How to Sanitize a Mattress 

Are you wondering if your mattress is free from bacteria and allergens? Well, it is not, because they are invisible to the human eyes except with microscopes you won’t be too sure. Not to worry, in this article, we will show you how to sanitize a mattress.

The human body relaxes as well as releases millions of dead cells, sweat, body oils, and sometimes spittle during sleep. These can lead to the growth of bacteria, dust mites, or even bed bugs which could be dangerous to your health.

There is therefore a need to always sanitize your mattress to get rid of harmful bacteria and germs that can be present. 

how to sanize a mattress
Photo Credits: movingsale409, Flickr.com

You should know that cleaning a mattress is different from sanitizing it. However, cleaning still plays a major role in sanitizing your mattress. It is a step further after cleaning. 

It is therefore not a daunting task. It involves disinfecting your mattress from every form of threat to your comfortability.

How to Sanitize a Mattress – Getting your Materials and Equipment Ready

To sanitize a mattress, here are the materials and equipment you need to get:

1. Mattress disinfectant

2. Spray bottle

3. Steam cleaner

4. Paper towel

5. Vinegar

5. Baking soda

6. Vodka

7. Hydrogen peroxide

8. Proper ventilation

These materials play effective roles in disinfecting and sanitizing your mattress. You should take into consideration the kind of mattress, the nature, and the type of materials that will be suitable for it. You can as well check the user manual for specifications on how to sanitize your mattress. These materials will be discussed briefly below.

Mattress Disinfectant

This is a liquid that is used to kill germs and bacteria on your mattress. They are readily available over the counter of most laundry stores. They contain chemical agents that can destroy any form of microorganisms that is present in a mattress.

Regardless, disinfectants play a major role in making inactive germs, bacteria, dust mites, and mildew. You should check the effectiveness, kill time, smell, health implications, and ease of use before purchasing a disinfectant for your mattress.

Spray Bottle and Nozzle

This is used to spray liquid on your mattress as you sanitize it. It helps you to be able to regulate water and disinfectant that will be used.

Pouring too much water can extend the drying time and encourage the growth of mildew, fungi, and bacteria on a mattress. It is important to use a spray bottle. However, this also depends on your choice and convenience.

Steam Cleaner

This is an effective tool for sanitizing your mattress. It produces heat and pressure which can kill some germs, bacteria, pet dander, and dust mites on the surface of the mattress.

It can also be used to remove stubborn stains from the mattress. You can check the user manual to know the rudiment of your mattress type. This is because steam cleaners are not suitable for all mattresses.

Paper Towels

This is used for wiping, cleaning, and sanitizing your mattress. It can absolve water and aid quick drying of the mattress.

Pawer towels are available in stores. You should not use light ones. This is because they may not absorb moisture from the mattress as you sanitize it.

Vinegar 

This is particularly effective in removing stubborn stains as well as sanitizing your mattress. It is a mild acid, that contains acetylic materials that can break icky build-ups.

It can help kill molds and germs on the mattress surface.

Baking Soda

Though a household cleaning agent can still be used as a sanitizer. It is effective for mattress whitening.

It also serves as an odor neutralizer. This is because it absorbs excess moisture and deep-seated odors from the surface of the mattress

how to sanitize a mattress
Photo Credits: Jessica Mullen, Flickr.com

Vodka

Although a cocktail, vodka can still be used as a household sanitizer. It contains a combination of water and ethanol which can kill germs and bacteria on surfaces.

When mixed with water and vinegar, it becomes an active germ killer. It is also cheap and easily accessible. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an amazingly effective material for cleaning and sanitizing your mattress. 

When mixed with water and mild detergent, it can be used to effectively sanitize your mattress.

However, you should consider the nature and kind of mattress before using it. This is because it can also bleach out the fabric of your mattress if it is not safely used.

Proper Ventilation

There is a need for an open and airy space for your mattress to dry after sanitizing it. This is because fresh air and direct sunlight are important. 

Sunlight is also effective for sanitizing your mattress. Sun rays can kill some germs and bacteria that are not susceptible to heat. Although, using sunlight is not favorable for all types of mattresses. 

Good ventilation is therefore necessary for your mattress to get sanitized optimally.

How to Sanitize a Mattress – Basic Steps

To sanitize your mattress first, remove the mattress cover. Spray a mixture of water and vinegar. Wipeout with a clean towel. Spray a disinfectant. Wipe with a clean paper towel dipped in warm water over the surface, sides, and under the mattress. Leave to dry in a cool place.


The basic steps to sanitizing a mattress are:

1. Remove bed cover and mattress protector.

2. Vacuum the surface of the mattress, then flip to the other side and repeat same

3. Clean thoroughly with a paper towel, water, and mild detergent. If you discover any stain, use vinegar, baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide

4. Sanitize with a disinfectant

5. Vacuum the surface again

6. Leave to dry

These steps help to go a long way to sanitize your mattress maximally. However, sanitizing your mattress should be done routinely as this will reduce the accumulation of germs and bacteria that can be dangerous and threaten your health.

How to Sanitize a Mattress – Basic Methods

The basic methods of sanitizing a mattress include the following:

1. Steaming

2. Basking

3. Antibacterial disinfectant spray

There is no one method that is fit for all approaches to sanitizing a mattress. The effectiveness of each method depends on the type of mattress – memory foam, latex, innerspring, or gel; the user’s description; materials used, etc.

Notwithstanding, they still disinfect your mattress, though germs cannot be 100% killed.

Video Title: How To Sanitize The Mattress -Mattress Cleaning Tips

This video shows how to sanitize a mattress.

Method 1 – Steaming

This method requires the use of a mattress steam cleaner. To sanitize your mattress with a steam cleaner, do the following:

  • First, remove the bed cover and mattress topper
  • Vacuum the surface of the mattress
  • Sprinkle a large amount of baking soda on the surface. This will absorb the unwanted odors 
  • Allow sitting for about an hour
  • Vacuum off the used baking soda
  • Put on the steam cleaner – try using a vapor steam cleaner
  • Steam the surface and sides of the mattress
  • Afterward, leave to dry.

This method is quite easy and less stressful if done properly. However, using a steam cleaner requires extra care so as not to damage the durability and lifespan of your mattress. 

Steam cleaning does not consume time in drying. This is because it makes use of high heat pressure. It can be used to clean sweat and urine stains on your mattress.

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Sometimes, your mattress may absorb excess moisture after steaming it. You can use baking soda to absorb the moisture, then vacuum clean it again. To avoid this, regulate the quantity of heat released while using a steam cleaner to sanitize your mattress.

Method 2 – Basking

This method of sanitizing your mattress involves exposing it to ultraviolet rays from the sun. To bask your mattress, you can as well do these:

  • Strip the mattress of bed covers
  • Place on a neat flat surface or hardwood outside
  • Position to face the sun
  • Leave for at least 5 hours

Be that as it may, this method can kill bacteria as well as viruses in your mattress. It is a dry method of sanitizing your mattress. It also exposes the mattress to fresh air which can help to neutralize odors in the mattress.

It is a potent disinfectant and bactericide. Its ultraviolet rays kill germs, fungi, and plagues on a mattress. Ensure that your mattress is suitable to be exposed to sunlight before using this method. It also takes a longer time for you to sanitize your mattress optimally with it. 

Method 3 – Antibacterial disinfectant spray

This method requires the use of a disinfectant spray or agent. You can do this by taking the following steps:

  • Remove mattress cover
  • Vacuum the surface of the mattress
  • Wipe with a clean paper towel, water, and vinegar
  • Spray a disinfectant on the surface of the mattress 
  • Leave to sit for about 5 minutes or as stated on the product
  • Wipeout with a paper towel and warm water
  • Dry out excess liquid with a dry towel
  • Leave to dry in a cool and well-ventilated place

There are so many disinfectant sprays available for sanitizing mattresses. You can also use a home-made spray made by using water 10oz., vinegar 2oz., and vodka 4oz. and about 20 drops of essential oil or Lavender oil. Mix these ingredients inside a spray bottle and use them as explained in the steps above.

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You can also use already made anti-bacterial sprays like spic and span antibacterial spray, Bissell Woolite spray, Better life natural all-purpose cleaner, etc.

Disinfecting your mattress with a spray should be done with care and proper adherence to the user’s guide. This is because over usage might lead to side effects.

Here are some other detailed articles you may find useful:

How to Prevent your Mattress from Infection

Your mattress can be prevented from infection by doing the following:

  1. Maintain a hygienic lifestyle
  2. Change bed cover weekly
  3. Vacuum often
  4. Have a regular mattress cleaning routine
  5. Flip your mattress often
  6. Avoid stains from sweat, urine, food, and drinks

Sanitizing your mattress is especially important. It prevents you from being infected with viruses or flu. This helps you to live a healthy life free from hazards.

Having discussed how to sanitize your mattress, you should endeavor to do it often as this will destroy the accumulation of germs on your mattress. This affects the durability and comfort as well as the value you get from the mattress.

How to Sanitize a Mattress — Related FAQs

How Do You Disinfect A Mattress Naturally?

You can disinfect your mattress naturally by using these two methods:

Method 1

  1. Mix baking soda and water. 
  2. Add a few drops of lavender oil. 
  3. Pour inside a spray bottle and spray the surface of the mattress. 
  4. Leave to sit for about 4 hours.
  5. Vacuum clean the mattress.

Method 2

  1. Mix an equal part of water and vinegar inside a spray bottle 
  2. Spray the surface lightly
  3. Allow to sit for 10 minutes
  4. Wipeout with a paper towel dipped in warm out
  5. Dry out excess water
  6. Leave to dry in a cool place

Can You Spray Lysol on a Mattress?

You can spray Lysol on a mattress. It is a disinfectant spray that contains chemicals that can kill up to 99% of germs, bacteria, dust mites, and pet dander available on surfaces.

It can as well be used to sanitize your mattress. Here’s how to use it:

  • First, remove the bed cover
  • Clean thoroughly with a clean paper towel
  • Avoid over-wetting the mattress as you clean
  • Spray Lysol on the surface
  • Allow drying
  • Flip the mattress to the other side and repeat the same process. 
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Is Hydrogen Peroxide a Safe Disinfectant?

Hydrogen peroxide is not safe for all surfaces because it can bleach out color. This can lead to discoloration or dissimilarities of colors on the surface where it is used.  Therefore, before using it as a disinfectant ensure that that the surface is suitable for the use of hydrogen peroxide. You can consider using boric acid which can also serve as a disinfectant.

Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a disinfectant and sanitizer. With 3% of hydrogen peroxide, germs, bacteria, viruses, and fungi can get killed.

How Do You Disinfect a Mattress?

You can disinfect a mattress in the following ways:

  1. Strip off bed covers
  2. Vacuum the surface of the mattress
  3. Steam with a steam cleaner
  4. Spray a disinfectant like vinegar, baking soda, Lysol, or any already made disinfectant spray
  5. Allow it to settle for 10 minutes or as stated on the product
  6. Wipeout with a clean paper towel and warm water, do not over-wet the mattress
  7. Leave to dry for at least 6 hours

These steps help to sanitize your mattress after cleaning as well.

How Do You Deep Clean and Sanitize Your Mattress?

You can deep clean and sanitize your mattress by following these simple steps:

  1. Remove the covers
  2. Mix water and mild detergent in a spray bottle
  3. Spray sparingly on the topper
  4. Scrub gently with a soft brush
  5. Wipeout excess liquid
  6. Rinse with clean water
  7. Spray a disinfectant on the surface
  8. Wipe gently with a paper towel and warm water
  9. Allow drying in a cool place.

It is important to note that deep cleaning precedes sanitizing. Thus, clean with care because it can take a long time to dry if it gets too wet. 

Deep cleaning and sanitizing your mattress enables you to get a night of better sleep.

Is Vinegar an Antiseptic or Disinfectant?

Vinegar is classified as a disinfectant. It is a mild acid that can kill some bacteria and viruses. 

It can also prevent the growth of molds on surfaces of mattresses, sofa, etc. When added to water, it can become a sanitizer. 

It is used for different purposes because it contains about 5-8% acetic acid. This acid is composed of ethanol which has been fermented by acetic bacterial acid. As a result, when mixed with baking soda, it becomes a household disinfecting agent.

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