowly up and down, and then back and forth. This will ensure you are lifting out the baking soda.

Vacuuming baking soda off the mattress 

Using these steps to clean your mattress will help mitigate any stale odors that can build up. When it comes to baking soda being able to kill dust mites, there are mixed opinions. Some articles suggest that baking soda will act as a desiccant and dehydrate them. However, nowhere on the Arm & Hammer website is there any evidence that supports that notion.  

Nevertheless, baking soda will still deodorize your mattress and vacuuming will reduce the presence of dust mites. There is also the option of spraying the mattress with a sanitizer, such as Lysol. This should follow the completion of the baking soda treatment.  

Stain Removal:

Every now and then, you might notice a stain or two on your mattress. Most mattresses are made with springs or coils that support a frame, along with top and bottom fabric layers. These layers are generally a large piece of polyester fabric that is quilted with a foam core as shown below. 

 It’s okay to clean this surface with an everyday carpet cleaner that can be rented at a store like Home Depot. When choosing this option, be sure to rent the upholstery attachments as well. Then, follow these simple instructions:  

Cleaning your mattress with a hand attachment carpet cleaner


  • Pour a ¼ cup of a mild laundry detergent in the carpet cleaner’s reservoir.
  • Fill the reservoir with hot water.
  • Carefully spray a small section of the mattress and immediately vacuum up that area with the carpet cleaner vacuum attachment.
  •  Be careful not to soak the mattress because the foam in the core of the quilted top/bottom will absorb the liquid.
  •  Repeat these steps until the entire mattress has been cleaned.
  •  Discard the unused water detergent solution and be sure to rinse the reservoir and fill with hot water.
  •  Repeat step 3 with the water-only solution and use it as a rinse. And once again, remember not to soak the mattress. Go over the mattress with the carpet cleaner vacuum to extract as much water as possible. 

If you find that the mattress has gotten too wet, place some dry towels on top of the bed and apply pressure. The object of this is to wick the excess water with the towels. If possible, open up the bedroom windows as this will aid in evaporating the dampness out of your mattress. You could also place a room fan on a chair and aim it directly at the mattress. This will assist in the drying process.   

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