How To Clean Mattress Stains Like a Pro
6 min read
The bedroom is a sacred space where you should feel your most comfortable and relaxed.
A big part of making your bedroom inviting is keeping it clean and fresh – and this rings true for the bed too.
Your mattress is what you return to every night; it’s where you rest your head for around a third of your life. It’s also the resting place for dead skin cells, unwanted bacteria, and other microbes.
That’s right; you’re sharing your bed with some little monsters that compromise the hygiene of your sacred space. This slew of unwanted critters can also put your health at risk, triggering allergies, acne, eczema, just to name a few health problems.
Mattresses are an expensive purchase, costing up to thousands of dollars. However, they lose their shape and structure over time and accumulate nasty germs. For this reason, the general consensus is that we should change our mattresses every six to eight years.
This might seem like a costly endeavor. However, for the sake of a good night’s sleep, it is entirely worth the investment.
The best thing you can do to preserve your mattress is to keep it well maintained by removing stains, doing a bi-annual deep clean, and – for the love of a good night’s sleep – not jumping on the bed!
Here at Miracle, we take sleep seriously, which is why we have created a comprehensive guide to getting rid of all kinds of stains to help preserve your mattress for years to come.
Pull back the sheets, and you might have to face some uncomfortable truths. On average, adults sweat 26 gallons a year while sleeping, which can result in unsightly yellow marks on your mattress – ew. Sweat stains get darker the longer they are left, so flipping your mattress is an easy way to avoid them from accumulating.
But it’s not only unpleasant to look at – sweat contributes to a warm and humid atmosphere that dust mites, fungus, and bacteria thrive on. This can contribute to increased allergies, eczema, and even acne.
Unfortunately, while you can strip the sheets, there’s no fitting your mattress into the washing machine, which makes acting fast and using the right products to remove a mattress stain all the more crucial.
Read on for some top tips on how to remove sweat stains and other unwanted marks.
Removing Sweat Stains
The best thing about removing sweat stains is that you can do it from the comfort of your own home. It’s likely that everything you need you can find in your kitchen cupboard or pantry!
To get rid of the bad odor and unsightly yellow marks, vinegar is your friend. Distilled white vinegar is especially good as the acetic acid helps break down the sweat stain, which becomes alkaline as it ages. They essentially cancel each other out so that the stain disappears. You’ll need some elbow grease to move the process along.
- First, dampen the target area to help loosen the stain.
- Find an empty spray bottle and decant some white vinegar.
- Spray the vinegar directly on the stain. Make sure not to pour vinegar as it will leave an overpowering smell and be hard to dry.
- Air dry in sunlight or use a fan to dry. If it stays damp for too long, you may risk mold growth.
- Pat dry to remove any excess vinegar.
Call In the Reinforcements
If the stain is stubborn, it’s worth repeating these steps with baking soda or sodium borate. Cover the dampened stain with a generous amount of either and make sure to vacuum it up after leaving it to dry for two hours or more.
Vinegar, Baking Soda, and similar products are all odor neutralizers, meaning they should remove any stain-associated smells. To keep things extra fresh, add some essential oils to any of the aforementioned ingredients, and you’ll be left with a nice aroma on your mattress.
You can use this stain removal process for pungent stains from urine and vomit too. It’s important to note that these stains should be removed as soon as they’re noticed to prevent them from seeping into the fabric – making them harder to remove.
For sweat stains, which accumulate over time and are hard to avoid, you may want to consider investing in Miracle’s Extra Luxe sheet set. The natural thermoregulating quality of the high-quality Supima cotton alongside the infused silver antimicrobial technology makes them your best bet when it comes to keeping your mattress sweat-stain-free.
Investing in high-quality sheets can help maintain your mattress for longer and can greatly improve your overall sleep.
Removing Blood Stains
Bloodstains are another common and arguably worse stain to discover that has seeped into your mattress. Unlike sweat, which you can prevent with thermoregulating sheets, stains from blood, vomit, and urine are harder to stop in their tracks.
If they become a regular problem, it is worth using a plastic-coated sheet or a mattress topper under your regular bedding to prevent the stain from reaching the mattress. If it’s too late for that, here are some important things to know when it comes to removing bloodstains.
The main trick here is to act as fast as you can – this applies to all stains but especially when there is red seeping into bright white sheets!
- If there’s a lot of blood, pour salt or baking powder on the stain immediately. These products have dehydrating properties which will help draw it out of the mattress. Remove the salt or baking powder with a vacuum or scrape off when enough of the excess blood has been absorbed.
Sponge the area with a mixture of laundry detergent and cold water at a ratio of one to two. Make sure it’s cold, as hot water will cook the protein in the stain so that it is harder to remove. Do not use too much water to avoid spreading the stain, making it harder to clear up.
- After 30 minutes or so, blot the area with a dry cloth until the liquid is absorbed. You can also use a toothbrush to scrub the area first, breaking down the stain. If it is particularly tough, repeat the process of applying the detergent solution, scrubbing, and blotting.
- Once you are satisfied, sponge the area with just cold water to remove the detergent solution and blot dry. Make sure the area is completely dry, as a damp mattress can encourage the growth of mildew.
Tackling stains as soon as they arise is the key to keeping your mattress looking and smelling clean and fresh. However, you should still aim to do a full mattress clean twice every year to keep it well-maintained.
So far, we have dealt with stains from bodily fluids. These are some of the most common, but there’s also the accidental food and drink spills that are really a pain.
Even if it’s worth the risk to enjoy a morning cup of coffee or a nightcap glass of red wine in bed – one spill and you’re in hot water.
Coffee: we’re a nation hooked on it, so it’s likely you’ve spent a lazy morning enjoying your cup of joe from bed – and why not! A big, brown coffee stain is why. Coffee stains are notoriously hard to remove, and the rich brown color will easily seep into the mattress.
- If a spillage occurs, work your way inwards, blotting up excess liquid with a paper towel to prevent the stain from spreading.
- Once you have absorbed as much coffee as possible, apply vinegar using a spray bottle or by blotting the surface once again, still working from the outside of the stain inwards. You may want to repeat this step using laundry detergent for a stubborn stain.
- Rinse out the stain removing solution by dabbing a wet cloth on the target area.
- Blot with a dry towel and leave to air dry in the sunlight. If this is not possible, use a fan or hair dryer to speed up the drying process.
The same process can be used to remove red wine and most liquids, for that matter.
Stains Are a Pain
It’s important to be patient during the stain removal process. Take care to avoid small but common missteps that might make the stain worse.
Avoid cleaning with hot water (which cooks the protein in some stains), rubbing rather than blotting (which can spread the stain), and not letting it thoroughly dry (which can cause mildew or mold in your mattress).
The most important tip is to act fast as old stains are far harder to remove, requiring more time and effort.
When it comes to preventing stains, a mattress topper is a worthwhile purchase. For the common and inevitable sweat stains that accumulate over time, investing in antimicrobial, thermoregulating sheets can actually reduce how much you sweat.
This leads to a cleaner mattress and a better night’s sleep.
- Dirty Mattress Health Hazards | WebMD
- When Should You Replace Your Mattress? | Sleep Foundation
- The Gross Truth About Your Bed Sheets | Business Insider
- Natural Stain & Odor Removers | SFGate