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Does Steam Cleaning a Mattress Really Work?


steam cleaning mattress

No one plans on pouring wine on their bed or letting their dog use their mattress instead of the backyard. Yet, stains happen. It’s a part of life. Every night, you sweat, drool, and leave skin oils when you sleep. There is even the occasional pet accident, beverage spill, or other stains. This is why it is recommended to purchase a mattress protector for your mattress. Even a top-of-the-line mattress won’t stay stain-free forever unless it’s completely protected! But what if you haven’t purchased one and now it is too late?

Can you steam clean a mattress?

Your mattress is a relatively big purchase, one you probably took the time to research before you chose the right option. You want your mattress to last eight years, at least. If you don’t have a mattress protector and yours is looking a little worse for wear, you may be saying “Can you steam clean a mattress?” Yes, this is possible. We highly recommend finding a mattress steam cleaning services instead of doing it yourself. If you choose to do it yourself, it is possible though.

Cleaning your mattress is not an everyday chore and one we've discussed in our dedicated article on how to get stains out of a mattress. But when it's time, it will behoove you to learn everything you can about how to deep clean a mattress. This does not mean dumping water on it and trying to scrub away the stain. Do not do that! Any type of excess moisture will bring mold and mildew, plus you probably won’t enjoy sleeping on a damp mattress for several nights. Instead, many people find steam cleaning a mattress works well. 

Steam cleaning a mattress

When learning how to steam clean a mattress, know that you’ll need baking soda, a steam cleaner, and a vacuum. Then, follow these steps:

#1 The first step is to sprinkle baking soda on the stain. If you’d like to freshen up the entire mattress, sprinkle a fair amount of baking soda all over the bed. Leave it for about 45 minutes.

#2 Vacuum the mattress with the upholstery attachment to remove any dust, dirt, or skin cells as well as the baking soda you sprinkled on. Once there’s no leftover debris, you’re ready to get to work with your steam cleaner.

#3 You are now on the step of steam cleaning a mattress where you will actually steam it. Run your steamer across the mattress with the upholstery attachment to blast in the steam. Be sure to get the water in your steamer to heat up nicely to at least 212 °F to be able to disinfect your mattress. If you do not have a mattress attachment or upholstery attachment on your steam cleaner, wrap a towel on the head. It will help prevent scratches and tears on your mattress.

#4 You’re all done! Leave the mattress for about four hours to dry. Steam cleaning a mattress does not leave behind water, but it’s possible there’s still a bit of moisture left deep inside from the initial spill. It’s best if your mattress can dry in a warm spot out in the sun. If your mattress is too heavy for this to be realistic, try to get it as near an open window as possible.

Before you get your mattress’s cleaning instructions!

You may choose to find mattress steam cleaning services instead of doing it yourself, which is great for those who don’t want to take any risks. If you do decide to do it yourself, be sure to learn the care needed for your mattress, as stated by manufacturer recommendations or cautions. This may require doing a bit of online research. No matter what kind of mattress you’re working with, memory foam, hybrid, or innerspring coils, never drench your mattress with any type of liquid. This includes cleaners. Mattresses aren’t designed to get wet. Your mattress won’t dry quickly, and if it stays damp for too long it can start to smell or develop mold and mildew inside. This new situation will be worse than the stain you’re dealing with now!

Memory foam mattresses

Not all mattresses are made the same, of course. The big question is: can you steam clean a memory foam mattress? Memory foam mattresses are made of polyurethane and other chemical materials that are sensitive to pressure and temperature. This is why it molds to the shape of your body when you lay on it. Before anything else, be sure learn the specific instructions before you attempt cleaning it. If you follow these instructions, it is possible to keep the warranty intact. You will probably see on the instructions that the ideal way to steam clean a mattress made from memory foam is with a medium heat setting. This ensures that heat does not damage the cells of the mattress.

When in doubt, reach out to the mattress and sleep experts at City Mattress! We’ll go over the details of your mattress with you, as well as the best way to clean it. You can purchase a mattress protector at the same time, so you don’t need to go through this again!