Mattress Cleaning Guide
Given the long-term investment of a mattress in a box, and the amount of time spent in our beds, it is important to know how to maintain the health and cleanliness of a mattress over time. BedInABox® mattresses are constructed with memory foam that minimizes motion transfer (a must if your partner gets up throughout the night or sleeps restlessly), contours to your body and pressure points, and regulates temperature (a bonus if you sleep hot). So how do we ensure you can enjoy the benefits of BedInABox® memory foam over time? We help you understand how to properly clean and care for it. Below are our best suggestions on how to thoroughly clean your memory foam mattress.
Method 1: Use a Mattress Protector
For simple upkeep, we suggest pairing your BedInABox® mattress with our BedInABox® Tencel™ Protector or our BedInABox® Cooling Protector. In using a mattress protector, you are creating a breathable, washable barrier against dust mites, bacteria, and fluids that helps protect the integrity of your mattress materials which generally prolongs the life of the mattress itself. While using mattress protectors minimizes the frequency with which a mattress needs deeper cleaning, it is still important to routinely clean your mattress following the methods below.
Method 2: Gently Vacuum
The first and simplest cleaning method we recommend is to gently vacuum your mattress. Vacuuming your mattress won’t remove stains, but it is perfect for removing crumbs, dust mites and any other loose particles that sit on the surface of your mattress.
Step 1: Remove all bedding, blankets and pillows from your mattress (go ahead and wash those while you’re at it).
Step 2: Grab a vacuum with a wide, clean nozzle and brush over the entire surface of your mattress.
Step 3: Allow your mattress air out for several hours before dressing with bedding again.
Method 3: Spot Clean Stains with Gentle Cleaning Solutions
When you notice stains either on the surface of your mattress cover or the surface of your memory foam mattress that don’t seem to lift with a vacuum, we always suggest using a gentle cleaning solution or stain remover to spot clean. One of our favorite, mattress safe DIY cleaning solutions for light surface stains is a simple combination of water and laundry detergent. Keep reading for an easy how-to for making your own cleaning solution at home.
Step 1: Mix equal parts laundry detergent and water in a spray bottle and shake to blend.
Step 2: Spray any stains generously, without saturating the surface, and dab with a small damp towel or gently scrub in a circular motion to absorb the stain.
Step 3: After the stain is removed, press a dry rag to any noticeable wet spots to absorb excess liquid.
Step 4: Let your mattress to dry before making your bed with clean linens. If you are pressed for time, turn on a fan in the bedroom to help with dry time.
For deeper, more stubborn stains (you know the ones from coffee and wine spills) we still suggest spot cleaning, but with a cleaning solution that will better break down and neutralize stains. Avoid using agents like hydrogen peroxide, which can affect the color of your memory foam or quality of your mattress cover, and gravitate to more natural cleaning agents like white vinegar. Here are simple instructions on how to make our favorite DIY vinegar stain-removing solution.
Step 1: Create a 1:1 ratio of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
Step 2: Before applying your cleaning solution, absorb as much of the spill or stain as possible with a dry towel. Then, mist the stained area with the solution of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and dab the stain with a clean towel.
Step 3: If the stain persists, sprinkle a little bit of baking soda on top of the stain and let it sit for about eight hours. The baking soda should absorb any remaining moisture and help neutralize the stain.
Step 4: Vacuum any residual baking soda and let the spot air dry before making your bed.
Drying Your Mattress After Cleaning
While the cleaning process is crucial, it’s equally important to make sure your mattress dries properly and completely before redressing it. Mattresses take a few hours to dry with ranges varying depending on the material. Memory foam mattresses dry more quickly when they are placed under a ceiling fan or next to a standard fan. Drying your mattress outside is not recommended, as the mattress can easily be dirtied by insects, dirt, or allergens. Be sure to allow enough time for your mattress to dry before using it again, and most importantly, make sure it dries in an area that is clean, so it won’t get dirty again after your hard work.
How to Disinfect a Mattress
While washing your bedding and periodically cleaning your mattress helps protect you against bed bugs, dust mites, and bacteria, it’s a good idea to also consider disinfecting your mattress. There are many DIY solutions to help disinfect your mattress.
Use short, sharp bursts of steam to sanitize the mattress without needing to use any chemicals. Be careful not to soak the mattress, as this can lead to future problems such as mold and mildew.
Disinfectant spray will kill any germs and bacteria, but make sure it doesn’t include any bleach, which will damage your memory foam mattress.
Baking soda and vinegar:
Use a spray bottle to spray vinegar over the surface of the entire mattress, taking care not to soak the mattress. After about 10 minutes, blot the surface and spread baking soda on the mattress, allowing it to sit for a few hours. The baking soda will absorb the liquid and smell of the vinegar and has the added benefit of removing any germs or stains. Before redressing the mattress, be sure to vacuum any excess baking soda.
Did you know that vodka is an excellent and natural disinfectant? To sanitize your mattress, spray vodka over the entire surface and blot it with a clean rag. Allow the mattress to air dry, preferably with a window open or under a fan, before redressing it.
Washing Memory Foam Pillows
Memory foam pillows are not machine washable but should still be cleaned periodically, as they quickly get dirty from dead skin cells, sweat, bacteria, and dust mites. Leaving a pillow unwashed can lead to mildew and unpleasant smells, and while using a pillowcase helps protect it, the case does not provide a complete solution for keeping your memory foam pillow clean.
Memory foam pillows must be washed by hand and can either be deep cleaned or spot cleaned. Always check the pillow tag before cleaning to determine what your pillow’s specific care requires. For spot cleans, use a gentle cleansing solution such as dish soap and warm water to gently blot at stains or over the surface of the entire pillow. Use a circular motion and a sponge or clean rag to remove tougher stains.
If the pillow can be hand washed, then the memory foam can be submerged but cannot be put in a washing machine. Instead, fill up a sink or tub with warm water and mild detergent and squeeze water in and out of the pillow. Once the pillow has been sufficiently cleaned, drain the solution and refill the sink or tub with warm water. To make sure all the solution is gone from the pillow, keep squeezing it carefully until the water coming out turns clear.
For both spot cleans and hand washing, memory foam pillows must be left out to air dry. Choose a location where they won’t get dirty again and use sunlight or a fan to help speed up the process.
Common Stains & How to Remove Them
The most efficient way to remove food particles from a mattress is to vacuum. Gently vacuuming the entire mattress will remove any crumbs or pieces but may not be enough to remove all traces of food. In the case that the mattress needs additional cleaning, or any pieces of food are stubborn, utilize one of our DIY spot cleaning methods or purchase a mattress cleaning product such as the Kleen Logik Mattress Stain Spot Remover Cleaning Spray or the Rocco & Rixie Supply Professional Mattress Cleaner.
Wine is a tough stain to get out of any fabric, but with the right solution, you can get your mattress looking brand-new again. The most effective way to get a wine stain out of your mattress is to catch it as quickly as possible and use a clean towel to spot clean it. Don’t press too hard or rub the stain, as this will cause it to spread. Sometimes simple soap and water will do the trick, but other times a stronger solution is needed.
While we always advise against using hydrogen peroxide because it can affect the color and integrity of your memory foam mattress or mattress cover, sometimes a stronger solution is needed to get tough stains out. If using hydrogen peroxide, consider doing a patch test before spraying it on a larger area of the mattress. A less abrasive alternative is white vinegar, which is acidic and helps separate stains from the mattress.
To clean wine stains, mix three parts hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar with one part liquid soap in a spray bottle. After spraying the stain, let it sit for about half an hour and then gently dab the area. Blot away any excess liquid with a clean cloth and allow the mattress to dry completely. If the stain is stubborn, use a pinch of baking soda on top of the stain and let it sit for eight hours. Once the stain is neutralized and the mattress is clean, vacuum any remaining baking soda and allow the mattress to air dry.
Because of its acidity and smell, urine can prove a challenge to remove from a mattress. However, using simple ingredients found at home can clean your mattress while leaving a fresh scent behind.
One cleaning solution involves mixing laundry detergent and water in a spray bottle, which is most effective if the urine is fresh and hasn’t yet had time to set into the fabric of the mattress. An alternative solution includes water and white vinegar mixed in a spray bottle. This solution can be sprayed directly onto the affected area, but keep in mind that the mattress shouldn’t be soaked. With either solution, be sure to use a clean rag to spot clean the area in a circular motion. Once the stain is gone, you can use another rag and some water to remove the cleaning solution. Finally, absorb any excess water with a dry rag and let your mattress air dry in a sunny room or under a fan.
For tougher stains, use a stronger solution of 8 ounces of hydrogen peroxide, 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and a few drops of dish soap or laundry detergent. Once the solution is mixed, apply it to the stained area and allow it to sink in for a few minutes. Only when the solution has dried can you complete the cleaning process by vacuuming any residual baking soda. If there are still stains, repeat the process as needed.
Similar to urine and wine stains, blood stains can be tough to clean and often require a stronger solution to better break them down. If the stain is fresh, a simple rag with cold water moving from the outer edge of the stain inward will usually do the trick. You can add your preferred cleaning solution, such as white vinegar, baking soda, or diluted hydrogen peroxide, if the stain proves to be stubborn.
If the blood has dried or set into the fabric, a more potent solution will get the job done. Always use cold water to avoid setting the stain more and use an enzyme cleaner or hydrogen peroxide solution. Once the area has been dampened with cold water, add your preferred solution and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then, use a wet cloth to remove the solution and see if any stains remain. If they do, try using a toothbrush with the cleaning solution to gently rub the stain. Once the stain is gone, use a dry cloth to remove any excess liquid and allow the mattress to fully dry.
Tips for keeping your BedInABox® Clean
While we use only certified safe, high quality memory foams developed in-house to build our BedInABox® mattresses (that can last you 10+ years with the proper maintenance), it is important to perform some simple “routine maintenance” to lengthen the durability of your memory foam mattress. Keep any noticeable odors in check by regularly cleaning your sheets and bedding and treating your mattress with the occasional baking soda cleanse. Vacuum your mattress occasionally to keep it free of crumbs, dead skin and dust, which will also help prevent bed bugs, viruses and seasonal allergies. And while we never recommend flipping your BedInABox®, we do suggest rotating it every 6-12 months to maintain even wear.
Looking for a new mattress instead? Check out any of our six mattress options to meet your sleep needs.Shop BedInABox® Mattresses