Experts Corner

Can You Steam Clean a Mattress?

January 18, 2024   By JM Carpiso

When it comes to deep cleaning your home, you may have heard about the benefits of steam cleaning. But can you use this method to clean your mattress? In this article, we’ll explore the answer to this question and provide some tips for steam cleaning your mattress effectively.

The Benefits of Steam Cleaning

Before we look into whether or not steam cleaning mattresses is a good idea, let’s first discuss the benefits of this process in general.

  • Natural Method: Steam cleaning mattresses is a natural and chemical-free way to deep clean your bed and your home. It uses high-temperature steam to kill bacteria, dust mites, and other allergens, making it a great option for those with allergies or sensitivities.
  • Very Effective: Additionally, steam cleaning can be more effective than traditional cleaning methods, as the high heat can penetrate deep into surfaces and remove dirt and grime that may be missed by other cleaning methods.
  • Maintains Indoor Air Quality: Steam cleaning helps to maintain a better indoor air quality by lowering the risk of respiratory irritation and allergies by doing away with the need for harsh chemicals.
  • Quick Drying Time: Steam cleaning reduces moisture retention, ensuring a quicker drying time for your mattress and preventing the growth of mould or mildew. This is in contrast to other older procedures that require longer drying times.
  • Versatile Use: Steam cleaning is not just for mattresses; it can also be used to clean a wide range of surfaces, including carpets, curtains, and upholstery. This means that it can effectively and thoroughly clean your entire home.
  • Environmentally Friendly: With no reliance on chemical detergents, steam cleaning aligns with eco-friendly practices, making it a sustainable option for those seeking environmentally conscious cleaning alternatives.
  • Odour Removal: Your mattress and house will smell clean and new after the high-temperature steam kills bacteria and helps neutralise and remove offensive odours.
  • Allergen Reduction: Steam cleaning efficiently eliminates typical allergens like pet dander and pollen, in addition to dust mites and germs, promoting a more allergen-free atmosphere in your home.
  • Extended Mattress Lifespan: By preventing the buildup of dirt and microorganisms that can eventually cause wear and tear, regular steam cleaning can help your mattress last longer.

Steam Cleaning vs. Vacuuming

You may be wondering, why not just vacuum my mattress instead of steam cleaning it? While vacuuming can remove surface dirt and debris, it may not be as effective at removing allergens and bacteria that can be deeply embedded in your mattress.

Steam cleaning, on the other hand, can reach deep into the layers of your mattress and effectively kill these allergens and bacteria, leaving your mattress cleaner and healthier.

Can You Steam Clean a Mattress?

The short answer is yes, you can steam clean a mattress. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you start.

First, it’s important to check the care instructions on your mattress. Some mattresses may not be suitable for steam cleaning, and using this method could potentially damage the material.

Additionally, if your mattress has any stains, it’s important to spot clean them before steam cleaning. Steam cleaning can set stains, making them more difficult to remove.

Preparing Your Mattress for Steam Cleaning

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Before you begin steam cleaning your mattress, there are a few steps you should take to prepare it.

  • Start by completely removing all bedding, including sheets, blankets, pillows, and mattress protectors, from the mattress. Don’t forget to also take off any additional items such as stuffed animals, decorative pillows, or throws, as these can harbour dust and allergens.
  • Once the mattress is free from any coverings, the next step is to thoroughly vacuum it. Utilise a vacuum cleaner equipped with a soft brush attachment, which is gentle enough to clean the mattress without causing any damage. Carefully run the attachment across the entire surface of the mattress, ensuring you reach all the nooks and crannies.

Remember, the goal of vacuuming is to get rid of any surface dirt, dust, or debris that might have accumulated over time. By eliminating these particles, you can contribute to a cleaner and healthier sleeping environment.

Steam Cleaning Your Mattress

Now that your mattress is prepped, it’s time to start steam cleaning. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Fill your steam cleaner with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Turn on the steam cleaner and allow it to heat up.
  • Once the steam is hot, hold the nozzle about 6 inches away from the mattress and begin to move it slowly across the surface.
  • Be sure to cover the entire surface of the mattress, paying extra attention to any stains or heavily soiled areas.
  • Once you have steam cleaned the entire mattress, allow it to dry completely before putting any bedding back on.

Tips for Effective Steam Cleaning

To ensure that your steam cleaning is as effective as possible, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Use distilled water in your steam cleaner to prevent mineral buildup.
  • Test a small, inconspicuous area of your mattress before steam cleaning the entire surface.
  • Move the steam cleaner slowly and evenly across the surface of the mattress.
  • Allow the mattress to dry completely before putting any bedding back on.

Other Methods for Deep Cleaning Your Mattress

While steam cleaning is an effective method for deep cleaning your mattress, there are other options available as well. You can opt to clean your mattress using these other ways that are also effective.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

A popular DIY method for deep cleaning a mattress is using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. 

  • To do this, sprinkle baking soda over the surface of your mattress and let it sit for a few hours. 
  • Then, spray the mattress with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar and let it sit for another few hours. 
  • Finally, vacuum up the baking soda and vinegar mixture.

Hydrogen Peroxide and Dish Soap

You can use hydrogen peroxide and dish soap to clean mattresses. This is a cheap and easy way to clean and deodorise your bed.

  • Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and dish soap in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution onto the stained areas of the mattress.
  • Gently scrub the stains with a soft brush or cloth.
  • Allow the solution to sit for 10-15 minutes.
  • Blot the area with a clean cloth to remove excess moisture.
  • Let the mattress air dry completely before putting any bedding back on.

This method can be effective in removing stains and odours from your mattress. Remember to always spot test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the mattress before applying it to the entire surface.

Professional Mattress Cleaning Services

If you’re not comfortable steam cleaning your mattress yourself, or if you have a particularly stubborn stain, you may want to consider hiring a professional mattress cleaning service. These companies have specialised equipment and cleaning solutions that can effectively deep clean your mattress.

Additional Tips for Cleaning Your Mattress

  • Use a fabric cleaner: If your mattress has stubborn stains that cannot be removed with steam cleaning alone, you can try using a fabric cleaner specifically designed for mattresses. Follow the instructions on the cleaner and spot test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the mattress before applying it to the entire surface.
  • Deodorise with baking soda: To keep your mattress smelling fresh, you can sprinkle baking soda over the surface and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it up. Baking soda helps absorb odours and can leave your mattress smelling clean.
  • Sunlight exposure: If possible, take advantage of sunny days and place your mattress outside in direct sunlight. Sunlight can help kill bacteria and freshen up your mattress naturally.
  • Regularly wash bedding: To prevent dirt and allergens from accumulating on your mattress, it’s important to regularly wash your bedding, including sheets, pillowcases, and mattress protectors. Follow the care instructions that came with for each item.
  • Vacuum the mattress regularly: In addition to steam cleaning, it’s a good idea to vacuum your mattress regularly to remove any surface dirt, dust, or debris. Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to gently clean the mattress without causing any damage.

Remember, maintaining a clean mattress can contribute to a healthier sleeping environment and prolong the lifespan of your mattress.

Maintaining a Clean Mattress

Now that you’ve deep cleaned your mattress, it’s important to maintain its cleanliness. Here are a few tips to help keep your mattress clean and healthy:

  • Use a mattress protector to prevent stains and spills.
  • Vacuum your mattress regularly to remove surface dirt and debris.
  • Rotate your mattress every few months to prevent uneven wear.
  • Follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

In conclusion, steam cleaning is an effective method for deep cleaning your mattress. However, it’s important to check the care instructions on your mattress and spot clean any stains before steam cleaning. By following the tips and methods outlined in this article, you can effectively deep clean your mattress and maintain its cleanliness for years to come.

Looking for a new mattress to replace your old one? Check out Ecosa’s mattresses.

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