Mattresses: Long Version
Deal with stains, clean nooks and crannies, and take care of both sides of the mattress.
- White vinegar
- Vacuum (those with a Hepa filter trap more allergens), plus attachments
- Enzyme odor remover, such as OdorZyme ($17 for 22 ounces, odorzyme.com). It eliminates protein-based stains.
- Oscillating fan, table or floor height
- Cotton cloth
- A helper
1. Follow step 1 of Shortcut.
2. Vacuum the top and sides of the mattress with the upholstery attachment. Use the crevice tool to get into tufting and around seams.
3. Spray enzyme odor remover on stains. Air-dry, using a fan to speed the process. When the mattress is dry, remove the cleaner by sprinkling water on the spots and blotting with a cotton cloth until dry.
4. With your helper, flip the mattress.
5. Vacuum the side that now faces up. Repeat step 3.
Time investment: A full day to take care of three or four mattresses.
Rather hire a pro? Mattress-cleaning services are not as widespread as those for, say, windows and carpets. You might be able to find a carpet or upholstery cleaner who also handles mattresses, with prices starting at about $50 per mattress. If not, here’s some extra motivation for taking on the job yourself: A dirty mattress can be a fertile breeding ground for dust mites, microscopic creatures that get into the respiratory system and may cause watery eyes and a runny nose. (Sorry—cleaning a mattress doesn’t insulate you from bedbugs. If you see something suspicious, call a licensed bedbug professional.)