How to Disinfect & Sanitize Your Memory Foam Mattress

Last Updated on June 17, 2024

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

If you regularly wake up with a stuffy nose and itchy eyes, chances are that you may need to sanitize your mattress. Learning how to disinfect and sanitize a mattress is great for maintaining the life of your bed and getting a healthy night’s sleep. Whether you’re just looking for a routine cleaning solution for everyday wear or need to do a deep clean to disinfect your mattress, we’re here to help.

Let’s look at how you can keep your memory foam mattress as clean and fresh as possible with these simple solutions for sanitizing and disinfecting. The best part is that most of these solutions use household ingredients, so you can get started cleaning your mattress right away.

Overview: How to Disinfect and Sanitize Your Memory Foam Mattress

There are many ways to disinfect and sanitize your mattress, from using household cleaners to hiring a professional.

  • Steam cleaning your mattress provides a deep clean and the hot steam kills bacteria. Just make sure to only steam your mattress lightly, so the moisture doesn’t penetrate the material.
  • Antibacterial sprays and enzyme cleaners are readily available at your local drugstore or supermarket and can be effective in disinfecting mattresses.
  • Baking soda, white vinegar and even vodka are all common household items that are great for sanitizing and cleaning.
  • Professional mattress cleaners use UV light to sanitize mattresses and kill germs.
Woman cleaning her GhostBed mattress with a steam cleaner

How to Steam Clean Your Memory Foam Mattress

Dust mites are everywhere, especially mattresses. These pesky little critters are a known allergen and can cause itchy eyes, runny noses and even rashes. Steam cleaning your mattress can help combat dust mites and other allergens.

Here’s how to steam clean your memory foam mattress:

  • 1. Remove as much topical dust and dander as possible by vacuuming well using a crevice tool to get into every nook and cranny before you steam clean a mattress. Don’t forget to pay attention to the sides.
  • 2. Use a garment or handheld steamer, or rent a commercial steamer, and run the steam cleaner across the surface of the mattress, making sure to get every inch of the surface evenly using short bursts of steam. You do not want to use constant bursts of steam as this will result in soaking the mattress (which can lead to mold).
  • 3. Allow the mattress to dry completely before making it up and sleeping on it. Ventilate the room and turn on a fan to speed up the drying process.

How to Clean Your Mattress Using Antibacterial Spray

Antibacterial cleaners are designed to remove and prevent harmful bacteria from household surfaces and fabrics. When choosing a spray or solution, make sure it doesn’t contain bleach, as this will harm the mattress fibers and covering.

Here’s how to clean your mattress using an antibacterial spray:

  • 1. Vacuum bed surfaces thoroughly to remove as much topical dust, hair, dander and allergens as possible.
  • 2. Spray your disinfectant solution or antibacterial spray lightly across all surfaces of your mattress, including the top, bottom and sides. If you’re using a liquid cleaner, follow the instructions on the bottle and dilute it with the proper amount of water if needed.
  • 3. Dip a clean rag in warm water and ring it out as much as possible to wipe down all surfaces after you thoroughly spray them.
  • 4. Make sure that the mattress has time to dry completely before sleeping on it.

How to Clean Your Mattress Using Antibacterial Spray

Believe it or not, vodka is an excellent disinfectant! It works similarly to rubbing alcohol, and you don’t need to spend big bucks on top-shelf vodka to get the job done.

Here’s how to sanitize your mattress using vodka:

  • 1. Vacuum the mattress to clean off loose dirt and particles.
  • 2. Pour the vodka into a spray bottle and then lightly spray to cover all surfaces of the mattress with the vodka without soaking. You may want to dilute the vodka if it’s too powerful. Optional: Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the vodka solution to leave your mattress smelling fresh and inviting. We like tea tree oil for it's antimicrobial properties and lavender for it's relaxing aroma.
  • 3. Once you’re finished spraying, let the mattress dry completely before turning in for the night.

How to Sanitize a Mattress with Baking Soda & White Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar waiting used for disinfecting and sanitizing a mattress.

Two other household products you can use to clean your mattress are baking soda and white vinegar. The best part? These natural cleaners don’t contain any harsh chemicals or fragrances making this route perfect for those with allergies or skin sensitivities. We’ve talked before about the many uses for baking soda, such as using it to remove blood from your mattress, and sanitizing your mattress is no exception.

Here’s how to sanitize your mattress using baking soda and white vinegar:

  • 1. First, fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and lightly mist the mattress, making sure not to soak it.
  • 2. Let the vinegar sit for about 10 minutes, then blot the surface with a clean towel to absorb the excess.
  • 3. Next, sprinkle some baking soda on the mattress, focusing on areas that might have more stains or odors. Try and let the baking soda sit for as long as possible, but at least an hour should do the trick.
  • 4. Lastly, vacuum up the excess baking soda and let the mattress dry completely.

How to Clean a Mattress Using an Enzyme Cleaner

Enzyme cleaners are commercial cleaners that are designed to remove stains and odors from mattresses and upholstered furniture. When shopping for an enzyme cleaner, make sure to pick one that is safe to use on mattresses.

When using an enzyme cleaner to disinfect your mattress, follow the instructions on the package. Some of these cleaners need to be diluted, while others can be applied directly on your mattress. Or, spray the enzyme cleaner on a towel or rag and blot your mattress rather than applying the cleaner directly onto the fabric.

How to Disinfect a Mattress with Ultraviolet Light

If you are suffering from intense allergies and your mattress needs a deep clean, look for an expert in cleaning mattresses. These businesses have specially designed commercial-grade machines and equipment made to attack specific allergens.

In addition to steam cleaning, a mattress cleaning company should have the ability to use ultraviolet radiation that is harmful to microorganisms. The UV light works to sanitize your mattress by breaking apart the DNA of the germ, which causes it to stop reproducing and die.

Once you have your fresh, newly sanitized mattress, be sure to keep it as clean as possible moving forward. Always put your mattress on a frame that allows more airflow, such as one with a slatted base. Be sure to remake your bed weekly with clean sheets and bedding.

Frequently Asked Questions

There’s a lot to learn about sanitizing and disinfecting mattresses, but we’re here to help. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we get about keeping your mattress clean.

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How do you sterilize a mattress?

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Can you spray disinfectant on a mattress?

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Can I use Lysol spray on my mattress?

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How do you clean a used mattress?

Marc's Tip

Protecting your mattress is so important! We designed our waterproof mattress protector with non-migrating antimicrobial technology that helps eliminate allergens, so it’ll keep your mattress clean, dry and safe to sleep on. Plus, with it's soft and breathable knit top, you won’t get the annoying crinkles & crunches of traditional plastic mattress protectors.

Use code PROTECTOR30 at checkout and take 30% off!

GhostProtector mattress protector

Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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Marc has spent the last two decades designing & manufacturing mattresses and other sleep products, drawing on a lifetime of experience working with the material sciences. With several patents to his name, he works closely with the GhostBed team to create products with the perfect balance of comfort & support. Learn More

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